The Copier Guy



This is not my story. Five years ago, nabasa ko ang kwentong ito sa Nifty. At ito na ang PINAKA favorite kong gay love story ever since. Nothing complicated at simpleng pagmamahalan lang - pero kinikilig ang kirengkeng kong puso.


I even printed this at pina book bind ko pa. Ganoon ko sya ka gusto. I read it many, many times na. Hehehe. Kaya i labeled this as one of Ms. Chuni's Favorites.


For those who have the time to read... specially ngayong season of love, go ahead. May kahabaan sya but it's really worth reading specially if you are a hopeless romantic like your lolah.


I tried contacting the author, ardveche@hotmail.com pero nagba bounced back lang ang e-mails ko. So ladies and gentlemen na mga in denial, i am happy to share with you...




THE COPIER GUY

by: ardveche@hotmail.com













Part 1: The Office

I hate my job. So that makes me unique, right? I guess maybe not. But is there anyone out there reading this who works every day in a great big version of one of those mazes they make rats run through? Anyone who sits for lets say ten hours in a sensory deprivation chamber known as a ‘cubicle’? Well you guys know that I REALLY hate my job. Straight out of college and into the wonderful world of accountancy. And here I am still, six years down the line and going nowhere. I just can’t bring myself to suck-up to the dork who runs my section so spend most days dreaming about better jobs. About Matt Damon showing up some day and begging me to quit and go help him with his taxes. Where the hell are you when a guy needs you, Matt?? Sigh!


Anyway, a bit about me, to help you visualize the loser. My name’s Mike Robins, a not bad looking, pretty well built, 5’11” with dark brown hair and blue eyes, I’m 29 (about a month away from my thirtieth birthday) and I am the most miserable of God’s creations. My girlfriend of four years broke up with me about a week ago - I was fooling myself, but apparently not her. I’ve been gay pretty much as long as I can remember, but I’ve been in denial (do you know how much I had to pay an hour to be told that?), so I’ve never been with another guy. I just don’t know how I’d go about meeting a guy. I’ve chatted to tons of other guys on the Internet, but at the last moment I always freak and can’t meet with them. What if they’re nothing like they are online? What then?


So here I am, single, frustrated and swamped in work. As if that’s not enough, some idiot’s jammed the copier (which is just outside my cubicle) so I’ve had to spend the last hour explaining to people that, “no, it was not me” and that, “no, I don’t know what’s wrong” and that, “yes, I have called the service center”, but, “no, I don’t know when the repair guy will show up”. Did I mention that I hate my job? An hour of this, this and well-meaning idiots trying to fix it themselves, but I haven’t gone on a killing rampage. At least it’ll be time for lunch soon.


I always eat lunch in my cubicle rather than the cafeteria, this way I get some peace and quiet once I eat my sandwich to add some more touches to my current fantasy. I leaned back in my chair, put my feet up, closed my eyes and took up where we left off. I had to go over to Matt’s house to help him out with a particularly tricky problem with his return. One thing led to another and we ended up in his pool...


“Mr., uh, Robins?” The questioning tone brought me back from my reverie. I’d been caught, I felt the hot flush of guilt even if there was no way anyone knew what I was daydreaming about. My eyes flew open and I made to stand up but tripped over my own feet and crashed into the guy standing in my cubicle’s door. Thankfully, he caught me, and my God was he strong! And did he ever smell good! My face was against his chest and he was holding my arms to steady me. I jerked back, righted myself ad straightened my tie, trying to look both businesslike and manly at the same time. “You okay?” he asked?


“Yeah, yeah, sorry, yeah, I’m fine. Bit dizzy, must’ve stood up too quickly, sorry”, I explained to my shoes.


“You are Mr. Robins, right? Uh, Michael Robins?” He checked my name on a crumpled bit of paper he took out of his pocket. “You called about the copier?” I shuffled some papers about on my desk until I got control of my embarrassment at falling on him like that.


I finally looked up and got a proper look at him, he was NOT the guy that came last time, oh no. The last guy was 45, overweight and balding – not my fantasy, but it takes all sorts, right? This guy was none of those things. He was in his early twenties, a couple of inches taller than me and seriously fit, blond with the deepest, brown eyes I have ever seen. He was dressed real sharp too, in a fashionable black suit with a light blue shirt and that awful company tie they make them all wear. Without that tie, he’d have passed for a god, that kept him human! Actually, I could have lived without the tie, without anything come to that, bet he’d look good!


It struck me that I was standing there staring at him and fantasizing about seeing him naked but I still hadn’t answered him. There was an odd expression on his face that said he found my weirdness faintly amusing but that if it went on he might find it worrying.


“Um, yeah, that’s me, sorry.” Jeez, I can’t even tell the guy if he got my name right without sounding like a total moron!


“You know that’s the third time you’ve apologized already.” Ouch, and he spotted it too. Not to worry though I had a brilliant comeback ready, I apologized to him again. Doh!


“Sorry.” His face split in a big wide grin, a mouthful of perfect teeth. Okay, so he’s decided that I am a psycho, but I’m the harmless kind.


“Forget about it. If my boss knew how much time I spent doing actual work, or not doing it, he’d fire my ass in a split second. My name’s Scott.” He stuck his hand out and I took it, hoping my palm was dry.


“Hi, nice to meet you, Scott, and I’m sure you’re a model employee!” Good firm handshake, and that grin again! I found myself grinning back at him and maybe, just maybe, holding his hand for a second too long. Just long enough for him to look at me kinda quizzically.


“So where’s the patient, Mr. Robins?” Well, I sure blew that, he’s Mr. Professional all of a sudden.


“Oh, just round the corner here”, I showed him where, “and, please, call me Mike.”


“Sure thing, I guess I ought to be on first name terms with any guy who throws himself at me.” He flashed another grin, walked over to the copier and squatted in front of it giving me a great view of his ass and thighs filling out his suit pants. Now what on earth did that comment mean?


He opened up the unit and started doing copier-guy type things inside it with some tools from his case (don’t ask me what they were!), and occasionally he’d mutter something to himself. Me, I just kinda stood and watched him, I don’t know if he was good bad or indifferent at his job but I could’ve followed him around all day and watched him! Finally he pulled a sheet of slightly blackened and very crumpled paper out and stood up. “You know, more than half the problems I get called out for could be fixed in thirty seconds if some idiot didn’t try to fix it for me? Here’s what caused your initial problem though. See this slot?”


“Yes.”


“This machine doesn’t do duplexing, that’s not a paper slot, it’s an air vent. Some people, huh?” He tapped his forehead and grinned. “You stick paper in there, you’re lucky it only jams, could’ve gone up in flames, then you wouldn’t be calling me.”


“Yeah, some real fools work here”, we both grinned at that, “So what do I do if it happens again?” Keep him talking.


“Well, you’ve got three options really.” He counted them off on his fingers, “One: put up a sign reminding people not to shove things in the ventilation slots - which won’t work, nobody’ll read it! Two: buy a copier that has a duplexing unit - which is unlikely, knowing this firm. Or three: call me - here’s my card, any problems just give me a call.”


“Great, thanks.”


“No problem, Mike, see you around.” Big grin, and that was it, he was walking away, leaving the building and there I am standing holding his card and watching him go. After all this time I’ve still got the moves. Of a thirteen year old. He must’ve thought I was a prize moron. He’s known me for like fifteen minutes and I’ve spent the whole time either falling on him or staring vacantly at him. Oh well, at least I have something new to think about while I’m meant to be working. Move over, Matt!


Scott. Scott Logan, in fact. It was all on his card, unsurprisingly, office number, pager and cell phone. Scott Logan, all six feet something of him would be featuring very heavily in my private fantasies for a while. Unlike Matt, I’d actually seen and touched and smelled him. Oh yeah, Scott, I’ve got a problem and I just know you’re the man to fix it. With that thought I returned to my cubicle, my little fantasy kingdom and my interrupted nap.

------------- ------------

Part 2: Dale’s Advice

I spent the rest of the day in some pretty serious fantasizing. And believe me, in my dreams Scott turned out to be the best damn lover the world has ever known. The best part about that, of course, is that the company still paid me and I did everything short of jack off in my cubicle. Which, if I had a door, I might even have done. I was supposed to be meeting a friend of mine after work for a drink and I was pretty keen to get packed up and out of there as soon as possible so I curtailed my dreams and straightened my desk up. For a change I was first out, and was well on my way to the bar before my chair stopped spinning.


Dale hadn’t made it to the bar by the time I got there - he has further to come than I do. So while we wait for him, I’ll tell you a bit about him. Dale was my roommate in college and we’ve been best friends ever since, we always hung out together and I ended up as his best man. Which is kind of ironic, as I always had a bit of a thing for him. Bet that surprised you. Its not that he’s totally gorgeous or anything, though he’s not bad, he’s just a great guy, always got time to listen and always really nice to everyone. He’s about my height and build (we play squash together) with brown hair and eyes and he works real hard as a lawyer to keep Eileen and the kids in good style.


His wife is real lucky, as I constantly tell her! Don’t worry, I’ve been friends with Eileen for about as long as I have with Dale and it was them I went to after my break up and them I first came out to. Actually, only them I’ve ever come out to. I got really drunk and blurted it all out, including the part about wanting Dale all through college, which pretty much stopped conversation for a moment. Then they both stood up and I thought I was about to get thrown out, but I wasn’t, they both came over and hugged me. Eileen is constantly on at Dale to find some ‘nice man’ at work and bring him home for me.


Thankfully he’s resisted so far. How awkward would that be? But he’s always there for me, I’ve lost track of how many nights we’ve sat up getting drunk, him listening and me yapping about how awful it is to be me. A true friend, in other words.


“Hey, late again, sorry, bud! Only a half hour this time!” He said checking his watch as he walked over to me. “What’re you drinking?”


I realized I’d been standing there for about twenty minutes and I hadn’t even ordered myself a drink. My mind must’ve wandered. “Scotch.”


“The hard stuff, huh? Tough day at work?” He signaled to get the bartender’s attention. I have zero bar presence, I can be the only one there and never get served. Dale can walk into a place, standing room only, and have a tray of drinks in ten seconds flat. “Wanna tell me about it?” He said loosening his tie as the drinks were poured.


“Work was fine. Better than fine in fact. Cheers.” I took a big swallow of the whisky, good old Dale, he’d bought the good stuff.


“And I’m the tooth fairy, Mikey, c’mon spill. You know I can always tell when you’re lying. Don’t make me pour the whole bottle in you to get the information.” He had a point, not that a few more drinks would hurt.

“Eileen would be ecstatic if you did that! If we show up to dinner absolutely out of our minds on Scotch she’ll skin you alive.”

“That’s my problem, so tell me about this better than fine day of yours, and explain how come it ended with your bottom lip down round your ankles.”


I hadn’t been aware of being depressed when I came in here, but now I really was. And even if I could somehow manage to lie to Dale, I couldn’t lie to myself (though sometimes that’s much easier), I knew exactly what was wrong. “I met this guy at work today.”


“No kidding? Maybe we should go get a booth, huh?” He steered me across the bar to a booth that was just emptying and we slid into the seats. “So, what’s his name? What’s he like? When are you guys going out? Why don’t you bring him round to our place for dinner?”


“It’s not that simple, Dale.”


“Sure it is, you just like to complicate stuff. You like him, he likes you, bingo. That’s all you need at this stage. Who knows if he’s your soul mate? Who cares? If you never go on a first date, you’ll never go on a second. Am I right? Well?”


“Yeah, you’re right. But first we’re not going on a first date, I don’t even know if he’s, you know.”


“Gay.” Not a question, not from Dale. He never lets me get away with dodging round stuff.


“Yeah, I don’t know if he’s gay. And even if he is, why would he be interested in me. You didn’t see this guy, Dale.” I sighed, why would he be interested in me? Why would any guy be interested in someone like me? What could a dyed in the wool closet case like me possibly have to offer, even assuming I could get up the courage to talk, you know TALK, to a guy?


“Well, did you ask him?”


“No! Of course I didn’t! Hi Scott, the broken copier’s right there, but before you get started, can I just ask if you’re gay? Oh, and single? Yeah, right. Come on Dale.” I told him the whole story about Scott’s visit to the office, leaving nothing out, including me falling on him (which Dale thought was hilarious - thanks, pal!) and the extended handshake and the funny look he gave me. When I was finished I was more depressed than when I began.


“So he’s a copy repair guy. Have you seen him before?”


“No, it’s a different guy every time. Here’s his card, I might as well rip it up and forget about the whole thing, its no use to me.” I handed him the card Scott had given me earlier and which I had been playing with when Dale arrived.


“Scott Logan, huh? You always deal with his firm?”


“Yeah. Why?” I couldn’t see where this was going.


“What firm is that, because this card doesn’t actually say? And I’m willing to bet that no other copier guy you’ve dealt with ever gave you their card, am I right?”


“Yeah, I always just call their office number, and they send whoever’s available or nearest.” I was beginning to see what Dale was driving at.


“Want my advice? Jam that damn thing again and call him. If he makes excuses or someone else comes, forget about it. If he comes himself then I say throw that boy down on the copier and kiss him tell he doesn’t know which way is up.” I burst out laughing, Dale has a knack of making everything sound so damn easy, even absurd things like that! Even though I knew there was no way on earth I was taking Dale’s advice on this one, I found myself feeling a lot better. I slammed down my scotch and stood up.


“We should get going, Eileen is expecting us.”


“You are indeed the sultan of segue, Mikey! This conversation is not over, just on hold. Remember that.”


We didn’t say a lot on the drive over to his place. Mainly because I was following him in my car! When we got there, Eileen was in the kitchen and the kids (twin girls, five years old and so adorable!) were watching TV. We were just in time, nothing was burnt, so we sat straight down to dinner and the subject of my godlike repair man was forgotten. Or so I hoped. After we ate, Dale took the girls upstairs while Eileen and I settled into the sofa with the rest of the wine and chatted about nothing much until he came back.


“Pour me some of that wine, you souse!” He kicked me in the shin and held out his glass. “So did Mikey tell you he met a guy today?”


“Daaaaaaale!” I whined. I should’ve known he wouldn’t let it lie.


“No he did not. Bad boy!” Eileen hit my arm in mock outrage and sat forward to hear the story. “Tell all, I want every gory detail.”


“There’s nothing to tell, but I’m sure Dale will turn it into a three hour epic. The floor is yours, maestro!” If it looks like I gave up too easily, you just don’t know how persistent this two can be, resistance was futile.


“So he was in the office tearing his hair out over a broken copier, when this vision of loveliness arrived to fix it...” And so the story went on as Dale rehashed everything I had told him earlier in the bar, missing out nothing. Then he expounded his crackpot theory to Eileen who sat in silence for the whole story. When he finished she turned and looked at me.


“I don’t think you should take Dale’s advice.” She finally said.


“See! Ha! Told you, you were nuts!” My crowing was to be short lived.


“Wait a minute, Mike. I DO think you should jam the copier, but I think you should do it just before five. If he shows up then and doesn’t put you off to the morning that’s a pretty good sign. Just wait until he fixes it and then ask him if you can buy him a drink, to thank him for service above and beyond the call of duty and so on. I would hold off the throwing down and the kissing until the third jam.”


Dale burst out laughing, and leant over to kiss his wife on the cheek. Even I had to admit it sounded like a pretty good plan. Totally plausible, what did I have to lose? It was worth a try.


Part 3: Indecision

We stayed up drinking, talking and joking for hours and Dale and Eileen kept going back to the subject of the vision that was Scott, the copier repair guy. Finally I glanced at my watch and realized it was almost 2 am and I was in no fit state to drive home. This is not the first time I’ve stayed at Dale’s, I told you I spent a lot of time unburdening myself and shriving my soul with them, right? So anyway, when I stayed the first time I borrowed a shirt from Dale the next day and Eileen washed mine. That sort of turned into a rolling program and now I have several complete changes of clothing there and even my own toothbrush!


“S’okay if I stay here tonight, guys?” I managed to ask.


“Sure it is, but on one condition...”


“Jeez, Eileen, give me a break, I’ll call him. Now, good night!” And with that I left the room, crawled to the guest bedroom and passed out for six (count ‘em) undisturbed hours of near coma.


I woke the next morning with my tongue glued to the roof of my mouth and the kids yelling outside my room. Sorry, Dale’s guest room. Oops. I felt pretty rough, but I had been much more hangover than this in the past. Nothing a shower, shave and a gallon of coffee wouldn’t sort out. By the time I made it downstairs Dale had already left, no doubt all bright and breezy (he has a tolerance for alcohol that borders on uncanny). Eileen was just finishing up packing the kids lunches in the kitchen.


“Good morning, sunshine!”


“Funny, Eileen. Gimme coffee, woman.” She obliged with good grace, considering how rude I was, but that’s the kind of relationship we’ve always had. What can I say?


“You know you should eat something. You have a big day ahead of you, and there’s nothing like a good breakfast to prepare you for it. And a cigarette does not count as breakfast, Mike. You should take better care of yourself.”


“I take great care of myself, and anyway I quit, you know that. And I’ve been going to the gym a lot more recently.”


“Which counts for nothing if you don’t eat properly. Living in that apartment by yourself, I know you just microwave old takeout.”


“Eileen, you sound like my mother!”


“Well if you will behave like a six year old!”


“Touch’. So make me some toast or something and I’ll eat it, but it’ll have to be quick or I’ll be late and Corporate America would collapse without me. I may only be a cog, but I’m a vital one.” Eileen snorted, but to her great credit quickly rustled up some scrambled eggs and toast and despite my hangover I wolfed it down.


“So you’re still going to call him, or was that the booze talking last night? You know, if you really don’t think it’s a good idea, Mike, you shouldn’t do it. I know Dale and I both want to see you happy, but if its not time, if its not right, well, I know you’ll do the right thing.” She patted my hand somewhat absently and then went back to fussing over the girls. I didn’t reply, there was nothing to say.


When I finally made it to work I was feeling vaguely human, but I was late, by almost fifteen minutes. It was going to be a long day, meetings and more meetings, one of which I had to give a presentation at - what joy! So the day dragged by and the whole time my mind was on whether or not to phone Scott (having strategically vandalized the company’s copier, of course) and if so, what I should say to him. Some of my co-workers noticed that I wasn’t my usual ebullient self and even asked if I was feeling okay. Like they cared. I even worked right through lunch but I was so obviously not going to finish everything I had to do, it was just one of those days.


Around four I found myself standing in front of the copier, for the umpteenth time that day, holding a pile of cash flow statements and contemplating my fate. I must have stood there staring at the thing forever because I was jerked from my reverie by a hand on my shoulder.


“Broken again?” I spun round, startled, half my brain thinking it must be Scott the other half telling me just how dumb that was. That part was right. It was Clive, one of my deeply annoying ‘colleagues’. I’m sure he was in his mid twenties, but he looked like he was just out of high school and already he was at my grade and earning the same salary as me, a real fast-tracker, and not afraid to let you know it.


“No. Sorry, I was miles away.” Dumb, dumb, dumb. Should’ve said yes and he might have gone away. “Hey, you’ve only got one, why don’t you go first?”


“Thanks, buddy. Very neighborly of you.” He slapped my back as he stepped round me to the copier, “Course I am making a few hundred copies of this!” I must have looked pissed because he through his hands up and said, “hey kidding! Don’t kill me, sport.” Why are there some people who just cannot use my given name? Grrrrr.


“Knock yourself out, Clive, let me know when you’re done, yeah?”


“Sure thing.”


I ambled back to my cubicle to wait, pulling Scott’s card from my pocket as I sat down and turning it over and over in my hand. Fuck it, I thought, time to call. I picked up the phone and dialed his cell number before my rational mind could kick in and stop me. It rang. And kept ringing. Oh God, what am doing? This is such a stupid idea.


“Hello?”


“Um, Scott?”


“Yup.”


“Hi, this is Mike Robins, at DML, you fixed our copier on yesterday?”


“Oh yeah, the duplexing unit, huh?” He snorted, “Let me guess, some muppet jammed it again?” This was going to be easier than I thought.


“I’m afraid so, I wouldn’t call at,” I checked my watch, “half past four, but I have a really important presentation tomorrow...” I trailed off.


“No problem, Mike, I’m on a job right now, but I should be done pretty soon, it’ll take me a while to get over there can you hang about after five?”


“Um, yes, sure, I could do that.” Could Dale and Eileen be right? Or was he just a really nice, helpful sort of guy? Oh, please, let Dale be right! Normally I would never ask for that, but this once, I think I could live with him I told you so-ing.


“Great, well, I’ll see you about half past five then, ‘kay?”


“I’ll be waiting.”


“If its real urgent, you could call the office and they might be able to send somebody round sooner.” Here was a way out if I wanted it. It was now or never, I could either go forward with this lunacy or withdraw gracefully while my dignity and self-respect were still more than 50% intact.

Part 4: Decision


“No that’s fine, I have some stuff to finish up anyway, I can wait.” It was done, there was no going back. Now I had an hour to wait and sometime during that I had to break the copier. At that moment Clive stuck his head into my cubicle and seeing that I was on the phone mimed that he was done copying and that the machine was all mine. I rubbed my mental hands with glee, still slightly stunned that I had gone this far.


“Okay, well gotta go, the glamorous world of copier repair calls. See you soon, Mike.” Said a voice in my ear.


I gave Clive the thumbs up and returned my attention to the phone. “Okay, thanks for this, Scott, you’re a life saver.”


“All part of the service. See ya.” The line went dead but I sat holding the phone against my ear for easily another five minutes, concentrating on getting my breathing back to a more regular speed. All right copier, prepare to meet your doom. I picked up my bundle of cash flow statements and went to face the enemy.


It was astonishingly easy to break. I can almost see how someone could mistake the vent for a single feed slot, almost, but not quite. You’d have to be pretty dumb to make that mistake - which meant it could be pretty much any of the six hundred people who work in this building. Ha! There was an unpleasant charred smell, but other than that the patient showed no alarming symptoms. Which was just as well, it was only after I shoved the paper in that I remembered Scott saying they could burst into flames. As another of my colleagues rounded the corner I aimed a kick at the side of the thing and cursed quietly for dramatic effect.


“I’ll phone the service center,” I said resignedly to her and did a convincing impression of a broken man as I sloped back to my cubicle to kill time, I sure as hell couldn’t concentrate on work now. Time dragged by, two or three people tried to use the machine and discovered it was broken and subjected me to the usual questions about it and I was about as forthcoming as usual so they went off to find another machine elsewhere in the department. Finally five o’clock came and people started to drift out. I worked late from time to time, so nobody remarked on my staying behind, its so much easier to work when you don’t have people distracting you every five minutes.


I was sitting with my eyes closed, rehearsing possible conversations to have with Scott, casual banter while he fixed the machine when a voice returned me to the here and now, a voice I recognized at once.


“Do you ever do any work?” He asked in an amused tone. I opened my eyes to see him standing in my doorway sort of leaning against one side with his arm along the top of the divider. He looked as good as I remembered. Better. He’d taken his tie off and undone the top button of his shirt and his short blond hair was slightly mussed which gave him a really relaxed look.


“I was resting my eyes.” I smiled back at him. I was suddenly very calm, this was a situation of my own making and I knew I could handle it.


“Sure you were.”


“Its been a really long day! Listen, thanks so much for coming out to fix this. I can’t believe the people in this office at times.”


“Hey my pleasure.” He grinned at me again and I found myself grinning back although nothing even remotely funny had been said. His smile was just infectious, did I mention his perfect teeth? I think so, but I didn’t mention the way his whole face lit up when he smiled. This was one seriously handsome young man, and he was draped over the wall of MY cubicle! “Well, the sooner I get started the sooner we both get finished, right?”


And with that he picked up his case and walked over to the machine –giving me another back view! Once again, he squatted in front of the machine and opened it up. He must have known I’d follow him over because he started talking to me while he fiddled around inside.


“You know, I fixed the same problem on a machine across town a couple of weeks ago. They went with option one, the warning notice?” He turned to see if I knew what he was talking about, and I nodded that I did, “guess where they put the notice.”


“I don’t know.”


“Over the vent! Damn thing overheated and had to be completely replaced.” I laughed with him as he extracted the charred remnants of my cash flow statement from the workings of the copier.


“This isn’t the best designed machine in the world is it?”


“No, the next model up is far better, you’ve got three of them in this department.” Oh God! Should I deny all knowledge of the other machines? Should I laugh and feign a deep affinity for this one? How do I handle this, he clearly knows that this was not an urgent repair. “There, that’s it, all operational.” He stood up and smoothed out the legs of his pants.


“Great, um, thanks. Listen, Scott, can I maybe buy you a drink or something, you know, as a thank you?” As I heard myself speak, I realized how lame I sounded.


“Sure, I could use a drink.”


“Great, I’ll just get my coat.” I started towards my cubicle.


“Shouldn’t you copy that presentation first?” He was definitely smirking at me now, “or can it wait?” Busted. I flushed bright red and looked down at my shoes.


“Um, I guess it can probably wait.” I faltered out as I turned to face him again. I tensed, waiting to see if he would yell at me, hit me, or just laugh and walk away.


“I thought so. Tell you what, I skipped lunch, so why don’t you buy me dinner instead of that drink, and you can explain your company’s cash flow to me. Huh?” He handed me the papers he’d just removed from the copier, my cash flow statements with my name at the top of each page! Clearly I am not cut out to be a secret agent, I flushed even more red - which shouldn’t have been possible.


“Oh God! I’m so sorry, Scott, I don’t know what to say, I...” I couldn’t meet his gaze.


He put his hand on my shoulder, “It’s okay, Mike. Just next time you want to see me, please just call me, huh? Try not to destroy the machine. If nothing else I look bad if I have to come back and fix it every day!” His voice was very soft and he seemed genuinely amused by the whole thing.


“You don’t mind that I tried to set you up?”


“No, forget about it. Where are we going to go for dinner?”


Part 5: Dinner


“Really? You’re not angry?” I couldn’t believe it could be this easy. I had gone out of my way to set this guy up and he wasn’t phased by it. It was too good to be true.


“Angry? No, I’m flattered!” He took his hand from my shoulder and leant past me to grab my jacket. “Now let’s go. I’m starving!” He thrust the jacket at me and I managed to take hold of it, despite being so stunned that I couldn’t speak coherently.


“Flattered?”


“Sure. Have you looked in a mirror recently, Mike? You’re a handsome man. To be honest I kinda hoped you’d call, that’s why I gave you my card.”


“Handsome?” I was winning no prizes for my conversational skills here, but he’d really thrown me.


“Are you going to repeat everything I say, or are we going to go and get some food?” His beautiful brown eyes sparkled with amusement. I could have gazed into them forever, but he would probably not be impressed!


“Sorry. You took me by surprise is all. Um, yeah, let’s go.”


We walked together to the elevator and made our way out of my building. My mind was in turmoil. I’d never been with another man in any way. Okay, this was only dinner, but even so. It was a big step for me and I had no idea how I should be acting toward him. The fact that he was probably the best looking man I had ever met wasn’t helping either. Tall and blond, well built and just really nice. What had I done to deserve this?


“You’re driving, buddy, I walked over here.” His voice brought me down to earth as we crossed the car park (me totally on auto-pilot). “And you still haven’t told me where you’re going to take me.” I forced myself to think.


“Um, how about Harris’s?” That was where Dale and I always went, it was pretty expensive, but the food was great and it was familiar territory.


“We might as well just walk there, that is if you don’t mind.” He had a point, it was only five minutes away and I could always come back for my car later. So I nodded and we walked along in silence for a while until finally he broke it and spoke up.


“You don’t talk much do you? Anyone would think that you were really uncomfortable.”


“Sorry, this is just new to me is all. I haven’t really, well...” I trailed off, not wanting to tell him my life story here on the sidewalk.


“Been with many men?” He finished for me.


“Any would be closer to the mark.” I said before I could stop myself. This was worse than the first time I asked a girl out in high school!


“I see.” I waited for him to say more, but he didn’t. We arrived at the restaurant then and he held the door open for me, we had to drop the subject and get on with the business of dinner. Thankfully! We were quickly shown to a table, issued with menus and asked for a drinks order.


“Um, just a mineral water for me, thanks.” I wanted to be completely sober and in control of this situation. Scott looked at me questioningly.


“Same for me, maybe we’ll have some wine with dinner, though.” He gave the waitress the same winning smile that had melted my heart the day before. She blushed and scooted off to get the drinks - I had a feeling we’d be getting first rate and very attentive service. “I came out when I was sixteen.” He said as soon as she was gone. I was slightly thrown by that, he was just so matter of fact about it.


“I just got out of a long relationship with a woman - it hadn’t been right for a while, it just wasn’t working. I needed something more, or something else at any rate.”


“Like a man?” He grinned at me and I found myself smiling back. Here I was in a pretty public place discussing my private life with this man. This incredibly beautiful, confident, GAY man. And suddenly it seemed the most natural thing in the world to be doing. I found myself wishing, deeply longing I could be more like him, more worthy of his time and effort.


“I guess so. It took me a long time to come to terms with being gay.” This was the frankest admission of my sexuality I had made to anyone other than Dale and Eileen. It was oddly liberating.


“So tell me more about the real Michael Robins.”


“Like what?”


“Like everything!”


“Um, I don’t know where to start...” I honestly didn’t. Normally I’m a pretty good conversationalist, but sitting there with him, his big brown eyes fixed intently on my face I dried up completely.


“Just tell me stuff. Like, what’s your middle name? How old are you? What’s your birthday? Your star sign? Where were you born? Do you have any siblings? Do you prefer cats or dogs? What’s your favorite color? Do you like anchovies? What’s...” I butted in before he went any further.


“Okay! I get the point! My name is Michael John Robins, I was born on June 29th 1972, which makes me 29 and I’m a Cancer. What was next? Siblings?”


“Place of birth, then siblings. I should maybe print up a form?”


“Very funny. I was born in New Jersey, my parents moved here when I was 11. I have no siblings, just me. Um, I prefer cats, I have a cat in fact called Richie, and no I don’t like anchovies.”


“Weirdo, no accounting for taste. But you forgot to tell me your favorite color!” He smirked at me and I looked him straight in the eye.


“Right now, I’d say brown.” Corny I know, but for the first time since we’d met he looked a little surprised. I felt like I’d scored a point. “What about you?”


“Thomas Scott Logan, born December 15th 1977 in Philadelphia, so 22 and a Sagittarius. Two brothers and one sister, all older, Alan, Stephen and Katherine, in that order. Prefer dogs, but can cope with cats if pushed. Um, love anchovies. And my favorite color would definitely be blue, light blue. With dark brown hair.” So I wasn’t the only one who was going to be corny, I felt myself blushing as he looked at me with total sincerity. I felt warm all over, like a teenager again. I had an urge to loosen my tie, or play with my napkin or anything that would allow me to look away, but I couldn’t. Thank God the waitress arrived just then to take our order and broke what was about to be a very awkward moment.


I quickly scanned the menu and ordered what I always ordered there, a rare steak with all the trimmings. Scott said he’d trust my judgment and have exactly the same and we ordered a bottle of red wine to wash it all down. Suddenly I felt that I could do with some alcohol. We chatted back and forth as we waited for the food to arrive and I learned a lot more about him, and him about me. We stayed off anything personal and just talked about our jobs and stuff like that. It was pretty easy and fun, I found myself relaxing in his company.


Before I knew it we had finished dinner and two bottles of wine and were on to the coffee, chatting away like old friends. He had just finished a really funny story about an embarrassing accident while he was on a skiing holiday when I checked my watch and gasped. It was almost eleven o’clock!


“Got to be somewhere?” He asked, concerned.


“There is nowhere I would rather be than here. I was just surprised that it was so late already.” There is nowhere I’d rather be? Oh God! Maybe all that wine was a mistake. It began to dawn on me that I was drunk and he wasn’t, that he’d been doing most of the talking and I’d been doing most of the drinking. Was he trying to get me drunk so he could have his way with me? Suddenly my paranoia, the little nervy voice in my head, was starting to sound like my mother. “I think I’ve maybe had too much to drink.”


“You think?” He was grinning at me again.


“Maybe I should go home.”


“Maybe you should.” He sounded disappointed, but his face was full of concern. “Do you feel okay? Would you like to get some air?”


“That might be a good idea.”


“Okay, go outside, I’ll be with you in a minute, once I settle up here.”


“Hey, I’m supposed to be buying you dinner.”


“You can get the next one. On you go.” I was in no state to argue with him so I tottered outside while he handed over his card to pay for dinner. When I got outside I took several deep breaths and felt even more drunk than I had inside. I leant against the wall and slid down until I was sitting with my back fully against the cool stone. A few minutes later he came out and looked around, not seeing me at first, again he radiated concern. Then he spotted me, smiled and shook his head. He squatted in front of me and placed his palm against my forehead.


“You don’t look so good, Mike. Where are your car keys?”


I fumbled my keys out of my pocket and handed them to him. I shouldn’t be this drunk, I guess it was a combination of alcohol and nerves. I had been so keyed up about calling him and I had been drinking heavily the night before. Plus I skipped lunch so I was pretty much drinking on an empty stomach. It must just have been catching up on me now. I’m not as young as I was either.


“Right, let’s get you home. Up you get” He helped me to my feet and put his arm around my waist to support me. How I had wanted him to do this! I just never imagined it would be in this sort of situation. We walked quite slowly back to my office car park, me leaning on him a little more than was strictly necessary but it just felt so good. He was so strong and reassuring.


He bundled me into the passenger side of my car and I managed to put my seat-belt on as he made his way round to the other side. I was already feeling better for having walked around for a while. I told him my address when he asked and he started the car. Every so often on the drive he would check I was okay and kept talking the whole way there. Little by little I began to join in the conversation. I was feeling pretty foolish by this stage, I just don’t know what happened at the restaurant but whatever it was it felt like it was wearing off now.


When we got to my building I was able to get out of the car by myself and walk up the stairs under my own steam. He came up with me to make sure I was all right but stopped outside my door.


“Do you want to come in?” I asked.


“If you want me to.”


“I do. I’m so sorry about that, I don’t know what happened. I feel like such a fool, Scott, I’m sorry. I’ve ruined a lovely evening.” Tears started to form in the corners of my eyes. I pushed the door closed.


“No! No, you didn’t.” And then his arms where round me and his fingers were stroking my hair. I pressed my face against his chest and clung to him tightly as I sobbed. I had wanted tonight to be so perfect and I had ended up behaving like a total fool. I had never felt so bad and he still didn’t seem to mind. He was so solid and real, I felt safe there with him. “I had a great time, you’re a wonderful guy.” He moved me gently to my sofa and sat us both down.


“I’m such a fool. A pathetic fool.”


“Don’t say that. Don’t ever say that. You’re lonely and you’re insecure, but you’re not a fool, do you hear me?”


“Yes I am.”


“No you’re not.” And then he kissed me. Just on the top of my head, but I felt a shock through my whole body, my stomach flipped over and I suddenly didn’t feel like crying any more. I felt like laughing and singing. “You can’t be, my mother told me never to kiss a fool.” I looked up and he was smiling down at me.

Part 6: Rebirth

He kissed me! I could hardly believe it had happen, but I replayed the sensation in my mind and my stomach flip-flopped. Half of me was euphoric, the other half was still cursing my own stupidity. Why couldn’t this have happened when I was stone cold sober? I resolved then and there to give up drinking. At least when I was around Scott! Then it struck me that I was already assuming that I’d be around him more in the future. At that moment, though, I could think of nobody I’d rather be with. I could only smile dumbly up at him.


“Feel better?” He asked, laughter in his voice. I nodded. “Cool.


Now, how about some coffee?”


“Oh, sorry. What must you think of me, I’ll make some.” I made to stand up but he put his hand on my shoulder and gently pressed me back into the seat. Probably just as well, I think I probably would have fallen flat on my face if I’d stood up just then.


“Stay put, I’ll get it.” He took his jacket off and tossed it over the back of a chair as he left for the kitchen. Once there I could hear him examining the contents of my cupboards. Eileen’s words about microwaved takeout came back to me and I realized there was next to nothing in the whole place to eat. He rattled around making coffee for a bit and shortly came back in and handed me a cup. He put a glass of water on the coffee table in front of me and indicated that I should drink that too. There was a prolonged silence, at first because I was drinking and he was watching me but then it dragged out for longer and I suddenly felt I had to say something.


“You kissed me.”


“You noticed. Was that wrong?”


“No. No, it, um, surprised me is all.”


“I like to surprise people.” There was a mischievous grin on his face now and I got the feeling he was teasing me. I lapsed back into silence as we drank our coffee.


“Thanks for looking after me, Scott. I feel such a fool getting drunk like this. And I know I was babbling and slurring and all the rest. My friend Dale says I drink far too much. Thanks.”


“My pleasure, you bring out my paternal instincts.” He reached for the now empty cup I was turning round and round in my hands. “I’ll wash these, don’t go away.”


“Don’t bother.”


“No bother” And with that he left the room again and I heard water running in the kitchen. Use the dishwasher, I thought.


I woke with the worst headache I can remember having. Why had I been drinking? Suddenly I remembered the date with Scott, coming home and falling apart on him. That explained the headache at least, when I’ve been crying it always makes me feel congested and sort of sore headed the next day. The next day? Hang on, what happened to Scott? Where was I? I gave voice to this last thought, though somewhat hoarsely.


“Where am I?” I opened my eyes and realized I was in my room, in my bed and in a state of undress. Well shorts and T-shirt, but I had definitely been wearing more the last I remembered. I stared up at the ceiling, waiting for events to come back into order and the room to come into focus.


“It lives.” A voice said from across the room. Scott’s voice. Oh God! Could I have been so drunk I slept with him and couldn’t remember? What a nightmare of a day this was shaping up to be. I struggled up from being flat on my back and propped myself on my elbows, focusing on where his voice had come from. He was sitting on a chair next to my wardrobe, fully clothed.


“What happened?”


“Did I take advantage of you, you mean? Only if you have a problem with me sketching you. Oh, and I guess I stole about six sheets of your paper too.” He tossed a notepad onto the bed next to me and flashed me that amazing grin again. Looking at the pad it was a pretty good sketch, marred by the lines on the page and the fact it was done with a ball-point, but the situation was suitably bizarre to make me laugh out loud. The moment I did I regretted it, my head throbbed and I groaned loudly. “You sound about as good as you look, buddy.”


“Thanks.”


“S’okay. Why don’t you relax, I’ll make you some breakfast.” I know I should have protested but I couldn’t be bothered, so I flopped back into my pillows as he stood to leave. He stuck his head back round the door, “Oh, there’s a glass of water and some aspirin on your left, thought you might need them.” He was right, but I was just going to lie still for a bit before I tried to take pills. I’m not sure how long I lay there, time was a bit disjointed, my head ached, and trying to remember the events of the previous night was just making it worse. Eventually though he returned carrying a tray and came and sat down on the edge of my bed. Juice, toast and scrambled eggs, what a guy!


“I could get used to this.” I said moving the tray into a more comfortable position.


“Breakfast in bed?”


“Sure, that too.” I attempted another smile and found that it didn’t hurt as much as before. “I was talking about having a gorgeous man in my bed.”


“On. I have never been IN your bed.” I was about to respond when he spoke again. “Yet.” I expected another devilish grin, but it never came, he just looked straight at me. I felt very awkward and had to look down at the tray for a moment to compose myself.


“So anyway.” He broke the moment and I was able to look up at him again. “I went to wash the cups and when I came back you were unconscious, I tried to wake you, but you really were out for the count. So I carried you through here and got you into bed, after that there didn’t seem much more I could do so I grabbed a blanket and went to sleep on the sofa.”


“So how come you ended up in here drawing me while I drooled into my pillow? It’s really good, by the way, can I keep it?”


“Sure you can. I woke up about eight, came to check on you and you were still out. But you looked so peaceful and sweet - all the lines had smoothed out - so I decided to draw you. I found the pad and pen by the phone in the hall.” By the time he finished the explanation I had wolfed down the food and was just killing off the orange juice.


“Thanks again then. I guess I owe you big time now.”


“Nah, best Friday night I’ve had in a long time!”


“Ha ha. Are you busy today? I want to do something to make it up to you.” He raised an eyebrow at me and cocked his head on one side.


“What did you have in mind?”


“Nothing untoward, I assure you! My intentions are strictly honorable.”


“Damn.” That smile again.


“Funny. Actually, I don’t know, ask me after I have a shower and feel a bit more human.” I hauled myself out of bed and made my way to the bathroom. “I won’t be long.”


“Okay.”


I felt so much better after the shower and a change of clothes. But the question remained, what was I going to do to make up for last night? I wandered out of my room to find him. He was in the kitchen, washing up the breakfast things. This was too much.


“I have a dishwasher, you know.”


“Yeah, but I couldn’t figure out what setting to use, so I did it the old fashioned way.” He looked slightly embarrassed, and rightly so.


“Let me see if I understand this. You spend your working day fixing office equipment, but you can’t understand my dishwasher?”


“Um, yeah.” He looked sheepish, and for the first time since I had met him I was acutely aware of how much younger he was. He pulled himself together quickly though, “Listen, before we embark on your magical, mystery tour can we swing past my place so I can change too?”


“Of course. I’m still not sure where I’m going to take you yet.”


“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. You about ready?” The old self-confidence was back and Scott was once more in control.


“Yes, just let me put on some shoes.”


We chatted about nothing much on the drive to his place, which was on the other side of town, even touching on the weather at one point. Eventually he told me to turn right and stop at the third building down the street, which I did and we arrived outside a pretty shabby looking apartment building.


“Welcome to my humble abode,” he said with a wry, almost apologetic smile, “copier repair doesn’t pay as well as you might think.” I followed him up the stairs, again taking time to admire the way clothes hung on his body. All right, I’ll be honest, I was checking out his ass, so sue me. He pulled out his keys and opened the door into chaos.


“You’ve been robbed.” I observed as I looked around.


“Funny, I just need to tidy up a bit.” The room was a mess. There were books and papers in piles all over the floor, and dozens of sketches and photographs taped to the walls. What little furniture there was had clothing piled on it. Clearly Scott didn’t have many visitors.


“You obsessed about washing a plate at my place and you live in this?”


“Its clean, I just haven’t got everything sorted out since I moved in. I need to get some bookcases, a wardrobe, you know stuff like that. But I know where everything is.”


“I believe you. So should I just squat on the floor while you get ready?” He frowned at me briefly before sweeping a great pile of papers off one of the chairs. As I sat down he sorted through the clothes and pulled a pair of jeans and a shirt from a pile. I had to admit, under the untidiness it did seem clean and the pile of clothes had obviously been washed just recently.


“Back in a minute.”


I was left alone so I got up again and examined the pictures on the walls (and every other flat surface, horizontal or vertical!), many of them were of the scenes or people in the photographs, some of them were just patterns and designs, but all of them were good. I heard water running somewhere and knew I had time to poke around a bit if I wanted to (I love other people’s houses), but I decided I should control myself and instead picked up a large sketch book from the top of a pile and sat down. I was flipping through it looking at the various doodles and sketches when I found one that looked familiar. It was of me! He must have done it that first day, after he came to my office.


I stared at it for ages, wondering what it meant, what was its significance. Sure it was of me, which meant he had really noticed me. But then, looking around, he sketched pretty much everything he ever saw. Well, maybe not quite. The water shut off and I quickly replaced the book on the pile as he ambled back in. He looked fantastic in casual clothes, they fit him wonderfully and his shirt was open revealing a smooth, tanned body. Perfectly proportioned as I had known it would be. I heard myself draw my breath in sharply and desperately hoped he hadn’t through the vigorous toweling he was giving his hair.


“Hey, handsome. How about some lunch, then a movie or something?” I was as light as I thought I could be, but I was aware of the look he shot me at the word ‘handsome’.


“Sounds great. But how about holding the movie until later and hitting the museum first?”


“The museum?”


“Yeah, they’ve got that exhibition of Egyptian stuff just now. I’d love to see it, and I guess you might like to as well.”


“Actually I would, how did you know that?”


“I had plenty of time to browse your bookshelves, remember?” He discarded the towel he’d been using and patted his hair into place with his hands. No styling, just a rough parting and did it ever look good!


“Of course you did. Doh! Well that’s great then, I didn’t want to suggest it in case it wasn’t your thing. I didn’t want to bore you.”


“Totally my thing. But only if you’re feeling up to it.” He buttoned up and tucked in his shirt.


“I feel a lot better.” Despite all this provocation, I felt I was handling the conversation pretty well.


“You’re certainly more lively than you were! And maybe coming out of that shell of yours a bit, too?” A joke, but he was right, I’d never have dared to speak to another guy a week ago the way I was talking to him now. Come to that, its pretty unlikely I’d have been sitting in bed chatting to a guy who just cooked me breakfast a week ago either. Clearly this was a time of change!


We left his apartment and drove back across town for lunch, I wanted to go to a seafood place that I absolutely adore and he seemed happy to agree. All through lunch we chatted about everything and anything (I stayed on water the whole time!) and he made a lot of jokes about the night before. It didn’t seem to annoy me though, I liked his smile and his laugh way too much to want him to stop, even if it was me he was laughing at. After a leisurely lunch we abandoned my car and strolled through the park towards the museum.


It was an amazing exhibition, I’ve been into Egypt since I was a kid and I first read about the slaves building the mighty pyramids. I even took a course on the middle kingdom at college, so I was pretty well informed about the period. Scott seemed fascinated by everything I told him and I soon found myself lecturing away as we moved from case to case, he was hanging on my every word. I was having a great time.


The only fly in the ointment came about an hour into the visit when he bounded enthusiastically up to me to tell me about a burial mask on the other side of the room. He was like a puppy with a toy and he was keen to share. “Come and see it, man, its awesome.” And he grabbed my hand to lead me over. I was stunned, there were other people around, how could he be doing this? I jerked my hand back sharply and instantly hated myself for doing it when I saw the look on his face, like I had slapped him.


“God! I’m sorry, Mike, I didn’t think, PDAs...” He was apologizing to me? I was the one behaving like an idiot. I knew that, but when he touched me I just panicked. I don’t know why. His explanation trailed off and I realized that I was standing staring, open-mouthed, at my hand. I looked up at him and his face was red with embarrassment. The last thing I wanted to do was make him feel bad for being friendly. I forced a big smile and tried to sound normal.


“Show me this mask!” And I did something I never thought I’d have the courage to do, I took his hand. His face lit up, and my heart swelled in my chest at the thought that I had the power to make that happen.



Part 7 (I) : The Date

So there we were, in the museum, hand in hand like a couple of teenagers! I could hardly believe what was happening, but suddenly I didn’t care what other people thought. I felt giddy, like a teenager. The way his face had switched from hurt and lost looking to so bright and alive again, just because I had held his hand made me about the happiest man alive! The mask he wanted me to see was utterly beautiful, but I barely even noticed it. He let go of my hand once we were at the display case but gave me a big goofy, happy smile as he did so, I could only smile back.


The rest of the time in the museum passed in a blur and soon we had made our way round all the exhibits and it was time to go. I glanced at my watch and saw it was almost six o’clock, which meant we had been in there for four hours. Wow! When we finally wandered back out into the street the earlier clouds had cleared and it was a lovely, sunny evening. As I stood blinking on the steps, it occurred to me that I had, basically, just had a first date in a museum and nothing seemed in the least bit odd about that. A first date. I hadn’t dated in years, but I was glad to have started again.


“Hey, how about an ice cream?” He gestured towards a cart across the street and a little way into the park where a guy was selling them.


“Sure, that’d be great.”


“Race you?” I barely had time to look surprised and he was off. Damn, but he looked good as he jogged easily down the steps and across the street, ‘poetry in motion’ didn’t do him justice. I was too busy with the view to compete, so by the time I trotted up to him he was already holding two ice creams and he thrust one in my direction.


“What happened to you?” He asked, between mouthfuls of ice cream.


“I was admiring the view.” He laughed and blushed slightly, for someone who had seemed so damned confident when we first met, he was surprisingly bad at hiding his feelings. But then, he didn’t have the years of practice at duplicity that I had. Ouch! Where did that come from? I felt a sudden stab of enormous regret, why couldn’t I have met Scott while I was still at college? I felt like I was starting my life all over again at 29, doing stuff I should have been doing while I was a teenager. We wandered back across the park to where we’d left my car.


He noticed that I wasn’t saying much and asked if I was all right. I told him plainly what I was thinking, that I had missed out on about 9 years of my life, while I play acted at being straight.


“Why couldn’t I have met you back then?”


“I’d have been 13, Mike! It would never have worked.”


“Ha, I guess not. But you know what I mean.” His joke only served to remind me how much older than him I was.


“Sure I do. I was lucky, my friends and family were very supportive. In many ways it was easy for me to be who I am. But even if you started late, at least you’ve started, right?”


“I suppose.”


“There’s no suppose about it. I’m right. And now, we’ve got a lot of work to do, to bring you up to speed.”


“And what on earth does that mean?”


“Use your imagination!” He winked at me and I couldn’t help but laugh at him. Finishing his ice cream, he stepped closer and slid one strong arm around my waist. I don’t know if he felt the shudder that went through me, but he squeezed a little tighter and asked, “is this okay?” I don’t know if I was shuddering from apprehension, from embarrassment or from desire. It didn’t seem to matter much.


“Its going to take some getting used to.” I said, and he moved away slightly, as though he was going to let go, but I put my hand on his to stop him withdrawing his arm, “but I can’t get used to it if you don’t do it.”


“You got yourself a deal.” And we walked in silence like that all the way back to the car, me sort of leaning against him and him holding me like I used to hold girls, back in my previous life. Possessively, and I wanted to be possessed by this perfect young man. A few people gave us odd looks, he seemed totally oblivious, and after a while I started not to care either. In fact, sometimes the people we passed would smile at us, as though they could see on our faces how happy we were. And what could possibly be wrong with happiness so great that total strangers can see it and feel happy for you?


When we got back to the car, he put his hands on my shoulders and looked me straight in the eyes. Once again I found myself gazing into the depths of his glorious brown eyes and willing the moment to last forever. Once again, his voice ended the moment. “Mike, I want you to be comfortable with me. You know that right? I want the two of us to be natural with one another, but I know you have a lot of stuff to work through, to get used to. So, I’m really sorry about what happened in the museum, I never even thought about it, I just wanted to touch you. So, I need you to tell me if I do something you’re not comfortable with. Okay?”


“Shut up, Scott.” I leaned forward and kissed him on the lips and I think, for the first time, the element of surprise was mine! Still he recovered quickly, slipping his hands down from my shoulders and onto my lower back and the back of my neck, he returned the kiss. It felt fantastic! His lips were wonderful, and he tasted so clean and fresh. His hands so warm and strong were unlike anything I have ever experienced before. I could have stayed like that all day, but it had to end eventually.


“Wow.” He said as I pulled back. I smiled and leant my forehead on his shoulder and put my hands on his waist. I felt slightly dizzy, but the good kind of dizzy, like I’d just got off a carousel.


“That was my line,” I said as I stood enjoying the feeling of him holding me close like that. “But to answer your question, I have never felt more comfortable with anyone in my life. You surprised me in the museum but I’m getting used to your impulsiveness, and maybe I can manage to be a bit more spontaneous myself! Now, how about a bite to eat?”

“Do you ever stop eating?”


“Gotta keep my strength up.” We disentangled ourselves, reluctantly, and got back into the car.


“Wow. That was great, Mike, really.” He said again, grinning at me from the passenger seat.


“Are you going to keep saying that?”


“Yes, for a while anyway. Wow, wow, wow!” And he leant across to kiss my cheek. “So where are we going for dinner? How about Chinese, there’s a good place not far from the movie theater?” How could he manage to be so casual? My head was spinning!


“Anywhere you want! I’m easy.”


“Really?” He drew out the word lasciviously.


“Oh, for God’s sake! You know what I meant!”


“Sure I do, but I like to watch you squirm.” Typical!


“Shut up, Thomas!” I had learnt from him earlier that he hated being called that, so I really made a meal of it, saying it like the lady from the Tom and Jerry cartoons (Taaaaaaw-mass!). He punched my shoulder lightly and I shook my head in exasperation.


We drove to the restaurant, and once we were all settled and had ordered the conversation resumed. We chatted idly for a while, but eventually I worked up the courage to ask something that had been on my mind for a while but which I had hesitated, until now, to raise.


“Scott? Can I ask you a personal question?” I asked hesitantly, half of me desperately curious to know the answer, the other half fearful of what it might be.


“My life is an open book, ask away...” He busied himself with his chopsticks and did not make eye contact, obviously not too keen to go down this road with me despite his words.


“Ahem. Um, have you been, you know, with many guys?” He looked up, startled and smiled gently.


“God! Is that all? I thought it was going to be something awful. Um, well I guess it depends on what you mean by many.”


“So how many then?”


“How many do you think?”


“I don’t know. You’re stunning, you can’t have found it hard to meet men. Maybe, what, twenty?” He laughed so hard the shrimp in his chopsticks got loose and landed on the tablecloth.


“What’s so funny?” I was confused.


“Guess again, Mike!”


“More than twenty?” I was slightly shocked by this figure, maybe I am old fashioned. I had slept with maybe half a dozen women in my life and I was quite a bit older than him.


“No! Fewer than twenty. Considerably fewer.” Suddenly he seemed slightly annoyed, whether by me thinking he had been with lots of men or by my, I suppose, obvious disapproval of it. “You want an exact count? Four.”


“Four? Really? Is that all?” Now I really was amazed. I think I’ve made clear how gorgeous he is, I could hardly believe what he was telling me.


“Yes. But I’m hoping to make it five.” He blushed again and retrieved the errant shrimp. He was so amazingly beautiful when he did that shy and vulnerable thing.


“Wow, sorry, I didn’t mean to embarrass you. I, that is, you just seem so confident and experienced that I assumed...”


“I’m not into one night stands, Mike. I like to get to know people first, and I like to be sure they’re right for me before I get involved. I’ve been burned before.” He looked up defiantly, clearly he’d been hurt in the past and was the stronger for it now.


“Do you want to talk about it?” I knew I didn’t want to talk about it, but if he needed someone to listen I was determined it was going to be me.


“No. Let’s focus on here and now, ‘kay?”


“Okay. So, how am I shaping up?” I joked.


“I don’t know, I left your score sheet at the apartment.”


He smiled wickedly at me.


“With the sketches of me?” I had said it before I had time to consider the advisability and stop myself.


“Oh. You saw those.” His face was burning.


“Yes. They were great.”


“Really? You’re not freaked?”


“Not at all, I’m hugely flattered. I know you’re not stalking me!”


“I thought about it.”


“Naturally, I’m quite a catch.” The mood had lightened considerably and we were back to the easy banter.


“Yes, I think you are.” He was suddenly grave and it was my turn to blush like a schoolgirl. I guess I had asked for that, but it still surprised and astonished me that this amazing guy could honestly think he was getting the better part of the bargain.


“You have got to be kidding me. Do you own a mirror, young Mr. Logan? You’re the catch around here, and you cook a mean breakfast!” We laughed and resumed our meal, me feeling absurdly smug. Afterwards we caught a movie, The Whole Nine Yards, as we had planned to, but my mind wasn’t really on it at all, so I could tell you nothing about it except the title! What I do know is that Scott has a truly divine profile and there is nothing finer than sitting in the dark with his arm round my shoulders. Every so often he would laugh, and I would feel his body shaking against mine and I offered up silent prayers to whatever deity had brought me this man. My man, I liked how that sat.


Finally, like all good things, it had to end. The lights came back up and Scott stretched, lifting his arm out from behind me as he did so and pushing himself to his feet with a yawn.


“That was pretty good.”


“Amazing.” I think he could tell from my tone of voice that we were talking about different things


“I’m beat. I hope you were planning to give me a ride home.” So that was it, movie over and home. Oh well, I guess I couldn’t complain, I had been with him solidly since half past five yesterday (even if there was a big blank spot halfway though).


“Nah, you’re walking.”


“Aw, come on!” He pouted at me and I laughed.


“Well, okay. But it’ll cost you.”


“What?”


“A goodnight kiss when we get there.”


“Sold, let’s go. That’s one fare I’m happy to pay.”


As we drove back across town (one of us is going to have to move!) Scott rehashed the plot of the movie for me and I began to feel pretty glad I hadn’t been paying attention, I’ve never been a fan of farce. On the plus side, though, it gave me another opportunity to just sit and listen to the sound of his voice and think my private thoughts. I pulled up in front of his building and killed the engine.


“Pay up.”


“With pleasure.” He leaned across and took my face between his hands drawing me to him, and for the second time that day, we kissed. This time we held it for much longer and as I reached out to touch his cheek, I felt his lips part and his tongue touch me, tentatively at first and then with more assurance when I didn’t pull back. Giving in (as though there was a choice!) I allowed my lips to part too and his tongue slipped in. I was in heaven, hornier than hell but also scared to death at how quickly things were going. He must have read my mind because he broke the kiss.


“Mike, I don’t want to rush you, I don’t want to crowd you, and I don’t want to scare you off. I like you a lot and I think we can have a lot of fun together, and I’m happy to go at whatever pace you’re comfortable with. Understand?”


“Yes. Thanks.” It came out as a whisper.


“Do you want to come up for a while, maybe have some coffee before you drive back?”


“Um, sure, I’d like that. Course, we’ll have to stand up.”


“Oh a comedian? Well maybe I don’t want to make you coffee after all.” He smiled and squeezed my shoulder again, “Come on, sexy.”


Once in his apartment he got the coffee started and then set about clearing space for us to sit, piling everything off the sofa and onto the chair I had been using earlier. That way we could sit together, which I was more than happy about, as you can imagine. I took the proffered cup of coffee as he slumped down onto the seat beside me and slid his arm round my shoulders again. Suddenly I didn’t feel that thirsty so I put my cup on the floor and drew my legs up underneath me, sliding my arm across his chest and resting my head on him. To my surprise he let out a contented sigh and placing his cup on the armrest he cradled me to him with his now free arm.


We sat for that for a long time, I was listening to his deep regular breathing and feeling his heart thumping steadily a few inches from my ear. It was like how I imagined being back in the womb would feel, as though I were part of him. “Scott?” I spoke into the soft material of his shirt.


“Mmm?” He sounded half asleep.


“What would you say if I said ‘I want to stay here with you tonight’?” There was a long silence.


“I’d say, ‘are you sure?’” He sounded awake now, and felt very alert although he hadn’t moved in any way.


“And if I said ‘yes’?”


“Then I’d say that I’d love you to stay here.”


“Good.” I lapsed back into silence. Finally he spoke, hesitantly as if unsure whether to say something or not.


“So DO you want to stay here tonight?”


“I think so.” I was right on the edge now of the most significant decision of my life.


“I don’t have a spare room, and this sofa isn’t very comfortable.”


He was giving me every chance I could have wanted to pull back from the precipice. I decided it was time to jump, I had wasted enough time already.


“Guess I’ll just have to bunk with you then.” He swallowed heavily and adjusted his position slightly.


“Mike, are you really sure about this?” I raised my head and looked into his eyes, his face was an odd mixture of concern and happiness.


“I don’t know, Scott, but this feels too good to stop. Maybe tonight you could just hold me and we’ll see how it goes? I don’t know if I’m ready to do any more, but I do know that I want to be with you.” He nodded and apparently satisfied that I meant it, his face resolved itself into a soft smile and he bent over me to kiss my forehead.


“That sounds wonderful.”



Part 8 : Bedtime

I pressed my face back into the soft fabric of his shirt, and felt the solid warmth of his chest beneath, his heart was beating faster now and I was thrilled by the fact. Even so, I began to wonder what I had just done. I had just asked this handsome, intelligent, perfect young man if I could sleep with him, and instead of laughing in my face he had said yes and kissed me! I had certainly come a long, long way since Thursday. I was absolutely complete at that moment, sure I was aware that there was so much more for us to do together, but right then all I wanted to do was stay in his arms, just as I was.


“Thank you, Dale.” I was barely aware I had spoken that thought aloud, but I guess I must have, because Scott answered.


“Calling out other men’s names already?” There was a teasing note in his voice, he knew all about Dale, my best friend, and his wife Eileen who had urged me to get together with Scott after our first embarrassing encounter at my office. I laughed lightly into his chest.


“Listen, Mike, this is great. I could stay like this all night, but my left arm’s gone to sleep, I’m going to have to move.” There was real regret in his tone, but it wasn’t half as much as mine.


“Sorry!” I pulled myself away from him and sat up straight.


“Will you please stop apologizing to me?” He gently rubbed his arm to get the blood flowing through it again and grinned at me to show he wasn’t serious.


“Or you’ll do what?” I taunted.


“This.” He pulled me close to him and kissed me on the lips again. This time I was prepared for him and wasn’t too surprised to respond and our tongues were soon dueling in the warm cavity formed by our mouths. “Now c’mon, you.” He was suddenly standing and had pulled me, seemingly effortlessly, to my feet. I was reminded that for all his gentleness towards me last night and all day today, Scott was no lightweight.


“You’re the boss.”


“Remember that!” And then his expression was serious again, “are you sure you want to do this, Mike?”


“Asked and answered. Yes, I’ve never been more sure about anything.” I squeezed his powerful arm and gave him my most sincere look.


“Okay.” We crossed the room, and he pushed open the door to his bedroom and stood back to let me go in first. It was a stark contrast to the untidiness we’d just come from, there was only one thing in the room. His bed. It was neatly made, and thrown across it was the suit he had taken off that morning. “Oh, let me move that!” He trotted across the room to grab the suit, smiled sheepishly at me and threw it on the heap of clothes on the chair. I was standing about a foot into the room, staring at the bed. His bed.


“Which side is mine?” I asked trying to ease the tension that suddenly filled the room. Then I noticed a clock, a book and a glass of water on the floor at the head of the bed. “I guess that one, then?” I indicated the other side.


“Whichever you prefer. Really.” He paused, and then, “God, this is awkward, you’d think it’d get easier!” I burst out laughing! Mr. Confidence was feeling awkward too, at least it wasn’t just me! I turned and hugged him tightly, he squeezed back and we stood like that for a while. When I let go of him, I felt more grounded, more in control of the situation, and a lot more relaxed.


“Well, unless you usually sleep in your clothes, I guess we’d better get undressed, huh?”


“I guess so.” He swallowed and began to undo the buttons of his shirt. I stood transfixed, I had intended to lead this process, but I was fascinated by the slowly growing V of skin as each button was undone. He was looking down at his chest intently, as though performing an unfamiliar operation. I became aware that my breathing was uneven as he pulled the tails of his shirt out of the waistband of his jeans and slipped it off completely.


“You’re so beautiful.” I breathed as I gazed at his smooth, well defined body. He looked up, blushing, but smiled at me and held out his arms I took two steps towards him and allowed him to wrap me in his strong arms and press me to his chest. I rested my head against his shoulder and realized that I was powerfully aroused by this man. I stood somewhat awkwardly, to avoid my crotch brushing against him. He must have noticed.


“It’s okay, Mike. Me too.” His voice was low and soft, such that I felt it almost more than I heard it. He slid his hand down my back to my waist and gently pulled my lower body towards him, I flushed beet red as he pressed his thigh against the bulge in my jeans. But it felt so good! Even so, my entire body stiffened at the contact. I resisted the urge to yank away from him in shame and embarrassment at having another man knowing I was aroused by him.


I struggled with my conflicting emotions as he held me like that. I desperately wanted to go on, to do anything he wanted me to do and at the same time I desperately wanted to run from the room screaming. Maybe this had been a terribly bad idea, maybe I should just have gone home, maybe we were moving too fast, maybe I wasn’t gay after all. All these thoughts and dozens of others tumbled through my confused mind as I tried to sort things out in my head, years of repression and lies were conflicting with a powerful, almost overwhelming desire for Scott.


He slid his hands back up and rested them on my shoulders pushing me gently away from him and I looked up at him, terrified that he was going to stop this and wishing desperately that he would. He smiled gently at me, and raised one hand to muss my hair. I tried to smile back, but it came out forced, more of a grimace and he gazed intently at me for a moment until I dropped my eyes. “I’m going to go to the bathroom, Mike. Why don’t you get into bed?” There was such warmth in his voice, I felt tears begin to well up again, but fought them back down.


“Thank you.” I whispered. He could see that I wasn’t ready, or that we were going to fast for me and was giving me a way out again. He turned and walked out of the room, closing the door behind himself.


When he was gone, I stood for a while breathing deeply and then, giving myself a shake, I stripped rapidly to my shorts and T-shirt. Despite all my uncertainty, I was determined to go through with this, I wanted so desperately to be with him. I placed my clothes in a fairly neat pile and lifting the covers of his bed I slid underneath. It was blissfully cool between the sheets and I laid my head back against the pillows. My heart was beating like a jackhammer and I tried to focus on relaxing my muscles.


A few minutes later, there was a tap at the door, but before I could answer it opened and Scott’s head came round it, a nervous smile on his lips. Seeing that I was in bed, he looked more relieved and came fully into the room. He came over and sat on the edge of the bed. I had a sudden feeling of d’j… vu.


“You okay? You want me to go sleep in the other room?” His concern for me was so touching.


“No! I’m fine, please, get in.”


“Okay.” He stood up and kicked off his sneakers, and began to unbutton his jeans. He kept his back to me, and I watched his muscles moving under his skin and felt a terrible urge to touch him again. After what seemed an age, he slid the jeans down and added them to the pile of clothes. Now wearing only his boxers, he turned and lifted the covers to slide into his bed beside me. I felt awful for making him feel awkward like this in his own home.


“Scott, I’m so sorry.” I whispered.


“I warned you about that!” He slid closer and resting his hand on my shoulder he bent over to kiss me. Suddenly what had seemed so welcome in the car was incredibly threatening and I tried to sit up, to get away. My head cracked against his and I was vaguely aware of his crestfallen expression before he jerked back with a startled yelp. Pain shot through my head and I too slumped back on the pillows. Before I could apologize again he started to laugh and my urge to flee faded. I propped myself on one elbow and leant over him, stroking his cheek with my free hand.


“What’s so funny, you?”


“You. Me. Us!” He gasped between laughs. He reached up and caught my hand, bringing it to his lips and kissing my fingers gently. “I’m sorry, Mike, I should have thought before I did that. I don’t want you to feel threatened, but you looked so good lying there...” He trailed off.


“You’re sorry? I’m the one who assaulted you.”


“Just a scratch, Sergeant, I can go on.” He joked.


“Shh.” I placed my finger against his lips and scooted closer to him. Laying my head back on right side of his chest and my hand on the left.


“Lift up.” He said and when I did he slid his arm under mine and up onto my shoulders so he could pull me a little closer and stroke my back gently.


“I didn’t meant to jerk away like that, Scott,” I murmured. “I really, really wanted you to kiss me, I just felt pinned suddenly, trapped. I’m sorry.”


“That’s two kisses I owe you now.”


“It is, isn’t it?” I raised my head and looked into his beautiful brown eyes and saw only affection there. He leaned forward and kissed me lightly, twice, on the lips. I gazed into his eyes for a moment longer and then quietly said, “sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry.” True to his word he kissed me again, on the forehead, both my eyes and my nose. Then he placed his lips against mine and we kissed deeply and slowly.


“Guess I lost count.” He smiled at me as we broke the kiss. “God, you have such beautiful eyes.” His fingers were playing with my hair. I looked don at him and felt such a swelling in my chest I thought I would burst. He was painfully beautiful to me, how could I have been so lucky? What had I done to deserve a man like this, and why couldn’t I be the kind of man he deserved? I reached up to run my fingers through his soft, blond hair and marveled at how young and innocent he looked lying there, at how much trouble I was causing him and how well he was taking it all.


“Whatcha thinking?” He asked me.


“I was thinking how little I deserve to be here, and how great you are.” I replied honestly his fingers playing with the hair at the nape of my neck.


“What’s ‘deserve’ got to do with anything? I’ll tell you what you deserve, same as everyone else, you deserve to be happy. Are you? Happy that is?” His voice was lazy, but the tone serious.


“Wonderfully.”


“Well that’s all that matters. To me anyway.”


“Do you mean that?”


“Yes. Who knows why stuff happens? Who cares? We met and something was right and for reasons I don’t have I want nothing more than I want to be with you, right here, right now. Nothing else signifies, for now, this is my world.”


I gazed at him for a long moment, he held my gaze and didn’t blink or turn away. Every inch of him radiated sincerity and my heart thumped. I blinked and realized that I was crying, the tears running slowly down my cheeks. Tears of pure joy as I saw the rest of my life opening up before me. He brought his hand up to my face and wiped the tears gently from my eyes with a small chuckle and a shake of his head.


“Let’s not talk any more. Let’s not think about tomorrow, or about other people are about anything other than now. Okay?”


“Okay.” I managed as I sniffled and laid my head back onto his broad chest. I felt him sigh heavily and then all the tension seemed to flow from his body, as though he too had crossed some sort of boundary and was able to relax now. I snuggled into him and my eyes closed.


When I awoke it was in a strange bed with a warm weight across me. I was lying on my side, Scott’s warm chest at my back, his arm round me and his breath gentle on the back of my neck. I tried not to move, not to disturb his slumber, to make the moment last, but he must’ve sensed I was awake and with a soft snuffling sound he woke himself. He stretched and rolled onto his back away from me.


“How’d you sleep?” He asked. This was typical of the Scott I was coming to know, his first thought on waking was to check how I was.


“Amazingly well. I haven’t shared a bed in the longest time, I never thought I’d be able to get to sleep. Especially with someone as gorgeous as you lying next to me!”


“Ha ha. But seriously, I’m glad you slept well, you looked so worn out last night.” I kissed his shoulder lightly, by way of thanks. His hand moved under the covers and sought out mine, squeezing it gently.


“I guess we should get up. Where’s your bathroom?” I asked. Suddenly I wanted to be up and moving, and not lying here. I don’t know why.


“It’s the one that’s not the kitchen. Clean towels are on the shelf, help yourself.” He hauled himself upright and swung his legs out the bed apparently sensing that it was time to start moving and that we’d only spoil this moment together by drawing it out further. As I went to have a shower, he began busying himself in the kitchen and I marveled once again at my incredible good fortune. I luxuriated in the shower, staying in far too long, I felt like I was washing away the last of my old life and my silly insecurities. Eventually Scott tapped on the door and asked if I had drowned which brought be back to earth. I hurriedly dried off and dressed myself.


In the kitchen, a simple breakfast was laid out on the breakfast bar (oddly enough) and Scott was sitting on one of the stools smiling at me with a rumpled, just woken up look, about him. He was still wearing only shorts, which was a bit of a distraction while I ate, but one I could more than live with. When I finished eating I reached across the table and squeezed his hand.


“Thanks, Scott.”


“For breakfast? No problem.” He knew that wasn’t what I meant.


“For Friday, for yesterday, for last night. For everything. You’ve no idea how much I appreciate what you’ve done for me.”


“You sound like you’re about to leave.” He looked apprehensive.


“No! God, no. I just wanted you to know how much it all means to me.”


“Okay, well, no problem I guess. I didn’t do anything special.”


“You were you, that’s more than special enough.”


“I think you overheated your brain in that shower! And speaking of which its my turn now.” He rose to leave.


“Hey can I make a quick call? Check my messages?”


“Sure, knock yourself out.”


I phoned my home number and dialed the code for my answering machine, I had four messages, so I played them back. They were all from Dale and Eileen. Starting Saturday morning, two more in the evening and one this morning. The first three were simply curious about where I was, the last reminded me that I was supposed to be going over for dinner tonight and asking very archly where I had spent the night. I stood for a moment considering my options and then dialed their number. The phone rang only a couple of times before Eileen answered.


“Hey, Eileen, its Mike.”


“Michael! Its been too long.” She said sarcastically, “Where have you been?” I could hear Dale in the background demanding to be allowed to talk to me or at least for the call to be put on speaker.


“It’s a long story. I’ll tell you later, this isn’t my phone.”


“You dog!” Dale’s voice.


“Well that settles it, you’re not coming to dinner any more, Mike, you’re coming to lunch. And bring a friend!” Eileen, always keen to get the latest news had spoken!


“Um, I dunno, I’d have to check that.”


“Check what.” It took me a moment to realize that the voice was behind me and not coming through the phone line. I turned to see Scott toweling dry his hair again.


“Was that him?” Eileen squeaked in my ear, “Put him on!”


“Its Dale and Eileen, they want us to come to lunch today. But if you don’t want to that’s okay, really.” I explained with my hand over the mouthpiece.


“No problem, I’d like to meet your friends. They sound great.”


“Are you sure about this? They can be pretty weird, and Dale will cross examine you, he won’t pull any punches.”


“Oh I’m big enough and ugly enough to look after myself, but thanks for the concern!” He smiled at me and ruffled my hear before ambling off to his bedroom to get dressed. I took a deep breath and turned my attention back to the telephone.


“Mike? Mike? What’s going on. He’s not talking. Mike?”


“Okay, Eileen, we’ll see you for lunch. Should I bring anything?” I was already dreading this, they were my oldest and best friends, but I knew this would be an ordeal.


“Just lover boy!” Peals of laughter came down the phone at me. “Oh, Mikey! I’m so excited for you!”


“See you later.” I hung up.



Part 9 : Lunch

I was not at all convinced that this was a good idea, but I shouted through the door to Scott to check that he really was okay with the whole thing and he said he was. He also said I should stop worrying, which is like telling a fish it should stop swimming. Love me, love my neuroses. Sort of. I was standing by the telephone chewing my thumbnail when his tousled head popped round the door-frame.


“What should I wear to this?” This was his biggest concern? What he should wear? What does one wear to enter the lion’s den? A suit of armor might be an idea!


“Whatever, it won’t be formal.”


“Whatever is not, and never has been, an acceptable answer. I want to make a good first impression on your friends.”


“I don’t know, smart but casual, I guess.”


“You were meant to say: ‘you’ll make a good impression whatever you wear’, you scumbag.” He threw the damp towel he’d been holding at my head and grinned at me.


“Sorry. Distracted. But you’re right, you will.” And he would, he was so beautiful, how could he not? But then, Dale and Eileen would not be judging him on his beauty.


“Not that I was fishing for compliments or anything.” He disappeared back round the door frame and I could dimly hear him rummaging through his piles of clothes for the perfect ensemble.

I continued to ruminate on the upcoming torture while he dressed and preened in the bathroom. My one hope for salvation was that the girls would be there, Eileen would be more restrained in front of the children. I must have been standing there for some time, because when I looked up Scott had finished preparing himself and, my God, but he looked stunning. Better than he ever had before. Gone was the rumpled look of the previous day, before me was a vision of beauty in gray pants and a dark blue silk shirt, his hair immaculately styled. I caught my breath.


“Does that mean you approve?” He asked mischievously, crossing his arms across his broad chest.


“Yes!” The clothes looked so good on him I could hardly control the urge to tear them off!


“I can scrub up pretty good when I try.”


“You certainly can. They’re going to love you. I...” I almost added ‘do’, but caught myself just in time. He cocked his head at me oddly.


“You, on the other hand, look like shit!”


“Oh, thank you!” But he had a point. I needed a shave and a change of clothes badly. Not that I would have traded last night in his arms for all the clean clothes on Earth! As I remembered the feeling of his touch, the texture of his skin, I shuddered and my stomach performed a flip. How could I be so lucky? “Guess we’d better do something about that, huh?”


“Sounds like a plan. So we’re heading over to your place?


Or are you going to prop up that wall all day?”


“You, are not a nice person.”


“Sure I am.” He leaned over to kiss my cheek, and I was forced to admit that he was a nice person after all. “It was my winning personality that attracted you to me, surely?”


“Well it sure as hell wasn’t your looks!”


“Ouch!”


Satisfied that I had scored the winning point I pushed myself upright and slipped an arm round his waist. “Shall we get this over with, then?”


“Listen to you! These are your friends we’re talking about, it’ll be fun.” He squeezed my shoulder and his touch had the same magically calming effect it always had.


“Fun is not the word that springs to mind.” We walked like that down to my car which was parked on the street outside and drove in a pleasant, comfortable silence across town to my apartment. Once inside I told him to make himself comfortable while I got ready. I went into my bedroom and turned my thoughts to what I was going to wear. This had never been an issue before, I would go over to Dale and Eileen’s place a couple of times a week and never once had it occurred to me to think about what to wear to do so. Now I was pulling shirts and pants from my wardrobe and holding them up to each other, trying to decide what would look the best and, as importantly, compliment Scott’s outfit. I finally settled on a pair of khaki pants and a gray turtleneck. Satisfied with that, I wandered through to the bathroom to shave before rejoining Scott.


“Richie!” I gasped as I walked in.


“Hey,” Scott said as I walked back into the room, “I made a new friend.” Oh God! I had completely forgotten about Richie I had been so caught up in Scott. My poor cat hadn’t been fed for days and here he was now purring louder than a train as Scott stroked his back. Scott looked up and smiled broadly at me, “You look great!”


“Thanks. I can’t believe I forgot about my cat, though!”


“He was out on the fire escape, scratching at the window, so I let him in and gave him some food. He seems much happier now, he’s purring.” He turned his attention back to Richie’s multi-colored fur as the cat wound itself round his legs, getting hairs all over his pants.


“I’d purr if you did that to me!”


“Come over here and I’ll do it!” He grinned at me.


“You’re getting hair on your pants.” I changed the subject.


“Doesn’t matter, he’s cute, and he seems to like me. Does that mean I can stay over some time? Does it? Huh? Does it?” He put on a little boy voice and looked up at me with big round eyes, I couldn’t help but laugh. I seemed to be laughing all the time since I’d met him. Well, that and crying.


“We’ll see.”


“Okay, you, enough, your master needs to be taught a lesson.” He gently pushed Richie away from his legs and rose from his seat to come over to where I was standing.


“What kind of a lesson?” I took a step backwards and held my hands up in mock surrender.

“We’ll see!” He flashed me an evil grin and, before I knew what was happening, he lunged forward catching me round the waist and swinging me round so I ended up flat on my back on the sofa with all the air knocked out of me. Before I had a chance to properly get my breath back he began to tickle me and I was soon squirming around, laughing uncontrollably and gasping strangled entreaties for him to stop. “Do you want to change your answer yet?” He halted his torments for a moment.


“Yes! Yes! I’m sorry! You can stay over!” I gasped my answer out as I tried to get air back into my lungs, I hadn’t laughed so hard in a long time.


“Good answer. But you know what you did?”


“What’d I do?”


“You apologized to me again!” His head bowed to mine, and we were kissing again. It was a long, slow, tender kiss that lifted me up and out of myself and made me sure that I wanted to spend as much time as I possibly could with this impossibly wonderful man. “And now my hair is a mess!” He chided softly as we broke and I realized I had been clutching at his head as we kissed.


“I...” I started to speak but was stopped by his mouth pressing back onto mine, showing me that he didn’t really mind about his hair. He tasted so good I wanted to keep doing this forever! I wrapped my arms round his back and pulled him down so he was lying half beside me and half on top, not caring this time that he could feel my erection pressing urgently against him. He came up for air after a while and stroking my cheek gazed into my eyes. He rested his hand flat on my belly.


“What time are we meant to show for lunch?”


“Soon.” I breathed.


“Guess I’ll have to take care of you later then.” He joked.


“Is that a promise?”


“Do you want it to be?” There was still a trace of humor in his voice.


“Yes.” Suddenly I was all seriousness. I realized that I did want him to, absolutely and unreservedly, I wanted him to promise that when we came back after lunch he would help me take the biggest step of my life.


“Then it is a promise.” His tone and the sincerity in his eyes told me that he was no longer joking and I felt an overwhelming wave of love for this gentle, caring man. I raised my head to kiss him and breathed a thank you into his ear. “No, thank you, Mike. Thank you.” He pressed his face against my neck and we just held each other. Just then, Richie jumped up to join us and started to rub against my cheek, causing me to giggle and the moment was over.


“Right, you,” I informed the cat, “You’re going back outside and we’re going to lunch.” I fitted my actions to my words and scooped him up to deposit him back on my fire escape.


“Let’s go then. I want to meet the people who persuaded you to call me!” Scott squeezed my hand and smiled.


“Okay. Grab a bottle of wine from the kitchen would you?” I straightened myself up a bit, found my car keys and we were ready to go.


I pulled into the drive of Dale’s house and killed the engine. For a while I sat and breathed, Scott waited quietly beside me until I had gathered myself and then he leaned over to kiss me. “It’ll be fine.” He was right, I pulled myself together and got out the car, he followed me to the door which was thrown open by a grinning Dale before I could raise my hand to the bell.


“I thought you were going to sit out there all day!” He punched my shoulder and then turned his attention to the man standing beside me. “And you MUST be Scott! I’m Dale.” He practically pushed me aside as he came forward with outstretched hand. Scott took the proffered hand and shook it with a broad smile on his face.


“Nice to meet you, Dale, and thanks for inviting me to your home. I’ve been looking forward to meeting you, Mike’s told me a lot about you.”


“I’ll bet, but I haven’t heard nearly enough about you yet! Come on in guys, Eileen’s in the dining room adjusting and re-arranging stuff. Anyone would think you were Bill and Hilary the way she’s behaving!” He stood back and gestured for both of us to enter and then followed us in, closing the door behind himself.


“Michael!” Eileen bustled into the hall. “And this must be Scott! Mike didn’t do you justice, you’re absolutely gorgeous!” Scott flushed a deep red as she looked him up and down.


“Um, thanks, this is for you.” He held out the bottle of wine.


“Oh, you shouldn’t have bothered.”


“No bother, really, its from Mike’s kitchen!” He was recovering his composure enough to favor her with a brilliant smile.


“Honest as well as handsome! Well come on through to the dining room. Its just the four of us, the girls are with my mother.” I stole a glance at Scott and rolled my eyes at him. “I saw that, Michael.” Eileen chided. “Now everyone take a seat and Dale will get you a drink.” And with that she was gone back through to the kitchen. I saw what Dale meant as I looked round the dining room, Eileen was always house proud but today everything gleamed and the best tableware was out. There was a beautiful floral arrangement on the table.


Once we all had drinks in hand, Dale and Eileen sat down and there was an awkward silence as we all waited for someone else to open the conversation. I was dreading what would be said, and trying desperately to think of any neutral topic that would keep Dale from his interrogation. To my surprise, it was Scott who opened the conversation.


“So I guess I should thank you two for persuading Mike to call me?” he smiled broadly at both of them and at my open mouthed expression - still I supposed we might as well get it over with.


“He told you that, huh?” Dale sounded amused.


“Yeah, it was a good plan, but Mike screwed it up.” He went on to tell them about the papers with my name on them, my eagerness to get out the office and the fact that I told him on a Friday that I had a big presentation the next day! I had no idea I had screwed it up that badly, but it made Dale and Eileen laugh so much during the telling that it well and truly broke the ice. They thought the story of my drunken stupor was pretty damned funny too, so far I was not coming out well from this story. The conversation went on from there to safe, neutral topics and continued pleasantly enough for a while.


“So what got you into the copier business, Scott?” Dale sounded genuinely interested in the answer, as though he thought Scott could do far better for himself. Which he certainly could, this was a bright boy. Scott flinched.


“My uncle got me the job. I bummed around for a few years after high school and never made it to college. My parents couldn’t really have afforded to send me anyway, but at the time I was convinced I could be a great artist instead and didn’t need college. I’m saving up now, so I can afford to go.”


“An artist?”


“Um, yes, just a hobby really.” Scott seemed generally disinclined to talk about his drawing, changing the subject every time I had raised it.


“Don’t listen to him guys, he’s really good!” Before Scott could protest I had pulled out my wallet and retrieved the sheet of folded notepaper I had put in there on Saturday morning. The picture he drew of me sleeping. I handed it to Eileen.


“You’ve been carrying that around with you?” Scott was frowning at me.


“Sure I have, its really good.”


“He’s right, Scott, this is very good. You’ve really captured him.” Eileen was casting the critical eye of a Fine Arts major over the little drawing. “Would you draw me sometime?” She suddenly blurted out.


“Um, I guess so, if you want me to.”


“Oh I do! But you mustn’t use a ball-point!” She smiled at him and he seemed to relax a degree as well. “Now, Dale, you stay here and talk to Mike while Scott helps me bring through the lunch things.”


“I can help, if you want.” I volunteered, but this was clearly planned as it was Dale and not Eileen who responded.


“No, that’s okay. I think they’ll cope.” So we were to be split up and talked to separately. Scott seemed unfazed by this obvious ploy, as he rose to follow Eileen to the kitchen, he squeezed my shoulder and smiled at me and I saw a small smile flicker across Eileen’s face as he did so. They left for the kitchen.


“That was subtle, Dale.” I glared at him.


“Oh, stop your whining! She’s not going to hurt him, she just wants to talk to him. And I want to talk to you.”


“About what?” I was not feeling very cooperative suddenly.


“What the hell do you think? About where you’ve been all weekend and what you’ve been up to. And what’s going on with you and Scott, who seems like a really nice guy by the way...” Before he could go on, I interrupted.


“Where I’ve been all weekend is with Scott, what we got up to isn’t really any of your business. And what’s going on is, well, I don’t know. I like him a lot, Dale, and I think I’m falling for him. But its all too new for me to know what I want to happen, or where I want this to go.”


“Uhuh? Rubbish. You know exactly what you want, you’re just scared to admit it to yourself. But you should. And you should admit it to Scott too. Have you seen the way that guy looks at you?”


“How does he look at me, oh Great One?” Dale was beginning to annoy me. I knew he had my best interests at heart, but he was lecturing me about a relationship I may or may not have with a man he’d only known for about a half hour. Where did he get off?


“I know you guys only met a few days ago, but its pretty obvious to me that he cares about you, though God knows why. And its equally obvious that you care about him. So spill, what happened this weekend?” I stared at Dale, with my mouth slightly open, had he said what I thought he said? I mean, I knew that Scott liked me, that was clear, but until Dale said that he could see he cared about me it hadn’t seemed one hundred percent real. Now it did.


“You think he cares about me?”


“If I had just met you two, I’d have thought you’d been together forever. In fact, I’ll go further and say I think he’s falling for you. Which is good, as you’ve totally fallen for him!” Suddenly I wanted to tell Dale everything.


“I think I may love him, Dale. But I’m afraid.”


“Afraid of what? What might happen, or what you’re feeling?”


“What I’m feeling, its been a long time. And its such a big change.”


“I understand. But you can’t spend your whole life beating yourself up. Now tell me about your weekend.” I gave Dale a quick summary of the events of the weekend, editing it a little to make myself appear a bit less pathetic and he listened carefully to the whole story, grunting every so often to indicate that he was taking it all in. When I got to the conversation Scott and I had had before coming over for lunch his face broke out in a broad smile. “I guess we’d better keep this lunch short, then?”


I blushed beet red and grinned like a fool at Dale. Suddenly I had an urge to hug my old friend and thank him profusely for everything he’d done for me. I was definitely finding it harder to control my emotions these days. Maybe I’d just spent too long bottling stuff up. I reached across and gave Dale’s hand a squeeze, “Thanks, man.”


“That’s what friends are for, Mikey. To tell you when you’re being an idiot.” It was in the middle of this touching scene that Eileen returned from the kitchen, carrying a try and followed by a smiling and similarly laden Scott.


“Well, we’ve had a lovely chat in the kitchen, and I see you boys have too, so let’s eat.” Eileen beamed at me. “You’re a lucky man, Mike, this one’s a definite keeper!”


The rest of the meal passed uneventfully with us all chatting away as though we were old friends and I found myself smiling foolishly as I sat back and listened to my new best friend talking to my oldest friends like they’d known each other all their lives. Eileen couldn’t have been more right, this one WAS a keeper, and I was going to do anything it took to be with him. After lunch and coffee, Dale stood up and announced that he’d love to keep chatting, but he had some papers to go over. Eileen gave him a black look, but Scott and I seized the opportunity to thank them for lunch and make a hasty departure.


“It was lovely meeting you Scott. Mike’s a very lucky man. And so are you!” Eileen kissed his cheek.


“I know. Thanks again.”


“Remember to call me about that portrait.”


“I will.” We got into my car and as the doors closed he said, “Well that was pretty good. I had fun, they’re both really nice and its obvious they care about you a lot.”


“Okay, stop it, just tell me what you and Eileen talked about.” I didn’t mean to be short with him, but I was desperate to know what had been said. He just smiled at me and shook his head.


“That’s between us. For now. I might tell you later.”


“You can’t do this to me!”


“Watch me.” His wicked grin made it impossible to be mad at him and I threw my arms round his neck and kissed him on the cheek.


“Okay. Later. Thanks for doing this Scott.”


“Hey, my pleasure, really. For you.”


I kissed him again and then moved back a little to look deeply into his wonderful brown eyes. “Take me home and make love to me.”


“Or lose you forever?” He was smiling, but I could feel the pulse in his neck racing.


“Something like that.”


“Can’t.”


“Why not?”


“You’re driving.” He kissed me on the lips and I wasted no time in starting the engine.

Part 10 : Consummation

My hands were shaking as I maneuvered through the traffic back to my apartment building. Astonishingly, we made it in one piece and I didn’t crash. I have never been more anxious about anything in my life and my heart was pumping like crazy. As we got out of the car to go up to my apartment, I realized that neither of us had said a word on the way over. Scott was letting me have some quiet to think, but he broke the silence as we climbed the stairs.


“I like your friends.” He smiled at me shyly, aware that this was a very new thing for me and trying to keep the mood light. I felt a great surge of affection for this man who always put me first in his thoughts.


“They liked you, too. How could they not? You’re wonderful.” I kissed his cheek to show I meant what I said and opened the door to my apartment. Once inside, Scott turned to face me and smiled his wonderful smile, a gentle expression on his face.


“So, here we are.”


“Here we are.” I agreed.


“And this is it.”


“This is it.” I parroted.


“Mike.” He cleared his throat nervously. “I want you to be absolutely sure about this. ‘Cause there’s no going back once we do this.”


For once, although I was scared half to death of what might be about to happen, I knew with an absolute clarity and certainty that I did want it. I wanted nothing more, in the short time we’d known each other, I had grown to love this funny, gentle young man and I could think of nothing better than being with him. I stepped forward and slid my arms round his body, feeling the whispery texture of the silk, and leant my head against his chest. His heart was pounding as hard as mine which sent a thrill through me. He brought his arms up and hugged me tightly to him with a sigh, his hands were shaking.


“Please don’t be freaked, Mike, but I think I’m falling in love with you.” He breathed into my hair. His voice was so quiet and hesitant, so unlike his usual voice in fact, that I wondered at first if he hadn’t actually spoken and I had imagined it. But he had.


Could he really mean that? If he did then I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was the happiest man alive. I loved him with all my heart but had stopped myself from saying so for fear of scaring him off and because I was so unused to the whole idea of feeling like this about another man. Now here he was saying it to me. I looked up into his eyes and saw the utter sincerity that I had hoped so desperately would be there, and along with it a terrible vulnerability. I barely trusted myself to speak, but I had to say something. Scott had just laid himself completely open to me and my next words would be the most important of my entire life. Dozens of possible responses rushed through my mind in the seconds before I answered.


“Good.” I leaned forward to kiss him on the lips. I let that one word sink in for a moment before going on. “Because I already have fallen in love with you.” He hugged me so tight I thought my ribs were going to break.


“Scott, I can’t breathe!”


“Sorry!” He released me at once. “But you just made me the happiest man alive.” He was smiling so broadly I could practically see his wisdom teeth.


“You know the punishment around here for apologizing! Besides, you’re only the second happiest man alive.” I (partly) joked and kissed him softly on the lips again. “Let’s have a seat.”


Suddenly, I could no longer trust the muscles in my legs to keep me upright. The expression on his face was doing something which had, until now, been nothing more than a silly expression: making me weak at the knees. We sat down together and he took my hand a little shyly.


“I don’t know what to say, Mike, I just want to hug you so tight! I want to show you that I really meant what I said.”


“I know you do, it’s written all over your face, and it’s amazing.”


“We barely know each other, but I want to be with you all the time, I want you to meet my friends and family. I want you to BE my friends and family.” He smiled goofily and blushed again, “How dopey did that sound? Sorry, but I...”


What could I do? He’d broken the rule about apologizing again and if I hadn’t kissed him he’d have gone on babbling and making a fool of himself. And, believe me, I know all about making a fool of myself. So I kissed him again and this time it quickly went from being a peck to a full, glorious kiss. A kiss from Scott, my boyfriend, my BOY friend, MY boyfriend. Wow! I hugged him almost as tightly as he had hugged me.


“Mike? Would it break the mood if I asked for a drink?


Only my mouth is really dry right now.” The apologetic note in his voice made me burst out laughing, I couldn’t stop myself.


“Mine too.” I finally managed. “Wait here, I’ll get them.” I rose and left the room for my kitchen. When I got there, I leant against the counter and hyperventilated for a while before pouring two glasses of juice. I could hardly persuade myself that the events of the last twenty minutes or so had actually occurred. That sitting, at that very moment, in my living room was a beautiful, kind, sincere young man who had just told me that I, was all he could think about. I was! Me! Me? That’s what he’d said.


I went back through with the glasses of juice and handed one to Scott. As he took it, I noticed that his hands were still shaking slightly. Come to that, so were mine. He drained his drink in one gulp and smiled weakly at me.


“Wow. You really were thirsty, weren’t you?” I smiled back.


“Guess you have that effect on me.” This sort of jibing was more the Scott I was used to. That said, I loved seeing his more vulnerable side every bit as much as the cocky side. I sat back down beside him and placed my unfinished drink on the coffee table. I had a sudden flash of d’j… vu, it was so like the night I had been so drunk he had to put me to bed. I reached out and laid my hand on his knee. He looked down at it, then placed his own hand on top of mine and squeezed gently.


“I want this to be perfect for you, Mike. I want that so much.” He gazed steadily into my eyes. “I want everything to be perfect for you.”


“You’re here, it will be perfect.” I was absolutely confident that that was true, and surprised myself with the strength of my voice as I said it. “You are the most amazing man I have ever known, Scott. I still can’t work out why you want to spend your time with me.”


“I hope to God you’re joking. I don’t want to have to hit you.”


“Hit me?” That wasn’t the response I had expected.


“For being an idiot.”


“Me?”


“You. Mike, you are a sweet, caring, sensitive, intelligent, handsome, funny, decent, loving, fantastic human being. That’s why I want to be with you.” He reached out to touch my cheek before going on. “That’s why I love you. And I’m not just saying that to get you into bed!”


“I know you wouldn’t do that.”


“Good.” He took his hand away from my face and ran it slowly down my arm to take my hand once again in his. I wondered briefly if my palm was sweating, as it ought to have been. His was gloriously warm and dry, and his grip so firm and sure as he held my hand. I wanted for him never to let go of me.


“Scott? Remember that thing I said in the car?”


“Which ‘thing’ in particular?” His eyes sparkled as he grinned at me.


“You are not funny. You know very well what ‘thing’.”


“Sure I do, but I want to hear you say it again. I liked it.”


“Okay, fine.” I punched his shoulder. “Make me suffer.”


“I’m only kidding.” The mischief was still in his eyes but there was also a certain caring something that told me he didn’t really want me to squirm.


“Scott, I know you’re kidding, but you’re right. I need to say it again. For me, if not for you.” I took a deep breath and looked as steadily as I could into his eyes. “Scott, I want you to make love to me.” He grinned broadly at me and took both my hands in his.


“Your wish, is my command.” And with that he rose to his feet, pulling me to my feet with him. We embraced and kissed, a long slow kiss. His strong hands moved slowly and gently up and down my back, one rising to bury itself in my hair and press me even more closely to him.


“Just...” I began, and then hesitated.


“Just what?”


“Just, take it, you know, slowly?”


“Mike, you know I will. I won’t do anything you don’t want me to do. I won’t rush you. And I CERTAINLY won’t hurt you. You believe me, don’t you?”


“Of course I believe you. I’m just nervous, I guess. It’s like being a teenager again, I’m afraid...”


“Of me?” There was incredulity and a trace of sadness in his voice.


“No! It’s not that at all. It’s, well, it’s... I’m afraid


I won’t be any good. That I’ll disappoint you, that you won’t enjoy it.” I blurted out. He looked long and hard at me, satisfying himself of something, and then burst out laughing.


“Oh, Mike! You could never disappoint me.”


“This IS my first time, Scott.” I blushed as I said that.


“So do what feels good. Just let go, and don’t be afraid to try something. You’ll be able to tell if I’m enjoying it! I’ll do the same, and I guarantee you this’ll work out just fine. And even if it doesn’t, practice really does make perfect, and I for one won’t give up.” He kissed my forehead and I felt a great upsurge of love for him.


“Neither will I.” I said with as much firmness as I could command. “Should we go through to the bedroom?”


“Whatever you want.” He cocked his head and waited for a response.


“Okay, let’s. And I will hold you to that!”


“I sincerely hope so! I’m yours one hundred percent, to do with as you will. Now, don’t just stand there!”


We went through to the bedroom, holding hands, me first, sort of leading him. And I realised I hadn’t slept in there since Friday night and the bed was still unmade since then. It gave the room a very disordered appearance and I was about to apologise for it when it struck me that it was very likely about to get much more rumpled than it was. I turned to face Scott and released his hand, I looked up at him and smiled as I reached for the top button of his shirt. He smiled back and put both hands on my waist as I began to unbutton his shirt. I fumbled it a little, it had been some time since I had undone anyone else’s clothing, but soon had the buttons undone and the shirt untucked.


He moved his hands away from my waist and undid the cuff buttons allowing the shirt to fall from his shoulders and into a crumpled pile behind him. I gazed at his beautifully proportioned body once more and reached out to touch him. His skin was so warm and soft, and the muscles beneath so firm it nearly took my breath away. I ran my hand gently down his sides and across his belly, to the top button of his pants. As I did so, I became aware that he was breathing more heavily. I drew my hand back and reached for the waistband of my sweater, I was shaking slightly.


“Here, let me.” He said suddenly, surprising me a little. I willingly raised my arms and allowed him to pull my sweater up and over my head. As it pulled free, I became acutely aware that my entire upper body was bare and exposed in front of this man. I am not a lightweight, but I certainly didn’t have Scott’s body and I felt a little self-conscious standing there. Then the thought that he had undressed me while I was unconscious on Friday night returned and I couldn’t contain my laughter. “What’s so funny, you?” He asked me with a grin as dropped my sweater to the floor.


“I was thinking, this isn’t the first time you’ve had to take my clothes off for me. It just struck me as funny. Guess it’s a bit easier this time, with me being awake, huh?”


“Just a bit, you’re less like a sack of potatoes this time! Not much, but less.” He smirked at me and I slapped his bare shoulder. “Ouch!”


“You asked for it.”


“I guess I did. Besides, I like it when you treat me rough!” We both cracked up at this and I felt my self-consciousness going. “You know, I didn’t peek on Friday, this is the first time I’ve seen you without a shirt on?”


“And?” I wasn’t sure I wanted him to answer.


“Not bad. For an old guy.” The grin told me he wasn’t serious.


“Thanks for the compliment.”


“Anytime. Actually, I think you have a wonderful body. Nice definition.” He ran the fingers of one hand down my sternum and I shivered at his touch. Suddenly I felt the bed against the back of my knees and with gentle pleasure to my chest I tipped and ended flat on my back on the bed. “Very nice. You know, I think I’m going to kiss you all over.” And he matched actions to words. It felt amazing as his lips and hands moved over my upper body, swirling round my nipples and tracing the light dusting of hair down to my belly-button. Then he sat up, one hand on my hip, the other on my belly, a questioning look on his face.


“Can I see you naked?” He asked quietly.


“You first.” I breathed. He grinned broadly at me and in one graceful movement he was on his feet again, his shoes were off and his pants were round his ankles. He stepped out of them and kicked them across the room. He was standing before me now in only shorts and socks and, oh my God, did he look delectable! He raised one leg, flamingo-like, pulled the sock off and dropped it, repeating the process with the other foot. Ridiculous though that pose should have looked, I found it and him intensely arousing. The reality of this situation had just eclipsed each and every fantasy I had ever had, and we’d barely started.


“Want me to keep going?” He teased.


“No.” I answered him.


“What?” He looked confused and a little lost. I lay still, looking up at him for a moment or two, giving him a taste of his own medicine. But I couldn’t make myself be cruel to him, so I finished the sentence.


“No. I want to continue for you. Come here.” His face lit up again as he caught my meaning and that I had been teasing him.


“You’re a laugh riot, Michael Robins. But I forgive you.” He dropped back onto the bed and was lying beside me, kissing my lips and stroking my chest. I allowed my hands to slide to his waist and heard a small, happy sound escape his lips. He raised his hips from the bed, giving me easier access, and I sat up to slide his shorts down his long, well-muscled legs. And there he was, naked alongside me and seemingly totally at ease with it. I drew my breath in sharply.


As I had known it would be from our previous embraces, everything was perfectly in proportion to the rest of his body. Half of me, the half that had looked at pictures on the Internet and other men in the showers, was impressed at his physical perfection. The other half experienced a spasm of terror at how big it was, though I knew intellectually it was only a little above average, the thought of it being in me filled me with dread. As ever, though, Scott seemed to sense my unease and very gently reached out for me. He kissed me lightly.


“Don’t worry, Mike. I told you I wouldn’t make you do anything you didn’t want. We’ll take this at whatever pace you think you can take. I meant it, for now just lie back and enjoy.” I trusted him completely, and I knew he was serious when he said that, so I lay back. My stomach remained knotted and I knew I was still shaking but I tried to relax my body. He slid down the bed and squatted at the foot of it to unlace my shoes and slip those and my socks off. I heard the thud of each shoe as it hit the floor and felt his gentle hands pull my pant cuffs up slightly to get at my socks. Then he was back on the bed and undoing the button on my pants.


Soon they joined all our other clothes on the floor and I felt his warm breath on my thighs. His fingers lightly slid up the leg of my shorts and I gasped again as he stroked softly. Then his face was back next to mine, the whole experience was becoming disjointed as each new experience overwhelmed the previous one. I was experiencing his actions like stop-motion photography, but despite the strangely distant feeling, I ached for him.


“You okay?” He asked me, concern in his voice.


“I’ve never been better in my life. I can’t believe how amazing this feels. Because it’s you doing it.”


“I love you, Mike. I want this to be the best thing you’ve ever experienced. I really do.”


“I love you too, and it already is.” We kissed long and slow, our hands moving very gently over one another. I had become used to his nakedness now and felt a fool for my earlier fears. I still viewed it with trepidation, but was determined to do what I could to make him feel good too. Summoning up all my courage, I reached for him and squeezed gently. I had never touched another man as intimately as this, but I guess I did something right. His fingers gripped my shoulders tightly.


“Oh man!” His voice was strained. “That feels so good, Mike, but you don’t have to.”


“I know I don’t have to, but I want to.” I began to work my hand slowly up and down, basically doing to him what I had so often done to myself, I figured that was the way to go until he said otherwise.


“Oh God!” He closed his eyes and lay back on my pillows, one hand on me still the other clenched into a fist with a handful of my sheets in it. I took this as a good sign and continued what I was doing, never taking my eyes off his face. He looked beautiful like that, his eyes tightly closed, mouth open, his breathing ragged and I rejoiced deep inside myself at the effect I was having on him. He opened his eyes, obviously sensing me watching him, and smiled faintly at me, pulling himself upright to kiss me full on the mouth.


“Are you sure you’ve never done this?” He asked. He ran his fingers down one side of my torso while he kissed and nibbled at my other shoulder and my neck.


“Not to someone else.” I said, concentrating on keeping my stroke even. He barked out a short laugh and fell back on the bed again, eyes closed.


“Well you must’ve practised a whole hell of a lot, ‘cause it feels absolutely fantastic!” Was that a compliment or an insult? I no longer cared, it was all I needed to hear. I banished the little voice that was telling me to stop, grab my clothes and bolt. I never wanted to hear from that voice again, but I did want to hear the words Scott had just said, and the tone that told me he truly meant it. More than anything else, I wanted to hear that again, I picked up the pace.


“Still okay?” I asked as his chest heaved, knowing the answer from all the signals he was giving.


“Amazing, Mike. Amazing, but how come you’re still not naked.” He raised his head to look at me and I stopped what I was doing to answer him.


“Because you never fin...” Before I could complete the word I was on my back again and he had my shorts down to my ankles. He constantly amazed me with his strength and how fast he could move when he tried. He ran his fingers across my belly and downwards.


“Mike, you’re absolutely beautiful. I am so lucky to be here with you.” His fingers encircled me and my back arched with the pleasure of it, I groaned loudly. It was like the first time all over again, it was fantastic! “You like that, huh?”


“YES!” I cried out.


“Then you’ll love this!” And there was a warm, moist cyclone where his hand had been. He swallowed me with apparent ease and I threw myself back onto the pillows, my entire being focused on the sensations he was causing. His hands traveled up my body and every inch of skin they touched was set on fire. My mind reeled, this was better than anything I had ever felt before or ever imagined feeling. I clutched at his broad shoulders and concentrated all my attention on making this wonderful, wonderful feeling last as long as I possibly could.


“Oh, Scott!” I called out. “This is so amazing, it’s fantastic, it’s like nothing I ever felt before, but I want us to finish together!” My breathing was coming in harsh gasps and my words were interspersed between them as I struggled to get a coherent sentence out. He raised his head and looked into my eyes, drawing himself up to kiss my mouth.


“Me too.” His hand took up where his mouth had left off and I reached for him at the same moment, eager to return to my unfinished task. With our free hands we clutched at one another, kissing frantically. I knew this was going to be over for me soon. There was nothing I could do to prevent that, but I desperately wanted, when I went over the edge, to take Scott with me. I concentrated intently on what I was doing and willed myself to hold out for him. The room was filled with the sounds of our breathing and the occasional little gasp or moan, it was utterly intoxicating.


“Oh, God!” I moaned. “I can’t last much longer.”


“Neither can I.” He gasped back.


Moments later, I was proven right as his tender touch pushed me to my limit and I felt like my entire being was expelled from my body. I let out a loud cry that might have been his name and might have been some sort of primal, animalistic scream, I honestly don’t know. I was answered by him gasping my name against my neck and suddenly it was over for both of us. I felt my body, so tense moments ago, sag utterly and I lay still against him panting to get my breath back. I became aware that both our bodies were drenched in sweat as I came down slowly from the most intense orgasmic high of my life.


Scott lay, breathing heavily and unevenly, slightly under me. One hand was resting across my back and the other played gently with my hair. “Thanks, Mike, that was amazing, man.” He breathed softly in my ear.


“No, thank you.” I wanted to say so much more, but I couldn’t formulate my thoughts properly, all I knew was I was happy and sated. I never wanted to let go of him, but after a few more minutes I rolled over onto my back and my hand sought out his. “Sorry it was so quick.”


“I’d say it lasted about the prefect amount of time.” He said, squeezing my hand tightly, there was the old laughter in his voice. “And now I owe you another kiss.” He propped himself on one elbow and kissed me softly.


“Careful, you never know what you might provoke if you keep doing that.” I sighed my response.


“I can but hope!” He kissed me again and I knew that this would only be the first of many such experiences and that no matter what he would be there to help me overcome my fears and inhibitions. But more importantly than that, he would be there to love me, and I would always love him.

The End.




34 comments:

Nishiboy said...

Ang haba teh. Pa-email naman sakin, basahin ko in the future. Ampangit ng format pag copy+paste eh. exjasonblog@gmail.com

Mike said...

OMG ang haba ng post! LOL!

PusongSawi said...

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hinde ko talaga tinigilan teh!!!!!

jc said...

Nakarelate much naman ako dun hahaha!

I spent the whole hour painstakingly reading this on my phone. Major like!

Miggy's Biz said...

WOW. Ganda ng story! Gusto ko na ulit mainlove!

Nimmy said...

ang haba! iprint ko na lang miss chuni para manamnam ko. hehehe

candy said...

ate chuni, inantok ako... hindi bagay ang beautiness ko sa mga sushal na kwento...

Anonymous said...

grabeh ang haba pero worth reading... di ko pinalampas...

babasahin ko ulit to.. *wink

Bored and understimulated said...

Wow! I used to read Nifty too back in high school. Too bad hindi ko ito nakita. Sa dami ba naman ng stories doon :))

Anyway, this was so much better than any of the stories I've read there. Ganda! Ang raw ng emotions. never nawala ung smile sa muka ko. :)

RainDarwin said...

teh, di ko pa to nababasa. sobrang haba. (parang titi hehehe). jakol muna ako, basahin ko pag matutulog na ko.

Ms. Chuniverse said...

@Nishiboy... done! ;p


@Mike... Hahahaha!


@Pusong sawi... ganda devah?


@JC... wow, ang tyaga mo. pero sulit naman. haaay... sarap ma inlove. char.

Ms. Chuniverse said...

@Miggys... exactly! =)


@Nimmy... good idea! ;-)


@Candy... LOLZ! =)


@Anonymous... save a copy. =)


@Papa P... bate na naman???? =)

efrenefren said...

parang 2 hours ko din siyang binasa pero bitin pa din!

Kiks said...

kinabog ang cellphone ko nung inaccess ko ang blog mo, madam. kulang na lang lumuwa si copier guy sa aking screen. chos.

for dat, binookmark na sa nb para wit nang mawala.

salamat sa share.

burnoksky said...

Hi Ms. Chuni,

I've been a reader in a long time and everyday, your blog is one of the sites that I open to check for updates. Your entries make me company and stay connected at home.

This story is really awesome. It deserves to be read again...and again..and again!

iurico said...

Shet na malagket! Valentines na valentines ito ang binasa ko.

I was smiling the whole time. The author was able to brilliantly "picture" how amazing it is to be in love.

...And to be loved.

Ms. Chuniverse said...

@Efrenefren... ganun ba? hehehe.


@Kiks... you're welcome. =)


@Burnokski... Thanks! Kudos to the author. =)


@Iurico.... ang gandah anoh? haaay.....

Anonymous said...

Ms Chuni, tinapos ko talaga ang post na ito bago ako natulog. And it's 5:30 a.m. of Valentine's Day na pala. slow reader! hahaha. Danique (dansoyiscool@gmail.com)

Poy said...

very nice... mejo bitin though. Sana natuloy pa ung story after they did 'the thing' hehe...

efrenefren said...

ending the story with a sex scene is just telling the readers that relationships are about sex. i want to know what happens after the sex, the obstacles that they would overcome and if they live happily ever after.

Anonymous said...

miss chuni ang ganda ng story... i was smiling the whole time... talagang kinilig ako.. my housemate even asked me why i was smiling for hours now..i just responded with xemmpre..a smile..hehe.. ive been reading ur entries for the longest time but this is the first time na mag cocomment talaga ako.. :-)

Anonymous said...

I found my dale. I need my scott. Thanks for the story. Hope it would happen to me ..... he he - xanon2300

nOx said...

hayloveeet!!! i so wanna write the pinoy version! pero mas naka-relate ako kay scott for some weird reason.

and to efrenefren, it's a feel good story. a modern day fantasy. though you have a point. relationships are not just about the good, nifty (and erotic) parts. if you will notice, a bigger part (9 chapters, to be exact) was alloted for mike's inner struggles.

and yes, i also want to know what happens after the sex part. hopefully, buhay pa ang author para ipagpatuloy ito.

thanks ms chuni for posting this! kelan bday mo teh? bigyan kita ng book as gift :)

Mike said...

at binalikan ko talaga. kinilig tuloy ako at gusto kong sirain ang mga printers at copiers dito sa office para may dumating na copier guy. hihihi!

Ms. Chuniverse said...

@Danique... gandah devah?


@Poy... i doubt kung may continuation pa. 2004 pa yata sinulat itetch.



@Efrenefren... i think they did... live happily ever after. hihihi!


@Anonymnous... ganyan din ako after reading this. parehong pareho tayo. Nakangiti lang na parang tanga. hahaha!


@Xanon... pareho tayo ng wish. haaaayyyy....


@Nox... I agree with you. Birthday ko? debut ko sa June. Punta ka. Papa reserve ko Rizal ballroom ng Shangri-La Makati. Choz. Pero seriously, thanks ha. Mwah! =)


@Mike... Hahaha! Sana nga may copier guy tayong lahat.

UnbreakableJ said...

Oh my! MissChuni i really, really loved it.

Was a fan of nifty too. Pero more on homo-erotic yung binasa ko nun. HAHA. But this, i hell good!


Hayyyy.. made me hard, made me soft, made me teary-eyed! Kainis ka lang at nataon pang valentines. You made me feel more loveless. Haha.

Thanks again!

pongpong pagong said...

NICE, ganda ng kwento, worth it kahit mahaba...


hehe, kakilig.. :D

kenzer said...

Amazing! thanks for sharing!!!

kratos said...

Just finished reading it. Amazing story. It feels great to be inlove. My years long relationship started somehow like this so in a way, I can relate. Sometimes it not how long you know each other that makes the newly bloomed relationship work but on how you two really feel for each other. choz!

troy said...

ang sarap ma inlove hehehhe

gossipboi23 said...

miss chuni,

thank you for sharing this blog post. i was moved by the story in so many ways more than u can think of. thank you for starting ur blog at the time when u were in ur lowest point in life. yot have made us ur readers happy. thank you.
-gossipboi23miss chuni,

thank you for sharing this blog post. i was moved by the story in so many ways more than u can think of. thank you for starting ur blog at the time when u were in ur lowest point in life. yot have made us ur readers happy. thank you.
-gossipboi23

Bioutloud said...

very long but worth it.. great job

Anonymous said...

more than 3 hrs ko binasa, ms. chuni..

inuulit-ulit ko ung nakakakilig na parts and dialogues.. shet! ganun yata pag single at committed to being single for life hahaha! masaya na sa mga kuwento..pero mas masaya kung magiging reality ito sa ibang beks..kahit di na sa akin i gave up the thought i will be committed again..

lalo na na discover ko na pede naman pala maging single and happy.. basta maganda.. kahit di kasing ganda ng dyosang si ms. chuni.. trulili na nag iisa ka lang I KNOW RIGHT?

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