They say that it gets easier every time you tell somebody you're gay. I don't know...I'm still just as terrified now as I was doing it the first time. I still feel my heart throbbing away to the point of almost being painful, and I can hardly get enough breath in my lungs to speak. When I first told Summer, she took it extremely well. Then again, I expected her to. We had been friends since, like, forever. So she really didn't have much choice. But she's been great. And when I told my cousin, Bobby, he wrestled with the idea for a bit...at first thinking that it was all a big joke. Until I actually started to cry a little bit, and he realized I wasn't fooling around. It took a bit of 'adjustment', but he got used to the idea pretty fast, and in a week or two....he couldn't tell the difference between regular me and gay me. I think the hardest so far was my mom.
The last thing I wanted to do was disappoint her by telling her that her little boy was a homosexual. I had no idea how she'd take it. And considering that she was my only source of food, shelter, and family affection, it was a huge risk telling her something that I was sure she didn't want to hear. But...she was ok with it. I mean, she was a bit shocked at first, and I saw her wipe a few tears away from her eyes. But after that, the only question she asked was, "Are you sure?" I told her that I was pretty certain, and she got up and hugged me tight with a few sniffles from the both of us. She told me, "It's ok, baby. I love you for everything you are. And this doesn't change anything." You have NO idea how GOOD that felt. I felt like I had taken my very first breath ever when she accepted me so easily. I can't even say whether or not I expected her to take it well beforehand. I can only remember the hug afterwards, and how much comfort it brought me at a time when I felt too weak to stand anymore. It was like, being reborn. Walking out of a hot and sweaty sauna and into a breezy autumn day. Her reaction gave me the courage to go further. I doubt I ever would have told another soul if she had rejected me.
Since then, however, my mom has gone a bit overboard with the concept of being 'supportive' for her gay son. I practically had to side tackle her at the front door one night to keep her from wearing a larger than life rainbow colored 'parent of a gay teen' button to parent conferences! I'm not quite THAT free of spirit yet. If I'm not careful, she's gonna run an ad during the freaking superbowl. I'm glad she's understanding, but geez...let's slow things down a little bit. I'm not exactly the type to dance on top of the biggest float in the gay parade. It's just not me. But, despite her often frightening enthusiasm issues, she's still the one that felt the best out of the few people I told. So...there we have it. That's three people who now officially know that I'm the 15 year old oddball that they make the typical after school specials about. Sighhh....three people down...only 6.2 BILLION left to go.
Anyway, Jason was a really good friend of mine, and I have to admit, I've had an on and off infatuation with him for years. I couldn't help it, he was gorgeous beyond belief, blond and affectionate, and he played on the high school basketball team. Not only was he was quite possibly one of the dreamiest boys in junior high, but high school has only helped him to fill out even more, transforming his face and body from cute to sexy right before our eyes. I think even Summer had a crush on him at one point. But he's undeniably straight. There's no chance whatsoever for me to have him. And that just.....sucks. I should have jumped on that sensual delight when we were both 12 years old. At least then I could inspire him to 'experiment' a little. Ah well, live and learn. But despite the crush I had on him and the many nights I prayed to the angels to make him suddenly fall in love with me and not ask why...Jason was a good friend, and I was pretty sure that telling him that I was gay would be ok. At least I 'think' it would. The only thing that bothers me is that...if I tell him...he's gonna think back to all the times we spent together, and he's gonna know how I used to feel about him. I mean, it wasn't such a subtle hint that I was making towards him over the years. That's going to be awkward. I don't need him worrying about me lusting after him everytime he bends over to tie his shoe. Of course, I WILL be! But I don't want him to know that. There's a very delicate balance that I have to keep here. And as I sat there on the foot of his bed, watching him type away on his keyboard to show me some funny clips he found on the internet...I struggled with the idea of this being the moment for me to let the truth spill out of me before I chickened out again. I've been trembling over it for two whole weeks now, and it's driving me crazy. But I've gota try. It'll bother me forever until I do it. Sighhhhh...why is it always so hard to tell the cute ones?
"Gabe, you gotta check this one out, dude!" Jason grinned, turning to look at me. I had to peel my eyes away from him quickly, realizing that I was staring again.
"What is it?" I asked nervously.
"Come here." I got up and looked at the screen over his shoulder. Wow, he smelled good. "It's called "Must Love Jaws"! Dude, it's hilarious..." He said.
Was this the moment? Do I do it now? Should I tell him that we need to talk first? Or do I just blurt it out? I wonder what he would do if I just sorta....leaned in and kissed him on the side of the neck, right now? What if he, like, reached up and ran his fingers through my hair while I sucked on his smooth soft neck. Wow...that would be so hot.
"What are you doing?" Jason said as he leaned away and looked at me to find out why I was so close.
"Uhh, nothing. Just...watching the...the screen." Shit, I should be focusing here.
"Well...back up a little bit. You're practically kissing me over here." He joked. But if only he could feel the little jolt of excitement that went through me when I heard the words leave his mouth.
"Sorry..." I mumbled, trying to get myself back on track. Trying to keep his beauty from distracting me to the point where I couldn't concentrate wasn't easy. Sigh....look at those lips. I'd give ANYTHING to kiss those sweet pink pouty lips! Ok, Gabe...focus on coming up with a gameplan here. So...yeah....I'll just tell him. Exactly how do I do that? Arrrgh! It's never easy to start a conversation like this. There's no real formula for it. No build up. No clever transistion from any other topic of normal conversation. You just kinda have to 'unleash' it on people when they least expect it. They basically get slammed with the news by surprise, and it's so fast that they have no choice but to react like they had just stepped on an emotional landmine. Sighhhh...I guess I should just tell him. Yeah...yeah, I should tell him. I told myself that I was gonna do it tonight, and I'm...I'm gonna do it. Ok...here goes...
"Here it is!" He laughed, and that deep breath I had just taken to tell him was wasted. I silently thanked fate for giving me another few seconds, and watched the screen over Jason's shoulder. The clip actually WAS pretty damn funny, using clips from the Jaws movie to make it look like Roy Schieder had fallen in love with the shark. Hehehe! But...even through a few giggles, my thoughts were still firmly stuck in that terrifying mindset of outing myself to one of my best friends in the world. I never know for sure what's going to change between me and the person I tell from that moment on. But...I had to do it. I got tired of being locked away, suppressing everything I was and everything I felt in front of the people I cared about most. It's true, you never really notice how HARD you have to work to appear straight until you lift that weight off of your shoulders. You never realize how much it hurts to hide that part of yourself away from the rest of the world until you get a small taste of what it's like to be free of it. And once I told one person....just ONE...I knew that I wouldn't be able to stop there. I'd have to keep going, keep pushing, keep striving to finally be what I always wanted to be.
"Jason...we have to...that is...dude, do you remember a few years ago, when we came back from Boy Scout Camp that one year, and you accidently hit me in the forehead with a rock from that slingshot that you made while the Scoutmaster wasn't looking?"
"Aww dude...I'm still SO sorry about that. It was an accident, I swear."
I waited for him to say something, almost locked in a 'cringe' position, with my eyes closed. Nothing. Jason didn't even move at first. He peeked at me out of the corner of his eye for a second, then looked back at the screen, his index fingers lightly tapping the spacebar. I don't think it really penetrated for about 30 seconds or so. Then his forehead wrinkled up a bit in confusion. "Wait...huh???" He said.
"I said..." Lowering my voice, "...I'm gay, Jason. I...I like boys." And now was that short silence that always seemed so eternal to me. Where they try to mentally process what I just told them, and I wait in misery for some kind of definite answer. Even if that answer is a bad one.
Finally, after a few moments of thought, he squinted his eyes a bit and replied, "What the hell has that got to do with me beaning you with a rock after summer camp?"
Now it was my turn to be a bit confused. "Oh...um...nothing, I guess."
"Then why'd you bring it up?"
"I dunno. I guess....I guess it was just the first thing that came to mind." I answered.
"The first thing that came to MIND? Dude, you are just plain WEIRD sometimes, you know that?" He said, and then he just turned back to the computer screen. He started randomly looking for another internet clip to show me, and didn't bother to say anything else. I waited in silence behind him for a full minute before I found myself ready to burst.
"Jason??? Did you hear anything that I just said to you?"
"Yeah. I heard you. You're gay. So....?" He was stalling, I could tell. But he didn't seem angry. Or disgusted, for that matter. So that was good.
"So...I mean, what do you think about that?" I asked, hoping that I wasn't pushing it. But I had to know. This silence was killing me.
"S'ok. It's cool." He said it without much emotion, and without looking at me. I looked closer at his eyes, hoping that he wasn't lying to me. I could take a rejection to my face. But to have him supress it now, only to find out later from Summer that he doesn't wanna be friends with me anymore? THAT would pretty much break my heart for good. "Really, Gabe...it's cool."
"Are you sure?" I asked again, almost disappointed in his lackluster reaction.
"Yeah, I'm sure. We're buds." He said, but then he sorta turned to look at me sideways. "Wait...I mean...you're not, like, in love with me or anything, are you?"
I blushed a bit, but was happy that my answer was the truth. "No, Jason. I'm not in love with you." Not anymore, anyway. But then, just to be absolutely SURE, I added, "Unless...unless you were...uh...you know...interested in...maybe..."
"No. Totally not. Not at all." He said abruptly. Damn...well, you can't say I didn't try.
"Yeah...that's kinda what I figured." But as he went back to typing away on his keyboard, clearly not one hundred percent over the shock yet but hiding it well, a devilish grin broke out on my face. "I DO think you're hot though. Just for the record."
"Dude...don't..." He said with a slight grin of his own, shrugging away from me.
"If you ever feel like you need a really long, really wet, blowjob from somebody who's ACHING to do it for you..."
"DUDE! Ewww! Ok, that's enough gay talk for right now! Don't make me grab the slingshot!" We had a few giggles over it, and I knelt down beside his chair as he started searching the website again. Waiting for some of our friendly comfort to return to us took about ten minutes or so. I guess that's to be expected though, I did drop a pretty big bomb on him out of nowhere. I wondered if he meant what he said. If it really was ok that I liked other boys. God he was cute. So cute that it almost hurt to be this close to him and not have my lips touching him somewhere. I won't lie...for the first few minutes, having him know that I was gay...the urge to kiss him was damn near OVERWHELMING me! Almost to the point where I thought I'd have no control over myself. But as we began to melt back into our normal behavior again, Jason looked at me and shook his head as he mumbled, "Summer Camp....psh! You're SUCH a weirdo." And I couldn't help but let a small grin spread out on my lips. I guess I didn't need all of that mushy romace and candy kisses from Jason just to be absorbed in his company. Besides, at this point, it would probably be like kissing my brother or something. So I suppose a part of my heart finally let the fantasy go, at long last. But I had enough goofy memories to keep me grinning the rest of my life. A few moments later when he saw my smile, Jason turned to me with an even bigger smirk. He put his arm over my shoulder, and with a giggle, he gave me a boyishly affectionate gesture that was somewhere between a tight hug and a tight headlock. I laughed as he shook me in his manly embrace, basically letting me know that we were still cool. And always would be. Thank God. Whew...ok, so I didn't get to wrap my lips around what must be the most incredibly DELICIOUS boner in high school...but I feel like I got an even better friend than I had before. One that now understood me a LOT better than he did a few hours ago. And somehow, that was just as satisfying.
Still wish I could've given him that blowjob though. He can be SOOO sexy!
The next day, when I saw Summer before first period, she was teasing her short dark hair in the mirror she had set up in her locker door. I walked up to her with a giant grin on my face, and she made me wait until she fixed her bangs before turning around. "What are you so happy about?"
"Life is great! That's what!" I smiled.
"Life is great? Curious." Then, she examined my face a bit closer...and I watched as her eyes popped open wide. "Omigod! No way! You told Jason???"
"Yep! I did it! Just last night!" I could hardly contain myself.
Summer gave me a short lived scream before covering her mouth with her hand and looking around the hall to make sure nobody was staring at us. Then she wrapped her arms around my neck and gave me a hug strong enough to almost knock me off balance. "Wow! Oh Gabe, I can't believe you did it! Do you know how awesome this is? That means we can all be on the same page when we hang out now!" She beamed. "That's so sweet! What did he SAY?"
"He didn't really SAY much of anything. I mean, I think it kinda surprised him a bit...but, once it sunk in, he just kinda gave me this 'hug' and everything was cool after that."
I swear, I thought Summer was going to tear up and ruin what little make up she had on her face. "That is just PERFECT, Gabe! It really is!"
"Yeah...." I started, then shrugged my shoulders a bit. "..Well...not PERFECT...but it's cool. 'Perfect' would have had an entirely different outcome. But...you know..." Summer looked at me for a moment, and I blushed, turning away from her.
"What are you trying to tell me, here?"
"Nothing. Come on, we've gotta get to class."
She giggled, her accusing eyes focused on my bashful grin. "I don't even wanna know, dude." She said.
"No...no you don't. Hehehe....it would have been nice though." I said.
"Well, at least I know you've got good taste in boys." She said, and gently took my arm as she walked with me to our first class of the day. "We totally have to compare notes on who's cute in this 'zoo'!"
I swear, I smiled for the rest of that week. And the only problem that Jason seemed to have with the whole situation was that I told Summer first. I think, over time, Jason took to the idea of me being gay much better than I expected him to. If anything, he was the first one to make it ok to kinda joke about it. I'll have to admit though, the fact that he took no interest in even 'trying' to be gay...even for a little fifteen minute roll in the hay or something...stung a little bit. I couldn't help but feel a pinch of disappointment. I mean, that was a few years worth of fantasizing that I had to erase now. But, what can I say? He got used to me being gay, and I got used to him being straight. And when we finally came to terms with each other, there wasn't really much difference at all.
Things were great. The people closest to me knew who I was. And in some strange way, that was helping ME to find out who I was too. It was an experience that I never expected to be so easy, and so fulfilling. It was so uplifting that I never really expected things to change.
Things always change.
It had been maybe a month since my confession to Jason, and the three of us remained just as close as we always had in the past. And then...came the cafe. "You're gonna love this place, Gabe. They've got this really awesome hot apple cider in this big mug, with whip cream on top, and this warm caramel swimming around at the bottom of the glass. Dude, it's mindblowing!" Summer said, holding my arm as she always did.
"Where did you guys hear about this place again?" I asked.
"A friend of mine told me about it. It's cool." Jason said, but something about the look on his face was...I dunno...'different'.
"Ok." I said. "So it's just us three, right?"
"Dude, stop it! What's with all the questions today???" Jason snapped. What the heck has gotten HIM so wound up.
"All of WHAT questions? That was,like, TWO." I told him.
"Don't worry, you'll love it. This place is great." Summer was trying to distract me, and now I was wondering if this was more than just us 'hanging out' on a Saturday afternoon.
It wasn't my birthday, or any kind of holiday, so it wasn't like a surprise party or anything. But SOMETHING had to be up. From the second that we walked in the door, I was scanning the cafe for a familiar face or some kind of clue that would give their secret away. Nothing. Nowhere. This was weird, but I played along. I suppose I'll find out eventually.
We sat down at one of the large wooden tables of the place, and absorbed the laid back atmosphere of the place. We ordered three of the giant caramel ciders and the waitress told us that it would be a five to ten minute wait while they got a new batch ready, and then we could order. Any place where a glass of apple cider takes THAT long...it's GOTTA be good! So we just sat at the table and joked around a bit for the first fifteen minutes, laughing and teasing each other as we always did. And then...I think I got my surprise.
"What's up? Sorry, I'm late. Work kept me for a few minutes more to fix up the comic book section." Came a voice from over my shoulder, and a 'boy' sat down at our table, right across from me. My first glance was flooded with a level of beauty that was almost too much to handle without warning. I made sure to yank my eyes away and close my open mouth before he caught me gawking at him helplessly. I had never seen him before, but my smile disappeared, and I clammed up immediately. "Hi..." He said, looking me right in the eye. It felt like I had swallowed a brick when his eyes first connected to mine, and I shimmied in my chair a little as my limbs turned to jelly.
"Hi..." I answered him, but my voice couldn't have been much more than a whisper. I think...I think his presence just really caught me off guard, is all.
"This is my best bud, Gabe, and this is Summer." Jason did the introductions, and the other boy happily shook hands and gave us a polite smile. His soft skin came into contact with mine, and I was almost afraid to hold his hand for more than a split second because it was making me blush. I think that my brain suddenly froze up on me, as I couldn't really get past the initial first glance of him, and yanking my hand back so fast from his shake made it look like he had burned my fingers. He was wearing black jeans that hung a little low on him, mostly because his stomach was so incredibly flat, and a button down black denim shirt that he wore open to reveal a gleaming white tshirt underneath. And a cute shark tooth necklace around his neck, hanging just below his collarbone. To be near him was a breathtaking experience. Yes, I was definitely...'impressed'. "Guys, this is Niles. I met him the last couple of times our school basketball team beat the pants off of his! Not that they had much chance to begin with!" Jason said with a smirk, and Niles didn't have much choice but to shrug in reluctant agreement.
"You guys could attribute some of those points to LUCK, you know?" He said, a gentle Irish accent gliding over certain words when he spoke. His voice was a bit lighter than I expected it to be, but I thought it was really cute. Each and every syllable seemed to slide gracefully off of the tip of his tongue with this seductive sense of grace, you know? The rhythm with which he spoke made his words dance across the table, and I was entranced. I already knew that I could just listen to him talk for hours, and he had only been talking for a few seconds.
"Yep! And the 'rest' of the points belong to me." Jason let a cocky grin cross his lips, and posed a bit with his 'beginners biceps' flexed for effect. "Meaning that we have just enough points to beat you, three games to your....um...ZERO!"
"Whatever. We'll see what happens when your luck runs out, and you're forced to score on 'skill' alone. Then we'll see." Niles smiled, and his eyes connected with mine briefly before I forced my gaze downward again. I'm pretty sure that he noticed me. But what else was I to do? You could feel his every glance in your lower abdomen, for crying outloud! It was terrifying! It was like having someone put an ice cold stethescope to your nuts and watching you flinch and cower from the sensation. "So what did you guys order so far? I have no idea what to get." God...his voice was so enchanting. Almost erotic in its delivery. It made me fidget again just to hear it.
"The cider! You've GOT to have some! Trust me on this!" Summer said happily.
"Oh, alright. If that's the recommendation of the day, I'm all for it." He said.
Niles was slightly taller than me by a few inches, but the same weight, if not less, from the looks of it. But he was...REALLY cute. The kind of cute that you only see in magazines and boy band album covers. He had this medium length, super soft, dark brown hair, that was just a little bit longer in the back than up front. And it was like...'perfect', you know? Straight, and light, and 'touchable'. And since his hair was so dark, it was an amazingly beautiful contrast to his eyes. His eyes were huge! Like a baby deer, you know? And they were this spectacular mix of ice blue and mint green that was more than intimidating to look at. And yet, those giant pools of expressive majesty just seemed to pull you in to stare at them longingly whether you wanted to or not. And his voice. That angelic voice, his accent only really strong on little words and phrases here and there. Just strong enough to make a presence while he was speaking. I loved it. He was really slim, his body looking almost serpentine in his clothes, his belt...merely for show on his trim hips. You just wanted to run your fingers lightly up and down the center of his flat chest, and down over his soft stomach, that looked almost sucked in at the waist. But it wasn't the kind of body that looked like he put a lot of 'work' into it. It was still sweet, and pure, with the kind of visible sponginess that allowed him to walk that thin line between the high school athlete and the proverbial boy next door sweetheart. It was the kind of gorgeous package that inspires love, lust, and a neverending infatuation from all angles of the room. Jesus...what the hell was he even DOING here?
"I don't think I've ever had apple cider in this place before. So, I'll have to take your word for it, I figure." Niles said, his eyes, once again, sweeping over secretly to connect with my dreamy haze for a quick second before looking back at Jason.
"It's good. I like it." Jason said, and Summer smiled.
"Actually, you know this is Gabe's first time having the cider too. In fact, he's never been here before." She said.
I suddenly felt this imaginary 'spotlight' suddenly shift to me, and the pressure of the situation suddenly fell down on me like an avalanche of bowling balls. My breath simply rushed out of me in one swift gasp, and my heart felt like it was trying to pump liquid concrete through my veins. And to make things worse, Niles looked over at me with an alluring smile, his big bright blue green high beams almost blinding me from their brilliance, and he said, "Is that so? Well, good. I won't be the only virgin here today, then." And his smile widened while I blushed and forced my eyes back down to the table again. There was a pause where nobody said anything, and then Niles said, "Well...I'm gonna go up and order one so we can all get them close to the same time. You said it takes about ten minutes, right?"
"Yeah, about." Summer answered.
"Ok. I'll be right back then." Niles got up from his seat, and his eyes glanced at me again. "Do you want anything while I'm up?" Was he directing that to just ME?
"Um...no. I'm fine." I muttered under my breath.
"Ok then. I'll be back." He grinned a bit, and backed up a few steps, before turning around to go to the counter. I would have kept my eyes on him the entire walk over there, but I didn't want Jason and Summer to know I was watching. Wow....he's...um....he's...nice
I let my eyes wander over to Niles as he was ordering his cider. Damn...he was really stunning to behold. Summer surprised me as she yanked my attention back to the table and said, "Earth to Gabe? What's wrong?"
Trying not to look phased at all by the overwhelming emotional crash that their new 'friend' had caused inside of me, I tried my best to look unimpressed. "Nothing. Just thinking about....something. Something 'else', I mean." I shrugged it off, and waited a second or two for their attention to leave me for a moment so I could take another peek at him. I couldn't help it. My eyes gravitated to him helplessly, as though my vision couldn't believe his beauty was real. He was at the counter, leaning on it with one elbow as the lady at the register went to get more change from the back. I watched his super slim profile just stand there and peacefully 'exist' for a few seconds. He reached up a hand, and let his long thin fingers run through his shiny dark hair to tuck it gently behind his ear on one side. It only took a second, but to me, it was in slow motion. I had to fight just to keep from gasping. And then, he turned his head to look back at me from across the room...another gentle smile crossing his thin kissable lips. I looked away quickly, and Summer was giggling sweetly to herself while Jason looked out of a nearby window to hide his grin.
"WHAT?" I asked, hoping that it didn't sound too accusatory.
"Nothing. Relax." Summer replied. "Geez, paranoid much?"
I was glad to let it go. But so help me, I'll KILL them both if they start teasing me about it! They shouldn't be 'watching' me anyway. They should be minding their own business. I took another short peek, and this time, Niles was the one to turn away. Was he watching me? I couldn't tell. It might have just been because the lady returned with his change. Still, it gave me a chill, you know? This shiver that seemed to affect my soul more than it did my physical form. It was like this...cool giddy sensation that kept me grinning without the added relief that a grin usually brings. Ugh...I always get like this around cute boys. It must be a defect in my hormones somewhere. I timidly asked Jason a question, attempting to appear as uncaring as possible. "So...is Niles a friend of yours?"
"Sorta. I just know him from playing against his school in a few games. Sometimes a few guys from his bus hang out with us after a victory. I couldn't even BEGIN to tell you why, though. But he's good people. We hung out once or twice, and he's cool. Besides, he works at the newsstand across the street. He's never been here before, so I figured I'd invite him along." Jason said. "So...do you like him?"
"I don't even know him." I replied.
"Well, give it a while. You will. But so FAR...I mean, he's pretty cool, right? He just turned 16 a month and a half ago. He basically told me that if HE gets a car, then we ALL got a car. Really nice guy."
"Yeah...he seems friendly."
"VERY friendly. And he's not your average dumbass either. He's way smart. AND he can draw anime too! I've seen his stuff, it's good! Isn't that cool?"
"Sure...I guess." I looked at Jason sideways for a second.
"Well, I just figured that since you like anime and all that stuff, you'd dig it. You should bring that up when he comes back."
"Bring it up?" I asked.
"Yeah....well...I mean if you want to. It's your call." He said, and I could have sworn that I saw Summer give him a hidden signal to shut the hell up.
I was a bit suspicious about this whole thing, as Jason doesn't usually care one way or the other what we think of other people he's 'affiliated' with. Not to mention that he hardly ever turns down the opportunity to be the center of attention. I know Jason, and he doesn't usually just 'give' me the greenlight, and then simply 'chill out' in the background of a conversation. I don't know. Something about this just really felt...off.
"Yeah. I guess so." I said, and looked back over at Summer who was cheesing a silly grin like the joker in a deck of cards.
"S'all set." Niles announced as he came walking back to our table. He had such an awesome 'stride' when he walked. Even THAT was cute. "It shouldn't be too long now. So you better be telling me the truth about this cider, because it wasn't cheap." I was instantly drawn to him all over again, and stared at him, unable to do anything more than smile. Just then, our eyes met...again, and it became obvious that our eye contact wasn't as 'accidental' as I had originally thought it was. He was definitely trying to get my attention. I began to feel uncomfortably stiff under the table, thankful that my lower half was hidden from view. It wouldn't go down. The erection swelled to its full length, and I closed my legs tight, leaning forward so I could hide my hardness from any roaming eyes in the room. But I felt awkward and clumsy, trying to look normal as my mind was wrestling with ways to calm the savage beast below. This had to stop! I distracted myself a little by talking to Summer, trying to physically wiggle my way out of feeling that intense pressure that Niles was putting on my emotions. And my heart. Wondering if he could see my sudden attraction to him. Wondering if maybe Jason let it slip that I was gay, and he was watching me to make sure I wasn't being a pervert or anything. I mean, Niles was fucking gorgeous! Gay boys must lose all control whenever he walks into a room. I'm sure he's always on the lookout for some homo to be staring at his ass. Little did he know, that it was eyes alone that had captivated me to the point of almost falling out of my chair.
We entertained some small conversations back and forth until our cider came. The waitress set them down in big mugs that almost took two hands to hold, and they were almost hot enough to burn our fingertips...but not quite. You could not only see the caramel in the glass, but you could see the bittersweet runoff that dribbled down the outside of the mug, and puddled on the napkin beneath it. Then there was the slowly melting mountain of whip cream at the top. It was so tasty that you didn't mind the discomfort it took to sip the hot liquid from the edge of the glass. Jason and Summer weren't kidding...this was EXCELLENT! I'd enjoy it a lot more if my emotions were in working order. But I did get a slight sexual thrill out of seeing Niles continually lick the whip cream off of his upper lip time and time again. And the tang of the cider displayed the most 'subtle' dimples in each of his cheeks. How can he possibly get any cuter?
I did what I could to get myself comfortable and stop fidgeting so much. But his every movement was like a wet dream to me. It tingled all over and made me weak from the inside out. It was a struggle to keep from withdrawing away from the rest of the group. I tried, but when you're in the presence of something like...like...HIM...everything you want to say comes out wrong. Even when it's right it feels wrong. His sweet accent didn't help matters any, because it was sexy as hell. When combined with the delicate melody of his voice, it was like a weapon against every ability that I had to keep from squirming in my seat. His tongue could just 'angle' words in the most adorable way, and even when he was talking fast, as he tended to do every now and then, you could understand every word. Or maybe I was just paying him more attention than anybody else at that table, sighing to myself at the end of his every sentence. I took as many opportunities to glance at his smooth face as I could. It sounds weird, but if I could just press my cheek up against his and hold his lithe body up against me...I'd be in heaven. No other boy has ever captured my hormones and shaken them up so quickly before. I used to pride myself on being intelligent and selective enough to not let a pretty face rattle me this way. But everything about him was beautiful, from his looks to his mannerisms to the way he sometimes had to tilt his head to keep the fringe of his hair from dipping into his cider. The whole package sent me spiraling down into a helpless infatuation from which there was no escape. And that made me even MORE nervous.
As our stay had reached over an hour, I felt slightly more comfortable just having Niles at the table with us. But it was only because I was getting used to talking to him as little as possible. I shared a laugh or two with him, sure, and he made sure to ask me questions directly if I got too quiet. But deep down, I knew that the only way for me to keep from becoming even MORE of a lovestruck puppy over this boy was to avoid any kind of connection with his seemingly infectious personality. He just had this sweet sense of charm that radiated off of him with little to no effort at all. It shined in his eyes, it glowed in his smile, it pranced around playfully with every witty second of his almost unnatural ease with conversation. His very aura hit you from all angles. And he had the cutest laugh. I swear, you could even hear a bit of that Irish lilt in his chuckle. It was beyond adorable. The thing that really got to me, though, was the fact that his eyes were constantly gliding over to look at me the whole time. I mean, not like he was sneaking a peek or anything. It was more like he wanted me to see him. And if I ever got up enough courage to let my eyes linger on his stare for an extra second or two...he wasn't afraid to hold the contact. In fact, once...he even SMILED at me, with an almost nonexistant blush in his cheeks. At that point, I tried to take a sip of my cider and missed my mouth completely. Luckily, it was just enough to dribble out of my lips and drip down to my chin. We all got a giggle out of it, but it was Niles who was first to offer me a napkin to wipe it off. He laughed at my jokes, and was always glued to me when I spoke. It was like he really took an instant liking to me, and it only made the rubbery feeling in my lower abdomen all the worse as I wiggled some more in my seat to keep my guts from twisting up too tightly. Wow! He's really got me doing backflips here, and he doesn't even know it. Geez, I hope Jason and Summer don't see me making a fool out of myself. I think I was trying even HARDER to hide my infatuation from them than I was from Niles. They already KNEW that I was gay! And they know when I'm not being myself. Sit a cute boy in front of me and witness any weird behavior, and the next thing I know they'll be poking fun at me from now until we're ALL 103 years old! I can't have that. So I worked up whatever mask of normality that I could, and attempted to slow down my racing heart to a speed more manageable.
"Hold on a sec..." Summer said, and reached in her jacket pocket to get her ringing cell phone. "Hello? Wait, I can't hear you." She said. "Hold that thought. I'll be right back, you guys." Then she got up and left the table to go stand right outside the front door of the cafe so that she could talk on the phone.
Then, a second or two later, Jason got up and said, "I'm going to the bathroom. I'll be back." And then he patted me on the shoulder on his way out. Leaving me there alone with Niles. Alone. And nervous beyond belief.
I think my hands were the first thing to tremble. The sudden silence was so thick that I could barely breathe. I began tearing my napkin into little shreds just to keep my fingers busy and my eyes down, but then my feet started to nervously tap on the floor beneath me. And I was SURE that Niles could hear it. I didn't even know I was doing it until the sound reached my ears. That only made me more nervous, and I had to consciously make an effort to stop. It was a chain reaction that got my stomach to flutter wickedly beyond my control. And when I peeked up into his bright blue green eyes, he smiled at me. I instantly slammed my gaze back down to the table, and my trembles got worse. I didn't know what the hell else to do or say, so I let a soft giggle escape my lips, and shrugged my shoulders timidly. Not that it had any meaning, or that I had anything to laugh about, or....sighhh...I didn't know how else to break that silence! Ok? That was all my tormented sexed up mind could come up with. "So...Gabe, is it?" He said, his sweet voice tickling the whole of my insides all at once.
"Y-y-yeah?" I stuttered, clearing my throat.
"What do you do?" He asked.
"Do? What do you mean?"
"What's your thing? Everybody's got one. I figure you're hiding a little special gift or talent in there somewhere. I'm curious as to what it is."
I looked up at him briefly, and his eyes nearly paralyzed me. But I fought to look him in the eye anyway, for the sake of not appearing terrified. And, BOY, was THAT a fight! "Oh...umm...I dunno, really. Nothing, I guess. Or...at least, I haven't found it yet."
"Ahh, well that can be admirable, believe me." He said, turning my lame answer into something cool. This boy was pure magic. "The ones that take their time and define themselves before their goals often have the most passion when it comes to doing what they really wanna do. So cheers to that." He raised his mug of cider, and after an awkward moment of not knowing how to respond, I raised mine as well. We clinked glasses and took a hearty sip of the cooling cider with a smile. Our eyes met again for a brief moment, and something deep in the pit of my stomach felt like it was shrinking to the size of a marble. The strange thing is...it felt kinda good. Almost like it tickled. And I giggled a bit to myself again. My cheeks were burning. I had to have been SO red in the face at that moment.
Attempting to return Niles' friendly conversation, I swallowed hard and asked, "So, Jason says you work at the newsstand across the street, huh?"
"Yeah. I like it. It's nothing special, just a temporary gig to keep some dollars in my pocket. But I get free snacks, I can read all the magazines I want when it's not busy, and at the end of the month, whatever they don't sell...I get to keep if I want to."
"Really? You get to keep 'em?"
"Sure. All we do is tear the front cover off and throw them away anyway. So anything I want, I just take home."
"Cool." I said, feeling the increase of pressure as I realized that Niles and I were actually getting....'acquainted' here. With no one else around. It was like an advanced game of hackey sack, with him speaking, and me trying to speak back to him, so scared that I was going to screw up and drop the ball. But the further the game went, the more it felt like my chest was tightening up. And shameless flirtatious grins seemed to appear on my face all by themselves, even though I didn't mean to do it. And just seeing that Niles seemed to get boyishly flustered by every one, only produced more effort on my part. Wow...this is so unbelievable. If Niles isn't careful with all of this charm, he's gonna end up with a hopeless gay crush on his hands. "Sooo...maybe I can come in and get a 'hook up' some time, then?" I smiled.
"Actually..." Niles leaned closer to lower his voice, and motioned for me to lean closer too. You have NO idea how freaked out I was to bring my face even closer to his than it already was. I swear, my heart was about to explode at this point. Not to mention that he had the faintest scent of almond and vanilla on the collar of his shirt, or maybe it was his hair, and it was like candy to my senses. "...Your friend, Jason, he really likes the nudie mags we've got in there." He whispered.
"Hehehe, are you serious?" I chuckled.
"DEAD serious! I mean, we met during the basketball games, sure. But the real reason we started talking to each other is because he can't browse through the adult section of the store. So at the end of the month, when the new mags come in, and the old ones go out...I make sure to go in the trash and snag him a couple. So..."
"You're his 'porn' dealer!" I giggled.
"Hehehe, SHHHHH! Yeah, basically!" He told me, and while the idea of Jason jacking off to porn was almost too hot for me to imagine, the fury of Niles' gorgeous eyes held my focus, his smile making them sparkle with a fascination that defied all reason. His teeth were so white, and the apple cider and caramel on his breath was intoxicating. When he leaned back away from me, I missed the closeness we were sharing for those few seconds instantly.
"That's so wrong, it's right!" I told him basfully, leaning back to keep my composure. Niles laughed a bit, looking over his shoulder to make sure neither Jason or Summer were on their way back to the table or not. "I'm sure you snag a couple for yourself too, huh?"
"Snag a few what?"
"You know...girlie mags."
"Hehehe! Oh, nah. I don't really go for that kinda stuff." Niles grinned.
"What? C'mon...every heterosexual man on the planet loves girlie mags."
"Yeah....well, I wouldn't know." He told me with a smirk.
I don't know how long it took for what Niles just said to 'compute'. I don't know if time had stopped completely, or just for me. All I knew was that I had suddenly found myself on the other side of that eternal silence...where my brain is trying to figure out if my first impression of what this boy had just said to me was real or not. I felt my smile starting to fade, and I worked to keep it up at full blast so as not to let on that anything was wrong. Or...I mean...WAS anything wrong? Maybe not. I just...I didn't know what to think. So I just kinda sat there, trying to find a smooth way of getting our conversation back without drawing too much attention to the fact that I just totally tripped all over myself.
"Oh..." I said.
"What?" He asked.
"Nothing." My smile was geting harder and harder to hold up. Not because I wasn't happy. It's just...everything changed in that instant. Everything. "So...you don't like...girls. Right?" I asked. DUMB question, Gabe! Jesus!
Niles blushed a bit, and shyly looked down at his hands. "I like 'em just fine. I'm just not attracted to them sexually, you know?" He said. His eyes looked up at me briefly, and it felt like my very soul had just fallen out of my body completely and left a shell sitting there at that table with him. "I'm just not one for hiding it, you know? I'll never get a boyfriend that way." Niles let his smile warm my heart from across that table, and his lips never looked so soft. So kissably soft.
"Oh..." I said.
"Hehehe, again with the 'ohs'!" Niles giggled. "C'mon, it CAN'T be all that shocking, can it?"
"No. Not at all, I just...it's cool." I said, and then...smiled. "It's...it's REALLY cool, actually." I didn't know what to feel. I mean, at first, I was bewildered. Then I was kinda turned on. Then I was self conscious. Then turned on again. Then...confused. And after that, something strange happened. All of that emotion seemed to swirl itself up into a big ball, and it turned into this polluted mixture of being hurt and being angry. All of the sudden, it turned cold, and this new emotion hit me out of nowhere. But it clicked. I got it. Jason's friend, this cafe way on the other side of town, Summer's grin, and this heartbreaking teen boy model just so HAPPENS to be gay, and meeting us on a Saturday afternoon? I was being SET UP! Goddammit! My own friends set me up! They left the table and purposely tried to push me off on this guy like some kind of desperate farm animal that had to be mated for better production of goods! I was SO humiliated at that moment that I didn't know what to do!
They made a sucker out of me...and in front of one the cutest, most deliciously handsome boys on the entire planet! Sighhhhh...I am REALLY gonna hurt them when they get back!