Chris has been standing here for a full hour now and the guy at the table in front of him keeps laughing a bit too loud with his friends, throwing his head back to let Chris admire his neck and his finely chiselled profile, hair curling slightly on his forehead, eyes shining with desire and every time their eyes meet, Chris feels a sharp twinge of lust and smiles, waiting for the man to make the first move, initiate a real courtship, because he never takes the first step with this kind of smart guys, lets them come to him and then...
Meanwhile, he's sipping a beer, looking bored but not missing any of the guy's move, anticipating the pleasure he'll have to kiss him, fuck him hard like he wants to and maybe take him for a ride on his bike, anticipating the pleasure of a slim body against his, under his, surrendering, begging…
"The guy makes you hard, huh?"
"Yeah." Chris' voice is so low that Fred has to strain to hear him.
"Tibetts," Fred tells him in a whisper from behind the bar where he's washing the glasses, "Bryce Tibetts, nice guy, rich and all, just finished Yale, comes here every week to slum it and get laid. Looks like he's hooked, time for the kill, my friend."
Impatient now, Chris's about to walk up to the young man, when his eyes fall on a silhouette hidden in a darker corner, fair hair shining like copper under the spare light. Looking more closely Chris makes out a luscious profile, a cute nose, a long supple neck, and these tiny details are enough to light another fire, have him go straight to the table, waiting for the man to acknowledge his move, noticing the surprise, a tired smile and eyes catching his.
"Hi," he says.
"I needed a drink; this place," the man gives a look around, "is as good as any other."
The glass is empty and Chris feels generous all of a sudden.
"No. No, I'll stop there, I learned the hard way that you have to stop *before* you begin feeling happy."
"Then what's the use of drinking?"
"It's not about drinking, it's about being in a different place, different people."
Nice blue eyes, too, Chris thinks, nice smile, a bit shy; trying his luck, he holds out his hand and ruffles the tidy silky hair, his fingers trailing along the man's temple, gauging his reaction, assessing his chances, his eyes not leaving the flushing face.
"You're hot," he says and the man looks stunned, frowns as if he was listening to some foreign language.
"Hot?" he snorts, or chuckles, his gaze roaming over Chris' frame, muscular arms, broad shoulders, neatly outlined muscles under the tight shirt, "I don't think so, nobody ever told me so."
The black pinstriped suit fits the guy perfectly, enhancing his clear blue eyes, his beautiful hair, his pale skin, his natural stylishness, making him... hot.
He raises a skeptikal eyebrow and says, "I'm not into men."
"I'm not either, but you? You look too good to sit here alone."
Chris trails his knuckles along the pale temple again, soft hair tickling his fingers and there's a sharp intake of breath, a shiver, a gasp before the man gets up; "I have to go," he says, rising a bit too fast and walking to the dressing room, Chris on his heels.
Chris helps him into his overcoat, and the other man stares at the unfamiliar fingers smoothing down the dark woollen fabric, straightening the collar, and raises a questioning look.
They stand motionless and silent for a while in the tiny room cluttered with leather jackets, chairs, boxes, lost in wonder until Chris takes a step closer, half-expecting to be pushed away.
"C'mon," he says, his lips fluttering over the guy's mouth, not quite a kiss, not quite a caress, his hands still on the man's arms, their breaths melting, their eyes locked; the other's drunk enough to dare, and Chris finally makes the move, cautious not to frighten but too aroused to resist any longer, trapping the man between the wall and his body, his hands coming to shaking shoulders, stilling them.
"Let me kiss you," he says, and the man closes his eyes, nodding, but his hands on Chris' chest stop him from coming closer.
"What's your name?"
"I'm Tobias, my friends call me Toby."
Chris doesn't understand why he's talking, why he doesn't just act as he usually does, press against the man and kiss him hard enough to steal his breath, shut up any protest, any second thought, kiss to seduce, possess, convince, feel the bittersweet taste of victory; instead of that he keeps his lips against the man's –Toby's- lips, raining short kisses there, tasting the breath that smells of vodka; pulls his prey deeper into the darkness to savour him; feels a sigh dying against his lips when he entwines his fingers behind Toby's neck and pulls him closer, parting the yielding lips with his hungry mouth and darting his tongue inside, exploring, his body limp, his eyelids heavy, his mind numb, wanting their bodies to melt; and right now Chris has forgotten everything about the attractive Bryce Tibbetts; the only thing that matters is this deep and languorous kiss, each man revelling in the sensuous contact of the other, his warmth, his desire, and the rhythm of their tongues caressing, tasting; when they part, they're breathless and lost.
"I'm not gay." It's the first thing Toby says, the first thing he can think of and Chris laughs.
"Yeah, I'd gathered that much, but this place," he says, showing the bar around them, "is a gay bar."
"Any bar would've done, all I wanted was finding some relief."
"I can give you that."
"I bet you do," Toby says dreamily, leaning against the wall, allowing Chris to rest against him and finally circling his shoulders with his arms in a lazy, sleepy motion, closing his eyes, tilting his head back a little and Chris is drawn to him by a nameless desire, desire to kiss again and again, then drag him down to the floor right here and fuck; he knows the feeling well but there's something's different, something that tells him he wants it slow and lasting, not just for pleasure, not just for possession, not just for oblivion, not just because Bonnie's been such a bitch, kicking his ass out of their apartment, threatening him with a gun, kind of a modern "hit the road Jack", forcing him to sleep in the car, then in a seedy hotel, making him feel mortified and low, making him feel like he's gonna fuck the whole world, make them all beg in need and fear and maybe hurt them, wound them, watch them bleed.
But Toby's mouth brings peace as well as pleasure, gentleness as well as bliss, and he tightens his arms around the other man, holding him tight and kissing him like he never kissed a man before, letting him set his own pace, pick a rhythm, lead the dance and suddenly that feels good, that feels so good to let go in someone else's arms, surrender to someone else's strength, someone who doesn't push, doesn't demand, doesn't fight for power.
"Jesus fucking Christ, you sure you never kissed a guy before?"
Toby doesn't answer, just huddles up in the warm embrace and rubs his cheek against Chris' soft sleeveless shirt like a cat, relishing the hardness of Chris' chest, Chris' voice running shivers all over his skin.
"Fred rents rooms upstairs; wanna give it a try?"
Toby nods but they can't bring themselves to part, they kiss some more, Toby's hands roaming under Chris' shirt over the warm skin, the muscled back, Chris' fingers travelling up Toby's back.
"Let's go, then," Chris finally says and minutes later, he's sitting upon the bed, undressing a very still Toby; they hear the noise and the music downstairs, the cars roaring outside and a neon flashes green and red lights into the dark room; they don't talk, Chris' fingers are dancing like feathers on Toby's bare skin, getting him rid of his suit, his tie, his shirt, and his boxers, then pulling him closer, burying his face into his crotch, biting the skin softly; Toby hisses in surprise and pulls back, steps backwards, whispers, "your turn," lifts Chris' black sleeveless shirt above his head, pulls down Chris' jeans; Chris wears nothing else and Toby's not even surprised or shocked, maybe it's the booze that makes him so bold or maybe he's discovering something here, something important, and when they're both naked, they fall onto the bed together, kissing again, their hands everywhere, exploring.
"You're beautiful," Toby says.
Shifting position, Chris pushes Toby on his back and straddles him, his dark gaze even darker in the shadows, his skin striped with red and green, and red, and green again; his mouth roams over Toby's body, down to his cock, licking, sucking, his fingers finding the tight opening that will lead him to heaven –Toby's there already, he can tell by the soft noises he makes when Chris takes him deeper into his throat while snaking a slick finger into the tight ass; sucking harder, squeezing the head of Toby's cock against his palate, he adds a second finger, and feels Toby give up, give in, surrender, hears his smothered cry, tastes him in his mouth, his throat, swallowing every drop, growling in pleasure.
"Do you want this?" Chris asks, uselessly; Toby's gone too far, too deep and just spreads his legs wider, which probably means yes, Chris thinks before entering him as slowly as he can, feeling the slim body arch and protest, hearing Toby's hiss of pain and a soft whisper telling him it's good, so good, Jesus, please go on, come on, please, go on.
"Hold on, here I am," Chris says, pulling Toby's hips to him, his ass resting on Chris' thighs, perfect position to go deeper and deeper, until he's deep inside the warm tightness, not daring to move yet, while Toby shifts slightly to experience the mysterious feeling, the alien sensation of being invaded and when Chris moves, he lets out a ragged breath and says, "Oh god, yesyesyes," giving himself to the rhythm, moaning, gasping, panting and finally tightening around him, dragging him down in an endless pleasure, shivering against him as they come and come and come.
"Thank you," Toby whispers, and Chris withdraws, suddenly feeling awkward, not too sure about what he wants to do now; he's good at sex but not so much at all the crap that comes after, he generally leaves as fast as he can; but this time he'd like to give Toby something more.
"I should drive home," Toby says.
"No way, you're too tired and you drank."
Toby keeps silent for a while, thinking about it and Chris loses himself into the sight of Toby's crumpled face, frowning and then sighing.
"Think we can sleep here?"
Chris starts back like a wild horse and shivers, but finally nods, "yeah, sure. Wanna sleep with me?"
"Isn't it a little too late to ask?"
A chuckle and they lean back on the beck, entangled and sweaty, Chris' body spooned around Toby's frame, holding him tight.
"8 months ago I got drunk, nearly killed a little girl. If I'd killed her, I'd be in prison now, we would never have met," Toby confesses suddenly and Chris tightens his hug.
"Don't think about it."
"It didn't stop me I still drink sometimes."
And it takes a minute, maybe less, until Toby's sound asleep in Chris arms.
It's like a shelter in a hectic life, an oasis in the heart of a desert, a quiet church in the deafening roar of the town, a truce in the middle of a war, Chris thinks and although he knows it won't survive dawn, he feels happy.
For a long time, holding Toby's warm body against his, he wonders how it would've been with Bryce Tibbetts. He's not sure he wants to know.