Chapter 1: Fluttering By
**Author's Note:** Please read Chapter 00 before you begin this story.
I had spent the past hour or so looking around the local gay bookstore, going over their selection of DVDs, hoping to find something that excited me. It was Friday night and it looked as if it was going to be another long, lonely weekend, so I needed to find something to entertain me. After selecting a couple of hopeful looking titles, I checked out and headed for my vehicle. As I exited the building, I heard a voice say, "Are you looking for some company tonight?"
I turned sharply, expecting to see the usual street pro trying to make a quick score, but was surprised to see an attractive, smiling young man. Even though he was a bit taller than I am, looking at his face I judged him to underage. I thought to myself, `This looks like a set-up. I'll bet big brother is trying to nail me for solicitation or unlawfully dealing with a minor, if not worse.'
"Sorry," I said, eyeing him carefully. "You look like you're young enough to get me a long prison sentence." His expression suddenly changed and his grin disappeared. As I started to leave, he hurriedly moved to block my path.
"I'm legal," he protested, once I came to a stop, "and I'll do anything to make enough to buy a decent meal. I'm hungry and haven't eaten in a while. Please, mister. I mean it. I'll do anything you want."
I looked at him again. He was about my height, but on the slender side. In fact, he was quite skinny. Not only that, but his clothes hung off his body in such a way that it looked as if someone had purchased them a couple of sizes too large. His hand kept drifting to his crotch, as he adjusted himself through his pants, and I wasn't sure if this was a nervous habit, an unconscious act or if he was trying to emphasize his package to entice me.
As I looked back at his face, I figured he must have suspected I was a soft touch, but he was wrong. I'd only been out of college a little more than a year, but I had learned about street hustlers during my undergraduate years, because the university was in a large, metropolitan area. I quickly discovered the best way to deal them was not to give them any money. On the off chance that he was being honest, though, I offered him an alternative.
"Look, I was just about to go eat myself," I told him, "so, if you'd like to join me, I'd be happy to buy your meal for you." He looked a bit puzzled, so it took a few seconds before he responded.
"You want me to go eat with you?" he asked, as if he were uncertain he had heard me correctly.
"Yes, unless you aren't really hungry," I countered. "Is there a problem with that?"
"Not really, but... but I didn't think you'd really want people to see us together?" he finally added.
"Why? Have you been featured on `Cops' or is your `Wanted' poster currently on display in the Post Office?" I asked, trying to make a joke out of his statement.
"Hell, no," he answered, not finding my question humorous at all. "Why would you think that?" he asked in return, somewhat offended.
"It's just that I couldn't think of any other reason why I might not want to be seen with you," I admitted. "You're a handsome young man and you aren't badly dressed, even though the clothes are a bit large on you, so why else should I care. In fact, you look decent enough to go just about anywhere to eat. The only thing is, I won't go to a fast food place. Is that okay with you?"
"Ah... yeah," he stammered. "Anything you want... since you're paying the bill," he added, before giving me an impish little grin.
"Okay, then what are you up for?" I asked. "Are you in the mood for Italian, Chinese or would you prefer to stick to a place that offers more traditional meals?" He thought for a second.
"Italian sounds pretty good," he told me. "I could go for spaghetti or pizza."
"How about spaghetti AND pizza?" I shot back, which caused his eyes to nearly pop out of their sockets.
"Oh, no," he replied, panicked. "One or the other will be fine." I knew instantly that he was concerned about spending too much of my money and I thought that was quite admirable. I decided to make it a little easier for him.
"Well, I wouldn't mind having a little of each," I told him, "if you wouldn't mind having the same." His smile quickly returned and broadened this time. His face was nearly glowing as he responded.
"That sounds really good to me," he agreed, as his tongue delicately slid across his lips, making me wonder if that was in anticipation of the food or a sexual signal to me. I decided it was best not to go there, so I put it out of my mind and led him to my car. I had him take off his backpack and throw it on the backseat, and then he quickly got in front, with me. At that point, he seemed a little uncertain about going off with someone he had known for only a few minutes and had the potential of doing who knew what to him. He seemed to mentally debate what he should do next for a few seconds, before his hunger made him ignore his other concerns. Soon, we were heading down the street to a little Italian restaurant I'd discovered a few weeks earlier and had eaten at a couple of times since.
Once we were inside and seated, I questioned him as to what he liked on his pizza and then ordered two spaghetti and meatball dinners, along with a medium sausage, pepperoni and mushroom pizza. A few minutes later, the waiter brought a large bowl of salad and a basket of freshly baked bread and set them on the table.
"I hope you like salad," I told him, as he eyed the large bowl. He nodded weakly. "Help yourself then, and to the bread too," I added. "Don't be shy. Tonight you can eat as much as you like and what we don't eat we can take with us when we leave." His face was radiant as he shyly looked up at me, just before he started filling his plate with the greens.
Over the next hour, we both ate well, but he managed to down even more than I did. During the meal, I studied him carefully and came to appreciate what an attractive young man he was. He wasn't stunningly gorgeous, like some actors or models, but he did have this cuteness and charm about him that immediately tugged at my heartstrings. I had to be careful that I didn't stare so much that he would catch me perving on him.
When we finished our meal, I asked the waiter to box up everything we hadn't finished and then bring us the bill. After paying and leaving the waiter a decent tip, the young man followed me back outside. "I take it you also could use a place to stay," I prodded, as we made our way to my car. This simple statement changed his relaxed posture into a defensive stance.
"Ah, I have a place," he quickly replied, although he seemed quite nervous as he did so. I merely stared at him, to let him know I didn't quite buy his answer. "I do," he insisted.
"If you say so," I told him, still not convinced, "but I'd be willing to let you stay with me if you didn't, no strings attached."
"What's that supposed to mean?" he snapped back.
"It means, you wouldn't have to do anything in order to stay at my place," I answered, matter-of-factly. "No questions, no payments of any form and no expectations. The only thing I'd ask is that you not use drugs in my house, not steal anything and you pick-up after yourself. I'm not your maid nor your mother," I added with a wink, "so I don't expect to have to clean up your messes."
He didn't say anything else, so we got into the car and I started the engine. Before I put the car into gear, I looked over at him, preparing to ask my next question. He appeared to be deep in thought, but I couldn't go anywhere until I broached this next point. "Okay, then where should I drop you off?"
He didn't answer right away and he didn't look up either. He seemed to be having a private argument with himself, about what he should do or say next. After a minute or two of very awkward silence, he finally spoke. "Did you really mean what you said?" he wanted to know, still not quite certain about my intentions.
"I meant everything I said or I wouldn't have said it," I assured him. He looked me up and down once more, swallowed hard and then responded.
"Well, I slept in a park last night and was planning to do that again tonight," he admitted, "but I didn't really feel safe there. I don't know why I trust you, but I do, so if you wouldn't mind me staying with you, I'd really appreciate it." I couldn't help but smile and feel pleased. I had gained his trust and he was willing to take another chance with me.
"I know your backpack is in the back," I told him, "but is there anything else you need to pick up? That doesn't seem like very many possessions for someone on his own." He turned toward me and his mouth dropped open.
"Damn, if I didn't know better, I'd think you'd been following me around," he responded with a cheeky grin. "Yeah, I've got a few more things. I left them at the park, over off of Tenth Street. I hid a gym bag with my clothes in the bushes there. I didn't think anyone would want to steal them, but I did take the better stuff with me," he added, nodding toward his backpack.
"It's quite dark," I commented. "Do you think you'll be able to find it now?"
"Yeah, no problem," he assured me. "I know exactly where it is." That was good enough for me, so I took off.
Once we got to the park, I pulled into a parking space and then we both got out. I followed him to the place where he'd left his other belongings, but I stayed a little behind him as we walked. Even though he had said I didn't need to go along, I wanted to make sure nothing happened to him. It didn't take him long to retrieve his bag and we quickly returned to my car. As I drove away, I brought up one more detail.
"I know it's kind of late for introductions, but I assumed we'd just eat together and then go our own way. However, since you're going to stay with me, I think we should at least know each other's names. I'm Leo," I explained, while offering him my hand.
"Ah... Colton," he countered, while shaking my hand weakly, "but everyone just calls me Colt."
"Nice to know you, Colt," I replied, before starting to pull my hand away, but he held on to it. Since I didn't know what else to do, I let him continue to do so and drove using only my left arm. I didn't think he was even aware that he hadn't let go, but I was enjoying his warm, soft touch. I figured I'd leave it this way until he decided it was time to release it. We didn't say anything more until I pulled into my driveway and then I broke the silence.
"Well, this is my humble abode," I announced. "Grab you things and we'll head inside." Without acknowledging that he'd held onto my hand the entire way, he let go of it, got out of the car and retrieved his backpack and gym bag from the rear. Once he had his belongings, he followed me to the door. I quickly unlocked it, held it open and motioned him inside.
"You own your own house?" Colt asked, as he passed by. I could see why this might confuse him.
"Yes, this used to be my grandfather's house," I explained. "It became mine when I turned twenty-one. You see, since my grandfather didn't get along with my father, he put me in his will instead. He left me this house and enough money to pay for college."
"Wow, that's great!" Colt exclaimed, appreciating my good-fortune.
"You're absolutely right, now let me give you the fifty cent tour," I announced. I didn't want to go into detail about my past with him yet, so I changed topics. Even though I knew it wouldn't be difficult for him to be able to find his way around my place, I showed him around. "This is the living room," I stated, sweeping my arm toward the area that contained my sofa, television, another chair and a few other furnishings. "Over there is the kitchen and that's the dining area," I added, "and if you'll follow me down this hallway, I'll show you the rest of the place."
Obediently, Colt followed me down the hallway. "My bedroom is at the end, on the right," I informed him, "and on the left are two other bedrooms, with a bathroom in between. You may use either room and make yourself comfortable. Look them over and see which one you'd prefer to stay in and then you can stow your things there and even clean up, if you want. Tomorrow, we can do your laundry, if your clothes need to be cleaned, and then we can discuss anything else that is on your mind."
Colt nodded and began to look around, so I left him alone and made my way back to the living room. I turned on the television and flipped through the channels, looking for something interesting to watch. Before I'd settled on anything, Colt came back into the room. "I really appreciate you're helping me like this," he began, "but why are you doing it?"
"Because you needed it," I replied, simply, stating the obvious.
"I know, but what do you get out of this?" he pressed.
"Your company and a pleasant face to look at," I answered. He smiled and blushed at my response.
"But no one does anything without getting something in return," he countered, showing his skepticism.
"Maybe most people," I agreed, "but the only thing I'll ask of you is that someday you'll do something for someone else who needs a helping hand." He looked at me strangely.
"I don't get it," he said. "What do you get out of that?"
"Why do I have to get something in return?" I asked him. "There are times when any of us could use someone coming to his assistance. Therefore, I'll help you, then you can help someone else and, hopefully, they'll do something to aid another person. I'll just be happy knowing that I started that chain reaction."
"You're not normal," he replied, before realizing what he said. "I mean... you're different from most people." I nodded my head in agreement before I replied.
"Yes, in more ways than you know," I concurred, not sure if he'd get the implied meaning of my response. If he did, he didn't show it. He just shrugged it off, before switching topics.
"Do you mind if I take a shower?" he wanted to know. "I feel like I need one bad."
"Not at all," I told him. "You'll find clean towels and wash clothes in the linen cabinet behind the bathroom door. There's shampoo in the shower, soap's on the sink, and you'll find a new toothbrush and toothpaste in the top drawer beside the sink. If you need anything else, just let me know."
"Thanks, but it looks like you've thought of everything," he chimed, before taking off down the hallway. As he walked away, I went back to channel surfing on the television. Before long, I heard the shower start and my mind fantasized about what he looked like naked. He was very good looking and I knew I had an attraction to him, but I was determined to keep my word and not hit on him. Realizing that letting my mind wonder about his physical attributes wasn't a good idea; I switched my attention back to the television and finally settled on something to watch. I don't even remember hearing the shower turn off or the door to the bathroom open, but I did notice when Colt stood beside me, clad only in a towel.
"I really don't have anything clean to wear," he announced. "Most of my things got damp the day it rained and now they smell funny," he explained, holding out his gym bag in my direction. Before I turned my attention to his belongings, I took a moment to notice that Colt was even better looking now that he was cleaned up. As he pushed the gym bag toward my nose, I smelled the musty odor almost immediately.
"Well, I was going to wait and do your laundry tomorrow," I explained, "but seeing this is kind of an emergency, I guess we can do a load or two now. Grab your things and follow me," I added, as I got up and started back down the hallway. The laundry room was located on the right side of the corridor, just before my bedroom.
"I was wondering what that door was for," Colt said, to no one in particular. "I thought maybe it was just a closet."
"Nope, this is laundry/utility room," I informed him, as I started the water flowing into the washer. Then I added the detergent and started to toss in a few of his belongings. "That door leads to the backyard," I indicated, while pointing toward another doorway, `so, if you ever get really filthy, I expect you to enter through there, so you don't track the mess into the living room."
"You sound like you expect me to be staying for a while," he countered, while watching my expression.
"As long as you follow the simple rules I told you earlier," I explained, "you may stay for as long as you need." I was about to say more, but didn't get the chance, as Colt took a couple of quick steps forward and embraced me in the most energetic hug I'd ever had. I was temporarily dumbfounded by his response, so I just stood there with my arms hanging limp at my side.
"Thank you, Leo. You are so good to me," he gushed. "I will do whatever you want."
"Well, let's start by going back to the living room and sitting down, and then you can tell me a bit about yourself," I responded. "I'm curious as to why you are out on your own, without having a place to sleep or food to eat."
Colt's head dropped lower onto my chest and his grip loosened. I was afraid I'd hit a nerve, so I decided to take him off the hook. "Look, that was just a suggestion and you don't have to tell me, if you really don't want to," I assured him. "I won't make you leave or anything."
Colt's head suddenly shot back up, but this time he had a mildly shocked expression on his face. "I didn't think you would," he confessed, "it's just that I don't know if I'll be able tell you. I've... well... ah, some of this stuff I've kind of kept secret. I've never told anyone much about me, so it's going to be hard."
"Colt, let's just forget it for now, then," I suggested, realizing how uncomfortable he was with my idea. The last thing I wanted to do was to make him feel ill at ease.
"No, you have a right to know," Colt countered, looking very serious. "After all you've done for me, the least I can do is tell you about me."
I knew he now felt obligated to do this, even if he didn't want to, which made me sorry I had made the suggestion in the first place. "When you feel ready you can tell me, but it doesn't have to be right now," I urged, trying to remove some of the pressure he might have felt. "Let's just watch some television and relax for now." He smiled at me again.
"There you go, trying to take care of me again," he responded, giving me a wink. "I'm not sure you know how good that makes me feel. No one's ever worried about what I thought or how I felt before." He was staring at me again, but this time in the same way a puppy would look at someone who had just fed and petted it. This situation was beginning to feel a bit awkward and I wasn't sure how to respond. Luckily, that's when I heard the final cycle of the washing machine coming to an end. Thinking quickly, I used that as an excuse to extricate myself from the uneasiness of the moment.
"Colt, I need to go take your clothes out of the washer and put them in the dryer," I announced, somewhat mechanically. "I'll start another load while the first is drying, so you should have some clean things to put on shortly." As I moved to take care of his things, Colt followed, but I think he was disappointed that I had not responded to his last statement.
With Colt scrutinizing my every move, I went through the motions of taking care of his laundry and then made my way to the living room again. Colt sat down facing the television, but I could tell he wasn't watching it. He was on the sofa across from me, while I sat in my chair. We continued in silence for several more minutes, while we both thought about everything that had transpired. Suddenly, Colt stood up, walked toward me and then sat on the arm of my chair.
"I want to tell you everything about me," he announced, his voice choked with emotion. "So, here it goes."
I was about to tell him he didn't have to do this again, when his towel fell open. My eyes were immediately drawn to his groin, like a moth to a flame.