Disclaimer : This is a work of fiction and does not imply anything about anyone, real or imagined.


Chapter 3

Tristan leaned over his drawing board and continued to add to his already developing sketch of a woman sitting by a lake. It was a classical drawing -- the woman was dressed in clothes from a previous era, held a parasol aloft to protect her from the sun, and stared at couples in rowboats on the lake. Drawing was one of his favourite pastimes, and he'd taken what would formerly have become his career and turned it into a fulltime hobby.

He looked to his left and noticed that it was almost dark. The glass windows of his penthouse were almost two stories high, and looking over the balcony of his studio, he had a spectacular view of the city. His stomach rumbled, and he thought that eating once in the morning was perhaps not such a good idea. His appetite was not what it should have been, and it was Zac's fault. It had been little more than a day since Zac had come to apologize, and since then he'd felt emotionally unstable. He'd made peace with the fact that he would be mortal enemies with his former obsession, but also felt exhilaration at the thought of a friendship between the two of them. For the hundredth time he wondered whether he could trust himself around Zac. He thought it has been good judgment on his part to inform Zac of his sexuality from the beginning. He really didn't feel like any of the explosive shit he'd seen a few times after coming out to people. Zac had taken it pretty well -- better than he anticipated he would. As much as he liked Zac, he needed time to be alone, and was relieved that the guy hadn't returned, even though it would have been a pleasant surprise.

Jen had phoned him the previous evening to say that Zac Efron had appeared on her doorstep with a huge bunch of flowers and an apologetic smile. He couldn't help but laugh. Like all weak-minded fans, Jen hadn't given Zac any uphill about it, and had eaten up the charm like only a woman could. At the same time, he felt at ease that Jen hadn't been hard on Zac -- he thought he'd given the guy more than enough grief for one day (not that he didn't deserve it).

Tristan heard a loud knock at the door, and swung around in his chair and went downstairs. He'd anticipated this visit -- Jen had a lunch planned for that afternoon with some hot guy, and with her there was always a chance that the date had gone to hell and she needed moral support.

"Coming," he said, with a half sigh. Jen was his best friend and he'd do anything for her, but at the same time he had better things to do that listen to her sob for four hours on a Friday night. The fact that he was doing nothing on a Friday night was beside the point. He had drawing to do. Yes.

He swung the door open, and half-choked half-gasped.

"Zac," he said simply.

Leaning against the door frame looking like a gift from the gods was Zac, with a lazy smile on his face. "I've got DVD's," he said lifting a hand with two DVD boxes that Tristan was too lazy to study. It didn't really matter what was in them.

Tristan put on a sad face. "That's great Zac. It's just that I've got plans for tonight," he said.

Zac's smile slipped, and his arm fell to the side. "Oh..."

Tristan couldn't leave him hanging. It made his insides hurt. "Just kidding," he said with a flashy smile. "Come in."

Zac beamed. "Ass," he quirked, and walked in.

"You don't waste much time, do you... Tom," Tristan said with mockery.

"Let's drop the Tom thing," Zac said with a blush as he tossed the DVD's down on the kitchen counter.

"Okay, but maybe next time you won't play the name game," Tristan said.

Zac smiled widely, and laughed as he looked Tristan up and down. He somehow felt that there was a joke at his expense, and he started to frown.

"Tristan, you've got a great body, but maybe you should put a shirt on," Zac said.

Tristan gasped and looked down, only to see that he was indeed shirtless, with a large streak of black charcoal running across his abs. It had probably rubbed off on him while he'd been drawing. "Shit!" he said and ran off to his room. His cheeks felt hot with embarassment.

"Relax buddy," Zac shouted from the other room.

"I'm so sorry, Zac," he shouted back as he pulled a white shirt over his head. He quickly looked down to make sure he was wearing pants, and luckily he was. Walking back into the living area, he still felt extreme embarrassment. The guy must think he's some sort of slutty guy trying to make a move on him.

"Zac, I'm so sorry," he apologized again. "I thought it was Jen, and when she's around I don't usually pay attention to what I'm wearing."

"Tristan, it's okay. Really," Zac said, though he was clearly enjoying Tristan's uncertainty. "What was that black mark running across your extremely ripped abs, you sexy man you," he said.

"You're mocking me," Tristan said with a stony face, as he walked to the kitchen.

"Just a little," he said. "It's good to have the tables turned for once."

"The night is young, mister," he said with his head in the freezer. Zac laughed. "I'm officially out of food. Let's go get something. I haven't eaten anything since breakfast, and I'm not eating an apple for dinner."

"Uh... okay," Zac said, suddenly nervous.

"What's wrong?" Tristan asked simply.

"Nothing. This place isn't far, is it?" he said with a forced smile. He was definitely nervous.

"Depends on what you want. If it's pizza, it's just on the corner. We can walk there in two minutes."

"Yeah, pizza would be good," Zac said. Tristan could see sweat forming on his forehead, but decided against asking about it. He'd already asked what was wrong and Zac had decided to say nothing.

They exited the apartment, and made some light conversation on the way down. Zac asked him how old he was and when he discovered that their ages were similar he'd laughed like a small kid to himself. Tristan had a nasty feeling that his obsession would soon be on the cards again. He greeted Martin as they passed the front desk, and Zac smiled in a friendly fashion before donning on a pair of dark shades.

"Are you serious?" Tristan said darkly.

"Trust me," Zac said.

"Don't be ridiculous. You look idiotic wearing shades at night. If people don't recognize you, they'll definitely be drawn to someone who is clearly a celebrity trying to hide. Or a psycho."

Zac punched his arm playfully. "Just go, dumbass. I've been playing this game longer than you."

Tristan smiled and they walked along the sidewalk at a brisk pace set by Zac. He kept his hands in his pockets and he kept his head down. Tristan wanted to laugh but Zac seemed to be on edge. In moments they'd arrived at Luini's and Zac ordered indifferently, not really taking any time to examine the menu.

"Banana and bacon. Good choice," Tristan said with a wry smile.

"What?" Zac said, as he quickly spun around to re-examine his order. Tristan could see that he wanted to change his order, but was unwilling to do so. The pizza place was crowded, and Zac seemed to be getting more and more anxious.

"Let's go sit there," Tristan suggested, pulling Zac by the upper arm. He seemed to be struggling with the crowd.

They found a small corner to sit in that seemed to have avoided the crowd. Zac sat in silence with his arms crossed, and Tristan watched with exasperation as a bead of sweat formed around his side-burn and rolled down the angle of his jaw.

"Shit. Zac..." Tristan whispered.

"Sorry," he said. Tristan thought his eyes were closed.

They sat in silence for the next ten minutes which passed with agonizing slowness. When his order number was called, Tristan leaped from the chair and grabbed the pizzas. He pulled Zac from the chair, and helped the guy out of the restaurant. As they were leaving, Tristan heard a shriek and turned to his left, and saw an adolescent girl staring at Zac with eyes as big as saucers. Time seemed to move in slow motion. It seemed as if everything was occurring underwater. Tristan saw the girl scream Zac's name to her friends, and to most of the surrounding city block, and he saw Zac frown as if he knew what was about to happen. Tristan felt frozen to the spot, but suddenly Zac was pulling at his sleeve.

"Tristan, run!" he shouted.

He listened. They ran as fast as they could towards his apartment building, Zac keeping pace alongside him. He dropped one of the pizza boxes but didn't look back. Smashing through the doors, he saw Martin leap out of his chair.

"Martin, the door!" he shouted, as he and Zac ran into the elevator, which was thankfully open and waiting.

The doors started to close and he saw Martin slam the doors shut and place a bar across them. A mob of screaming people ran into it and he saw Martin pushing them away. "Madam, desist!" he shouted, and the doors to the elevator closed, sealing them off from the violence and hysteria.

"What the fuck!" Tristan shouted, and leaned back against the wall of the elevator. He dropped the pizza to the ground, but in such a way that it would still be edible. He started to laugh and tried to get Zac to join in, but Zac faced away from him with his head in the corner as if trying to hide.

"Zac," he said with open concern.

Zac raised a hand. "I'll be fine. Just give me a minute, please Tristan," he said, and Tristan backed off. The rest of the ascent was silent, but Zac's heavy breathing started to slow. The elevator doors opened, and Zac walked out quickly and up to the door of his apartment. Tristan followed with the trophy pizza, and opened the door without speaking. Tristan walked to the kitchen and started to open the pizza and divide it. He discovered with disgust that he'd dropped the nice pizza and been left with the banana one.

"Wow, that was fun," Zac said with a forced laugh as he wiped his hands on his jacket.

"Zac. Dude. You had like a panic attack down there. What's up?"

Zac blushed. "Sorry, Tristan. I'm afraid of crowds."

Tristan wanted to laugh. "Seriously?" was all he could say.

"Yeah," Zac said, looking at the floor. "It's always been bad, but if I don't know the place I get anxious. Usually when I'm around fans or crowds, I need to psych myself up, and tonight I didn't have that chance. The fact that people sometimes chase after me makes it much worse."

Tristan was shocked. "Why didn't you say something? We could have had this stuff delivered."

"I... I didn't want you to think I was a coward," Zac said, as he took his leather jacket off, and placed it nearly over a chair.

Tristan chuckled, but not in an unkind way. "You shouldn't try so hard to impress me. I like you, buddy. I'm really scared of spiders and I promise you I'm not going to be holding any tarantula's anytime soon to gain your approval."

Zac laughed. "Whew, look at my shirt." His blue collared shirt was soaked through with perspiration.

"Do you want a new one?" Tristan asked.

"Yeah, if it's not too much to ask," Zac said.

"Okay, go through my cupboards and find whatever you like and it's yours. Just don't take your shirt off in front of me; I don't think I could take it."

It was the truth, but Zac treated it like a joke. "Deal," he said, and walked into the room. He started taking his shirt off before he reached the room, and Tristan instantly became hard. Concentrating on dealing out pizza, he willed away his stubborn erection and managed to get it to vanish before Zac returned, wearing a white collared shirt that hung loosely but looked great. Tristan suspected that Zac looked amazing in anything.

"Your shirt is a little large for me," he said, examining himself.

"It's because I'm the better man," Tristan said smugly.

"In your dreams," Zac said while walking to the living room, where he fell into the sofa nonchalantly.

Tristan brought the two plates filled with pizza, and handed one to Zac, who sat up and accepted it with thanks. He had two leather sofas set in an L-shape around his TV. Zac was sitting on the one, and instead of encroaching, he decided to sit on the other one and claim it as his territory.

"Ugh, what is this?" Zac said uncouthly.

"Bacon and banana pizza, order by YOU," Tristan said, gulping down a bite of the rather unsavoury pizza.

"Where's the other one?" Zac said.

"Never mind that," Tristan said without looking at Zac, but he could feel Zac smiling maliciously. He knew full well where it was.

After finishing off the pizza and guzzling down a few drinks, they started to relax. Tristan had a full stomach, he felt warm and comfortable, and his new friend was a walking orgasm and a nice guy too. He discovered that Zac had brought Toy Story 1 and 2 to watch on DVD, and they started to watch them.

"Why did you decide to watch these?" Tristan asked.

"Are you kidding? I love these movies. Besides, after we've watched these two, we can go see Toy Story 3 some time," Zac said with an impish grin.

"Nice," Tristan said with a laugh, suddenly aware of planning and technique behind this new found friend of his.

Both of them lay down on their respective couches and got into the movie, and even though Tristan couldn't see Zac due to the way he was laying, he could hear his laugh and it was endearing beyond belief. He counted it one of his best moments of wisdom that he hadn't decided to sit next to him. Zac, on the other hand, had a clear view of Tristan, though what use he could make of it only he would be able to say. After watching Toy Story 1, Tristan decided to make them coffee while Zac changed the discs. As they settled down with a warm mug of coffee, Tristan decided that perhaps they should chat a little before starting yet another movie, if Zac was up for it. His demeanour implied that he was. Instead of lying back on the couch facing the TV, he was sitting up facing Tristan, his eyes bright.

"What are you looking at?" Tristan said with mock irritation.

"Nothing," Zac said with a lazy smile. Tristan wanted to beat him for his smugness. "Want to play `answer Zac'?'

Tristan screwed up his face with confusion. "I have never heard of that game, and I suspect you hadn't either until a second ago."

Zac laughed. "Yeah, but won't it be cool?"

"What do you want to ask, dumbass?" Tristan said with patience. At times he thought himself more direct than he should be. People often confused it for rudeness or arrogance.

"Uh..." Zac thought deeply, but he clearly knew what he wanted to ask. "When did you know you were... uh... you know...?"

"What?" Tristan asked obtusely.

"Gay," Zac said with a strangled whisper. His face had suddenly become serious, and Tristan was put out by the shift in mood. Without trying to complicate a harmless situation, he decided to answer. He wasn't ashamed, after all.

"I guess I was about 16. Yeah, that's the clearest memory I have of it. I was on the athletics team at school, and I could run well if I do say so myself. A girl liked me, but she had a boyfriend so she couldn't find a way for us to be together. I was getting a little old not to have tried anything in high school, so I just went with the flow."

Zac was listening intently.

"She convinced me for weeks to challenge her boyfriend, and tell him to get lost. She would then decide to be with me. She was pretty, really pretty and most guys liked her, but I had no drive to fight for her. I know now what it meant but at the time I let her lull me into it. She told me where the guy was, so I went to find him. He wasn't from our school, but he was waiting at his car for her afterwards. I walked up to his car intending to fight him."

"Crap, and did you?" Zac said, starting to find the story really interesting.

"Well somehow he realized what I was there for because he almost leaped out of the car. I think she told him, and she hoped that two guys would have it out over her. High school girls. Anyway, I was pretty angry while walking up to the car and psyched up for a bad fight, but when I saw him I felt my breath go out of my lungs. He was incredibly good looking, and I thought that the last thing in the world I wanted to do was hit such a perfect face. I remember his confused frown as I stopped, and shook his hand and told him that Sarah was all his, and walked away."

"She must have been pissed," Zac said with a laugh.

"Yeah, she was. She cried, then she threw a tantrum, and went through a whole range of violent behaviour, but she came off looking worse than I did. I just told people that she wasn't pretty enough to fight over, and people believed it when they saw her running mascara. Either way, I knew then. Man, I must have jerked off a thousand times to the image of that guy."

"Gross!" Zac said. "Too many details!"

"You wanted details," Tristan said with a laugh. "Don't cry if you burn your fingers after you ask someone to light a match."

"Fair enough," Zac said, finishing his coffee.

"My turn. This works both ways, Zac Efron. Do you like being famous?"

"I don't like this game," Zac said, quickly standing up and walking to the kitchen.

Tristan was on him in a second. With a grunt Zac fell back onto the couch, his protest strangled by a laugh of outrage. "Tristan, get the fuck off me," he said with a laugh, but Tristan sat on his chest and pinned his arms to the couch. He could feel Zac straining beneath him, could see his well defined arms bulging in his shirt. The truth was that Tristan was stronger, so the battle was already over.

"Answer my question," Tristan said with a smile.

"Okay, you win," Zac said with a smile. His breathing was ragged.

"I..." he started and tried to thrash in his bonds to free himself, hoping that the surprise would catch Tristan off guard. Tristan laughed loudly but clamped his hands around Zac's wrists. Zac gave him a hateful stare but there was warmth in his eyes. Tristan released Zac's hands and sat back, his weight resting on Zac's stomach. It was intoxicating to be this close to him, but he found more fun in the game than in the intimacy. Leaving Zac's hands free was part of the fun.

"Let me go, Tristan," Zac said as he patted Tristan's thighs with his hands. Curiously though, he didn't remove his hands after doing so, and Tristan could feel the warmth of his hands moving through his pants onto his legs.

"I'll bet you're used to being obeyed," Tristan told Zac with a smile.

"Yeah, people know not to screw with me," Zac replied, and Tristan put on a face of fear that was so overdone that Zac almost exploded with rage. Tristan quickly put his open hand on Zac face and squished it delicately and then jumped off before Zac could retaliate.

"That was fun," Tristan said from the safety of his couch.

"The hell it was," Zac said like a petulant child, but they both started laughing.

After a few moments they decided to watch the second movie, though Tristan was well aware that Zac had avoided the question and decided to let it go. Tristan felt truly at peace, and as the second part of the movie started, he began to feel his eyes growing heavy. He'd had more excitement than he was used to in one evening and it was starting to take its toll. Zac was turning out to be one of the most awesome guys ever, and he started to ignore his hidden regret about the guy being straight. Maybe things were actually better this way. He had a great friend and he could avoid all the complexities and problems tied in with relationships. He'd seen what it had done to Jen and he was in no mood to be the target of those assaults. He heard Zac laugh at something he'd seen in the movie, and he smiled reflexively, but realized that his eyes were already closed. Slowly his body started to feel warm, and with one last smile he entered a deep sleep.


Zac smiled widely but suppressed a laugh. The Toy Story movies were some of his favourite animated movies and he couldn't help but laugh at the same jokes each time. Tristan had fallen asleep about half an hour before that, and Zac didn't want to risk waking him. The credits for the movie appeared on the screen, and Zac got up to turn everything off. As he turned back to go lie down on his sofa, he decided to chance a view of Tristan. As usual, he felt tightness in his chest when he looked at Tristan too closely. No man should be so hot. He was lying on his back with one hand behind his head, and the other resting lazily on his chest. His breathing was very deep, slow and rhythmical and his face was peaceful and content. Zac found himself getting lost in Tristan's facial features, and he could feel the blood heating up at the sight. His body looked so well defined too. He would have given a finger to see Tristan shirtless again. For the thousandth time he cursed himself for being a closet case and everything it was denying him in life. It was the only way to a successful career in this town, but now that he'd made it big, he seemed to focus even more on what he was missing. Tristan stirred, and Zac snapped out of his depressive spiral and moved to his chair.

"Zac," Tristan murmured, as he stepped past him, and Zac almost shouted out in shock.

For a moment he thought that Tristan was awake, or worse, had been awake for the whole time and knew that he had been looking him over. He realized that Tristan was still deeply asleep and his screaming heart started to slow. When he thought further at the thought of Tristan actually dreaming about him, his heart started to leap again to the point that he clutched his chest. He hated the emotions attached to things like this, but at the same time, he'd never felt so alive. The blood was rushing in his ears, and his sight and smell were as sharp as they could be. His body was vibrating with activity -- it wanted to remember this moment, to enjoy it. Slowly he knelt down next to Tristan. His breathing started to become fast and shallow this close to Tristan, and he was scared to death that Tristan would suddenly wake up and ask him what he was doing. He wanted to be closer. He HAD to be closer. With a strange sense of detachment he stroked Tristan's cheek, and smiled as the stubble tickled his hand. He'd never touched another guy's face before, and it was so different to a woman's. Quickly leaning in he put his head into the nape of Tristan's neck and hugged his head. He'd never felt so happy, so at peace in his life. He wanted to lie there forever. The smell of Tristan's body aroused him massively. His dick was as hard as iron and he could feel it trying to push right through his jeans. He was right on the verge of cumming; he could feel the turbulent roar of the fluids in his pelvis. He kissed Tristan's neck softly causing Tristan to turn his neck slightly and mumble. With one last sigh, he lifted his head and smiled at Tristan who was as oblivious as ever. Standing, he looked at the bulge in his pants and shook his head wryly, before going to lie down on his couch. Pulling a cushion into a comfortable position, he smiled to himself, and fell asleep, and had the deepest, most satisfying rest of his life.


Thanks for reading guys, and thanks especially to everyone who has taken the time to e-mail me. As usual, feedback is valued! rahvin747@yahoo.com