I was ravenous.
Although, to be fair, I didn't even notice how hungry I was when Richard reappeared in the living room. As sexy and stunning as ever with his salt-and-pepper hair and perfect body, veined and defined from hours of deep, merciless cardio, and wrapped in the kind of clothes the kind of guy who lives in an apartment like his would wear.
Not to mention his two friends pawing at my body.
But, when the scent of melting cheese, pepperoni, oregano and all those other delicious aromas from three plain, white pizza boxes in his thick fingers met my nostrils, my appetite engorged faster and more furiously than its cousin, the other kind of hunger, sandwiched between Jason and Steve and their exploring hands.
The pull in my stomach, for once in my life, greater than the throbbing ache between my legs.
`Fuck yes!' I said, lifting my feet out of Jason's massaging hands, rocking myself up and off Steve's chest and swivelling on the plush cushion below my cum-soaked underwear so I could jump up and grab a box to myself.
My legs were still shaky. Weak in the best possible way but far from able to compress and pounce my body into a jump. Thankfully, I was finally able to stand.
Laughing and lifting the pizzas high above his head with one hand, out of my reach, Richard smirked, wrapped his free arm around my waist for support, leant in, kissed me on the lips and said:
`Hold your horses. I'm going to make a salad. Then we can all eat together.'
`Sounds great,' I lied, the three loads dissolving in my rumbling stomach the only food I'd had all day.
`Go clean up,' Richard said. `When you're done lunch will be ready, including a fresh glass of champagne. Sound good?' he said, kissing me again; his hand on the small of my back slowly caressing under the waistband of my undies.
I nodded. It did.
Fifteen minutes later I was back from my second shower of the afternoon, clean, fresh and emptied. Back in my clothes and so hungry I was beginning to feel nauseous.
Walking through Richard's bedroom and into the apartment, my thick brown hair still wet, I found Steve and Jason already sat at the eight-seater glass dining table set for four. In the kitchen was Richard.
`Oh, you actually eat on that?' I said, a devilish grin creeping as memories of our first night flashed behind my eyes and echoed in my ears.
Gargles and gulps dripping from my mouth. The heavy push of his thrusting hips against my nose and chin. The hard, cold table top against my back. His cock filling my throat full and ruthlessly. Hot spit dripping down my face.
Blissfully but steadily choking me from the inside, high above the twinkling city.
`Naughty,' Richard said, looking up and grinning back at me; his impressive torso rising behind the black marble worktop.
`What's that supposed to mean?' Jason said, leaning back in his chair.
Walking up to the polished table, I turned, lifted myself up and perched on an unlaid edge.
`He hasn't told you?' I said to Steve and Jason but looked at Richard.
Richard smirked and rolled his eyes as his bicep bulged and the stainless-steel fridge was wrenched open: all I needed to know he was ok with me spilling to his friends.
Not that I care if I get his permission, but best keep daddy happy.
`Your mate had me on here,' I said, now looking at Jason and then Steve: four eyes, two green two blue, stuck on mine. `My head over the edge. Mouth full of something tastier than pizza.'
Richard groaned at my bad joke as he picked up the same knife he'd used to cut my bindings free, but I wasn't bothered. I had an attentive audience.
`And just when I thought the night couldn't get any more ... interesting,' I said, jumping off my perch, walking over to Richard now busying himself with a cucumber and chopping board, wrapping my arms around his neck and kissing his stubbled cheek. `We had a visitor, didn't we?'
Richard sighed loud and obvious and shook his head. Said, still looking at the cucumber slowly decreasing in size with each thud of razor-sharp metal against wood, `I couldn't believe it. The one night he says I can have the place to myself he rocks up unannounced.'
Jason's jaw dropped. Steve smiled knowingly and shook his head. Said nothing.
`Caught me balls deep. Literally. Thank fuck he's away on business this week or else we might have had a repeat performance,' Richard said as I let go of his broad, man-scented shoulders wrapped in fine cotton, before walking back around the kitchen top, pulling out one of the eight clear, plexiglass dining chairs and slumping against its chilled frame.
`What did he say?' Jason said, evidently more intrigued by the conversation than Steve.
`Not much,' Richard said, finished slicing cucumber and now adeptly peeling a Spanish onion. `He called Oscar here a rent boy and then, well, then he didn't get much of a chance to say anything.'
`Finally sticking up for the little guy, eh?' Steve said, sat opposite me across the table and winking; his bright blue eyes glinting in the late afternoon sun like the sheening surface between us.
`Hardly. You know I'm useless at talking to him when he's in one of his moods. Luckily Oscar can stick up for himself,' Richard said, throwing me a look I wasn't used to.
A look I've only seen once. By a man who thought he knew me but didn't. A man I couldn't stop myself from lying to, and a look that spells trouble. That scares me. A look that means more than I want it to.
More than I can handle.
But, as his kind, deep brown eyes lingered, other thoughts stirred. Half of me began to love it. Half of me, ignoring the anxiety already bubbling, couldn't have asked for a better end to an amazing afternoon.
Maybe I can handle it. With him. Maybe Daddy Dick is more than just a boyfriend. He's money and glamour and group sex. Excitement and extravagance.
Maybe this is the kind of relationship I need? Someone who won't try to change me or drag me into the monotony of monogamy. Maybe Richard will get me?
Maybe he's all I've needed this whole time.
I didn't get a chance to dwell much longer. Jason was sat next to me, eyes glued harder on mine, and waiting. Waiting like a starved hog for juicy chunks of dripping gossip.
`What did you say?' he said.
`I don't really remember,' I said, shrugging my shoulders and fixing my eyes on the man sitting next to me; the man behind me in the kitchen still staring at the back of my head.
Or so it felt.
`Bullshit,' Jason said, playfully pushing me by the shoulder.
Playfully pushing him back I said, `I'm serious. I don't waste brain space on people like that. No point.'
Easier to forget.
`Cold,' Jason said jokingly. Half-jokingly. `Dicky, tell him to play along. I want the goss'.'
`I don't think I could force Oscar to do anything he doesn't want to,' Richard said, his voice becoming louder and louder until he reappeared in my field of vision from behind: a large bowl of salad in green, red, yellow and purple gently clapping against the glass table: a pair of metal tongs resting on top.
`You guys are no fun,' Jason said.
`I didn't say I don't remember,' Richard said, now back in the kitchen: a cutlery draw opening with a slide on well-greased runners followed by a quiet, contained crash of metal. `If I recall, Oscar asked him why he was spending his time barging in on his ex-husband on a Friday night, and then proceeded to tell him if he didn't want to be alone the following week, he should probably stop dressing like a teenager.'
`Oh. My. Fucking. God,' Jason said, unashamedly lapping it up. `What I would give to have seen his face.'
`Here, here,' Steve said, raising his glass of champagne into the air.
Picking mine up from in front of me, I reached across the table in unison with Jason. Crystal clinked and chimed into the apartment. We sipped and smiled and for a second no one spoke.
`I'm guessing you two aren't fans?' I said, as Richard placed a pile of cutlery and thick, red paper napkins next to the salad bowl on the table with one hand, and then the pizzas from the other: cut into slices and messily arranged on an oversized serving plate.
Taking a seat next to Steve on the other side of the table, Richard said, `No. They're not. But don't worry, they didn't have the decency to keep schtum about it while we were married so why stop now we're divorced?'
`Awww,' Steve said, rubbing Richard's thick bicep. `We're not that bad. Are we?'
Then none of them spoke: Richard simply stared at Steve with an incredulous look across his handsome face for a good two seconds. One. Two. Then the tree of them burst into laughter.
Smiling to myself, I grabbed a slice of pepperoni pizza. Took a bite and relished the flavours of fast food as fresh feelings took hold in my head and chest.
I've been thinking about this all wrong. The reason I don't want anything to do with Harry is because he doesn't understand the kind of a relationship I need. He wants me all to himself. It's selfish and unfair.
I need freedom. Sexually, physically, emotionally. Richard is just out of a divorce. I can get to know him slowly. Play the part of his boy, with all the benefits, until he realises he wants more.
Until he needs me.
Won't be hard. He's already bending over backwards to spend time with me. Buying me dinners and clothes and giving me drugs. Introducing me to his friends.
In no time I'll have him stroking my hair and feeding me pizza, I thought, reaching for another slice.
`What are you smiling at?' Richard said.
I smiled even harder: knew exactly what to do. Now was my moment to cement myself as part of the group. Make it impossible for him to find another boy or even think about looking.
Where better to start than two of his closest friends?
`Just glad I'm not the only one who thinks your ex is a twat,' I said.
`Preach,' said Steve, throwing a crust of pizza back onto the platter and reaching for a second slice. `With a capital T.'
`I second that,' Jason said. `I've had more fun with you in four hours than Josh in eight years.'
`You guys didn't play together?' I said.
`Oh, we did. Many times,' Richard said.
`Too many times,' Steve said, his stare locked on me.
Richard shuffled uncomfortably. Only slightly but unmissable under my observant eye.
`I sense a plot twist,' I said, pretending not to have noticed anything at all.
Steve smiled and leant back in his chair. Reached up casually and played with Richard's hair from behind. Said, `Josh was always jealous of Dicky and me. No matter how many times I told him there was nothing going on outside the group, he wouldn't believe it. Eventually he stopped him from having any fun at all. From then on I knew it was only a matter of time until their relationship fell apart.'
`And he wasn't quiet about it,' Jason said, eyeing Steve like a parent eyes a naughty kid.
Sucking air between my teeth I watched Richard like a hawk. But he was smiling. Wide and genuine. Then he leant over, pulled Steve in and kissed him on the cheek.
`Yeah. We had a proper argument over that, didn't we Stevey? You just couldn't keep your big mouth shut.'
Steve shrugged, still smiling, still in Richard's embrace and said, `Guilty.'
`But I'm grateful you did. If you hadn't been so brutally honest with me, I would still be stuck in that relationship. I'd still be miserable and lonely and missing out on days like today,' he said, his stare and smile back on me.
Where it belongs.
But then he said something that made my stomach twist and flip full one-eighty. Something that brought back memories I didn't want to remember. Memories feeding the flames of an anxiety so far kept at bay.
Memories of being eighteen. When a man I thought could love me learned I'd lied to him.
`That's what I like about you, Oscar,' he said. `Since our first date, when you told me about why you chose English instead of music, it's obvious there's no bullshit with you. What you see is what you get.'
`No lies or no stories like Josh and too many guys out there. You're just a single lad looking for fun,' he continued.
`Not hurting anyone. Not trying to control people. Just being yourself.'
My smile didn't waver, but I gulped. And, as I thanked him and tucked into a third slice of pizza to buy time, my mind raced:
This is a bad idea. If he finds out about Harry, I'm screwed. He'll be another man who thinks I'm a liar and a cheat. Another potential relationship fucked before it even begins.
But how is he ever going to find out? Harry isn't into saunas or group fun anymore. He wants to be like Richard's ex. Needy and controlling. Selfish and unfair.
I'll just have to call it off with him, I decided, swallowing the final mouthful of my last slice. It'll be messy. Real messy. Especially with him living next door ... But it'll be better for everyone.
`What's up?' Richard said: he'd been watching.
`Oh nothing,' I said, shrugging. `Just thinking.'
`About?' Jason said without looking up from the cheese pizza slice he was cutting up with his knife and fork.
`Maybe why the fuck you're cutting up pizza?' Steve said.
We all chuckled. Then I said, `No,' reaching out to Richard across the table. He took my hand. `Just that I like you too. All of you.'
Then, after a quick squeeze and release, followed by sarcastic coos from his friends, I leant back into my chair and smiled. Big and real.
Stomach full. Anxiety supressed. Plan finalised.
When I break up with Harry, everything will be simple. Everything will be ok.
How wrong I was.
The first in my Australian series of erotic tales, Oscar Down Under: Part One, is out now.
A lush sensory experience exploring themes of self-development and morality, find it on , and . Or simply search for `Jack Ladd' on the Amazon homepage.
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