On the whole, Sunday sauna sessions weren't my cup of tea.
Mainly because after a night of cheap drinks, burning white powders offered by nameless men and countless, topless, sweaty dancefloor hours, by morning I would be a mess.
And, let's face it, as far as hungover me cared the lord's day was for smoking weed, streaming movies and exploiting the convenience of a cock-crazed lad only a thin, plasterboard wall away.
Who needs the stress of showering and trimming and nakedly contorting inside a cramped shared bathroom with a travel douche when your head's pounding, your stomach's churning and a far easier way to subdue the incessant hangover horn is but a shuffle, flop and dorm room away?
I much preferred a hazy, easy day punctuated with lazy bursts of the irrepressible to round off my week. Indulging in blood-filled yearnings soothed by the heat of a practiced mouth and the hotter, tighter squeeze of a body, gracelessly flipped on its side and pulled toward me over and over until my balls emptied and a snooze gently tugged at my eyelids.
But today was no usual sabbath. Today my twinky convenience had proved to be anything but, and, after an unexpected but somewhat productive run-in with yet another guy I didn't know, who somehow managed to have a problem with me, I found myself walking, cold but clear-headed, to The Cellar.
The best sauna in town.
Best because, in the months I'd been a student, I'd tried them all. Not difficult, as there were only two, but that was still two more than the town I'd grown up in. And, unlike the dank, seedy places I'd been taken to in the past, usually by married men who couldn't bring me to their homes for obvious reasons, but jumped at the chance to spring for my entrance fee, these weren't run down or filthy or train rides to fuck-knows away.
They were accessible, clean and open every day thanks to the city's sprawling size and complementary subpopulation. But, more importantly, The Cellar offered a ten-percent discount upon display of a valid student ID card.
Initially, I'd taken Harry with me. After he'd realised geographic proximity wasn't going to equate to a relationship and he'd gotten over the ensuing disappointment, he'd been more than happy to hit up Google and see what fun we could get up to together.
However, after a disappointing visit to the more expensive but closer venue, aptly named Phantom, occupied on a Friday night by more staff than trade, our sights had rightfully set on The Cellar.
Even as we'd approached the place, down the same standard street lined with parked cars, bus stops and the occasional now pink-blossomed tree I was currently walking along, we'd seen guys coming and going through its inconspicuous doorway as if it were a gym.
When we'd paid our discounted fee, undressed, dumped our things in a locker and wrapped thin white towels around our waists, all under the watchful gaze of men in a range of ages, shapes and sizes, it had been clear this place was going to prove more fruitful.
As I'd watched Harry's big blue eyes widen before turning grey in the shadows of the chlorine darkness, and felt his milky body tremble with excitement as we'd explored the winding corridors, dark rooms and plastic padded cubicles, all while the rattle of chains echoed and the muffled grunts and moans of men rolled like fog, I'd known we would be in for a treat.
And what a treat it had been. With my swimmer's body and thick head of dark hair, alongside Harry's toned, slim frame topped with silky blond, we had been like honey to the muscled daddy bears in dark corners rubbing their growing cocks with equally growing grins stretching across wide, strong, hungry jaws.
But, after a month or so of occasional visits, Harry had stopped wanting to go. He had casually mentioned and then asked and then deliberately whinged about spending more time with just me and not "them".
By this point, the convenience of letting him think we were together and doing my own thing in my own time, massively outweighed the potential aggravation of a disgruntled neighbour with an axe to grind.
What he doesn't know won't hurt him. I'm not lying to him. I've just never corrected him. And besides, we won't be neighbours forever.
So, I'd started going solo. Rarely: discounts aside I was no rich student, living off government grants given to parentless kids like me. But, certainly, the odd evening here and there when Grindr had been quiet, Harry had been busy, or I'd just been bored or too idle to top.
It was all working out nicely, I told myself, as I reached The Cellar's entrance.
Without Harry following me around, I'll have Richard to myself ... If he's here.
After all, I didn't know if I could trust Toby, my disgruntled bus buddy.
He'd obviously been gutted when he'd found out Richard was married: enough to call off whatever they'd had together. And by the look on his face, after I'd told him Daddy Dick was not only divorced but free from the inconveniences of marital responsibility had chosen me as his hot, young, new thing to spoil, it was like watching an old scar rip open and bleed tiny, salty tears in the corners of his sad, brown eyes.
His fault for bringing it up.
But as I reached for the nondescript, dark grey, windowless metal door, it swung towards me and a boy, my age, walked out. Stepping back, I watched him pass without a word, and within a second, two feelings had gripped my stomach, flipping it upside down.
Jealously, hot and heavy. And then embarrassment, deep and roiling and debilitating.
The lad leaving had been stunning. My height but more muscular, his body had been flawless under tight grey tracksuit trousers, a fitted white t-shirt and grey hoodie left open. His hair was thick and dark and perfect, and his skin creamy and smooth.
Another reason why I avoided Sunday sauna sessions. They were the busiest. And busiest meant bigger, badder and better competition. A competition I still wasn't used to.
I'd been a big fish in a small pond before university. I hadn't needed to try – lads had thrown themselves at me. But now I was in an ocean. And oceans homed whales and sharks and creatures I'd only dreamt about in my wildest, darkest dreams.
Dreams that would became living nightmares if I faded into the background, ignored and forgotten amongst the ravenous feeding frenzy of plenty.
Of course, in hindsight, I should have been excited. Bounded around the cornucopia of youth and beauty like a spring lamb. But, back then, I wanted to be the best. I could tolerate Harry being with me because he was with me. Alone, I wanted all eyes on me and only me.
I need them.
The solution? I forced the feelings down to where all the other things I hated about myself and my life lurked, like memories of my parents, the ache of my ribs from healed breaks and the sporadic numbness in my right hand. Across the scars.
But, composed and clear headed once more, it still didn't change the fact I looked a state. I'd come straight from my argument with Harry. Hadn't showered, hadn't freshened up. I'd hoped to use Richard's shower, but in the rush of butting heads with Toby I'd been laser focused on getting to The Cellar than what I was going to do when I did.
They had facilities inside, of course. Rooms where you could clean out any necessary orifices. But even at a genuinely well-maintained venue like The Cellar, I'd learned a long time ago, simply by smell, that those rooms were best avoided.
Unless you're into that kind of thing.
Stepping back from the entrance, I evaluated my options. Going on the assumption that Richard was inside, I could shower, or just dunk my head under the water in one of the Jacuzzis. The wet look would be good enough in a towel.
But if he's inside he'll want to make the most of it. He'll want to bend me over. Eat arse. Play with my hole, like he's entitled to, before fucking me deep and hard and rough. Maybe even share me around. Hand pick the best potentials. Fuck!
Even though my cock was already swelling in my undies, and I was well aware a little mess couldn't be helped from time to time, I couldn't risk it. Couldn't risk ruining my pristine image. Shattering the idea Richard had of me because I'd foolishly forgotten to make myself presentable. Useable. He would find someone else in a matter of seconds.
Especially on a Sunday.
But, as I turned to leave, to sulk back to the bus stop and end up where I'd started with my tail between my legs, my phone began to vibrate. Quickly and in fast succession: a call. Pulling it out of my pocket, my heart almost skipped a beat at the name across the screen.
Taking a deep breath, I relaxed before pressing the green answer button. Placing the handset against my ear I perched on a nearby bike rail that curled thick and cold and rusted out of the concrete like an upside-down U.
`Hey,' I said.
`Hey there,' his voice came, tinny in the tiny speaker but still deep and stirring, willing my cock to stay hard.
`How you doing?' I said.
`Excellent thank you. Yourself?'
`Never better. Did you get my text?' I said.
`I did. But I have a feeling I don't need to tell you where I am.'
Shit. Toby's spoken to him already? They're still in contact? Play it cool.
`Oh yeah? Why's that?'
Silence: the call cut.
`Hello? Richard? For fuck's sake,' I said, frustration creeping as I tore my handset from my cheek to check the screen.
Then I jumped. A hand, hot and heavy, was on my shoulder.
Launching to my feet and batting the hand away I span on my heels: an inbuilt defence honed and perfected thanks to the cunts at school who had made themselves feel better by ruining my days.
But, now nineteen and many miles from bitter memories, as my hands raised already bunched into fists, the face smiling at me knocked the wind from my flapping sails in a flash.
It was Richard, dressed in dark blue jeans, tan suede shoes and a tight, dark navy sweater, most likely cashmere. Car keys in-hand; his rich, enticing aftershave hitting my nostrils.
`Whoa, whoa,' he said, `Easy there, boy.'
`Richard, fuck,' I said, ripples of unused adrenaline bunching in my stomach before morphing into the second, stronger wave of embarrassment of the day. `Sorry, I don't like being crept up on.'
`Evidently. My sincerest apologies.'
`It's cool, don't worry about it. You just caught me off guard that's all ... Fancy seeing you here,' I said, running a desperate hand through my hair and trying to act as calm as possible: tricky with a heart still pounding like timpani.
`I could say the same,' he said, his wide, strong smirk reaching across his handsome face; the white of his salt and pepper hair highlighted in the crisp, afternoon sunshine like tiny trails of snow.
`Ah, well, you know,' I said, stumbling over my words like a twat.
Still smiling but with his head cocked to the side and one thick eyebrow raised, he said, `No, I don't.' Then looking over my shoulder to the entrance of The Cellar he added, `Unless of course you're bored of me already?'
So, Toby hasn't?
`What? You mean this place?' I said, forcing a nonchalant laugh from my mouth. `I was just walking past.'
`You sure about that?'
`Maybe. What are you doing here?'
Letting his car keys dangle from his index finger he held up the quietly clanking metal, then he nodded toward his shining black car parked a few spaces down.
`I was driving past.'
I laughed, this time genuinely, and said, `Sure you were.'
Crossing his arms, his thick inviting lips still smirking and his eyes piercing, he said, `And what's that supposed to mean?'
Taking a step closer to Richard to let two middle-aged men with shaved heads and large chests silently slink through the door behind me, I plastered my best, cheekiest smile from ear to ear and poked him, gently but fast on the sternum; his stare following every movement.
`So, you just happened to be driving past, saw me and stopped?' I said.
`Yes. Shouldn't I have?'
`It's a free world.'
`But?' he said.
Fuck it. Better I say something first.
`A little birdy told me you'd be here,' I said.
`Oh, so you're stalking me?'
`Piss off,' I said. `I was on the bus, and that guy who served us in Selfridge's came and sat next to me.'
`Yeah. He must still be a student, or was visiting someone at the halls. Either way he took it on himself to warn me about you.'
Rolling his eyes and letting out a sigh, Richard threw up his arms in semi-exasperation. Half genuine, half for show. Then he took a seat on the bike rail I'd just vacated and looked up at me.
`What did he say?' he said.
Shuffling a little to stand directly in front of him – his open legs either side of mine – I put both my hands on his shoulders. Gave them a squeeze.
`Nothing I didn't already know. He thought you were still married and I guess he valiantly thought I should know. I have a feeling he still likes you.'
`Yes, that doesn't surprise me ... He's a sweet lad, truly, but he wanted more than I could offer. Sorry you had to deal with that.'
`Honestly, it wasn't a problem. Truth is I was at a loss of what to do today, and when he said this was your Sunday haunt I was already going past. Thought I might try my luck.'
`Well, it's a good job I was driving by when I did.'
I shot him a look. A look he deciphered immediately.
`I'm serious!' he said, grabbing my waist with both hands; the jolt of surprise making me shudder in his grip. `My apartment is five-minutes that way,' he said with a nod down the road. `I've been food shopping.'
Saying nothing I nodded back. Then I took off my rucksack, placed it on the pavement, turned in his grip, sat on his knee, put an arm around his wide, warm shoulders and twisted my upper body so we could still speak face to face. Gave him another look.
Rolling his eyes, this time blatantly sardonically, while wrapping an arm around my waist and down my thigh, he said, `If you must know this was my go-to when I was married. During the final year at least, when I needed to escape. Something or someone meaningless I could have fun with before forgetting about.'
`What about Toby?'
`What about him?'
`He was harder to forget?'
`No. Well, yes, I suppose. But we didn't meet here. We met at Embers.'
`Yeah. He was only meant to be a one-night thing. Josh was away for business and I had the flat to myself. But, as you know, it lasted a bit longer than that.'
`How did he find out you were married?'
Frowning to himself he eyed me cautiously.
`Hey, who am I going to tell?' I said.
`It's not that,' he said. `I just don't want to scare you away.'
I shrugged my shoulders. Said, `It's cool, I don't mind.'
`Well,' he said, looking at the door to The Cellar. `I invited him to come with me here one Sunday, which didn't go down well. He asked me why anyone would take someone they were getting to know to a sauna, which then, naturally prompted to me to divulge my situation, including my failing marriage. Let's just say Toby didn't understand.'
Gently flicking him under his chin as two twenty-something guys with healthy, glowing faces appeared from behind the closed door and walked away in opposite directions, I said, `Don't worry. I do ... But I wasn't going to go in anyway.'
It took all my strength not to laugh in his face like a hyena. Instead I locked my lips, turned my head and breathed in a deep lungful of chilled air through my nose. Let the laughter simmer down until only a faint, unwanted dullness was left digging into my gut.
I am scared.
`What do you think?' I said.
`I think they should be scared of you.'
`Change of heart, then?'
`Yeah, in a way. I didn't come prepared, if you get me. I realised just before you attacked me.'
`Pfft please,' he said lifting a strong arm and wrapping his thick fingers around my neck before squeezing tight; his bicep bulging in my peripheral. `I'm barely getting started.'
Then, forcing my head towards his, my submissive muscles blissfully aching, he kissed my lips.
`Sounds hot,' I said.
Playfully but forcefully shaking me by the neck, he said, `Sounds hot, what?'
`Sounds hot, Daddy,' I said, dimples on show.
`You sure you don't want to go in?' he said, letting go of my scruff and putting his hand back on my thigh.
Looking into his eyes, my cock already as hard as it had been only minutes ago, everything around me stopped. The cars blurring past on the road and the rush of wind in their wake. No rustle of trees or endless city background noise. Just us and the raging chemicals flooding our bodies.
`Don't get me wrong, I'd love to. But I really need a shower first.'
`Ah, yeah, you don't want to use theirs.'
`Right?' I said.
`Well, I have an idea.'
`I'm all ears.'
`Why don't I take you back to mine so you can shower and do whatever it is you need to do?'
`Uh huh. Go on.'
`While you do that, I'll get some champagne on to chill and then, if you're keen, I can call around some friends. See if we can recreate The Cellar at mine?'
Leaning in and kissing him on the lips, once and firm but no tongues, I said, `That's the best thing I've heard all day.'
The first in my Australian series of erotic tales, Oscar Down Under: Part One, is out now. Find it on Amazon US here, Amazon UK here and Amazon Australia here. Or simply search for `Jack Ladd' on the Amazon homepage. Also available on iBooks, Barnes & Noble and more.
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Copyright Jack Ladd 2017
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