March 8th.  One year.  If Davis drank, He’d be getting drunk.

One year since Rob had left.

As relationships go, it had been okay.  Comfortable.  It had certainly gone on long enough - they’d been together for more than ten years.  But in the end, comfortable hadn’t been enough; He, himself, hadn’t been enough....

Stop it.

Davis shook his head at himself, and took another drink of soda.  He was sitting in a little diner not far from his apartment.  Of course, nothing was very far from the apartment - the whole city was only about 30,000 people.  Ten miles wide and five miles deep, you could get to anywhere from anywhere in less than ten minutes.  Fifteen minutes in five o’clock traffic.

He pushed a french fry through the ketchup in a vague way, and ate it.  He was sitting in a half-booth; staring at a tv mounted on the far wall, lingering over the remains of a cheap steak dinner.  The tv was silent, with the captions turned on.  It was showing a rabid conservative talk show host raving about something-or-other.  Davis watched him silently shout his derision.  He wasn’t reading the captions, just staring at the movement, avoiding going home to his empty apartment, to his empty life.

His thoughts drifted, and the loneliness waxed.  A waitress wandered by and took his glass for a refill.  He muttered thanks, ate another french fry.  After a while he sat back, climbed awkwardly out of the booth, paid his check with a reasonable tip, and left.  Pulling out of the parking lot, he turned left; turning right would have taken him home, and he still didn’t want to go there.  So he took a different road, and headed out of town.  Davis had discovered something odd about himself over the last few months.  When driving, the loneliness would go away.  He wasn’t sure how that worked, but he spent a lot of time and gas driving through the countryside around town.  Not a cheap pastime, with gas exceeding $4 a gallon, but heck, now that he’s not paying Rob’s bills, he could afford it.

About Davis Chapman: He’s a computer nerd, and something of an introvert.  Forty-five years old and generally pretty quiet, once you get him started on a subject, he’ll talk your ear off.  He wears glasses for nearsightedness, and hates to dress up, preferring jeans and a t-shirt for everyday wear.  In many ways very shy, he has a very hard time trying to meet new people, partly because of his size.  Davis is a big guy - a very big guy.  Nearly 6’5” tall, and weighing more than 350 pounds.  He has a big, round face, big hands and big feet.  Just about everything about him is three sizes larger than average, except for one particular bit which is two sizes smaller than average, much to his chagrin.  He’s a big, heavy guy, but he likes being a big heavy guy.  That was something he found a lot of frustration in; people just didn’t understand.  He’s a big heavy guy because he wants to be a big heavy guy.   Like many big guys, he tends to be light on his feet and he usually moves much more quietly than people expect.  He tends to slouch, mostly to keep from inadvertently looming over people.  When he’s not actively smiling, his face naturally falls into a slight frown that people tend to find intimidating.  He knows this and does his best to smile as much as he can when dealing with other people.

An hour later he pulled into his driveway, turned the car off, and headed inside.  He lives in a condo, a townhouse fourplex.  He and Rob had bought it together, or at least they’d both signed the papers.  That was seven years ago.  Rob had lost yet another job a few months after that, and Davis pretty much carried the mortgage payments singlehandedly ever since.  Rob had gone through three more jobs before he finally left.  Now Davis was stuck with a huge mortgage payment in a bad market and a lot of memories.  

Davis checked the mail - two bills and a furniture brochure.  Nothing special.  He turned the key and let himself into the common hallway, took his shoes off in the hallway and left them beside his door, then let himself into his apartment.  Like every day, Temperance met him at the door crying happily.  A small, long haired tortoiseshell tabby, she was the most devoted loving little cat he’d ever had.  She curled around his feet while he took his coat off, then immediately ran for the kitchen, where she jumped on the sink and begged for a drink.  Throwing the mail into a basket on a table beside the door, Davis followed the cat and turned the faucet on to let just a tiny stream of water fall into the sink.  Purring ferociously, Temperance stuck her head under the water, sticking her tongue out to catch the water as it ran off her nose.  

Leaving Temperance to her drink, Davis went into the living room, lifted the lid on his huge freshwater aquarium and fed the fish, watching the surface of the water churn as dozens of little fish frantically chased the flakes of food that floated there.  Returning to the kitchen he found Tiny, his roommate’s cat, taking a drink.  He gave her a moment, then turned the water off, got a soda from the fridge, and went back to the living room.

Sitting down in the big easy chair, Davis picked up his tablet computer and settled in.  His first stop was to log into  BiggerCity was a website specifically aimed at big, heavy guys and the guys that like them.  Davis had put a profile up on the site some years back, and since the split with Rob he’d taken to visiting the site on a regular basis.  Tonight there were no messages.  Next, he connected to, one of the better gay story sites on the internet.  A few taps on the screen got him to his place in the story of Mike and Matt, two unrealistically sexy, muscular, hung, virile and cute young guys who were pathologically in love with each other.  Once again Davis reflected that if he could find someone to give him even a third of what these two fictional guys had, He’d be happy for the rest of his life.  Within minutes Temperance had climbed into his lap to fall asleep, and he was deep in the story.

*  *  *

Luis opened his eyes into the crystalline light of morning and lay where he was for a moment, waiting for his thoughts to start moving.  ‘Morning, it’s morning, it’s Wednesday morning, It’s Wednesday.  No classes today.  Work.  Do I work today?  Did I work yesterday?  I did work yesterday.  Yes, I work today.  I work morning shift today.  Crap.  Morning shift.  What time is it?’ With a jerk, he turned his head to the side and glared at the alarm clock.  ‘Okay, it’s 5:29am.  No, it’s - ‘  The alarm changed to 6:00am, and started beeping.  Luis reached out and gave it a whack to shut it up.  He then lay back and shook his head a little.  He never knew how he did it, but no matter what time he set his alarm for, he always woke up just before it went off.  It was weird.  Well - almost always.  If he’d been drinking the night before, it didn’t work that way - but most mornings it did.  That was okay - Luis had the fortune to be a morning person. He was happy that way - it worked for him.  His sister, the little minx, was not a morning person.  She actually would set her alarm a half an hour early so she could hit the snooze button a few times before dragging herself out of bed.  That always mystified Luis.


Rolling out of bed, he stepped into the bathroom attached to his bedroom, turned on the shower, shed his boxers and climbed in.  A quick scrub down later, he stepped out, turned off the water, grabbed his shaver and quickly touched up his goatee.  His parents didn’t like the facial hair much, but without it he was so baby faced he looked like he was seventeen instead of twenty-three.  With quick motions he got some mousse from its can, slicked back his short hair, and then spiked it up.

Back in his room, he checked his phone for the weather.  A little chilly, not too bad for early spring.  Going to his closet he pulled out fresh boxers, socks, dockers, and a plain dark blue t-shirt sporting the logo of the coffee cafe where he worked as a barista. Pulling on his clothes, he loaded his pockets with all the usual paraphernalia, pulled on a pair of sneakers and left the room.

This is Luis Barraza:  Husky, Latino, 6’2” tall and 240 pounds.  Black hair, dark brown eyes, a neatly trimmed goatee.  Broad shouldered, he had played football in high school and still had a deep chest from the weight training he’d done while on the team.  Otherwise he’d let himself go a bit; he liked food, and he liked lots of it, so he’d developed a bit of a gut.  He still worked out occasionally, and he watched what he ate a little more than he used to, so his weight was pretty steady and hadn’t changed in a couple years.  

Climbing into the old Toyota his parents had given him for his high school graduation, Luis started the car, backed down the drive and headed for work.  The cafe was downtown and parking was pretty scarce, but that was okay.  He preferred to park in a parking garage about three blocks from the cafe.  It was about a five minute walk, but it was a little bit of exercise and it gave him a quiet moment before starting work.

Walking behind the building, he rang the bell and Shelley let him in.  Shelly was already wearing her apron and went back into the kitchen where she was tearing up lettuce for salads.  Luis checked the big espresso machine to be sure everything was in order, switched things on, straightened things around a bit, then went back to help Shelley with food prep.

Shelley looked up and smiled.  “What’s up, Luis?”

“Not a lot.”  Luis smiled back at her and started grating cheddar cheese into a container for the salad station.

“Aw, c’mon, I haven’t seen you in a week, surely something’s happened.  Did you go out Friday night?”

Luis smiled again.  “Yeah, Me and Jim and Rafe and Scooter went to the club.  I got a little drunk.  It was fun!”

“A little drunk?  Just a little?”

“Well, okay, I was pretty smashed.  I had a horrible hangover on Saturday.”

“So?  And?  Where there any cute guys there?”

Luis cringed.  “Jeez, Shell!  Not so loud, willya?”

Shelley covered her mouth for a second and gave a little giggle.  “Oops, sorry.  You know nobody here would care.  God, it’s a coffee shop for pete’s sake!”

Luis gave her a half-glare, but couldn’t hold it, and grinned sheepishly.  “Yeah, I know, I just don’t want everybody in my business, you know?”

“Yeah, okay, I get it, I get it.  Now answer the question.”

“What question?”

Shelley rolled her eyes and huffed impatiently.  “Were.  There.  Any.  Cute.  Guys?”

“Augh!  Okay, okay.”  Luis made a sort of noncommittal “Pfft.” sound.  “Nobody special.”

“Really?  On a Friday night?  That place usually has a least a little eye candy, even if they’re all straight and dangling all over their girlfriends.  And there’s usually at least one pack of military guys from the base hanging out.”

“Yeah, I suppose.  There was a decent crowd, I just didn’t see anyone special.  Now, Rafe was making all sorts of comments about some of the girls, and Scooter was seriously ogling this one blonde.  But there wasn’t anything there for me.  You know how it goes sometimes.”

“So did you do anything embarrassing while you were drunk?”

Luis rolled his eyes.  “No, I didn’t do anything embarrassing while I was drunk. Although I guess I was pretty far gone.  Apparently Jim had to help me out of the car and up to my door at home.  I’m just glad my parents were asleep.  Angie was up though, and she gave me a bunch of shit about it on Saturday.”

Shelley had finished with the lettuce and started slicing tomatoes.  Luis switched to shredding swiss cheese.  They continued working.  Luis shook his head a bit dejectedly.  “I just wish there was a gay bar less than 200 miles from here.”

Shelley gave him a sympathetic look.  “Yeah, I know.  Hell I’d go with you.  It’d be cool to get out there and dance without having guys pawing me.”

Luis put down the cheese, grabbed Shelley around the waist and hugged her.  “Pawing you?  Pawing you?  Like this?”

Shelley giggled and pushed him off.  “Yeah, yeah.  Like you’d be interested.  C’mon, this stuff isn’t doing itself.”  They continued food prep until 6:30, and Luis went out to unlock the doors.  He had time to get back behind the counter before the first customer yawned his way into the cafe, and the day was officially started.

*   *   *

It was 6:00am, and quiet in Davis’ condo.

On the bedside table, an alarm clock began to beep loudly.  Davis’ hand snaked out from under the covers, hit the clock and the clock shut up.  The hand disappeared back under the covers.  Davis never woke up.  Temperance, asleep at Davis’ feet, didn’t twitch. Fifteen minutes passed.

In the near corner of the bedroom, another alarm clock began to screech.  Davis dragged himself out of bed, walked over and hit the cutoff button, stumbled back to the bed, climbed in and was asleep before his head hit the pillow.  Temperance shifted a little bit, still asleep. Fifteen more minutes passed.

With a faint click a clock radio on the other side of the room started screaming out the weather forecast.  Davis climbed out of bed, meandered over to that corner, and hit the button to shut the radio off.  Turning around, he dragged back to the bed, sat down, and flopped backwards into a light doze.  Temperance lifted her head for a moment, looked at Davis, and settled back down.  Fifteen more minutes passed.

In the far corner of the room, a bookcase stereo with a clock started playing the 1812 Overture, right in the section where the cannons were going off, very loudly.  Davis sat up, stood up, walked around the bed to the stereo, and shut it off.  Then he sat down on the bed again.  This time he sort of sagged to the side and lay there.  Temperance ignored him.  Fifteen more minutes passed.

Another alarm clock, this one with big wheels on each side, began emitting piercing squeaking noises from a large speaker on top, and the wheels started to spin.  The clock rapidly rolled off the bedside table, bounced on the carpet a couple times, and darted across the floor, randomly changing direction, spinning, and reversing.  Temperance sat up and watched with interest.  Davis sat up looking groggy.  He shook his head, and got to his feet, and went after the insanely gyrating clock.  After a couple of misses, he managed to catch it and shut it down.  He put it back on the bedside table, and sat down on the bed.  7:00am.  

God, did he hate mornings.

Reaching out, Davis petted Temperance a few times.  Temperance treated him to a lazy eye blink.  With a big sigh, Davis climbed to his feet and dragged into the bathroom.  Turning on the shower to warm up, he brushed his teeth with his eyes closed, then relieved himself.  Shedding his briefs, he climbed into the shower, washed his hair, scrubbed down, rinsed off, and climbed out.  He turned the water off, then flushed the toilet, and headed back into the bedroom.  Pulling clothes from the closet, he dressed, loaded his pockets, and headed down the stairs.  The clock in the kitchen showed 7:35am.

Outside, Davis noted that his roommate’s car was in the driveway, so that meant he was home, probably asleep.  Davis’ roommate, Kenny, worked nights, 10:00pm to 6:00am.  He slept during the day, and spent the evenings at his boyfriend’s apartment,  Davis and Kenny would see each other maybe twice a week.

Davis settled into his car, started it, and drove to a nearby quick mart.  There he picked up a 52 ounce diet soda, and a hot breakfast muffin.  Then he drove the two miles to work, parked, and headed inside.  Work was steady, but largely boring.  With no current major projects to work on, he focussed on scutwork.  Time passed slowly, and it was finally time for lunch.  Most days he’d go to lunch at one of the small local restaurants with several guys from his department, but today they’d decided to go to a place he didn’t particularly like, so he bowed out.  Stepping out into the cool spring day, he headed for a small coffee cafe two blocks away.  He moved at a leisurely pace, enjoying the sunny day.  The roads were clear, but there was still snow in the hidden, shadowy spaces between buildings.  The sidewalk was clear, though.  A bell tinkled as he pushed the cafe door open, and he stepped inside.  There were a couple people in line at the register, being helped by a dark young man.  Davis paused for a moment, looking at the shelves that ran along the wall from the door to the counter.  The shelves contained books for trade, magazines to read, and baskets of cookies, brownies and fudge squares for sale.  He stared at the brownies for a moment, then stepped forward into line with a slight shake of his head.  It only took a few moments for the lady in front of him to order her coffee, and then it was his turn.  He ordered a chef’s salad with extra dressing and the largest diet soda they sold from the pretty young blond girl behind the register.  She rang it up, he paid, threw a couple dollars in the tip jar and waited for her to get his drink.  She filled a large cup from the fountain behind her, then handed it to him with sort of an odd look on her face.  He blinked at her, decided he’d missed something, gave her a vague smile, shrugged and went to sit down.

Sitting down, Davis pulled out his phone, connected to the story site, and started reading where he’d left off the night before.  In just a few minutes the dark young man he’d seen earlier stepped out of the kitchen and called his name.  Davis looked up and raised a hand, waving at the kid. As the kid approached, Davis looked down to move his drink aside, then glanced back up and carefully kept his face completely straight.  Oh, my, this kid was cute!  Latino, with spiked dark hair and big dark eyes.  And a face! He looked like an angel with a goatee! He was a pretty tall guy, wide shoulders, a broad chest and a husky build.  Not wanting to be caught staring, Davis dropped his eyes to the table as the kid set the salad down.  Davis muttered a quiet “Thanks,” then surreptitiously watched the kids’ rather nice ass as the kid headed back to the kitchen.  ‘Oh, well, no harm in looking.  He’s cute, but there’s not much chance he’s gay.  Hell, even if he was, he wouldn’t be interested in a fat old guy like me.’  Davis sighed, picked up his phone, and went back to his reading while eating his salad.  Once he was through, he took his dishes to the cart next to the kitchen doorway, then headed back to work.  

*   *   *

The day was moving along normally.  The cafe wasn’t too busy, about average.  Luis was manning the register.  Shelley had just stepped up beside him and knelt down, digging something out of the shelving under the counter, when the bell on the cafe entry door jingled.  Having grabbed the jar she needed, Shelley was just straightening back up when she heard Luis say “Oh, woof!” in a low voice.  Glancing at him, she caught a stunned look on his face, and followed his gaze to the front entrance.  There in the doorway stood this perfectly enormous man.  Well over six feet tall, his head nearly touched the top of the doorway, and the rest of him completely filled that doorway.  Long, dark brown hair, and a full but closely cropped golden brown beard, her first thought was “Good lord, it’s Hagrid,” referring to the gargantuan groundskeeper character from that Harry Potter series of movies.  Shelley stared for just a moment, and was then brought back to current events when the lady across the counter held out her credit card.  Luis snatched it, ran it through the reader, hit the buttons and handed it back, then waited for the slip to print, almost dancing with impatience.  The big man had stepped forward and was now studying the magazine shelves.  Once the slip printed, Luis tore it off, handed it to the lady along with a pen, and turned to Shelley.  Grabbing the jar out of her hands, he rapidly gabbled “Take over the register, okay Shel?” and was abruptly gone, darting around her and disappearing into the kitchen.  

In a somewhat thoughtful frame of mind, Shelley logged into the register, and took the order of the next person in line.  The big man was now waiting patiently in line, staring off into space.  Duane, the third person on shift, came out of the kitchen with a slightly puzzled look on his face, and starting making up the coffee order for the lady waiting at the end of the counter.  Shelley finished ringing up customer number two’s order, and the lady stepped aside, allowing the big man to step up.  He wanted a chef’s salad, extra dressing, and a large diet soda.  Shelley rang it up, studying him surreptitiously.  He had a big round face, handsome in a way, and a receding hairline.  She wondered if this would be what Charlie Brown looked like when he grew up.  And he was heavy; very heavy.  She wondered briefly how much he weighed.  He wasn’t obese exactly, not grossly fat, just very, very large.  She turned and made up his drink, the largest size the cafe sold, then turned back to hand it to him.   He had huge hands; the cup looked like a small when he took it from her.  For a second she wondered what it would feel like to hold one of those hands.  She glanced back at his face, and he blinked at her, then offered a friendly smile and moved away from the counter to find a table.  Duane was now working on the second coffee order, and there was no one in line, so Shelley headed for the kitchen.

In the kitchen, she found Luis already assembling the chef’s salad.  She strode over to him, gave him a swat to the back of the head, and said “What the hell was that?”

Luis dropped the lettuce he was gathering up and flapped his hands at her, making frantic shushing noises.  “Keep it down, will ya?  Jeeze!”

“Fine.” she said, in a lower voice, “But what was that all about?  I mean, ‘woof?’”

Looking like a deer caught in the headlights, Luis blushed.

Shelley felt her jaw drop.  “HIM?  You like HIM?  THAT is your type?  You like HAGRID?”

Luis was frantically making shush noises again.  Shelley stared at him, then shook her head and realized that the salad wasn’t done yet.  She shoved Luis aside and started quickly assembling ingredients.  Luis pulled out the lunch meat and quickly sliced it into strips, while Shelley sliced the boiled egg and sprinkled the shredded cheese.  In a moment the salad was ready.  She picked up the bowl, turned and handed it to him.  He got that panicked look on his face again and tried to give it back.  She held her hands away.  “Oh, no.  You take it out there.”

“Me!?  Go out there?  NO!  I can’t!”

“You can, and you will.  Now MARCH!”

Luis had heard that tone before, and knew he’d lost.  He turned and headed for the doorway, concentrating on making his face go blank.  He stepped through, and called the name that had been written on the order ticket.  “Davis!”  As if he needed to!  Sitting at a table halfway across the dining space, the big man raised a hand and waved, then watched Luis as he approached.  Luis kept his face blank, and the man looked away, moving his drink to one side.  Luis put the salad down on the table, and the man said “Thanks,” in a soft baritone voice.  Luis turned, and headed back to the kitchen, trying to act casual.  Shelley was peeking out through the doorway, with a faintly evil grin on her face.  Luis glared at her frantically, trying to get her to knock it off.  He finally reached the safety of the kitchen, and heaved a quiet sigh of relief.  

Shelley stood in front of him, hands at her waist, arms akimbo.  “Okay, you are going to tell me what is going on with you.  Is that clear?”

Defeated, Luis waved his hands in surrender.  “Okay, okay, I’ll explain.  But not now.  After work.”

“All right.  After work.  Now get out there and man the register.”  Shelley turned away and started working on a new food order that had just come through.  Luis headed back out to the counter, but instead of taking the register from Duane, he grabbed a cup and started making up a coffee order.  This worked; he could hide behind the espresso machine, and watch the man over the top of it.

For his part, the big man, Davis, appeared to be completely absorbed in something he was reading on his phone.  He ate absentmindedly, with one hand, as he read.  Luis studied the man in partial profile as he worked.  A round face, with full lips, deep set eyes and high, wide cheekbones.  Slim, stylish glasses. When his face was blank, the corners of his mouth turned down, making him look unhappy, maybe a little menacing.  But occasionally something he was reading would make him smile, and his face just opened up and became friendly and approachable.  It was a mobile face, and broadcast what he was thinking.  Emotions flitted across his face as he read - sometimes pleased, sometimes amused, sometimes quizzical.  Luis wondered what he was reading.  Occasionally Davis would look up from the phone and stare off into space, apparently absorbing what he’d read.  Once he flinched, grimacing at the phone, then shook his head and went back to reading.  Finally, the salad was gone.  Davis stood, carried his dishes to the dirty dish cart, then turned and left the cafe.  Luis watched him go.

A couple of hours later it was end-of-shift for Shelley and Luis.  Luis ducked out the door and headed for the parking garage at a fast walk.  He only got a few yards before a shout of “Hold it right there!” from behind brought him to a halt.  “Turn around!”  He turned around.  Shelley was standing on the step in front of the cafe, tapping a foot.  “C’mon, we’re going this way,” she said, waving down the street in the other direction.  Luis slowly walked in that direction.  Shelley waited until he reached her, then grabbed his arm and marched him down the sidewalk.  They went a half a block, then she turned and dragged him into a quiet little diner they both liked.  She dragged him to a booth in the very back, sat him down, then plunked herself down into the booth opposite him.  She crossed her arms, and waited.  He stared at his hands.  After a couple minutes of this, Shelley leaned forward, and in the most threatening voice she could manage, said “Talk.  Now.”

Luis heaved a sigh, and said “Okay, what do you want to know?”

“What was all that about?  What was with you and that guy?”

“There wasn’t anything ‘with’ me and that guy.  I just thought he was really hot.”

Shelley looked flabbergasted.  “What, really?  Him?  He was huge!”

Luis got kind of a faint grin on his face and said, “Yeah, he was.”

Shelley quirked an eyebrow at him.  “And you like that?”


“Is that why you were telling me that you didn’t see anyone at the club on Friday?  Because there weren’t any big guys like that there?”

“Yeah, pretty much.”

“But he was so big, and, and, fat!”

“Well, yeah.  So what?”

“And you like that?” she asked again.


At that moment, the waitress appeared with menus and glasses of water.  Shelley and Luis both waved the menus off, and ordered.  They’d eaten here often enough, they knew what they wanted.  The waitress wrote it all down, and left.

Shelley sat back for a second, then leaned forward again.  “Okay, so if you thought he was so great, why didn’t you say something to him?  He seemed friendly enough.”

Luis looked shocked.  “What?  Are you kidding?  He was huge!  He’d have turned me into hamburger if I looked at him funny!  He’s not gay!”

“So, nothing on the gaydar, huh?”

“Nope, dead silent.”

“You know, I always thought you had a crush on Tony Abrams in high school.”  Tony Abrams was a tall, dark football player they had known in school.  

“Nope, I was always watching Chris Johnson.”  Chris Johnson was a big husky running back.  Very heavy set, he didn’t run particularly fast, but be moved like a juggernaut.  He’d carried the nickname “The Train” through high school because once he got going, it was nearly impossible to stop him.

“Okay, I think I’ve got this now,” said Shelley.  “So tell me - what's this bit with you saying ‘woof?’”

Now Luis sat back.  “Oh, well, that’s a bit harder to explain.”

“What, did you think he was a dog?  I thought you said he was hot.”

“He was hot!  No, I didn’t think he was a dog!  He’s a bear!”

“What, and I have a feeling I’m going to regret this question, is a bear?”

Luis smiled.  “A bear is a guy who isn’t a twink.”

Shelley rolled her eyes.  “Okay, I’ve heard twink before, but I don’t know what that is either.”

“A twink is a gay guy who’s really, I dunno, gay.  You know, kinda girly.  Or maybe not so girly.  Skinny.  No hair on his chest, even if he has to shave it off. Clean shaven. Guys who spend time getting facials and manicures and working out.  Abercrombie and Fitch guys, maybe.  You know, really white bread.  Young, or at least young looking.  You know what I mean?”

“Like the guys in High School Musical,” said Shelley.

Luis shrugged.  “Well, maybe not that young, but yeah, kinda like that.  Well, a bear is kinda like the opposite of that.  Bigger, older, heavier.  More mature.  Usually kinda hairy or even very hairy.  Bearded.  Macho, or at least masculine, you know?  Think Patrick Warburton, with a beard.  Or maybe Zack Galifianakis, although he can be kinda swishy.  Bob Hoskins.  Kevin Smith. Like them.”

“Okay, I think I got it.  So what about that big guy, I mean, he looked like he was forty!  I mean, forty!  Really?”

“Well, yeah.  I like older guys.  He wasn’t that old.  Late thirties, maybe.  Or maybe he was forty or so, I dunno.  I just thought he was hot!  And handsome, did you see his face when he smiled?”

Shelley snickered.  “Oh, man, you’ve got it bad.”

“I do not!” said Luis.

Shelley snickered.  “Well, maybe.  So, why didn’t you ever tell me this before?”

“What, I’m going to tell you that I like old, fat guys?  Yeah, right.  I dunno, I guess it’s kinda embarrassing.  I mean, could you imagine me bringing that guy home to meet the parents?”

Shelley thought for a second.  “Okay, so ‘woof?’”

“Oh, that.  Well, what does a bear say when he sees another bear he likes?”

“You’ve got to be kidding me.  ‘Woof?’”

Luis grinned.  “Well, he was a really woofy grizzly bear.”

Shelley rolled her eyes.  “‘Woofy.’  And wait, grizzly bear?  What’s a grizzly bear?”

“A grizzly bear is a really big bear.  Duh.”

“Oh, obviously.  I should’ve known.  So wait, are you a bear?”

“Well, I could be, I guess, some people would say so, but really I’m more of a cub.”

Shelley looked exasperated.  “I’m going to need a glossary here in a minute.  What, pray tell, is a cub?”

The food arrived, and the conversation continued.  

*   *   *

A week went by, and another, and another.  Davis was lonely, and there didn’t seem to be much he could do about it.  The nearest gay bar was 200 miles away - so there really wasn’t a venue to meet guys.  The only dance club in town held a “Pride Night” once a month, which was sparsely attended.  Davis always went.  People showed up, joined their little cliques, and that was that.  Davis had a couple of gay acquaintances, guys his age, that were usually there. Davis would join them, hang around for an hour or so people watching, have a drink, then go home.  The members of each little clique would always cold-shoulder the room.  Nobody ever approached anybody else they didn’t know. Nobody danced, either.  At the last one, Davis had ordered a traditional martini, just to say he’d had one.  It was incredibly nasty, but he’d drunk it, it had cost him eight bucks after all.

In his attempts to find someone, Davis had joined just about every online dating site he could find.  He had profiles in so many places that he’d opened a second email account to keep all the site spam from overwhelming his regular email account.  None of these profiles really did any good, for several reasons.  The main reason was that he never subscribed to any of the sites; he only used the free features, which usually only allowed you to browse other’s profiles.  You couldn’t contact the other users without subscribing, which was ridiculously expensive.  Of course the sites were always trying to drum up business and get those subscription dollars, so Davis received a continuous stream of emails from the sites, advertising guys that they had ‘matched’ with him; all he had to do is pay the subscription and then he could contact these matched up guys. Of course, the guys in question had to be subscribed too, or they wouldn’t be able to read Davis emails.  Another reason was the remarkable dearth of local guys on the sites. There was a group of about fifteen local guys who had also joined all of these dating sites, so the sites were continually matching Davis with these same guys.  Since none of the other guys had subscribed either, nobody could contact anybody.

One particularly desperate evening a few months back, Davis broke down and placed a personal ad on craigslist.  Unlike most of the ads on craigslist, which Davis privately labeled as ‘sex ads’, Davis’ ad was looking for something more like romance. It was a long winded ad, giving a fairly extensive description of himself, because Davis liked to be upfront and honest.  He tried to answer all the questions he himself might ask someone.   The ad was entitled “Looking for a friend, hopefully an LTR.”  

Response to the ad was interesting.  There were quite a few responses that were looking for nothing more than sex.  Most of these respondents vanished once they saw a picture of Davis.  A few got past the picture, but most of them were looking for a top.  Davis, an unapologetic total bottom, explained his preferences, at which point those guys also disappeared.  One or two guys actually followed through to one night stands before disappearing.  These were fun while they lasted (which usually wasn’t very long), but were ultimately pretty unfulfilling.  Eventually Davis attached a full-body picture (tastefully dressed) to the ad, and that was pretty much the end of any responses.

And so the days, and the weeks passed.  Spring became summer.  Davis came home directly after work one late May afternoon.  This was unusual; Davis usually stopped to eat somewhere before heading for home, but he’d had a big lunch that day, and wasn’t hungry.  He was also in the middle of a really neat story on the GayAuthors.Org website, and wanted to get back to it, so he headed home.  He pulled into his driveway to see his roommate’s car still parked there.  Interesting; he was usually gone before this time of day.  Davis climbed out of the car, and headed for the door, stopping to check the mailbox on the way.  As always, Temperance met him at the apartment door, crying happily, then headed directly for kitchen sink for her afternoon drink.  Kenny was on the couch in the living room, fiddling with his phone. Kenny looked up, waved his phone in the air and said, “Hey, come take a look at this.”

Davis wandered over to him.  “What?”

“A friend of mine put me onto this.  It’s an app called ‘Scruff.’  It shows you other Scruff users in the area, and how far away they are.  It’s specifically for bears.  Here, look!”  Kenny handed his phone to Davis.

Davis accepted the phone and looked.  On the screen was a grid of little thumbnail pictures.  Some were guys faces, some were shirtless guys, a couple were just blank, and a couple looked like landscape scenes.  The first thumbnail in the upper left corner showed Kenny.  Next to that was a bearded guy, then another bearded guy, then some guy’s hairy chest.  On a hunch, Davis tapped the first bearded guy’s thumbnail.  The screen changed, showing a bigger copy of the guys’ picture, with a legend saying “BearBottom 0.5 Miles Single.”  There were a couple more lines of text, and a scrollbar to the side.  Davis swiped down and was rewarded with a short text profile indicating that the guy was 29 years old, worked construction, and was looking for NSA.  There were a couple icons at the top of the screen.  Davis tapped the one that looked like a bear paw, and got a prompt “Confirm Woof?” Davis cancelled that.  He tapped the word balloon icon, and got a normal looking text messaging screen, with keyboard.  Davis cancelled that, cancelled back to the thumbnail grid, and handed the phone back to Kenny saying “Interesting.  Lemme check it out on my phone...”

Ignoring Temperances’ vociferous complaints from the kitchen, Davis sat down, pulled out his phone, and opened the App Store.  He found Scruff quickly, started it downloading, and then looked at the “Users who downloaded this, also downloaded these:” section, where several more apps were listed.  Within twenty minutes, he had downloaded Scruff, Growlr, Grindr, Bender, Mister and ManHunt.  He spent the rest of the evening setting up profiles on the various services using the name ‘BigChapman,’ and playing with the apps.  Scruff was the most interesting, as it had the most local guys listed.  Davis recognized a couple people he knew, and he also recognized a couple people from the online dating sites.  That was interesting.  But more than anything else, Davis found it oddly comforting to realize that there actually were a number of local gay guys of the bearish persuasion.  That in and of itself, was pretty cool.

*   *   *

Not really sure just how they’d gotten onto the subject, Luis found himself showing Shelley the Scruff app on his phone.  He’d explained how it worked, and some of it’s features.  Shelley was fascinated and was tapping through various profiles.  

“So, all these guys are gay, right?” she asked.


“What’s to stop a straight guy from putting a profile on here?”

Luis shrugged. “Nothing, I guess, but why would he do that?”

“I dunno.  Just asking, I guess.  So, you’re pretty sure everyone on here is gay?”

“I just answered that!”

Shelley tapped the screen to open a profile, then held up the phone for  Luis to see.  “Okay - what about him?”

Luis looked at the screen and his mouth fell open.  “Oh, SHIT!  It’s him!”  A huge grin spread across his face.  “He’s gay!  I don’t believe it!”

Shelley nodded.  “Sure seems like it.”

Luis grabbed the phone and stared at the profile picture for ‘BigChapman.’  “He’s forty-five?  He doesn’t look forty-five.“  Luis looked at Shelley.  “He wasn’t on here yesterday.  I look at this all the time.  He must’ve just gotten the app.”  He started reading through the profile text, which was pretty long.  “It says he’s single.”   He read a bit more, then handed the phone back to Shelley.  “Here - read this.”

Shelley read through the text, and got a sort of ‘What the hell?’ look on her face.  “He says he’s a nice guy?  Who comes out and just says, ‘I’m a nice guy?’  And he’s just throwing it right out there, he wants a boyfriend.  Kinda needy, don’t you think?”

“I dunno - there’s nothing bad in there. I’ve read a few profiles that were pretty bad.  You could tell the guy was a flaming asshole.”

Shelley shrugged.  “I guess.  Why, what are you thinking?  You want to approach him?”  Shelley watched as Luis’ face suddenly spread into a sort of evil, salacious grin.  Her eyes widened. “Oh my god!  You want to fuck him!  You totally want to do him, don’t you!  You dog!  Oh my god!”

Luis blushed furiously and ducked his head.  “Well, he’s really hot!  What do you want from me?  I’m a guy!”

Shelley her head again.  “I still can’t get over that.  He’s a big, fat, old guy, and you think he’s hot.  That’s just weird, Luis.”

Luis shrugged.  “I know.  I can’t help it.  That’s what I like.”

“So what are you going to do?”

Luis grinned again.  “Not sure yet, but I’ve got an idea...”

*   *   *

Davis was lying on the couch in his living room, watching TV.  It had been a quiet week, as usual.  He’d had a boring day at work, an ordinary meal at a nearby Diner, and now he was watching old episodes of Cheers on Netflix.  Temperance was curled up in his lap, asleep.  On the coffee table in front of him, his phone made a noise he didn’t hear very often.  Leaning over, he picked it up, and unlocked it.  In the notification field of the screen was a tiny Scruff logo.  Davis tapped it, and it popped open, displaying ‘New Message from LatinoCub’.  Davis tapped that, and the Scruff app launched.  After a moment, the Scruff text message screen opened, and there was the message:

LatinoCub: wanna mess around?

Davis stared at this for a moment.  He’d had people message him on Scruff before, but it was usually just a ‘woof’ or maybe an occasional compliment, or just ‘Hello’. It was also usually from someone thousands of miles away.  This was from someone local: he’d seen LatinoCub’s profile before.  To be sure, he tapped the screen and checked the profile.  Sure enough, LatinoCub was local; just a couple miles away.  The kid was 23, liked seeing movies and hanging with friends, and that was pretty much the whole profile.  The profile had a picture; a closeup showing a large brown eye, an eyebrow, and part of a nose.  Not particularly helpful.

Feeling a bit nervous, Davis messaged back:

BigChapman: what did you have in mind?

LatinoCub: sex!

Davis stared at this in some shock. He was being picked up!  But what did the guy want?

BigChapman: Are you a Top or a Bottom?

LatinoCub: a top

Davis started to smile.  God, this might actually work!

BigChapman: What do you want to do?

LatinoCub: come here and find out.

BigChapman: where are you?

LatinoCub: marriot hotel.  Rm 319  come soon  bring lube and condoms.

BigChapman: Okay.  Let me shower first, and I’ll be right over.

LatinoCub: dont shower.  we can shower together when u get here

Davis read this, feeling excited and scared. It seemed like this guy actually wanted to have sex with him!  God, it had been so long!  After a moment, he decided to take a precaution.  Quickly looking up the local Marriott Hotels’ phone number, he dialed, then asked for room 319.  After a couple of rings, a quiet voice answered.


“Hi, is this Latino Cub?”


“Thanks.  This is Big Chapman - I was just checking to see if you’re real.  I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

“Okay.  Hurry.”

Davis hung up the phone and jumped off the couch.  Running upstairs, he yanked on some clean clothes, then grabbed the lube and condoms off the shelves near his bed.  They’d been there a long time, in a sort of forlorn hope.  He went downstairs, threw the supplies in a bag, and ran out the door, setting the alarm behind him.

The drive to the hotel was short, and within ten minutes, Davis was standing in front of an elevator, wondering how to get a keycard to open the door.  At that moment the elevator opened and someone got off.  With a polite nod to the person, Davis stepped in and pressed the button for the third floor.  In moments he was on the third floor, standing in front of the door for room 319.  With deep breath, Davis mentally squared his shoulders, and knocked.  After the briefest moment, the door opened, and Davis stepped inside.

Two hours later Davis left the hotel and headed home.  His legs were rubbery, and he was shaking with exhaustion.  He had never been through anything like that before, and it was spectacular.  He wiggled his butt a little as he climbed into his car; things still felt a bit stretched down there, and it was a nice feeling.  The whole experience had been amazing.  

Davis’ previous experience with sex wasn’t especially wide-ranging.  He’d had a couple one-nighters before he met Rob, and after that he’d been completely monogamous.  Rob hadn’t been much of a lover, their relationship had been more about companionship than sex.  Although Davis had always been gracious and complimentary to Rob after such sex as occurred, privately he thought of Rob as the ‘four stroke wonder.’  When topping, Rob had never once lasted more than two minutes.  Since breaking up, Davis had pursued the occasional one-nighter, but there just weren’t many guys in town who were interested in sex with someone who looked like Davis, and so sex continued to be a rare and elusive thing for him.  

What had happened that evening was so far outside of Davis experience he couldn’t believe it.  They’d started out showering together, which was something new for Davis.  The kid (Davis never did get a name) had made it abundantly clear in a number of ways that he was physically attracted to Davis.  The kids’ hands had been all over him from the moment the door had shut, and the kids’ touch had been positively electric.  After quite a lot of mutual groping and petting, during which Davis had discovered that the kid was quite well hung - not especially long but very thick, they’d dried off, moved to the bed, and things had taken off from there.  Davis was still amazed at the kids’ strength and stamina.  The kid had thrown him around the bed like a feather.  An hour and several positions later, the kid went off like a rocket.  After that, they rinsed down in the shower and Davis pulled on his clothes and left, because that's the way these things worked, right?  You met up, did your thing, and left.  Nobody wanted a trick hanging around, trying to make conversation.  Plus he'd been so shaky from adrenaline hangover, he'd needed to get out before he fell over.  

Driving home, going over the whole thing in his head, Davis began to have regrets.  He didn’t even know the kids’ name.  Not even his first name, just the Scruff handle.  They’d never kissed.  Davis loved to make out - it was a major turn-on for him, but the kid hadn’t initiated anything like that, and Davis hadn’t wanted to rock the boat.  Through the whole thing, there might have been ten words spoken.  The kid would ask this or that and seemed to really care that Davis was enjoying himself, but that was it.  Davis hadn’t gotten off - he almost never got off in company, he just couldn’t relax enough to let go with someone he didn’t know.  But even so, it had been, truly, the best sex Davis ever had.  And then that was that, it would almost certainly never happen again.  He didn’t even know the kids’ name.

And, and, and, the kid himself!  God, the kid was so freaking sexy!  Okay, yes, he was young, and that bothered Davis.  Of course they hadn’t talked; what would they have talked about?  The kid was more than twenty years younger, for Gods’ sake!  But aside from that, he was practically the poster child for everything Davis liked in a guy.  Davis’ tastes in men were pretty wide-ranging: Tall or short, thin or fat, roly-poly or muscular, Davis found most guys attractive one way or another.  He liked to joke that he was ‘bi-sizual.’  But for all of that, he did have his sweet spots when it came to men, and this kid had touched every one of them.  A little dark, with gorgeous soft brown eyes and a boyish yet masculine face.  A goatee; Davis went weak at the knees for a nicely trimmed goatee.  Tall - not as tall as Davis, but close.  Broad shoulders and a deep chest with a nice layer of fine black body hair that spread evenly across his chest and down his belly and into a nice bush.  A bit of a belly - not a lot, but some, just the way Davis liked it.  Strong arms and legs.  A soft, almost sensual voice.  And aggressive!  Oh, God, he was aggressive!  Davis was a bottom.  Not a submissive, exactly, but he wanted and needed the other guy to take charge during sex.  And the kid had really taken charge!  Davis shivered in his seat just thinking about it.

But, but, but, that was it.  It had happened and it was over.  The kid hadn’t said a word about getting together again, and neither had Davis.  It was, after all, a one-night-stand.  One night, all done.  Dammit.  Davis pulled into his driveway, turned off the car, and sat back in his seat.  He closed his eyes and remembered, his dick getting hard as he went over the evening in detail in his head.  Finally, pants tented, he climbed out of the car and went inside to relieve himself.


*   *   *

The next day, Luis was on cash register when the cafe door opened, ringing the little entry bell.  He took one look and immediately ducked behind the espresso machine.  Crouching slightly, he darted back into the kitchen to find Shelley working on quiche crusts for the following day.

“Shelley!  Go take over the register!”


“Go take over the register!  Go on!  I’ll do that.”  Luis got behind Shelley and started herding her towards the kitchen doorway.  

Shelley dug in her heels and stopped.  “What’s going on?”

“Nothing!  Just go!”

Shelley looked out the doorway.  The big guy from Scruff was standing at the counter waiting patiently.  Shelley smiled.  “Your boyfriend is out there...” she said in a teasing voice.

Luis started turning red, and hissed urgently “He’s not my boyfriend.  God!  I don’t want him to know I work here!  Go on!”

“Okay, okay, I’ll take care of it.”  She stepped out to the counter.  After a few minutes the slip printer ran out an order for a chef salad to go, and Luis started putting it together.  A few moments later Shelley came back to pick up the salad, grinning.  Luis started making quiche crusts.  A couple more orders printed out, and he took care of those.  Finally Shelley came back into the kitchen and leaned up against the counter, arms crossed.

“Okay,” she said, “He’s gone, and there’s no-one waiting.  Now you tell me what’s going on.”

Luis ducked his head.  “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Shelley smiled, shaking her head.  “Oh, yes you do.  And you’re going to.  Don’t even think you’re getting out of it.  Now talk!”

Luis stopped what he was doing and looked at Shelley, weighing his options.  He could call her bluff if he really wanted to - she would understand.  She wouldn’t be happy, but she would understand.  But at the same time, he did want someone to talk to.  She just stood there, waiting.  Finally he shrugged.  “Okay, but not here.  After work, okay?”


The day passed slowly, and for no real reason she could name, Shelley found herself watching Luis.  Luis seemed distracted.  He kept drifting off into thought.  Sometimes he’d smile a bit, or frown a bit, a couple times he shook his head as if arguing with himself.  Shelley was fascinated.  She’d known Luis for years; they’d been in school together since 6th grade.  He’d never been a particularly introspective type, more the type to just do whatever seemed like a good idea at the time.  Now he almost looked conflicted.

The end of shift came, and they left the cafe.  Luis was quiet as they drove to nearby fast food place, and got takeout.  Then they drove to Luis’ house, and went inside to his bedroom to eat.  Luis parents weren’t home, and neither was his younger sister.  Shelley took the chair in front of the computer desk, and Luis sat cross legged on the bed.  Luis was still quiet, and they ate their burgers in silence, until Shelley had finally had enough.

“All right, Luis.  Out with it.  What’s up with you?” she asked.

Luis looked a little embarrassed, then apparently came to a decision.  “You know I can’t bring a guy home or anything like that, right?”

“Yeah.”  Shelley made a ‘go on’ motion with her free hand.

“And you know I’ve hooked up with guys, right?”

Shelley nodded.  “You’ve never really said it straight out, but you’ve kinda hinted about it once or twice.”

“Yeah.  Well, Sometimes I go to their place, but sometimes I want them to come to me.  So for that, once in awhile I’ll get a room, you know, like at the Marriott or someplace.”

“Okay, that makes sense.  Kinda expensive though.”

“Yeah, but I get my privacy, and they get theirs, and I can have the guy sleep over with me and stuff, and I don’t have to worry about it, right?”

Shelley nodded.   “I guess.  What do your parents think of all this?”

“Oh, they just think I’m out with friends, and crashing at somebody else’s place.  I’ll usually call them and tell them I’m on so-and-so’s couch, or something.”


“Okay, so last night I got a room, then got on Scruff and asked that big guy if he wanted to mess around..”

Shelley sat back in her chair with a look of disbelief on her face.  “Seriously?  You really did that?”

Luis nodded, turning a little pink.  “Yeah.  And he said ‘yes.’”

“Oh My God!  Luis, you dog!  Really?  Did you do it?  Was it good?”

Luis smiled a big cheesy grin and turned even more red.  “Yeah.  We did it.  And it was incredible.  First we took a shower together, and I got to.. Uh.. Well never mind about that.  But we did it, and God, it was unbelievable.  I’ve never had it like that.”

“You go, guy!  That’s amazing!   God, I wish I could do something like that...”  Shelley sighed.  “So what was he like?  Do you like him?”

Luis heaved a big sigh.  “That’s just it.  I don’t know.”

Shelley’s eyebrows went up into her hairline. “What do you mean, you don’t know?  You had sex with the guy, how do you not know?”

Luis shook his head, and shrugged.  “That’s just it.  We had sex.  Great sex, incredible sex!  But he never spoke.  We didn’t talk at all.  He didn’t kiss me or anything, and when it was over, he bolted.  I don’t even think he got off.  I don’t even know if he liked it.”  Luis sighed.  “I was kinda hoping he’d hang around a little, and stuff, you know?  But he was out that door so fast you’d think his house was on fire.  I don’t even know his name.”

“Yes you do.  It’s Davis Chapman.”

Luis looked shocked.  “How the hell do you know that?”

Shelley rolled her eyes.  “Duh.  He came in for lunch today, remember?  He paid with plastic.  The name was on the card.  Hello!”

“Oh, yeah, I guess.  Okay, so his name is Davis.”  Luis sighed again.  “So what?  Now what do I do?”

“Well, what do you want to do?”

Luis suddenly had an evil grin on his face.  “I want to do that again, that’s what I want.”  He gave a low chuckle, then sat up a little straighter.  “But I also kinda want to talk to him.  See what he’s like, you know?”

Shelley sat back in her chair.  “Luis, you have a crush on him, don’t you?  You like him!”

Luis shrugged again.  “Yeah, maybe.”

“But he’s so much older than you!”

“So what?  What, you think he’s going to date me, then tell me to do my homework and send me to bed early or something?  I don’t care that he’s older.  I kinda like that he’s older.  Jeeze, the guys my age all act like they’re still thirteen years old!”

“But, isn’t it like, creepy?  That’ he’s so much older than you?  I mean, it’d be like dating a teacher or something.”

“Oh, yeah, like Professor Hart?”  Luis got that salacious grin on his face again.  “Yeah, I’d date him all right.  I’d date him right through the damn mattress!”

Shelley cringed back in her chair.  “Eew!  Luis!  You and Hart?  God, now I need to bleach my brain to get rid of that mental image, thank you very much.  Jeeze, Hart’s like sixty or something!”

Luis snickered.  “Yeah, yeah.  Anyway, I dunno what to do next.  I mean, I can get ahold of Davis on Scruff, I guess, but how do I do it?  What do I say?  'We had great sex, want to date me?'”

Shelley shrugged. “I dunno, Luis.  I dunno.”

*   *   *

Davis leaned back in his desk chair and covered his eyes with a hand, heaving a sigh.  Another email from Arkady.  This made seven so far, and the apparent online romance was moving along as if it were on greased rails.  Just like Vitaly, and before that Nestor.  Based on the evidence, Davis was quite attractive to younger russian men.  

Nestor Dyatlov had been the first.  Davis had received a message through, a free dating and profiles website for bears.  The email had stated that Nestor thought Davis was very handsome, and provided a yahoo email address for further communications.  Thinking that he didn’t really have anything to lose, Davis had sent a brief email to the address, and an email conversation began.  Nestor, who lived in Dolinsk, Russia, had started emailing Davis on a very regular basis, providing lots of very innocent pictures of himself, and asking for the same.  Nestor proved to be a very good-looking young man of 28 years, with a wide jaw, a cleft chin, and dimples.  In spite of his very poor written english, Nestor had waxed quite romantic.  Davis, for his part, responded in fairly non committal ways and had continued the conversation out of curiosity.  Nestor’s emails had become quite passionate and eventually blossomed into all-out declarations of undying love and devotion.  Davis stayed non committal, which didn’t seem to slow Nestor down at all.  Eventually, claiming he couldn’t stand to be apart from Davis one more day, Nestor had proposed travelling to America so that they could meet, and would Davis please wire the modest sum of $6500 for VISA applications, passports, airfare, travelling money, and sundry other costs so that they could be together?  Davis said “No” and never heard from Nestor again.

Vitaly Kedrov had been the second.  Davis had received a weekend ‘free pass’ on the dating website  He’d logged in, and voi-la, there was a message from Vitaly, providing a yahoo email address.  Shrugging, Davis had sent off a brief email, as before.  And thus, a new conversation began.  Vitaly’s written english was notably better than Nestor’s had been.  More pictures began to fly back and forth, and Vitaly turned out to be a ruggedly handsome blond of 27 years, who tended bar in his home city of Seversk, Russia, and wanted to move to America because “Russia hates the gay peoples.”  Davis had explained in his first few emails that he didn’t have any money to send to Vitaly, but Vitaly had ignored this and only seemed interested in the burgeoning love to be found between them.  Some eighteen emails later Vitaly had declared his boundless love for Davis, and demanded that Davis not date any men from that time forward, and hold himself chaste until they could be together.  Davis had gently explained that he would do no such thing until after they were together, and that had been the end of that conversation.

And now there was Arkady Maslak. Arkady had popped up on, claiming he was from Texas.  After a couple of email exchanges, it turned out that he was a hairdresser from Yugorsk, Russia.  Arkady was a very hunky young man of 24 years, with big bedroom eyes and long brown hair.  Arkady’s written english was so poor that some of his emails were nearly unreadable.  The messages themselves had been rather formulaic, and were apparently cut-and-paste jobs, as at one point Arkady had sent him the same message three separate times.  That conversation was in the process of dying a fairly quick death.

Davis’ other efforts to find someone weren’t going much of anywhere either.  He hadn’t gotten a hit on his craigslist ‘romance’ ad in weeks.  He’d even gone so far as to place an actual sex ad, complete with a webcam picture of his butt.  The single response he’d gotten to that ad had said that the picture was disgusting and should be taken down before it made people sick.  Davis had just shrugged; he hadn’t really expected much else.  There just weren’t that many local guys who appreciated, as Davis liked to put it, ‘those of us that fly the widebodies.’

There had been one surprise.  He’d joined the facebook group for the local LGBT organization, and in its' list of members, he’d found LatinoCub.  He wasn’t listed as LatinoCub of course, he was listed as Luis Barraza, but it was unquestionably him, and so now Davis knew his name.  He didn’t have much of a facebook page, just a few pictures, but Davis found himself going back to it again and again, gazing at that face, at those eyes...  He still wished something would come from that direction, even if it was only another one night stand.  But he’d never heard from the kid again, and he didn’t didn’t like to push himself where he wasn’t invited.

It had been a few weeks, and it was now July.  He had the week of the fourth off, and he’d decided that dammit, he was going to get laid.  Maybe there wasn’t anyone local that was interested, but he had the time, he had the money, he was going to go for it.  So he’d spent a few days on Scruff, Growlr, Craigslist, and BiggerCity, and he lined up some hookups in the city 200 miles distant.  It wasn’t a big city, but it was bigger than where he was, and there was a much larger pool of guys to draw on.  He’d gotten a hotel room for four nights, and he’d lined up four guys.   He felt like a bit of a slut, but dammit, he couldn’t afford to do this very often, he might as well make it count.

The trip had gone okay.   Each day, Davis left the room around lunchtime and hit a really good restaurant.  That way he knew that he’d have at least one good experience for the day.

The first guy, the hookup through BiggerCity, had shown up and it had been fun.  The guy had even hung around to talk for a little bit after it was over, which was nice.  Not one-night-stand protocol, but Davis was still pretty lonely most of the time, and he was always happy to chat for a little bit.  The guy had even asked a few interestingly leading questions, questions that made it seem like he might be interested in more than a just a one-nighter.  But once he’d found out that Davis lived more than 200 miles away, he’d backed off, and after a little more desultory conversation, he’d pulled on his clothes and left.

The second guy never showed up.  Davis was left to watch movies on cable for the night.

The third guy was an hour late, and turned out to be a four-stroke wonder.  He came and went so fast Davis was left to wonder if it actually happened at all.  More movies on cable.

The fourth guy was the biggest disappointment.  They’d chatted back and forth through Growlr, and exchanged several pictures.  He’d been really good looking, and had sounded really excited, and Davis had been really looking forward to meeting him.  Unfortunately the guy had screwed up his work schedule, and had to cancel.  He had at least had the courtesy to text Davis and let him know.  Davis went to the IMAX that night.

The next day, Davis had packed up his stuff, had a great lunch at a chain restaurant that didn’t have a store back home, and he’d headed out.

At least he’d gotten laid.  

But none of it, none of it had come remotely close to his experience with Luis Barraza.

*   *   *

The summer was rolling along, and Luis was busy.  He was taking three classes during the summer term, and in one of those classes, he had met Calvin.  Calvin was adorable.  He was 21 years old, 5’8” tall, and at maybe 280 pounds, he was definitely on the chubby side, which suited Luis fine.  Luis had spotted him on the first day of class, and Calvin had set off every gaydar bell Luis had right from the start.  Blond, with sky-blue eyes, Calvin had a milk-white complexion, a small mouth with thin pink lips, and a baby-boy face that Luis thought was cute as a bunny rabbit.

Luis had stalked the guy for a couple of weeks.  Taking a seat next to him in class, striking up conversation whenever he could, cracking jokes, dropping hints.  The guy had giggled at the jokes - giggled, for Gods’ sake!  But that was about it.  He hadn’t taken any of the hints at all.  But he was cute, so Luis kept trying, and eventually he’d just flat asked the guy out.

Calvin had sort of squeaked, then said yes, and they’d gone to a movie a few days later, followed by dinner.  Luis found he kind of liked the kid, in spite of the giggle.  They’d found they had a few things in common, and could talk.  A few more dates, and they started hanging out together.  They even started calling each other boyfriend, although Calvin usually giggled when he used the word.  

Physically, the relationship hadn’t gone much of anywhere.  Both Luis and Calvin lived with their parents, so neither guy had a private place to go.  They’d made out a bit in the car, and that was fun, although Calvin wasn’t much of a kisser.  He sort of laid back and let Luis do all the work.  They had sort of fondled each other while kissing, and Luis had discovered with some surprise that the kid was apparently hung like a horse.  This didn’t particularly matter to Luis, who was a top and really didn’t like to bottom.  Calvin had stated on a couple of occasions that he was a bottom, so it did seem like kind of a waste of a big dick.  

After they’d dated each other for a few weeks, and even met each other’s parents, Luis decided it was time to take their relationship to the next level.  He suggested that they get a room in a hotel and spend the night together.  Luis had giggled, turned a delicate shade of pink, and agreed.  They agreed to get together the following Saturday night, and it was set.

The following Saturday, Luis decided he wanted to really go all out.  They had agreed to get together in the afternoon after Luis got off work.  Luis had other ideas.  He arranged to get off work early, and set about his plans.  He went to the local adult store, bought a small bottle of lube and, feeling bold, several condoms.  Next he went to the store and bought a bottle of sparkling wine (he couldn’t afford actual champagne), along with a small fruit assortment and a container of chocolate dipping sauce.  Next he went to the hotel and rented a small suite that included a king sized bed in a separate bedroom, a small living area and a kitchenette.  In the room, he put the wine and fruit in the fridge, then laid out plates, napkins, forks and glasses on the coffee table.  Then he went in the bedroom and, crossing his fingers, hid the lube and condoms in the bedside table.  Before leaving the room, he called one of the better restaurants in town and made reservations.  Leaving the hotel, he drove home, went inside, and jumped in the shower.

Feeling clean, excited and ready, wearing his nicest polo shirt and slacks, Luis got in his car, pulled out his phone, and called Calvin.  Calvin, giggling, asked to meet him on the corner a block from his house.  Calvin had told his parents he’d be spending the night at a friends house watching movies, and he didn’t want his parents to see him getting into Luis’ car.  Luis, who’d told his parents the same thing, didn’t have a problem with this.

The evening went very well.  Dinner was great, with only the occasional giggle from Calvin.  They’d talked about classes, friends, things they’d done in high school, and pretty much anything they could think of except plans for the evening.  Then they’d gone to a movie, a rom-com with Sandra Bullock, Calvin’s favorite actress.  Luis would’ve preferred something involving stuff exploding, but the movie had been fun, and Luis wanted to make the night all about Calvin.

Finally, the movie was over.  They both hurried out to the car, and Luis drove over to the hotel.  Once they’d arrived at the door to the room, Luis looked over at Calvin and asked, “Are you ready?”

Calvin nodded excitedly.

“Okay,” said Luis, “Close your eyes, and don’t open them until I say!”

“Okay!” said Calvin, and closed his eyes.  Luis opened the door, and gently guided Calvin inside, and over into the living room area.  Next, Luis quickly moved to the fridge, took out the wine and fruit, and took them over to the coffee table.  He opened the fruit, arranged himself on the couch, and softly told Calvin to open his eyes.

Calvin opened his eyes and took in the entire tableau with a little gasp.  “Oh, Luis!  This is so romantic!”  He jumped onto the couch and gave Luis a big hug, and little kiss.  “Look at all this!  Fruit and chocolate and, what’s this?”  He looked at the bottle.  “Sparkling wine?”

“Yeah,” said Luis, looking a little bashful.  “I’m sorry, Calvin, I couldn’t afford real champagne.”

“That’s okay - this is great!  Pour the wine, Luis!”

And so, Luis did.  He opened the wine (a screw cap, he noted with some embarrassment),  poured each of the two water tumblers about half full, and set the wine aside.  Next he opened the chocolate sauce, took a plate, dipped several pieces of fruit in the sauce, then leaned over and offered a piece to Calvin to eat.  Calvin, giggling, leaned forward and offered his open mouth.  

“That’s right, you want me to stuff something in that pretty mouth of yours, don’t you Calvin?” said Luis.

Giggling, and blushing a little, Calvin nodded rapidly.  Luis popped the chocolate covered piece of pineapple he was holding gently into Calvin’s mouth, and watched as Calvin chewed.  Calvin, still giggling, leaned forward and gave Luis a kiss.  Then, with a mischievous look on his face, he took the plate from Luis hands, laid it on the table, stood up and held out his hands.  

Luis stood up, took Calvins’ hand, and allowed himself to be led into the bedroom.

*   *   *

The next afternoon, Luis was lying on his bed, staring at the ceiling, when he heard his mother call up the stairs.

“Luis!  Shelley is here!”

“Okay mom, send her on up.”

Shelley came bounding up the stairs, then stopped at the door to his bedroom.  Looking both ways up and down the hall, she stepped inside, then shut the door.  Then she dropped herself into the desk chair, scooted over to the bed, and excitedly said “Okay, how did it go?  I want details!”

Luis glanced at her for a second, then went back to staring at the ceiling.  After a moment, Shelley stopped smiling.  “Luis?  What happened?”

Luis shook his head and went back to staring at the ceiling.  After a moment, his voice barely above a whisper, he said, “It was awful.”

Shelley’s eyes went wide.  “Awful?  How is sex awful?  What the hell happened?”

Luis sat up, turned and pulled his legs up, so that he was sitting cross-legged, facing Shelley.  He leaned forward, and spoke in a low voice.

“Shelley, you know I never talk about sex stuff.  Not with you, not with anyone.  Not really.”

“Yeah, I know.” She grinned.  “It’s really frustrating.  I mean, I’m not getting any myself, and I don’t even get to live vicariously through you.”

A faint grin flashed across Luis' face, and was gone.  “Yeah.  I just don’t like people knowing my business.”  He was quiet a moment.

Shelley, after a moment, waved her hand at him in a ‘carry on’ gesture.  “Yeah?  And?”

Luis stared her in the eyes and said “If I tell you this, you will never, ever, ever tell anyone else about this ever, right?”

Shelley nodded, and held up a hand.  “Swear to god, Luis.”

Luis sighed. “Okay.”  He stopped and thought for a minute, then started talking.  “We had a great date.  Just like I planned.  We had dinner, and saw a movie, and then we went to the hotel.  It was great.  I had the fruit and chocolate and wine all laid out, and he was so excited!  We didn’t even eat or drink anything, he just dragged me right into the bedroom.”

Shelley grinned really big. “Yeah?  Sounds good so far.”

“Yeah, so we started kissing, and taking off clothes.  He was really cute, and pretty sexy.  And he was in a hurry, but that didn’t bother me, even though I’d tried to make everything all romantic for our first time.”

“Okay, and?”

“Well, we got naked, and got on the bed, and we were kissing, and it was going pretty well, even though he’s not a very good kisser.  And we sort of, you know, started playing with each other, you know?”

“Yeah, okay.  And?”

“Well, this goes on for a few minutes, and we’re both getting pretty excited, right?”

“Okay, and then what?”

“Well...”  Luis sighed.  “You know, I’ve never told you some of this stuff.  But, well, I’m a top - you know what that means?”

Shelley nodded.  “Yeah, I’ve seen ‘Queer As Folk,’ and I’ve read some stuff online.”

Luis rolled his eyes for a second, then continued.  “Okay, so, I’m what you might call a total top.  I don’t like to bottom, and I don’t like to suck.  Well - sometimes I like to suck, but usually not.  I do like to get head, but what I really like is to fuck a guy, really good.”

Shelley shook her head a little.  “That seems kinda, I dunno, one sided, don’t you think?  Like, kinda unfair?”

“Well, in a way, I guess it kinda is.  But some guys are total bottoms.  They don’t want to fuck, and they don’t want head.  They just like to give head, and to be fucked.  It’s what they get off on.”  Luis shrugged.  “There are guys like that, and so that’s what I’m looking for.  And Calvin told me he was a bottom, so it seemed like it would work out, you know?”

“Okay, so what happened?”

“Well, after we’d been kissing for a while, Calvin says he wants to do more.  I say okay, and Calvin gets up and turns around, so we can 69.”

“Okay, that sounds hot, but I thought you didn’t really like that?”

Luis shrugged again.  “Yeah, but what am I gonna do, say no?  I want things to go well, you know?  So he makes some comments about how big I am, and I say the same thing about him, and we both start.”

Shelley is sitting forward in the chair, and she’s looking excited.  “Okay, so how does that go, did you like it?”

“Well, that’s just it!  After about maybe two minutes, he stops what he’s doing, makes this high-pitched squealing noise, and goes off right in my face!”

“Wow, really?  Just like that?”

“Yeah - I mean, you’re ‘sposed to warn a guy first, you know?  It’s just polite!  I mean, if I hadn’t stopped to look and see what his problem was, he would’ve gotten it in my mouth!  And we’d agreed not to do that!”

“Well, okay, so then what happened?”

“That’s just it!  Then nothing happened!  He rolled over, said ‘Wow, that was great,’ got up and went to the bathroom to clean up!  He totally left me hanging!  I’m lying there with his spunk all over me, and I’m still, uh, well, anyway, and he just leaves!  And then he takes a shower!  He didn’t even bring me a washcloth or anything!”

“So what did you do?”

“Well, I thought maybe he wanted me to join him, so I got up and went in the bathroom.  I poked my head around the curtain, and asked if he wanted me to join him.  He said ‘No!’  He actually said ‘No,’ that I’d have my turn when he was done!”

Shelley had a horrified look on her face.  “God, Luis!”

“Oh, but it got worse.”

“You’re kidding.”

Luis shook his head.  “No.  So I wait until he’s done; I mean, I’ve still got his stuff on my face, but I’m waiting.  So he comes out, takes one look at me and says ‘Eew, that’s disgusting!  Go shower!’   So I go and just wash off really quick.  I’m hoping maybe we can play some more when I come out.  When I come out, he’s turned off all the lights, and gone to bed, like to sleep.”

“Just like that?”

“Pretty much.  So I climb in the bed, and I try to, you know, cuddle up behind him, and he kinda swats me off and says he’s too hot and to stay on my side of the bed.”

“You’re kidding.”

“No.  So I just roll over and try to go to sleep.  He’s asleep almost immediately.  By this time, I’m starting to feel kinda pissed about the whole thing, so I can’t sleep.  So I get up and watch TV for a couple hours, and then I go back to bed, and I fall asleep.”

“Well, that doesn’t sound too bad, I guess.”

“Oh, but I’m not done yet.  So this morning, I wake up about eight.  And he’s still asleep.  So I’m thinking maybe we can play a little bit more, I mean, we’re both still naked, and I’m, uh, y’know, I’m kinda ready again, you know what I mean?”  Luis looked a bit embarrassed.

Shelley nodded.  “Yes, I think I get the picture.”

“Okay, so I move up behind him, and I put my arms around him, and I give him a kiss on the neck, and all this wakes him up.  And he kinda stretches a bit, and he starts to say something, and he y’know, kinda brushes up against, um, well, anyway, his butt kinda brushes up against me, and he suddenly jumps away from me and rolls over really fast.”

Shelleys’ eyes open wide.  ‘He jumped away?”

“Yeah.  And then he says that he ‘doesn’t do that.’  And I’m like ‘What?’  And he says ‘I don’t do that.  You can’t do that to me.  I only do sucking.’”  Luis gives Shelley a wide-eyed look, and makes a sort of ‘what the hell’ gesture with his hands.

“So what did you do then?”

Luis shrugged again. “Well, what can I do?  I mean, what can I say?  We never really talked about it before, I just assumed, when he told me he was a bottom, that he wanted me to top him.”

“And that was it?  Did you do anything else?”

“Nope.  After a minute he kind scootches over, and give me a hug and a kiss, and says that last night was ‘wonderful’ and asks me to take him home.  I mean, right then!  We could’ve cuddled for an hour, I mean we didn’t have to check out ‘til eleven, we could’ve done something, but no - he’s like, ‘take me home.’  So I did.”  Luis sighed, and sort of slumped, putting his head in his hands.  After a moment, he looked up.  “You know, it’s not about the money.  It’s really not about the money, but I just keep thinking that I spent over $200, and I never got off.  Not even once.  But he did.  How shitty is that?”

Shelley reached over and patted him on the shoulder.  “Jeeze, guy.  I’m sorry, that really sucks.  What are you going to do now?”

“I don’t know.  I mean, what can I do?  By the way, you want some fruit and chocolate?  It’s in the fridge downstairs.  I threw the wine away.”  Luis sighed again.  “I never got off, and he didn’t even notice!”


“I’m sorry, Luis.”

“Yeah, well, I dunno.  I mean, I kinda like him, you know?  Except for the giggle.  God, the giggle drives me nuts.  He sounds like an eight-year-old.  And the kissing.  It’s like kissing a limp noodle.  But I like him.  God, Shelley, what do I do?”

*   *   *

Monday, Lunchtime.  Davis put the final finishing touches on the report he’d been working on all morning, and emailed it off to his boss.  Thank God, it was finally done.  He was an hour late for lunch, and everyone else had gone, so it was just him.  Davis logged out the computer, stood up, and headed out for the cafe.

A few minutes later he stepped into the cafe, and got in line, one person in front of him.  Behind the counter, the guy was getting a soda for the lady who was waiting.  Once the drink was ready, he turned around and a shock of recognition went through Davis.  It was Luis!  Holy crap, Luis works at the cafe!  Davis blanked his face and looked off to the side, staring at nothing.  It was the cardinal rule of one-night-stands.  Never, never acknowledge the other guy if you see him in public afterwards.  You don’t know if he’s out, you don’t know what his situation is, there’s no safe explanation for why you might know each other, so it’s just safest to act as if you were total strangers.  If the other guy acknowledges you first - well that’s different.  But even then, keep it casual.  No hint of anything that happened.  It’s the rules.

The lady in front of him was finished, and it was Davis’ turn.  With a bland smile, just like he’d give anyone else in the circumstances, and carefully avoiding any significant eye contact, Davis ordered his usual chef salad and diet soda, to go.  The kid rang it up, took his money, said “Thank you” in that sweet, soft voice of his, and turned to get the soda.  Once that was ready, he handed the soda to Davis, and turned to help the next person in line.  Davis stood back to wait for his order.  In a few minutes a young blond woman that Davis had seen before brought the salad out in it’s takeout box, called Davis' name, then handed it over.  Trying not to obviously hurry, Davis left the cafe and headed back to work.

Well, that kinda sucked.  He liked that cafe, they made a mean chef salad.  But with Luis there, he wasn’t going back.  Dammit.

But now he knew where Luis worked, too...

And that evening, unable to stop himself, he checked Luis facebook page to see if there was anything new.  There was, a couple pictures of Luis with this baby faced chubby kid who looked like he was about twelve.  Damn.  Well, good for Luis, but Damn!

*   *   *

Luis finished filling the soda he was drawing, snapped the lid on, grabbed a straw, and turned to hand the soda to the customer.   And he froze.  Just for a second.  ‘Shit!  It’s Davis!  Damn!’  With a wrench, Luis dragged his eyes down to the lady waiting for her drink.  Back in control of himself, he handed the soda over.  ‘God!  He’s here to order something!  Okay, okay, just stay calm.  No reaction.  Jeeze, he’s so good-looking!  No!  No expression!  Okay, okay, I got this.’

A bit mechanically, Luis took Davis’ order, feeling a faint shiver as Davis’ warm baritone went right down his spine to his crotch.  Davis acted as if he’d never seen Luis before in his life.  He have his order, paid, and stepped aside with an impersonal smile and without making eye contact.  Luis felt a little hurt by that, he’d been watching Davis' face for some faint sign of recognition, but there was nothing there.  Luis watched Davis from the corner of his eye.  Davis never looked at him, never even glanced in his direction.  Finally, Shelley brought the salad out, which Davis accepted, and then he left.  And did he move a little fast to get out the door?  Luis couldn’t decide, but maybe...

Once the lunch rush was over and the counter was clear of customers, Luis went back to the kitchen to help with the after-rush cleanup.  Shelley was slicing cucumbers, and looked up at Luis with a grin.


Luis just looked at her.  “‘Well,’ what?”

“Well?  Mr. Big was here, and you even took his order.  How’d that go?”

“What do you mean, ‘how’d that go?’  It went fine!  What did you expect, that we’d drop everything and rush into each other’s arms?”

“Well, no, but - “ Shelley started, but Luis interrupted her.

“Shelley, I’m with Calvin, remember?  And Davis doesn’t even remember me.  There’s nothing there.”

Shelley got an evil grin on her face.  “Oh, I dunno.”

“Drop it, Shel.  I’m serious.”

“Okay.”  And she dropped it.

But Luis never saw Davis come into the cafe again from that day forward.

Luis’ relationship with Calvin started to stutter, and Luis felt really bad about that.  He didn’t want to be someone who was so shallow that he’d allow one poor sex experience to poison a whole relationship.  But things started to bother him.  The giggle, for one thing.  It scraped across Luis' ears like fingernails across a chalkboard.  But that wasn’t all.  He started to notice that they pretty much always did what Calvin wanted to do.  They spent some time around Calvins’ friends, who were all pretty screechy and giggly, but if Luis invited Calvin to hang around with Luis’ friends, Calvin had to study.  They watched the movies Calvin wanted to see.   They did the things that Calvin wanted to do.  At one point, Luis decided to put his foot down, and do what he wanted to do.  Calvin balked, but finally acquiesced, and then spent the rest of that evening whining about it, and making snotty little comments.   Finally, Luis cut the evening short and took Luis home.  

That evening Luis was online, reading facebook posts.  There was a post about the local dance club having a gay night, but Luis didn’t think he’d go.  There was a post from the local LGBT group involving a fundraiser, and Luis clicked that, opening the LGBT groups’ page.  As usual, the page displayed a random set of member photos across the top, and there it was; a picture of Davis.  ‘Hey, Davis has a Facebook page!’  Luis clicked the photo, opening Davis' page.

Davis didn’t post much, just the occasional photo or comment.  Apparently he’d gone to visit his family the previous summer, and there were photos of Davis with some kids, presumably nieces and nephews.  Going back further, Luis noticed that another guy started appearing in the photos with Davis.  Right before those photos appeared, there was a post stating that Davis had changed his relationship status from “Partnered” to “Single,” so apparently they’d broken up.  That was about a year ago.  Past that, nearly all the photos showed the other guy, whose name was Rob.  The photos with Rob went right back to when Davis had originally signed into Facebook, so apparently they’d been together for a long time, which was interesting.  That Rob guy was pretty good looking.  Much heavier than Davis, and about a foot shorter, too.  So Davis apparently liked heavy guys, another interesting point.  Luis spent a while longer looking through Davis' photos, then finally signed off and dug into his homework.

The next day, Calvin was acting a little funny.  He seemed to spend a lot of time touching Luis, and even outright groped Luis at one point, something he’d never done before in public.  Luis enjoyed all the attention, but wondered what was going on.  Calvin kept starting to say something, but then he’d blush, and say something else.  Luis finally took him aside, and asked what was going on.

Calvin blushed furiously. “Well, I’m kinda horny, okay?”

Luis eyebrows shot straight up to his hairline.  “Really?”

“Well, yeah.  I mean, we haven’t done anything since, well, you know, since that last time...”

Luis stood up a little straighter and couldn’t stop the smile from spreading across his face.  “So, you want to do something?”

“Well, yeah.  I have a little money, I could go halfsies on a room.”  He fluttered his eyelashes at Luis.  

Luis felt his cock twitch. “Oh yeah?  When would you want to do this?”

Calvin got a big grin on his face.  “Tonight?”

Luis' cock was definitely starting to chub up now.  “Okay, you got it.  Now?”


Luis all but dragged Calvin back to the car.  Within half an hour, they had checked into a cheap room, and were naked on the bed in 69 position.

Five minutes later, Calvin was in the shower, and Luis was lying on the bed, alone, with a wilting erection and a big frown on his face.  At least this time, the only thing on his face was a frown.  He’d been more prepared, and caught the mess in a towel.

Luis broke up with Calvin the following Friday.  Calvin was distraught, and screamed and cried and finally stamped away.  The following week at school, a lot of Calvin’s friends seemed to be around and they all spent a lot of time glaring daggers at Luis.  That Thursday Calvin caught Luis in the student commons and pitched a huge screaming scene, calling Luis every bad thing he could think of, and demanding to know if there was ‘another guy.’  Luis just sat there and waited for it to be over, wondering what he’d ever seen in this bitchy queen.  When it was finally over, and Calvin had stomped away, Luis heaved a big sigh of relief.  Jim, who’d sat open-mouthed through the entire tirade, leaned over and said, “Dude, I don’t know what you ever saw in that guy.  You’re way better off without him.”

And that was that.

*   *   *

Davis, ensconced in his easy chair, laid down his tablet computer and leaned his head back.  He reached up and rubbed his tired eyes.  It was pretty late, and time for bed.  He was up much later than usual, but it had been a really good story, and he’d wanted to finish it.  It was on, and had involved, amazingly enough, two characters who were older than mid-twenties.  In fact Jim was 57 and George was 63.  Of course they were both in excellent health, with trim, well maintained bodies and the strength to fuck like minks, but hey, it was a departure from the usual online gay romance tropes.  Davis found that he could identify a bit more with these two guys than with the usual teen-to-twenty-somethings that starred in nearly every other story out there.

There had been another email from Arkady tonight.  This one was the third copy of the fourth email he had sent.  Arkady, it seemed, couldn’t keep his script straight.  Davis wondered idly how many different guys Arkady was emailing, and deleted the message without answering.

Davis picked up the tablet again, and with a few taps, logged into BiggerCity.  There was a message from a guy in Virginia saying that he liked Davis’ pictures.  Davis checked the guys’ profile, which showed that he was 32, and partnered.  Dammit.  Shaking his head, Davis wrote a quick response, thanking the guy for his compliment.  Next he checked the visit log.  There were several new hits.  One was a really built guy from Algeria, who was single and looking for a relationship.  Another visit was from a guy in Georgia who was built like a fire hydrant, hairy like a bear skin rug, and sported an absolutely spectacular pair of crystal blue eyes.  Davis took a few moments to send that guy a ‘hello’ message, complementing the blue eyes.  There were visits from a really young guy in Brazil, another really young guy in Saudi Arabia, an older guy in Egypt, and a student in California.  

A quick glance showed him that it was 2:13am.  Wearily, Davis put the tablet down and plugged it into its’ charger, then grabbed Temperance, climbed out of his chair, and headed up the stairs to bed.  God, getting out of bed in the morning was really going to suck.

*   *   *

It was a Wednesday afternoon, and Luis was lying stretched out on his bed, eyes closed, listening to his iPod through earbuds.  Shelley was supposed to be coming over to study. it had been two weeks since Operation Giggle Removal, and Luis was feeling a bit down.  He didn’t regret the breakup, not at all.  But he found that he kinda missed the companionship.  The knowledge that there was someone interested in him, personally and intimately.  Someone to share things with.  Luis hadn’t been in relationship before, not quite like that.  He’d dated a fair bit, but this had been the first time he’d had someone to call ‘boyfriend,’ and he’d liked it.  And he missed it.


Luis jumped and fell off the side of the bed.  Panting, he looked up and found Shelley standing over him, laughing.   “God!” he shouted, clutching at his chest.  “Don’t DO that!”

Still laughing, Shelley dropped into the desk chair.  “That was hilarious!  I swear, you bounced two feet straight up in the air!  Jeeze, Luis, how loud were you playing that music?”

Luis climbed back up onto the bed, still breathing hard.  “It wasn’t that loud.  Why’d you sneak up on me like that?”

“I didn’t!  Your mother shouted twice!  I called your name three times!  You didn’t hear it!”

“Okay, okay, fine.  Just don’t do that again, okay?  God!”

“Yeah, yeah.  Anyway - we need to get into this assignment, okay?  Where’s your books?”

“Over here, hang on.”  Luis reached over the other side of the bed and pulled out his backpack.  Shelley turned to the computer and wiggled the  mouse to wake it up from screen saver.  The screen blinked, and filled with a big picture of Davis Chapman, standing in front of some sort of sign.  

Shelley blinked.  “What the hell?” She turned to Luis.  Waving a hand at the monitor, she demanded “What is this?”  Luis just stared at her, looking vaguely guilty.  His eyes flickered from her to the monitor, to her, and then down to his lap.  After a moment, she said “Well?” in a low voice.

Utterly mortified, Luis answered, “It’s his facebook page.”

Shelley stared at the monitor for a second.  “It’s his facebook page?”  She looked, and it was a facebook page.  She grabbed the mouse, and scrolled down a few clicks.  More pictures of Davis appeared. “It is his facebook page.”  She turned to glare at Luis.  “You’re perving on his facebook page?  Seriously?

Luis glared back at her.  “I am not perving on his facebook page!  Jeeze, Shel!”

“Well then, what the hell is this?”

“It’s nothing.  I was just looking at that last night, that’s all.  It’s nothing.”'

Shelley sat back in the chair, crossed her arms, and glared at Luis through narrowed eyes.  The silence grew, and became uncomfortable.  Luis started to fidget.  Finally, Shelley held out a hand.  “Gimme your phone.”

Luis blinked.   “What?”

“Gimme your phone.  Now.

Luis dragged his phone out of a pocket, and started to hand it to Shelley, who held up her hand and said “Unlock it.”  Luis turned the phone over, unlocked it, then handed it to Shelley.

Shelley accepted the phone and peered at the screen for a moment, then started to tap on it.  Tap, tap, tap-tap, tap.  Tap.  Study.  Glance at Luis.  Tap.  

Luis started to lean forward.  “Shel, what -”

Shelley interrupted.  “Hup.  You shut up.  No questions.”

More tapping on the phone.  Lots of taps, like she was writing a text.  Finally, with one last stab at the screen, Shelley sat up, handed the phone back to Luis, and said. “There.  You can thank me later.”

Luis studied the screen.  It was showing Scruff, on a messaging screen.  Shelley had sent a text to BigChapman, on Scruff.

LatinoCub: Hi.  I’d really like to see you sometime.  Maybe for Dinner?  Call me.  896-555-5642

Luis stared at the screen, his eyes growing wide.  His eyes snapped up to Shelley.  “Fuck!  Shel, what the fuck!?

Shelley just shrugged.  “You wouldn’t do it yourself, so I did it for you.”

Luis just sputtered, his gaze flickering back and forth between the screen and Shelley, and the color gradually drained out of his face.  “But -”

“Don’t give me that.  You’ve been mooning around for a week.  Now I find out you’re practically stalking this guy on Facebook. So, there.  Maybe something will happen, maybe it won’t, but at least something’s been done.”

Luis laid the phone down on the bed, face down, then put his face in his hands.  “Oh, my, God, Shel.  What if he calls?  What if he doesn’t call?  Jesus, God, why did you do that?”

Shelley just rolled her eyes.  “Shit, Luis, you sound like a thirteen year old girl worrying about her first date.  Suck it up and deal!”

Luis glanced at Shelley, then closed his eyes and straightened up.  He took a deep breath, and let it out.  After a second he took another deep breath, and let that out.  He took another breath and quietly said, “Right.  I got this.  No problem.  No big deal.  All taken care of.  D - “

The phone rang, and both of them jumped.  Luis said “Fuck!”  Both of them stared at the phone as if it were a snake about to bite them.

The phone rang again.  Abruptly, Luis grabbed it, flipped it over, and stared at the display.  It showed a phone number he’d never seen before.  

The phone rang again.  Slowly, Luis swiped the display to answer the call, then held the phone up to his ear, and said “Hello?”  Pause.  Luis’ eyes snapped up to lock with Shelleys’, and he said, “Yes.”  Pause.  “Yes.”  Pause.  “Yeah.” Short pause. “Well, yeah!”  Pause.  “I dunno, Denny’s?”  Pause.  “Tonight?”  Short pause.  “Sure!” Pause.  Luis glanced at the clock on the desk, and said “Five-thirty is good.”  Pause.  “Great!  I’ll see you there.  Bye!”  Luis pulled the phone away from his ear and stared at it for a moment, then quickly captured the phone number from the call log and saved it as a new contact with Davis’ name attached.  Then he looked at Shelley and a huge smile lit up his face, and he said, “I have a date!”

Shelley punched the air with a fist.  “Dude!  Outstanding!”

Luis giggled, then slapped a hand over his mouth.  “Shit, did I just giggle?”

“Yeah, Luis, you just giggled.”


“So?  Tonight, Denny’s, at five-thirty?  Is that right?  Can I come and sit in the next booth and listen in?”

“What?  NO!  Jeeze, Shelley!”

“Hey, it was worth a try.  So, what did he say?  I mean, exactly?”

“Oh, well, he asked if I was Latino Cub.  So I said ‘yes.’  Then he asked if I’d sent him a text, asking him to dinner, and I said ‘yes.’  And he said, ‘Really?’  and I said ‘Yeah!’  Honestly, it was like he couldn’t believe it, Shelley!  So we set it up, and then he said ‘Thank you, Luis, I’ll see you tonight.”


Shelley blinked, and frowned.  “Wait, what was that last part again?”

“He said, ‘Thank you, Luis, I’ll see you tonight.’”

“How did he know your name?”

Luis looked startled.  “Shit!  You’re right, I don’t think I ever told him!”

“That’s a little creepy.”

“Yeah.  Damn, and I was so excited too.”  Luis thought about this for a minute.  “Hell with this, I’m not going to let this get to me.  I’m gonna ask.”  He grabbed his phone and tapped out a text.

Hey, how did u no my name is Luis?

They waited, and after a minute, the phone chimed an arriving text.

Oh, I sorta stumbled across your Facebook profile through the LGBT group page.  My name is Davis, btw...

Luis jaw dropped, and he showed the text to Shelley, who hooted with laughter.  “Damn!” she said.  “That’s a freaky coincidence!”  Luis tapped out a quick answering text.

K thx, was curious

Luis thought about it, and his brows started to draw in to a more serious expression.  “You know, that means he recognized my picture.  So he remembered me well enough to recognize my picture, and he was interested enough to click through and look at my profile.”

Shelley nodded.  “Just like you remembered him.  Maybe you made more of an impression on him than you thought.”

“Yeah.”  Luis straightened up and started to smile.  “Yeah, maybe so.”

*   *   *

Davis, freshly showered, beard trimmed, hair brushed, teeth scrubbed, and wearing his nicest blue polo and charcoal grey slacks, sat waiting in a booth in the far back corner of Denny’s.  He’d specifically asked for the far booth, to add a level of privacy to the conversation he hoped would be happening.  Fighting with a horrendous case of nerves, he sat staring holes in the entry doors from across the room.  A few minutes before five-thirty, Luis stepped through the doorway and stopped, looking around.  Davis raised a hand, and Luis spotted him.  A big smile lit up Luis face, and Davis felt his face split into an answering grin.  Luis stepped forward to talk to the hostess, and point in Davis’ direction.  The hostess nodded, grabbed a menu and led Luis across the room.  Davis,  feeling somewhat giddy, watched Luis approach.  God, that kid - no, not a kid.  If this had any chance of going anywhere, Davis didn’t want to start out by talking down to Luis.  So - not ‘that kid.’  ‘That man, that guy, or Luis - but not ‘that kid.’

Luis arrived at the table and slid into the booth, saying “Hi,” in a quiet voice.  

Davis smiled even wider and said “Hi, yourself.”

The hostess laid out Luis menu, and asked for a drink order.  Luis ordered a coke, and the hostess hurried off.

Before Luis could do anything, Davis leaned forward across the table and spoke in a low voice.  “Before we go any further, I just want to say this.  That time we got together was the hottest, best, most amazing sex of my entire life.  I’ve wanted to get back to you ever since, but I never did, because I didn’t think you were interested.  Thank you for contacting me today.”

Luis, shocked, leaned forward across the table and reached out to touch Davis hand where it was balled up on the table.  Both men felt an electric shock at the touch.  In a quiet voice, Luis said “I’ve wanted to see you again  ever since that day, but I didn’t think you liked what we did.  I mean, you didn’t get off, and you left so fast!  God, the sex was incredible, I’ve never had it like that!  But you ran out like someone was chasing you!  So I left you alone.”

They stared into each others eyes for a moment, and then the hostess bustled up with Luis’ drink and they both sat back, surreptitiously pulling their hands apart.

They continued to eye each other while ordering.  Without saying anything, they both ordered relatively light meals.  When Davis noticed Luis’ order, he gave a knowing smile and winked at Luis, and was gratified by Luis’ answering grin.  

Conversation started slowly, as neither man knew where to start or what to start with.   Davis finally took the lead, and described having moved into the area from the rural midwest.  Luis was born and raised locally and talked a little about growing up in the area.  The conversation picked up steam and wandered around various topics.  They found they had a similar taste in movies, and shared several favorites.  Taste in music diverged with Luis being into hip hop and some rap, while Davis liked pop and some classical.  Their meals arrived, and they ate while continuing to talk.

At one point they discovered that they’d been watching each other’s facebook pages, and both thought that was hilarious.  Davis explained his blank-faced behaviour in the cafe.  Luis admitted that he’d been crushing on Davis a bit, and that Shelley had been teasing him with it.  He also talked a little about his abortive relationship with Calvin, which led Davis to share a little about his time with Rob.

Finally, the conversation came around to their previous meeting.  Luis, glancing up from the remains of the meal, asked “Davis - when we had sex, why did you leave so fast?”

Davis sat up for a second, and gazed back at Luis.  With a flash, he realized that this was an important question, and that he had hurt Luis with his actions.  Leaning forward, he reached out and laid his hand over Luis’ on the table.  Again, both men felt a little shock at the touch.  In a quiet voice, he spoke.

“Honestly, Luis, I thought that’s what you wanted.  In truth, I haven’t had that many one-night-stands, and I always thought that, as soon as it was over, you’re supposed to leave.  And that’s not the only reason.”  Davis smiled a smile of remembrance.  “Luis, you truly fucked the living daylights out of me.  I mean, I can’t tell you what you did for me, it was so amazing.  You worked me over like a prizefighter, and I loved it!”  He smiled an embarrassed grin.  “God, I’m hard as rock right now just thinking about it!”  He sighed.  “But when we came out of the shower the second time, I was shaking like a leaf from adrenalin exhaustion, and I was afraid you’d see that.  Then you started putting your clothes on, so I thought it was over.  I was also afraid that if I sat down, I wouldn’t be able to get back up.  You gotta remember, I’m a big guy, I’m not in very good shape, and that was the most athletic anything I’d done in years!  It really wrung me out.  So, there you were putting your clothes on, and I’m shaking all over, and I was afraid you’d see that, so I got dressed and ran for it.”

“So it wasn’t something with me?  I mean, you didn’t even get off - I thought you didn’t like it?”

“No, God, Luis!  It wasn’t anything with you.  And I almost never get off - I have to be around a guy for a few times before I can relax enough to get off.  Believe me, I went home that night and wanked off about four times in a row just remembering what we did together.”  

Luis smiled really big.  “Really?  Four times?”

Davis smiled back. “Oh, yeah.”

“So, you’d want to do that again?”

Davis felt his dick get even harder.  “Oh, yeah.”

Luis glanced at both their plates. “I think we’re finished here.  Want to go somewhere?”

Davis smiled even bigger.  “I thought you’d never ask.  My roommate works nights; I’ve got the place to myself, and I’ve got a king size bed, would you like to join me?”

Luis nodded.  “You bet!”

“Great - let’s go!”

An hour and a half later, Luis was laying flat on his back on Davis’ bed, with Davis curled up beside him.  They had their arms around each other, and Davis was resting his head in the crook of Luis’ shoulder.  Both men were panting lightly, while Davis ran his hand through the hair on Luis’ chest.  He was looking up at Luis and smiling lazily.  Finally he had to say something.

“Do you know how sexy you are?”

Luis looked startled.  “Me?  I’m not sexy, I’m fat!”

Davis huffed a chuckle. “No, I’m fat.  You’re husky.”  He ran his hand down Luis stomach and started idly playing with his cock.  “Sexy, husky, and hung!  God, Luis, you're everything I want in a guy.”


“God, yes.  Tall, dark and handsome; seriously man, I can’t imagine anyone better than you.”

“I think you’re pretty hot, too.  Jeeze, I can’t believe what we just did.  That was incredible.  Better than last time!”

“Yeah, it was.  You gotta do that to me again, man!”

“But you didn’t get off!”

Davis gave a half-shrug.  “I told you, I have a hard time relaxing around someone if I don’t know them pretty well.  Don’t worry about it.”


“Seriously.  Don’t worry about it.  If we keep doing this, it’ll come - and so will I”  Davis shot Luis a smirk.

This time Luis shrugged.  “Okay, but I just feel bad...”

“Don’t.  I tell you what.  If you really want to make it good for me, take it slow.”


“Yeah.  I really like what you did, I really like it hard and fast and, well, I really liked it, okay?  But I also like it slow and smooth and steady, okay?  We are going to do this again, aren’t we?”

“What, right now?”

Davis snickered.  “Well, no, not right this minute.  I’ll give you a little bit to recharge...”

“Oh, good.  I’m not superman, you know.”

“Want to take a shower?”



An hour after that, they were back in bed, panting a little more heavily, and looking sweaty.  Luis had a very smug look on his face, while Davis was looking a bit stunned.  Luis gazed at Davis and snickered.   “Got you off that time!” he said.

“Yeah,” said Davis,  drawing the word out in a sort of breathy whisper.

“Now we really need a shower, and no more interruptions!”

Davis still looked a bit starstruck.  “Okay.”

Luis, still grinning, climbed out of the bed and jumped into the shower.  When he got out, Davis was still flaked out on the bed, eyes closed, breathing gently.  Luis gazed across him for a moment, then quietly started getting dressed.  Finally, he went over to the bed and gave Davis a gentle shake.  Davis, who wasn’t asleep, opened his eyes.  “Yes?” he asked softly.

Luis smiled at him.  “I’m heading out, Davis - “

“Wait!  You don’t have to, uh, umm.” Davis stuttered to a halt, and blushed.  Finally, he spoke again.  “Can I see you again?”  The question was simple, but Davis’ heart was in his eyes.

Luis’ heart lurched in his chest.  He licked his lips, and his voice caught when he tried to speak.  He finally managed to say “Yeah.  Soon.   Call me, okay?”  

Davis nodded.  “Okay.”  Luis stepped away from the bed and began to turn towards the door.  Without a sound, and with speed that was startling for such a big man, Davis jumped out of bed and wrapped Luis in a big hug.  Startled, Luis found himself pulling away for an instant, then relaxed into the hug, wrapping his arms around Davis back and hugging tightly in return.  Davis held the clinch for a long while, much longer than Luis was expecting, but he finally pulled back.  Then, lowering his face until their lips were nearly touching, Davis whispered “Here’s something to think about until next time, Luis.”  He spoke Luis’ name like it was a verbal caress.  And then he kissed Luis.  

It was quite a kiss.  Davis threw all caution to the winds and went for the gold.  He stroked his tongue across Luis’ lips, and when Luis opened to him, he gently entered.  Slowly, he pushed his tongue into Luis mouth and stroked Luis’ tongue with it.  He pulled his tongue back and nibbled Luis’ lower lip.  All the while his lips were busy; writhing sensually against Luis mouth.  Luis started to breathe a little harder, and found himself getting hard again.  Davis spread his feet into a wider stance and gently deepened the hug while continuing to plunder Luis mouth with this tongue.  Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, he pulled back.  “So,” he breathed, “Just something for you to remember me by.  If you liked it, I’ve always got more...”  He smiled, gazing into Luis eyes.

Luis, still wrapped up in their embrace, heaved a large sigh.  “Okay.”  He smiled back at Davis.  “I’ll definitely keep that in mind.”

Davis held him for a moment more, then gently opened his arms and unwrapped himself from Luis.  Luis, still feeling a little dazed, took a big breath and pulled himself together, then left the room.  When he reached the top of the stairs in the upper hallway, he turned and looked back; Davis was still standing there, naked, smiling, in the bedroom.  Luis gave him a smile, then went down the stairs and let himself out of the building.

*   *   *

Luis arrived at work the next morning at 6:00am, like usual.  Shelley was already there, and let him in the back door.

“Well?” She demanded.

Luis contrived to look innocently confused.  “Well what?”

Shelley rolled her eyes.  “Well - so how’d it go last night, Romeo?  You never called me.”

Luis shrugged.  “Oh, that.”  He waved his hands in a negligent gesture. “It was nothing much. We talked.  It was cool.”  

Shelley narrowed her eyes suspiciously and glared at him a moment, watching his face.  “That’s it?  You talked, and it was cool?”  Luis was clearly losing the battle to keep a straight face.  Shelley poked him in the chest and said, “That’s not it, is it?  Spill it, Romeo, what happened?”

The grin that had been trying to escape got loose and plastered itself across Luis’ face.  “Well, we really did talk.  For like two hours at the restaurant.”

“Yeah?  At the restaurant?  So where else did you talk?”

Luis blushed.  “At his place, a little...”

Shelley let out a little yip and punched the air with a fist.  “Damn!  You dog!  You got laid, didn’t you!  Was it good?  How’d it go?”

Luis let out a quiet whistle and rolled his eyes.  “Well, I’m not going to kiss and tell too much, but it was pretty incredible.”  Luis was grinning so hard it looked like the top of his head was going to float away.  “We, well, we did it, and it was really hot, and then we went and took a shower together, but then he started, uh, well, anyway, we wound up back in bed again.”

“TWICE?  You stud!  You did it twice?”

Luis looked a bit bashful.  “Yeah, and then he -”

“There’s more?  You did it twice and there’s more?

“Well, sorta.  I mean, after the second time, I took a shower, and then I got dressed to go, and he was just lying there like he was asleep, so I shook him a little to tell him I was going, you know?  And he jumped out of bed and he kissed me!”

Shelley looked quizzical. “He kissed you?  Okay, so?”

Luis got a faraway look on his face. “No, you don’t understand, Shel.  He took me in his arms and he freaking kissed my socks off!  He totally kissed me stupid!  It went on for like ten minutes!  Nobody’s ever kissed me like that before.”  Luis heaved a sigh of happy memory.  “He said he’d call me.”

Shelley cocked her head at him.  “You’re totally crushing on him, aren’t you?  I mean, like really totally puppy-love crushing on him!”

Luis blushed a little and nodded.  “Yeah.”

Shelley gave a little squeak, grabbed Luis and hugged him.  “That’s so great!  C’mon, we gotta get started.  But you tell me about him!”  She dragged him into the kitchen, and they got to work on morning food prep.  While they worked, Luis talked.

“I dunno what all to tell you, Shel, but there’s a few things.  He’s very mellow about things, and I think he’s really smart.  And he listens.  You could tell he was really paying attention when I was telling him stuff, like he was really interested.  And he was really honest about stuff.  I told him a little about Calvin, and he told me a little about his ex-partner.  They were together for more than ten years, and they broke up last year.  I think he’s been really lonely since then.”

“Lonely, huh?  Are you okay with that?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, like, if he’s that lonely, is he going to be really grabby?  You know what I mean?  Like clingy, or something?”

“Actually, he talked about that.  It was pretty funny.  He said he knows he’s wearing a spring-loaded wedding dress, but that he’ll keep it to himself.”

Shelley barked out a laugh. “A spring-loaded wedding dress?  That’s hilarious!  Hell, I knew a half-dozen girls in high school who were like that.  Ha!  A spring-loaded wedding dress.  I’ll have to remember that one.  Jeeze, my mom has one of those, and it’s aimed right at me, too.  So what else?”

“Well, he works in that big office building two blocks from here; he’s a computer guy.  He says he’s a real geek.  Used to be a real gamer, too, but got really burned out on gaming.  He doesn’t have many friends.  I think he’s really pretty shy.”

“Shy?  He dragged you into the sack on the first date!  Twice!”

Luis got a big cheese-eating grin on his face.  “Oh, I dunno, I think that was mutual.”

“Yeah, yeah.  So what else?”

“Well, we like the same kinds of movies, but he really likes to read.  He doesn’t watch TV; he doesn’t even have cable.”

“No cable?”

“Nah, he said he hates the commercials, so he just watches Netflix.”

The conversation continued until Luis had to open the cafe.  Later that morning, Shelley was behind the register when the cafe entry bell tinkled.  She glanced up and there was Davis.  His gaze brushed across her then flashed around the cafe and for just a moment a look of disappointment crossed his face.  Shelley grinned to herself, then blanked her face.  There wasn’t anyone in line, so he stepped up to the counter.  Shelley gave him her best shiny smile.

“Your usual, Mr. Chapman?”

Davis blinked at her, startled.  “What?”

“A chef salad, blue cheese dressing, and a large diet coke, right?  For here or to go?”

Davis eyes went wide and he looked surprised, then his eyes narrowed.  “You’re Luis’ friend, aren’t you?  Shirley?  Is that right?”

Shelley gave a delighted giggle.  “You’re right!  Luis said you were sharp.  I’m Shelley.  Did I have your order right?”

Davis nodded, smiling.  “Yes, you had it right, and it’s to go, I’m afraid.”  He held out his hand, as if to shake her hand, but when she held her hand out, he took it, pulled it upwards and bent to gently kiss her knuckles.  In a low, almost syrupy voice, he said, “Very, very nice to meet you, Shelley,” and his eyes twinkled with humor.

Shelley looked briefly startled, then got her composure back and said, “My, such a charming gentleman, Mr. Chapman!”  With that, she  pulled her hand back, then started ringing up his order.  She batted her eyes at him a couple times, then turned to draw his soda.

When she turned back to hand the soda over, Davis quietly asked, “Is Luis here today?”

Shelley smiled.  “Oh yes, he’ll be out in a moment.”

“Okay, thanks.”  Davis gave her a quick grin, winked at her, and stepped aside to wait.  Shelley stayed at the register and split her attention, watching Davis and the kitchen doorway.  He drifted off to one side of the counter and waited, his face going blank, his eyes unfocused as he stared off into the middle distance.  A few moments went by, and then Luis came out of the kitchen doorway.  Luis had a hopeful look on his face, which spread into a smile when he spotted Luis.  Davis face stayed blank until he saw Luis smile, and then he smiled back and stepped forward.  Taking the salad in it’s carry box, Davis said, “Thank you, Luis.”

Luis nodded.  “Sure thing.”

Davis paused for a moment, then spoke in a low voice,  “Luis, that new Sci Fi movie we were talking about is opening on Friday.  There’s a seven and a nine thirty showing.  Would you like to go with me?”  He didn’t have to say where the movie was opening, there was only one theatre complex in town.

Luis face lit up.  “Sure!  I can make the seven show easy.  Meet you there at six thirty?”

Davis nodded.  “Sounds great.  See you then!”

“Okay.  Thanks Davis.”

Davis seemed to gaze into Luis’ eyes for a moment, then he turned and headed for the door, giving Shelley a wink as he went.  Luis watched him leave, then turned to Shelley, punched the air and said, “Yes!  Friday!” in a loud whisper.  She just gave him thumbs up, and he went back into the kitchen, happier than he’d been for some time.


This was fun to write, more than I expected it to be.  My intention was to keep it short, but now that I’ve completed this much, I can see a couple ways to continue, and several things to deal with; primarily the age difference between Davis and Luis.  Since I have absolutely no idea how to handle that, the next section of this story will probably be a long time coming, for which I apologize.

For those who are curious, the runaway alarm clock I described really does exist:

I don’t have a clocky, but I have something very similar...

Comments are appreciated; flames will be ignored.  Feel free to contact me.