Brian fumbled for the phone and tried to ignore his growing arousal. The guy bobbing at his groin was good. "What?"
"Can I come over?"
Justin. For a moment, as the guy's tongue slithered up the head of his cock and flicked at the slit, he was tempted to hang up without saying anything. And then Justin said, "Please." Pause. "You're with someone, aren't you?"
And for some reason he lied. "No. Come on." He hung up. Tenderly disengaged his bed partner from his cock. "You have to go. My little brother's coming over." He got up and retrieved his jeans from the floor.
The trick looked around as he put on his clothes. "You must not be close. You and your family. No pictures."
Brian sneered, "We're not very photogenic."
"Maybe I can hang around until he leaves?" he suggested.
"He usually stays all night. Especially after he's gone eight rounds with the old man." He gave him a little nudge to get him started. "We'll reschedule."
Although he had hoped that the guy would be gone by the time Justin arrived, the teen must have called from around the corner, because he was jogging up the stairs just as the trick was waiting for the elevator. Fucking kids. The trick took one look at Justin and smiled. "You should be careful. I saw you two at Babylon the other night. Incest is against the law in Pennsylvania." With that, he boarded the elevator.
Shoving Justin ahead of him, Brian growled, "Get in there." Closed the door behind him. "You want anything?"
"Who was that?" Justin asked, sitting on the arm of the sofa.
"Census taker," Brian replied grabbing a beer from the fridge.
Justin cocked an eyebrow. "They did the census last year."
"He's getting an early start on the next one," said Brian, hunting for the bottle cap opener on the counter.
"So what'd he want to know? Your dick size?"
Ignoring the question, Brian restated his earlier inquiry, "Do you want anything?" He opened his beer and took a swig.
Justin sauntered over and took the bottle from Brian. Drank a mouthful. Placed the bottle on the counter and took hold of the zipper on Brian's jeans. "I could have told him, down to a sixteenth of an inch," he said, slowly drawing the zipper down.
Just as the zipper reached the end of its track, Brian pulled away. Undid the button on his fly, dropped his jeans, and stepped out of them. He picked up his beer and sat naked in one of the dining chairs. "How was school?"
Deciding that he would play along with the game, Justin walked around behind Brian and laid his hands on his bare shoulders. "You've never asked me about school before." He slid his hands down over Brian's chest.
Removing one of Justin's hands, Brian placed the beer bottle in it. "It's called showing an interest in another person's life. People do that, they tell me."
"Yeah, people who are friends… or lovers… or boyfriends…" said Justin listing the things that Brian had once said they weren't. "Which are we?" he asked taking the bottle over to the counter and again setting it down. He returned to the table and knelt at Brian's feet.
Brian tried to ignore the teen's fingers as they inched up his torso. "I think we should reject labels. Think outside the box. So?" He caught Justin's hand just as it was about to tweak his nipple. "How was school?"
He leaned over and kissed Brian's stomach. "Well," he said, his lips moving against his skin, "I haven't lost any body parts, so I guess it went okay."
Despite his resolve, his cock stirred. "And that's supposed to be funny?"
Justin circled Brian's navel with his tongue. "Yeah, and this is supposed to be provocative and sexy as hell."
Brian's stomach muscles fluttered as Justin made his way back down his belly, leaving a wet trail on his skin. Taking a shallow breath, he said, "You and Daphne, watch out for each other. If anything happens to you, Deb and your mom are gonna come over here and kick my ass."
By now Justin had spread Brian's legs open and was kissing the inner plane of his thigh. "It's not your fault."
"It's always my fault."
He kissed the side of Brian's knee. "That the only reason?"
Attempting to distract himself from the pulses of pleasure radiating from the spots Justin had kissed, Brian replied in a light voice, "No. Daphne's mom would probably join 'em."
Justin licked a path from Brian's knee to the point where his thigh met his groin. "She has a black belt in tae kwon do."
Finally, Brian just reached down and held Justin's head still. "I'm serious. This Hobbs kid is a fucking psychopath." He saw again Chris Hobbs threatening Justin outside of Woody's; he had wanted to grab him and beat the shit out of him, but even more he had wanted to gather Justin in his arms and keep him safe. "Gay or straight, it doesn't matter: he's homophobic and he's trouble. So be careful." He leaned over and playfully kissed Justin upon the lips. "I don't want anything to happen to you," he admitted with a look of chagrin on his face.
Smiling broadly, Justin asked, "That didn't hurt too much, now did it?"
Brian sat back in the chair. "I'm wounded."
"Show me where, and I'll kiss it and make it all better." But he took Brian's hand and laced his fingers with his.
Brian could tell that Justin hadn't really heard his warning, had only paid attention to the fact that he cared. As proud as he had been of Justin for standing up for himself, he had also been afraid. For all that the teen had been through, he still had no idea how ugly the world could be, having been cushioned from most of that ugliness by more experienced persons: him, and Deb, and the guys. Protected and comforted by the fact that they had all made it with their persons and personalities intact, able to joke about the hard times. And he, Brian, was the worse offender of all with that story he had told at Woody's. Maybe it was time to give up the whole truth and nothing but. "Remember me telling you about that football jock in high school?"
"The one whose fingers you broke."
"Yeah, well, the next day his Cro Magnon friends ambushed me outside of school," he paused for effect, "and beat the shit out of me. I couldn't piss without seeing stars for a week. Luckily, once was enough for them. Some people wouldn't have stopped. They would have come back week after week and pushed and pushed until somebody really got hurt. Or worse. Luck is a bitch. She just happened to be on my side that time. It won't always be like that." He squeezed Justin's hand when he felt the boy tremble. "So be careful."
Justin kissed the back of Brian's knuckles. "I will." As he made his promise he could see Chris Hobbs pushing him against the wall in school and vowing to kill Justin if he ever mentioned the episode in detention; could see Chris in the locker room, with blood on his shirt where Justin had spit on him, threatening to kill him. And he thought that maybe Brian was right: he had made a real enemy out of someone who might not know how to stop, who might not be able to stop himself.
"After all," continued Brian, "genius of your caliber shouldn't be wasted." All over the sidewalk, he said to himself, and quickly banished the vision of Justin lying unconscious somewhere, bleeding to death.
Pushing Chris Hobbs from his mind, Justin smiled thinking about his SATs again. "Yes!" Then in a singsong, "Fifteen hun-dred. Fifteen hun-dred." Grinned. "What did you get on your SATs?" he asked.
"I don't remember."
"You lie." Justin got a mischievous twinkle in his eye. "You know, you never congratulated me."
Brian raised an eyebrow. "I didn't?"
He shook his head. "Nope."
Tugging on Justin's hand, Brian drew him upon his lap. "How thoughtless." He worked at removing Justin's clothes as they kissed, succeeded in getting his shirt off and his pants open before Justin took matters in his own hands and finished stripping. Instead of immediately initiating foreplay, Brian just looked at Justin, his eyes traveling the length and breadth of his body.
Justin fidgeted; he should have been used to Brian's intense stares but he could never relax when the man decided to study him. "What is it?"
"You," replied Brian in a rough whisper. "You're beautiful," he said as if the fact of it had just become apparent, as if he had never really seen Justin before, and perhaps he hadn't. Even now, his features flickered, eluded capture. At that moment, although he was standing right in front of Brian, solid against his knee, he seemed insubstantial. Already forces were conspiring to part them: Chris Hobbs, college. The enormity of his thoughts frightened him and he felt a little dizzy. Partially to ground himself and partly to reassure himself that Justin was really there, he cupped Justin's face in his hands and tried to think of nothing else, but thoughts came to him, unwanted. What if something happens to him? What if he goes away? He tried to imagine his life without him, tried to recall the way it used to be. It was as if he was looking at the past through a fog, everything appeared hazy and out of focus. Suddenly afraid, he laid his face against Justin's belly and simply held him.
As if he guessed some of what Brian was feeling, Justin stroked his hair and said nothing. Finally, Brian drew back and smiled and Justin was again struck by his beauty, like a physical presence, both a part of and separate from the man. You could isolate the lips, the eyes, the arched brows, the strong jaw and examine them individually, and they could be the features of any man, and yet, they seemed indelibly a part of Brian, and if any one feature were to be removed, he would no longer be himself.
Sensing that tonight was one of those nights when Brian needed him to take the reins, Justin held out his hand and waited until he accepted it. He pulled him from the chair and into an embrace. Justin wrapped his arms around Brian's slender waist, hands resting on the slightly broader back, and they kissed, Justin taking pleasure in the feel of Brian's flexing muscles. He ran his hand up Brian's spine and over his shoulders. "You're tense," he said coming up for air. "I think you need a massage."
Brian stretched out on the bed face down and gave over to Justin's expert manipulations. He hadn't lied when he told Brian he was a fantastic masseuse. As Justin leaned over him, astride his hips, and plied his flesh with strong yet gentle fingers, Brian was able to relax, to release some of the tension that had accumulated inside him from the moment Justin had announced his plans to possibly go out-of-state to school. He still didn't know how he felt about that, if he had any right to feel anything. After all, he had made it abundantly clear on numerous occasions that he and Justin had no relationship, that they fucked because they both enjoyed it, because they wanted each other sexually and for no other reason. So why did he feel as if something precious was slipping away from him? He had an overabundance of sexual partners, men whose enthusiasm for and expertise in carnal matters nearly matched his own. To say that these encounters failed to satisfy him sexually would have been a lie, but they did fail to fulfill him. Only, what did he want?
Justin paused in stroking his calves. "Turn over." Brian complied and Justin began on his legs again. But he noticed a difference in Brian's demeanor, in the feel of his body. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing." Brian rolled over onto his side.
Justin didn't buy it. He inched over next to Brian and began to rub his biceps. "Nothing? Are you sure?"
"I guess you were right about caffeine affecting my sexual performance."
"Tell me," insisted Justin, crawling on top of Brian and looking down into his beautiful, hazel eyes.
"Not now." He rubbed the space between his brows.
"Well, if we're not gonna fuck, and we're not gonna talk, what's left?"
Justin was surprised that Brian actually had food in his cupboards, much less an entire box of microwave popcorn-low salt, no butter-but still popcorn. Barely. They curled up on the sofa, one to each end, and split a bowl-Justin getting the lion's share-while watching The Crow.
"He really was beautiful," commented Justin, his eyes lingering on Brandon's high cheekbones.
"Yeah." Brian closed his eyes, thinking, And now he's dead. For once even The Crow failed to lift his spirits and he wished he had put in The Matrix instead, except that, in general, he preferred Brandon to Keanu.
"You want some more popcorn?" He shook his head. Justin studied his face, features drawn not in anger or pain but in something akin to both that he couldn't quite pinpoint. "You want me to go home?" Again, no. "Then what can I-"
"I know. You want me to shut up."
Brian opened his eyes. "No, I-I don't what I want."
"But you always know what you want."
Brian got to his feet. "No. I don't." He left the movie and Justin and returned to bed.
Realizing that Brian needed some time alone, Justin finished the popcorn and The Crow by himself. Forty minutes later he switched off the TV, dumped the remaining unpopped kernels, and placed the empty bowl in the dishwasher. That done he joined Brian. As he had suspected Brian was still awake. Lying on his side. Without disturbing him, Justin got under the covers and lay on his back staring at the ceiling.
Brian spoke softly. "I would miss you."
For a moment Justin thought he had fallen asleep and was dreaming. Turning his head, he looked at Brian's back.
"If you went away. I would miss you." Slowly he turned, as if afraid to face the ramifications of his actions.
Hardly daring to breathe, Justin asked, "Does that mean you don't want me to go?"
"No." Brian seemed firm on that point. "You have to do what's best for you and fuck everybody else. Including me."
"Then what does it mean?"
Brian sat up in bed. After a moment Justin did as well. "It means that I'll miss you. But I'm a big boy and I'll survive."
"I could go to school in-state-"
"Justin, don't fuck up your life because of me."
"Maybe I don't think staying here with you is a mistake."
Brian huffed. "I knew I shouldn't have said anything."
"Look," Justin said taking hold of Brian's arm, "I promise I won't make any decisions until I hear back from all the schools. I might not even get into Dartmouth or Brown."
"You'll get in."
"And I should go? That's what you're telling me?" he asked.
"You should make the right decision for you."
"Tell me something. Tell me the truth."
"I always do."
Justin released his grip on Brian but kept his fingers on his forearm. He spoke softly. "Do you think you'll ever love me? Do you even think it's possible?"
"This isn't fair, Justin."
"I just wanna know."
"What if I said yes, and you stayed, and it didn't happen?"
"Are you saying yes?" Brian couldn't meet his eyes. "You are, aren't you? You're saying yes." When Brian wouldn't confirm or deny Justin's assertion the youth climbed over onto him and sat straddle his hips. "Say it."
Smiling, Brian refused. "No."
Justin, with a shit-eating grin, pounced and began tickling Brian who roared with laughter. "Say it."
"No." Trying to fight Justin off with limbs that had gone weak.
"Say it!" He continued to tickle and Brian continued giggling. "Say yes."
"All right! Yes!" Brian exclaimed collapsing against the pillows at his back.
"Yes?" Now that he had won a confession from Brian Justin didn't want to believe it.
Brian took a deep breath. "Yes," he replied, all traces of merriment vanished. He drew Justin's head down for a kiss. Afterwards their heads remained together, foreheads touching.
"Can I ask you something else?"
Brian rolled his eyes. "Yeah."
"Do you think, maybe you'll love me by tomorrow?"
Brian bumped his head against Justin's. "Don't push it."
Justin held up a finger. "One more question." At Brian's groan, repeated, "Just one more."
Relenting but firm. "Last one."
"Do you think we could fuck now?"
Smiling, Brian kissed the edge of Justin's mouth. "That I can arrange."
With one hand flat on the wall behind Brian's head and the other around his neck, Justin rose and fell upon the throbbing shaft, working his ass not only up and down the hard, slick column of flesh but also around, his hips moving in circles as he rode Brian's cock. Their lips were sealed in a kiss that seemed to go on forever. They broke contact only to take another deep breath before joining again. Finally, Brian pulled away and said against Justin's neck, "I want to look at you. I want to see all of you." Gingerly, Justin dismounted and lay back on the bed, awaiting Brian's next move.
Brian stood next to the bed and grabbed one of Justin's legs, pulled him over to the edge. Wrapping both hands around his legs, he raised Justin's lower body off the mattress and let his thighs and buttocks rest against his torso, his knees bent on either side of his neck, legs hanging over his back. Then, slowly, he began to stroke Justin's hips and belly, his chest and cock. His hands traveled over Justin's body as if he were a blind man surveying the lay of the land. As Brian continued his explorations, Justin began to brush his buttocks against Brian's torso, gyrating his hips in response to Brian's expert touches. "Oh, God…" His mouth opened and his tongue peeked out before disappearing inside once more. Brian took hold of his legs again, held them open, then leaned over, burying his face in Justin's groin, and began to lap at his sac. Justin moaned as Brian took first one and then the other swollen ball in his mouth, sucking each one until Justin wanted to scream. Hands in his hair, Justin endured as much of it as he could and then he begged, "Fuck me."
Letting Justin's body rest once again on the mattress, Brian retained
his grip on his partner's legs. Instead of lifting him, he eased Justin's
legs back over his torso, drawing his hips from the bed. Justin hooked an
arm around each of his legs while Brian unrolled a new condom over his
cock. The sight of Justin's hole, gaping open, waiting for him, wanting
him, caused his dick to throb. Without fanfare, he entered him again,
pressing his cock head against the relaxed opening and pushing until he
had cleared the first ring of muscle. Brian continued to penetrate him
until he was almost completely sheathed inside of Justin's ass. Taking
over from Justin, Brian pressed down on the backs of his thighs, holding
him in place while they fucked. He slid in and out of his lover with ease,
building their arousal to a fevered pitch, until finally, he released
Justin's thighs, let his legs fall over his shoulders, and pushed him
further onto the bed. He climbed onto the bed as well and lowered himself
until his chest was only a few inches from Justin's. They kissed as they
fucked, Justin's hips rising to meet Brian's thrusts, devouring one
another's lips in between stolen breaths. Justin gripped the back of
Brian's neck and gave a strangled cry as a flood of wetness spread between
them. Their bellies continued to slide against one another, lubricated by
his cum. Finally, Brian buried his face in Justin's shoulder and
shuddered, caught in the grip of his own orgasm.
Brian lay on his belly and dreamt, Justin's head in the middle of his
back and his arm around his waist. He saw them running across a yard,
playing, throwing snowballs at one another. The sun shone bright, but not
as bright as Justin's laugh. Try as he might, he couldn't tell where they
were. There were no visual cues to aid his recognition. It could have been
anywhere. Pittsburgh; or Hanover, New Hampshire; or Lucerne. His lips
curled in a smile. It didn't matter. Least not in a dream.