A puppy, a meal, and a boy.
I wasn't paying much attention, that is the absolute truth. Not that I was in a bad mood, the contrary, I was feeling good, it’s always nice to be invited by friends. I guess I had concerns about the dog, legitimate concerns as it turned out. He was only a puppy and we'd just got him, so apart from the ride home from the kennels, he wasn’t used to car journeys and it was quite a long way to Robert's.
He said it was no problem to pick us up. I reminded Jack when we were in the car and it happened. “I told you it was a bad idea.”
“Yeah, you're always right, excuse me.”
Robert and Thiery were not saying anything, I don't think they realised immediately.
“Oh jeeze, what’s that smell?” Robert half looked over his shoulder and Thiery turned around, peering across to the back seat. He laughed, “I don't think you want to know.”
That was typical Thiery, he took everything as being funny. Maybe that’s what it’s like when you’re a foreigner in a strange country and don’t speak the language that well.
“No really it smells back there.” Robert carried on driving. I caught his eyes in the rear view mirror.
“Sorry, but I did warn you he wasn't used to travelling in cars.” I suppressed an urge to join in Thiery's laughter.
“What? What’s going on?” Robert was trying to drive and at the same time see what happened behind him.
“The dog puked!” Jack revealed all, but he said it like some kind of slap in the face for me.
“I don't know why you’re pissed with me,” I told him, and grabbed a roll of paper towels from my backpack. He didn’t reply. I turned my attention to scooping up the vomit from the floor of Robert's new car. Jack was right up against the far door, he practically had his face on the glass. I ignored his mood and opened the window.
When I’d said it wasn’t a good idea to bring the dog, he took it to mean I didn't want to go. It wasn't that at all.
“Shall I stop?” I met Robert's eyes again in the mirror.
“Nah,” I threw a scrunched up yellowish bundle out of the open window, a mixture of paper towels and dog vomit. The smell seemed to follow the package through the window. I know you’re not supposed to do stuff like that, but I wasn't sitting in the car for the rest of the journey just leaving it. Anyway, it’s biodegradable, isn’t it!
They lived on one of those typical council estates made up of huge brick built blocks of flats, with concrete stairs on the outside and walk ways on each floor to endless identical front doors. They weren't tower blocks, too old, they pre-dated the sixties. The flat was on the top, fourth floor, kitchen at the front, living dining room behind.
The table was all set for the meal. It was then I noticed six place settings. The conversation meandered on after I'd apologised once again to Robert. He was okay about it, or maybe he was putting on a brave face and being polite. Jack ignored me and talked to Robert about old times whilst Thiery occupied himself playing with the dog. I was beginning to wish I hadn’t come and that I’d insisted on staying home with Red, our puppy.
Huh, our puppy, that’s a good one. It was Jack and Robert who got the puppy from the dog pound and there it was, in the living room, chewing the furniture, when I got in from work. We saved the argument until Robert had left, then Jack got to know how really pissed I was that he’d done that without asking. I guess that his mood goes back to then. I got over it, he obviously hadn’t.
When the doorbell rang and Robert went to answer it, I stood up to say hello to the new arrivals. I could tell you I paid them no attention and was just polite, but that’s not quite true. Nick was eye candy, you couldn't ignore him. His sister Nancy, she was nice enough, but Nick hit you right away. Even if twinks are not your thing, he was an exotic mix of young, sexy, and normal.
What the hell do I mean by normal, of course he wasn't! That much was revealed when Robert explained how they met in the 24/7 grocery. For met read picked up, but who picked up who? Robert would definitely pick up anyone, straight or gay, but I rather felt Nick was not straight. I don't know how Theiry put up with it, Robert going off with other people. I suppose that’s what they call an open relationship. Theiry also didn't know that Robert went through boyfriends faster than fashion changes, it was like everyone was a potential conquest, but as soon as he'd won he began to lose interest.
How did he do it, pickup so many guys? If you’re asking me it was an unseemly mixture of insistence, being drunk, and exaggerating everything about himself. He was definitely a very accomplished player. What did these guys find attractive about Robert? I don't know. He could be very charming, but he wasn’t that good looking, only average.
With the arrival of Nick and Nancy things got more bubbly, I guess the alcohol helped. I was enjoying talking, Jack had eased off on his bad mood, but I was only half there. Not concentrating much, but I did pick up some signals from Nicky boy. Signals that were cemented when we all sat down to eat.
“You live round here?” I somehow wound up sitting next to Nick at the table, with Jack on my other side.
“No, not exactly. A bit further away,” I smiled and was rewarded with the most amazing grin that lit up Nick's face.
He wasn't backwards in coming forward. He had a morsel of food which he dangled in the air on the end of his fork. Turning towards me he proffered the piece, his eyes sparkling. I leaned in, opened my mouth, he delicately glided the fork as I closed my lips around it. The food slid from the fork into my mouth as he pulled gently back. Fuck! That was the most sensual experience I've ever had. I mean it. I was instantly hard and trying to take my eyes off him was like pulling away from quicksand. It was impossible, he just sucked me in. The only escape was to float with the conversation, which allowed me to surface and breathe again.
“Let's go for a drink.” That of course was Robert. Hadn't we already drunk enough? Robert didn't know when to stop, and like I told you he was insistent.
Theiry was up for it, Jack and Nancy too. “They have a lock-in,” Robert explained. “Don’t worry about the time.” It was nearly 11pm.
“We better go now or we won’t make it.” Nancy was keen, Jack stood up.
“I’m staying here with the dog.” I really didn't feel like an all nighter in the pub, I had work Monday morning.
“We can bring him with us. Come on.” I looked at Robert, he wasn't going to push me into this.
“No, not a great idea Robert. I'll stay.”
“I’m staying too.” What! Little Nicky really had the hots for me. Did everybody else notice, or just me?
“Whatever,” Jack gave me one of his looks, but he was smiling, so things must be okay there.
“Let's go. We’ll see you later.” With that and a lot of shuffling around, picking up keys, putting them down again, they were out of the door.
Just as he was closing it Robert stuck his head back inside. “Those are the only keys. If you lock the door you'll have to let us in when we get back.”
The front door clicked shut and I watched as they walked away past the kitchen window. I looked at Nick, moved to the sofa and sat down. He followed me with his eyes. I patted the sofa, waiting for him to come and join me.
We sat there talking about nothing for ages, until I couldn't stand it any longer. I don't remember what I said, I only remember leaning across and kissing those super sweet lips. At the same time my hand slid over his leg and thigh. I told myself that we'd wasted loads of time getting this close, I wondered when they'd be back, a lock-in was what, an hour, no more than two max.
“No, not here.” Nick was looking past me towards the front door. You could see straight through the flat from living room to outside, the front door had a half glass window and the kitchen window had no curtain of blind. “Let's go back to my place, it’s not far.”
I wanted to, oh god yeah, I really did. Thing was Robert told me there was only one set of keys, if they came back they'd be locked out.
“We can't. They don't have a key to get in.”
The look on his face was like a sad puppy, disappointment was filling the space between us. I couldn't let it end like this. “Let's go upstairs.”
“But what if they come back.”
“Never mind, come on.” My arm was extended, I stood up. He moved, got off the sofa. I took his hand and led him upstairs.
“Not in their bedroom.” No even I wouldn't do that.
We stood half in, half out of the bathroom, the door open. I reached and undid the top button of his jeans. I moved close and kissed him as my fingers found his zipper. I stepped back, took hold of his jeans and slid them down. He was standing there in his boxers, now I could see just how excited he was.
“Fuck!” I turned as I heard the front door open. He desperately scrambled to pull his jeans up. From where we were you could see the front door, but they hadn’t seen us. Not yet. I turned back to look at him. He was dressed. I kissed him. “Don't sweat it!” I smiled, turned back and walked downstairs, Nick followed.
I heard the door shut and at that moment Jack looked up the stairs directly at me. I don't know if he knew something was going on, he looked drunk. Theiry and Robert were in the living room. I arrived at the bottom of the stairs. “Good time?” I held Jack’s gaze and pretended like nothing had happened. Well it hadn't.
It never did, although I couldn’t get Nick out of my head for days, weeks, maybe longer. I imagined him going back to his flat with his sister, lying on his bed, alone. I was sure he was thinking about me, I know he was.
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