Reservations – A Novel
By Drew Filchak
Chapter Two: “Actions and Words”
Two teens, clad in dirty jeans hanging loosely from their gaunt frames, watched the delivery guy hurry towards the high-rise entrance. The blonde's greasy hair, pulled partially behind his ears, still hung in limp strands before his eyes, irritating his senses and adding to the level of agitation he always felt when he was about to play the part of a punk thug. He made eye contact with his buddy who nodded in response.
They darted across the street and once at the car realized their luck was holding. It was unlocked. A grin gleamed in the light of the building lamps as the dark-haired teen opened the car door and quickly grabbed the pizza carrier bag containing pies waiting for delivery. He tossed it to the blonde then slammed the door and followed his accomplice into the shadows offered by the alley.
"I think there are like four pizza's in here, dude!" The blonde grinned, wide-eyed with excitement. "I'm gonna eat until I puke."
His friend nodded and threw his arm around his buddy's shoulder as they made their way down the dark alley. "I told ya. That place has like three or four deliveries a night."
The blonde laughed. "Yeah, man. Cool. But I'm freezing. Let's skate."
On Friday, I again worked until six-thirty completing the final packaging of our acquisition proposal and was greatly relieved that it was finally finished. I looked forward to a weekend spent relaxing with the book I'd started reading a few months ago.
But my plans for a quiet evening changed the moment I saw my breakfast companion, again sitting by himself, at his corner table. Tonight, the place in front of him lay bare with the exception of a full glass of red wine. A bucket containing the bottle stood next to the table. I recognized that the lost and lonely look I'd seen the past two evenings covered his mien and again dimmed his natural brilliance. His eyes stared blankly with the same hollow look that I'd noticed this morning at breakfast. His burden, so obviously weighing on his soul, appeared to have made considerable progress in its attempt to crush him. I couldn't take it anymore and turned toward the door. Two kids, running at breakneck speed, swerved to miss me, but the one carrying what looked to be a pizza delivery bag brushed my shoulder as he passed. He shot a quick ‘sorry dude’ over his shoulder as they rounded the corner onto Stout and disappeared. I shook my head and continued towards the door.
Entering the restaurant, I cautiously made my way towards his table, leaning heavily on my cane due to the fatigue and low throb of pain in my ankle. I stopped at his table and noticed when he failed to look up to see who was standing in front of him, that his eyes were moist and threatened to spill tears. He wasn’t present enough to hear me clear my throat.
I began, softly.
"Excuse me, but, is there anything that I can possibly do to help your pain go away?"
His eyes reflexively rose at the sound of my voice and it took a moment for him to focus. Then, recognition crossed his face. He pulled his head back slightly and blinked twice to clear the defenseless tears.
"What?" It was the voice of a lost heart striving to find a foothold.
My warm and soft half-smile cradled my words as I repeated myself. He stared at me for what seemed like an eternity then his gaze began to harden just as I'd seen it do that one, fateful day, a month previously, when I'd been the recipient of his disgust.
"Please. It's not like before. I'm not like before!" My look of alarm softened as I added emphasis to my words and rushed on. "I’ve seen you here the past few nights looking lost and in such pain. I simply want to help somehow channel the pain that is so evident away from you, if only for a moment or two."
The hardness of his look held for a moment then disappeared, replaced by a softer, resigned look that came close to bringing tears to my own eyes. "Why?" He asked in his rich voice that threatened to break under the smothering emotion wrapped around him.
"Because you clearly need someone to talk to, but let's just play it safe by saying its repayment for the door closure." I pursed my lips in a slight, tentative smile.
He again studied my face then briefly blinked; a slight smile of his own raised the corner of his mouth. He went to say something, but hesitated before speaking. He nodded to the space next to him on the end of the circular booth.
"Would you like to join me? The wine is from Bordeaux." He dropped his eyes and flicked his hand towards the opened bottle. I paused briefly then moved towards the seat.
"Thanks." My smile broadened.
He moved slightly, allowing maybe two feet of separation between us. He signaled for the waiter to bring an additional glass and we sat in silence as my glass was filled. I absorbed the bouquet and moaned at the rich, weighty essence which enveloped my senses. The wine caressed my palate and bathed my mouth in a burst of flavor and subtle, lasting finish. My eyes dimmed as I relished the quality of the wine and as I opened them, I found my companion studying my experience with a slightly amused expression on his face.
I blushed, suddenly feeling ultimately exposed. He noticed my discomfort. "Don't be embarrassed. It has the same effect on me. When we bought it, I knew of its potential. I'm glad to see that you appreciate it."
His demeanor darkened instantly, reflexively. Some memory associated with the wine and readily brought to the surface of his consciousness by our conversation, caused a surge of despair similar to what I'd witnessed countless times over the past month. My emotions instantly responded to his refreshed pain.
"It's exquisite. Thanks for sharing it. I didn't mean though to cause you additional upset with my reaction."
He looked at me fiercely with a searching, scanning stare. Momentarily thrown by the sharp nature of his glance, I remained silent. Finally, his gaze dropped from me to his glass. "I apologize for my sharp reaction. That's the second time you've shocked me by breaking through my defenses. All though I will admit, this time didn't faze me nearly as much as the first time."
"And ... uh, when was the first time?" I didn't understand what he meant.
He looked at me again and took a sip from his glass. "A month ago."
My face flushed at the memory of my previous, unsolicited advances and the resulting outcome. I filled with embarrassment again. I’d felt it many times over the last month. At random times memories of my approach with complete disregard for his privacy would cause me to lose my place in meetings, or if I was alone, flush my face with shame. I felt the same shame again now as he sat looking at me.
"Please …” I gushed, “accept my apologies for my phenomenally stupid and insensitive actions. I'm sincere when I say that I wish there was some way to erase that whole moment from both of our memories. I'm sorry and ..."
He held his hand up to stop me.
"It wasn't my intent to belittle or berate you. I was simply commenting on how you blasted through my defenses that day, straight to my core actually, with your comments. No one has ever come on to me that strongly throughout the entire twelve years since my wife died. I was unprepared for it -- and I'm not accustomed to someone completely ignoring my barriers the way you did.” He pressed his lips together thoughtfully. “In my position, that ... that just doesn't happen. Not by women and ..." he paused to look me squarely in the eye, "and never by other men."
I felt relief and ... release with his clarification. I nodded my understanding then started to ask him a question prompted by his explanation. But I stopped myself. It was too personal. He saw my hesitance.
"What were you going to say?"
I swallowed as I took a deep breath. "Forgive me if I'm again being too forward, but I guess I assumed that the cause of your grief had something to do with your wife. I wondered if maybe she had died or something. But you said it was twelve years ago and ..." I stumbled to a stop and watched his eyes for signs of possible offense.
He nodded and gave me a crooked smile containing unlimited bitterness and loss. "My wife died a little over twelve years ago, three months after the birth of our daughter. We bought a number of cases of this wine to celebrate her birth. My daughter ... she ... died from leukemia three weeks ago."
I sat stunned and simply looked at him. His face registered no emotion, but the small amount of light in his eyes that I'd noticed earlier, flickered and threatened extinction. My own eyes filled with tears as I finally glimpsed the source of his pain. I sat next to him silently, finally dropping my gaze in an attempt to give him a little privacy in his grief. The horror with which I now looked at the incident from a month ago, exploded within me. No wonder he looked at me with such revulsion, such spite.
Suddenly, I felt an overwhelming need to remove myself from his presence. I was embarrassed beyond measure. "Please, um ...." I started. 'Fuck! I don't even know his name!' "Please accept my condolences. I am so sorry for your loss. And when I think of my actions from a month ago and recognize now what you were going through then, I'm stunned that you even asked me to sit here tonight. I'll leave now." I went to move from my spot, but he stopped me.
"No, please don't leave. How could you have known anything about what I was going through? I've sworn all my employees to secrecy regarding me and my personal life. No one knew, so don't blame yourself for unintentionally upsetting me. This is the first time I've spoken about my daughter Megan to anyone with the exception of my assistant."
"But it's not just my 'come on' to you that bothers me, guy. It's the fact that after you pointedly showed me your wedding ring, I ignored it and blasted you with a 'full-court-press' and lurid come on line. At the time, I was ashamed of myself. Now, I'm mortified."
"Don't be." He interrupted. "You made an impact on me then that I needed in a desperate way."
My surprise and shock stopped me in mid-breath. He saw my confusion and question and barreled on with his words. "Not like that. It didn't make me want you physically, but your comments and 'come ons' broke through a wall that I'd erected after my wife's death. One that nobody has dared, or had the balls, to even try and get through. You got through to me and I had to respect you for that."
My mind instantly thought about the first time he returned my nod. Somehow, I'd been right in my guess that he was giving me a modicum of grudging respect. He continued softly and I found it difficult to keep my balance as the melodious timbre of his voice began to work on my feelings of shame.
"I felt an urge to reach out to someone other than myself or my daughter for the first time in years. And the reason for that was that I felt like I was attractive to someone.” He paused then shrugged. “I felt that there was someone -- and it didn't matter who that was -- that found me attractive enough to ignore my hazard signs and barrel through my barricades. It made me want to reengage. Then Megan died and I set my rekindled desires to reengage with the world aside. They’ve remained on the shelf until you had the nerve to approach me again tonight. That is why I'm not repulsed or revolted by your presence and that is why I wish that you would stay for a little while longer. I suddenly find myself starving for a conversation that is not about my daughter's medical treatment or my business holdings."
He gave me a tight, small smile that conveyed his sincerity, but it was the look in his eyes that convinced me to stay. In them, I saw a desperate desire to not be alone, at least for the present moment. I smiled in return.
"I'd love to stay for a bit. Thank you. Besides, the wine is doing wonders for my ankle. Much better than the aspirin."
An honest, near full-throttle smile crossed his face and I felt my heart thump fiercely in my chest. Beyond all of my considerable, self-induced and experienced drama from the past month, the man sitting next to me continued to be a stunningly handsome man. I deflected my gaze from him so that he wouldn't see my mounting desire. A figure approached the table and I looked into the face of the restaurant's chef.
"Good evening, Mr. Summers. Will your friend be joining you for dinner this evening?"
'Mr. Summers' looked at me and raised his eyebrow in question. I froze when his name clicked in my mind and I realized just whom I was sitting with. My mouth dropped in recognition and, realizing the absurdity of my reaction, closed my mouth and simply nodded. He smirked dryly as he watched my response then nodded in turn to the chef.
"Yes, Henri. Mr. Michaels will be joining me for dinner. As usual, the decision as to the fare will be yours. Thank you. Would you ask James to stop by our table when he has a moment?"
Henri nodded and departed.
"Joel Summers," he said, offering me his hand.
I nodded with a short laugh. "Blair Michaels."
"Yes, I remember," he said with a grin as he took my hand, shaking it firmly.
"I know who you are," I started, stopping as a flash of realization poured over me. "Jesus Christ," I swore under my breath. "I hit on Joel Summers and I didn't even know it." I closed my eyes and slowly shook my head. His laughter brought me back to the present.
"The repercussions of that moment seem to keep making themselves felt. At the time, I thought you knew who I was, which upset me only marginally. But then when you made the rather pointed comments about the building owner's need to attend to the door closure, I realized that you had no idea who I was. Not that you should, mind you, but many times, that's all people see." His chuckle brought a wry grin to my lips.
"No, I hit on you because I find you exceptionally attractive, not because I knew who you were. I never caught on. Hank is fiercely loyal to you and to all of his 'customers'. I did figure out that you owned this building once the closure was in place so quickly, but I never connected the dots. I mean, what ... here I've been having breakfast across from one of the top fifty wealthiest men in the country for the past month?” A quick dart of my gaze to the ceiling combined with a chortle brought my smile again. “What a crack up. How do you keep such a low profile? You own two substantial business towers in Manhattan, one each in Chicago and London and two more here. Yet, I never see your picture in the media. How do you do it?"
He smirked, but remained silent as the waiter approached. We finished the wine in our glasses then watched as James refilled them and nodded at the silent instruction from Joel to return with a second bottle.
"That," he said, nodding towards the retreating James, "is how I remain fairly anonymous. My employees honor me by keeping my identity under wraps. I can't tolerate the spotlight."
The first course of food arrived at the same time the second bottle of wine did. The meal was exquisite as well as the wine. By the end of the meal, we'd completed the wine and sat relaxed in thought. Our conversation had been light throughout the evening, but immensely enjoyable. He spoke quietly of his daughter and minimally of his business. I too shared only basics of my life. Primarily we talked of generalities, a little politics and fair amount about Hank. He enjoyed my anecdotes of some of the wilder customers that sometimes wandered into the bar area during the early morning hours. And then, finally, I realized that it was past nine o'clock and I regretfully felt a need to depart.
"Thanks for an enjoyable evening, a phenomenal meal and an okay wine." I winked at him to assure he understood my understatement. He laughed in return.
"No, Blair. I am the one that should be thanking you. I feel as though I've awakened from a thousand year-long sleep. Our conversation this evening has lifted my spirits more than I can say. I haven't eaten a full meal in months, nor enjoyed myself this much in a very long time. I owe that to you, so please accept my thanks."
"Sure." I grinned. "Maybe now neither of us needs to eat our breakfast alone on opposite sides of the bar stuck against our respective pillars."
Joel laughed and nodded his head in agreement. I grabbed my cane from its resting place on the top of the booth then reached over to squeeze Joel's shoulder in farewell. He flinched at my touch and I instantly regretted my action.
"I'm sorry. That was ...."
He interrupted me. "No, it's not you or your touch that's inappropriate. It's me. I'm not used to being touched. I haven't just been closed off from people mentally and emotionally for all these years."
"I wasn't making a 'come on', Joel. You know that, right?"
"Yes, I do. Please accept my apology."
"No apology needed." I reached for his shoulder again and gave it a friendly squeeze. The muscles in his shoulder felt like granite. The tension radiated into my fingertips. My brow furrowed in concern and he asked me what was wrong.
"It's your shoulder. It's as tight as a steel band." I squeezed it again lightly and he winced. "Man, Joel, you need a massage worse than anyone I've ever seen."
I removed my hand and looked into his face. Resignation filled his eyes and he slowly nodded. "I know. It's so bad that I can only sleep for a few hours before it wakes me up."
"Why don't you see someone about it?"
He shrugged. "It's all tied up in the whole 'no touching' thing that caused me to flinch when you first squeezed my shoulder. I think I've gone too long now without physical contact outside of a handshake, that the thought of a stranger giving me a massage is almost intolerable."
Concern filled my eyes as a thought surfaced in my mind. I didn't know if he'd go for it, but I figured that it couldn't hurt to offer. "Joel, take this for what it's worth. My ex from a few years back, was not only a great physiologist; he was also a licensed massage therapist. I picked up a number of great techniques that I think could help reduce a significant amount of tension in your back, neck and shoulders." I grinned then added, "I'm not just trying to get my hands on you. I'd like to help if I can." My slight grin caused him to nod once briefly.
"Thanks for the offer, Blair. It's just that I have ... uh ... reservations, you could say, about the whole touching thing. God knows I want to do something about my shoulders and neck, but ...."
"Hey, Joel? It's okay. I just thought that since we've become somewhat friends that you might feel more comfortable with me than with a stranger. No problem, okay?"
He looked at me and I saw that he was considering my words. He let out a long sigh then turned to me and nodded. "You're on. Uh ... when?"
"No time like the present. All I had planned for the next hour or so was to read a little more of a book I started months ago."
Joel smiled. "Good, because I'm not sure I could do this if I let myself think about it. The wine has helped lower my inhibitions some. My place is upstairs. Uh ... you will ... uh ... stay away from my earlobes, won't you?" His grin was slightly worried. I nodded and returned his grin.
I smiled to myself and mentally shook my head. I simply could not believe where this night was leading. The strange thing was that I meant what I'd said to him. I wasn't trying to put the make on him. I'd rather he was my friend instead of a conquest.
Three blocks from the restaurant, a tall youth in his late teens with longish, brown hair tied back, dropped to his knees in the alley next to an over-flowing dumpster. His senses revolted and prompted a clench from his abdomen as the noxious odor emanating surprisingly not from the dumpster, but from the fat man's exposed groin, permeated his nostrils. The wide, odorous stub protruding from the stretched-taut and open zipper, disgusted the youth, but he closed his eyes and moved his mouth forward as his mind disconnected and he thought of other things.
Twenty bucks could feed him for three days, or more, if he was careful.
We made our way up to his place in the penthouse a little slower that normal. My ankle, after having remained seated for such a long time had swelled considerably. The walking helped, but I wasn't in any shape to run a race just yet. Once inside, Joel offered me another glass of wine or something else to drink. I settled on bottled water and then asked him if he had lotion and a couple of bath towels. Surprised, he provided them without comment and I took them to the kitchen where I soaked them with hot water, then placed them in the microwave for a short bit. As he watched, I then wrapped them in a couple of hand towels from the kitchen and moved us into the gathering area of his living space.
I couldn't very well have him lying on the floor due to my leg, so I suggested he kneel down in front of his ottoman and drape himself over it on his stomach. He looked at me with a confused expression, dropped to his knees and began to bend over the footstool. I grinned.
He looked up at me in question.
"You need to take your shirt off. I don't think the lotion and your shirt would mix very well."
He looked at me for a minute then chuckled at himself. "Well, that makes a little more sense. I couldn't quite figure out the whole wet towel, lotion, shirt thing."
I laughed in spite of myself and watched as he removed his tie and pulled his shirt from his shoulders. I managed to contain the gasp that wanted to escape as I saw his bare chest for the first time. It was naturally muscled without an ounce of excess tissue and matched his lean, lanky appearance. A patch of dark brown chest hair wove its way down the valley between his pectoral muscles and trailed the length of his abdomen, finally plunging into the waistband of his slacks. For a moment, desire paralyzed me, but I quickly shook it off so as not to give him a reason to be uncomfortable.
"Okay, then," I started. "Lie over the ottoman and I'll place my homemade hot packs onto your shoulders. We'll let them do their stuff for a while and I'll focus on your arms. I think I can do that from this chair. For the actual massage, though I think I'm gonna do it with you straddling the ottoman in front of me. Does that all sound okay to you?"
He nodded. His nervousness about the coming touch began to surface. But he stretched himself over the ottoman and I placed the hot packs on either side of his upper back. He moaned as the warmth first made contact with his back.
"Oh, God, Blair. That alone feels incredible."
"Good, now just relax, Joel. I'm going to work on your upper arm, bicep and shoulder."
He nodded and I began my work. He initially flinched as my hands made contact with the bare skin of his arm. "Sorry, Blair."
"No worries, just relax. That's your job, relaxing."
After ten minutes of work on his arm, I had him turn so I could work on his other arm. Finally, I removed the hot packs and had him sit up and straddle the ottoman. I pulled it back so that it made contact with the chair. I then straddled it myself. In effect, Joel sat roughly between my widespread legs. I didn't fail to see the irony of the situation.
As I began my work on his upper back, I heard a slight gasp from his mouth. I smiled. I knew partially what he was feeling. The initial touch of my own therapist inevitably caused me to groan in relief. So, compounding that with the fact that he hadn't been touched in god-knows how long, I couldn't imagine the feeling. A louder groan escaped his lips as I began a back-and-forth action with my hands.
"Stop apologizing, Joel. When I'm on my therapist's table, if someone didn't know better they would mistake my moans and groans for sex. Let it out. Don't hold it in. And simply enjoy it. The hot packs worked wonders to begin the process of getting your muscles to relax."
"God, your hands feel so good." He mumbled as his head began to relax down onto his chest.
I worked each side of his back, tracing the muscles with my thumbs and fingers. Initially, his entire back felt like one mass of knots, but gradually they began to loosen. From my position, I could do a number of good, soothing moves, but I needed to be able to exert additional amounts of pressure.
"Joel? I need to get some additional leverage and I think I can if I put my one arm around your chest and work into it that way, I can get the support I need. Is that okay?"
"Yeah. What you're doing now is too good to stop."
"Good," I replied as I slipped my left arm around his chest. I chuckled lowly in his ear. "I promise to try and resist your earlobe." I felt his chest contract in silent laughter and I smiled.
I returned to my work with the added leverage in place, but I paused when I realized that I was suddenly, painfully erect. 'Oh, shit!' I screamed to myself. 'He'd flip out for certain if he knew that I was hard.' I discreetly moved my hips back from any possible contact with the back of his waist and resumed my manipulations. His groans increased in volume and duration, causing my erection to lurch with each additional moan.
"My god, Blair. I had no idea that this could be so good." His groan was throaty and bordered on a growl. "But you have to be getting exhausted. You've been at my back for half an hour or more."
I sighed. "Yeah, I don't know how people do this for hours on end. Just a little more work on your traps and I'll move to your neck. My back is getting a little tight in this position."
I finished quickly. "Now, let me finish with your neck. I'll need you to scoot back a little bit and sit up some." He scooted back further onto the seat of my chair than I had planned. His slender hips and upper buttocks pressed against my groin and involuntarily, my erection lurched against him.
I inhaled fast. "Uh, sorry about that, man."
He chuckled softly through a moan as my thumbs began their work on his neck and cranial stem. "No worries. I'm hard myself. It freaks me out a little, but what you're doing feels too good to worry about it. Awww ..." his groan at my thumb work caused my dick to surge against him.
'Fuck,' I said to myself. 'Did he just say he was hard also?' The thought spurred me further as my thumbs dug out the traces of stress that tried to remain hidden in the crannies of his neck. Finally, my thumbs gave out, as well as my hands. I gently caressed his neck and shoulders with my fingertips and felt his sigh, more than heard it.
I spoke softly. "You seem to have worked through your aversion towards being touched."
His sigh released slowly, deeply. "So it would seem."
"How do you feel now, Joel?" I whispered in his ear. My desire was close to bursting and I was certain my voice conveyed every single bit of lust and yearning I'd harbored for the past six weeks.
"Like I've died and am lying in the arms of an angel."
His words rocked me to my core and before I could stop myself, I gently, sensually, kissed the back of his neck. His body shivered. "Is that okay, Joel?" I whispered, placing another kiss in the same spot.
A sigh escaped his lips and a slow nod of his head signaled his acceptance. I placed a series of light kisses onto different parts of his neck and shoulder. He began to moan. I gently reached my arm around him and pulled him slowly back onto my chest. He allowed the move and moaned when he rested against me. “You were thinking about me instead of where you were running when you hurt your ankle, weren’t you?”
"Yes,” I whispered into his ear. “I’ve thought of you every day since I first saw you. Now, relax, my friend." I whispered into his ear as my hand on his chest began a feather-light dance across his muscles.
"Oh … Blair ... " he panted almost inaudibly. "No one's touched me like that in so many fucking years. And … another man touching me like this? I can’t tell you how long that’s been. Please don't stop."
"Enjoy it, stud," I whispered. "This is all for you."
His body shuddered at the word ‘stud’. Then a groan began to roll from his lips as I gently licked his earlobe, teasing it with my soft nips and tongue. My hand on his chest, joined by its match, caused him to arch his torso in raw, yearning desire. He pressed firmly back into my engorged erection and grasped my knees on either side of his hips. My assault on his ear intensified as he turned his head towards my seeking tongue. He let out a yell as I fully buried my tongue in his ear and sucked his lobe into my warm, wet mouth.
"Oh, God! Don't stop!"
His words served only to spur me on. My hand on his chest began to move lower to his waistband while the other manipulated his nipple repeatedly. Finally, all restraint was gone and I placed my hand on his pulsing, twisting groin. He hissed breath through his teeth and his body shuddered from head to toe.
"Is this all right, Joel?" I grabbed his erection with my hand and squeezed the substantial girth. "Is this okay?"
"Yes ... Blair," he groaned through his clenched jaws.
"You don't have any reservations about my continuing?"
His moan was long and throaty. His hips bucked up into my hand and in turn pressed back against my own erection. The sensation overwhelmed me.
"Any reservations at all?"
"NOOO!" He groaned hoarsely, caught up in the ecstasy of the feelings he was experiencing.
My hand quickly unbuckled his belt and opened the dress slacks while my tongue and other hand increased their efforts. I dove into his opened slacks, burying my hand under the waistband of the silk boxers and encountering his extremely long, thick organ. He shouted at my touch and bucked his hips against my engorged member. My tongue left his ear and began its blissful descent down his jaw line. He whimpered at the new sensation and pressed his swollen member into my grasping fist repeatedly. I bucked my groin against his firm, muscles buttocks in counter-rhythm to his uncontrolled motion.
His groan filled my mouth as my free hand quickly turned his face upwards towards mine and my tongue launched itself into his mouth. His breathing increased rapidly and his nostrils flared with each staggered breath. His tongue battled with mine in a primal, lust-filled spasm.
His body contracted violently and his scream reverberated through my head. My hand suddenly filled with his moist, shooting warmth as it spewed outward onto his lower abdomen. I continued to pump his spewing organ and his contractions increased stimulating my own orgasm. I growled into our kiss as my shorts filled with wetness. He groaned in recognition of my shared orgasm. The intensity of our kiss slowed; panting breaths subsided.
I reluctantly released his chin from my grasp and removed my tongue from his mouth. He immediately brought his lips back to mine.
"Are you okay?" I whispered as I stared into his eyes, his head resting back on my shoulder. My hand caressed his cheek and stroked through his hair.
"Yes," he whispered in reply. Then his eyelids slid over his brown orbs and I felt his body relax fully onto mine. His breathing immediately slowed dropping into the regularity of one asleep. I whispered into his ear, unexpectedly yet honestly, that I wanted him … all of him, that I wanted to consume every ounce of his spirit and keep it safe.
Sometime later, I woke as I sensed both a pain in my thighs and a subtle movement in my arms. Joel had slid to the side of my chest, turning slightly in my arms so that he was somewhat facing me. My legs tingled painfully with renewed blood flow. His brown eyes glistened as he stared searchingly into my eyes. I saw the confusion in his gaze and went to speak, but he touched his fingers to my lips.
"Wait, please," he started then stopped as his fingertips traced the shape of my lips. His eyes followed the movement of his fingers. Without looking at me, he spoke.
"I don't know what this all means. For the past six weeks, I've watched you watch me and the most confusing thing of all is that I don't know why I've watched you back. I don't know what that means and I don't know what this means ..." his eyes locked onto me as he gently brushed his lips to mine. "And I'm more uncertain than I've been in my entire 40 years." His words faded as he continued to stare into my eyes.
"I can't even begin to imagine what is running around in your mind about now."
My words, spoken softly, slipped from my lips as my hand lightly stroked his arm. My previously whispered words of wanting and desire repeated itself in my thoughts. I wasn’t sure how I’d arrived at the point where I admitted, if only to myself, that I did want the man now lying in my arms and for more than just sex. It’s like, one moment contained all of the desires and longing I’d built up over the six weeks since he first walked into the restaurant and the next moment, those desires had changed into real feelings. This last week of repeatedly seeing the pain he tried to hide on his face had brought me into the restaurant earlier, but that was compassion, not love or romantic feelings. Did the transformation of my longing and compassion into more really happen when he relaxed against me and slept? That action displayed phenomenal trust in me not to hurt him. Was that it?
He touched his finger again to my lips, but I had to respond to his question. "What does this all mean? I can't tell you that, but I can tell you that what ever it is feels right to me, though I'm not the one that has just had his first man-to-man experience."
"Surprisingly, Blair, the male to male stuff isn't bothering me as much as I imagined it would. It’s not my first time with a man, though it has been close to twenty years."
"Then what is it that you're asking me?"
"What's making me ask, 'what does this all mean', is the surge of emotions I'm feeling right now. As I was falling asleep, I heard you whisper that you wanted all of me in my ear. Every bit, you said."
"I shouldn't have done that, Joel." His fingers again pressed against my lips to silence me.
"Hold on, there. I'm glad you did because I woke up feeling something myself, I'm just not sure how I got there. I'm the type of person that needs to see his path, at least in my mind. And suddenly I've found myself in a place that I've never been.” He paused, thinking. “I guess that's okay, but I'm still unsettled by it. All the times I glanced at you sitting across the bar, I never suspected that I harbored any desire for you. I thought I was just curious about how a guy that looks like you could be gay. But now I have to acknowledge that there was obviously more to it. And frankly, that makes more sense when I look at how instantly comfortable I was with you at dinner tonight," he paused in his words and looked into my eyes. "That just does not happen in my life. Trust me. That one was sending up questioning flares big time."
His lips reached to brush against mine. "I’m not upset with the fact that I'm sitting in your lap, half-naked and covered in cold cum. After so many years without it, without another human's touch, I could care less that you’re a man. On one hand, it was the best sex I've ever had." He winked and grinned, then kissed me again gently, his eyes pouring unrefined feelings deeply into mine. "I'm not really upset, I guess. I'm more just surprised than anything. And I suddenly remember acutely how hot it is to be with another man."
Joel’s words caused my memories to flare. I remembered that heat, that first time where I’d allowed myself to do more than just stand there and receive. When I was a senior in high school my best buddy, as best as you could have after knowing him for a little over a year, met up with me to shoot some ball. He had his cousin with him whom I hadn’t met before. The cousin was hot. No question. At the time I’d only barely given thought that guys could be hot after I’d had the tight end from the football team blow me outside at a party the previous summer. We’d both been drunk and I’d done nothing to reciprocate, but I had seen his erection as he knelt before me and brought me off. He’d gotten off too and the sight of the football stud shooting because he was blowing me had been when I first recognized that the sight of another guy turned me on.
So I knew hot when I saw it. And the cousin was hot defined.
He and I were matched up in the game covering each other. It was competitive and physical. The guy wouldn’t give up and inch, lots of pushing, lots of touches on both sides. Near the end he actually snarled at me to keep my faggot hands off of him. I’d laughed and told him to dream on then scored the winning basket. After the game, he’d approached and said he’d just been giving me shit about the touching and we agreed to get together the next day when my friend was working and hang out. We’d gone to the quarry for a swim, he put the moves on me and I blew him. I didn’t hesitate. All I could see was the tight end and I wanted to do to the cousin what had been done to me. I’d never been more turned on and he was the hottest guy I’d ever met. When I told him I wanted one in return, he’d punched me in the face and said he wasn’t a faggot like me.
It took me almost three years to allow myself to experience sex of any kind again. So I understood what the touch of another person meant after a long abstinence and the all-encompassing turn-on it had been for Joel. He wasn’t pulling away. He wasn’t freaking out.
Emotions, ones that I hadn’t felt or experienced for years, coursed through me. A month ago I simply wanted in his pants. There was no other emotion than lust. Why, or better yet, how ... how had this man gotten to mean so much to me when no other man in years had come even half as close? After successfully tucking my initial physical desires for him safely away and honestly desiring only friendship when I sat down at his table, he stunned me with his frank talk and introspection, but most of all, his acceptance of what happened between us. His honesty and obvious desire to remain where he was instead of bolting from the situation leant credibility to his statement that he felt something for me as well. Was it love? No. Not possible this quickly. Was it wanting more? Yes. And the fact that he said it in such a comfortable, every day manner rocked me ever further.
My voice, suddenly uncertain yet shaking with emotion, broke the silence of our mutual thoughts. "Joel ... what did you mean when you said that you felt something similar for me?"
The fingers that had only moments before stroked my lips now cupped my cheek. "If you mean was I saying that I love you," he shrugged slightly, "probably not. Can’t see how that could happen so quickly. Was I saying that I wanted to consume you right back? Yes. But my feelings right now are so new after not having felt anything for over a decade that I find it difficult to define them with words. I just know that you have somehow transmuted my sentence with your irrepressible presence and dogged determination.” He grinned. “That sounds pretty dramatic, I know, but I feel like I’m free to look at you openly and enjoy the feeling of being alive and in your arms. I don't know if that's love or not, but I sure do like how I feel right now.”
My smile refused to be contained a moment longer. I grabbed his face in my hands and kissed him passionately. He responded ardently, feverishly. Finally, panting, I pulled back. His eyes were starry and dazed and his chest heaved with passion.
"When I first saw you walk in that day, my dick lurched in my pants. And I've come so far over the past six weeks, setting aside my swagger and trying to figure out what caused you so much pain. And to be sitting here, now, after every thing we've quote 'been through', feeling the happiest I think I've ever been …," I paused allowing my grin to accent my words, "I realize I only have one more desire."
"What?" He asked.
I leaned close so that my whispered words brushed his lips. "That you get off my legs before the damage to them is irreparable." His eyes widened quickly and he immediately stood up. The relief was instantaneous and I moaned as I felt the blood flow back into the starved areas. I grinned up to him. "Now, I have everything I desire!"
He reached for my hand, laughing, and pulled me to my feet. My legs held, though they were a bit wobbly. His arm encircled my back to steady me.
He looked at me uncertainly then dropped his eyes. "Blair, uh ... even though we've known each other for some time now, we've only really had just the past few hours together, and ... but ..." his eyes raised to meet mine. "Do you want to stay here tonight?"
."God, yes, Joel " _____________________
In a clap-board covered building on the edge of downtown, the two teens pressed their bodies close for warmth in the shared dirty sleeping bag; bellies full to near-bursting after gorging on pizza, heads tucked within the bag, breath shared. They drifted into sleep.
Three feet from them, another teen with long brown hair, huddled in close to himself in an equally filthy and used bag. His stomach, while also filled with pizza, rolled and threatened to expel its contents for the second time that night. His mind kept seeing and his nose kept smelling the rotten stink from the john’s crotch he’d blown earlier that had caused his first bout of puking. The slimy emission into his mouth combined with the stench from the fat, bulging groin had proved too much to handle, even for his experienced mouth.
The one thing he was glad for after the despicable act was that he’d returned to their crib first before blowing his hard earned money on food. The twenty bucks would help them all out later when the pickings weren’t so easy.
The following morning I awoke with my arms holding Joel. We hadn’t moved and I watched him till he woke. We kissed and then shared a repeat of the previous night's play, using our hands to bring release.
Finally once again spent, I looked at the clock and told him that I had to be going soon. His eyes widened quickly and then dropped to look at my chest. My normally playful nature rose again.
"I have a breakfast date with Mikey. And he'd be pretty pissed if I didn't show up."
He lifted his eyes to me in surprise. The tone of his voice flattened as he spoke. "I guess I was pretty naïve to think that you weren't seeing someone else." He went to pull from my arms, but I held him tightly. Grinning, I pulled him to me for a kiss.
"I'm not seeing anyone else, Mr. Summers."
"You're not?" he asked. "Then what's this breakfast date with Mikey about?"
I grinned and rolled my eyes playfully. "Mikey's my cat and he's gonna be really pissed if he doesn’t get his cat chow soon."
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