“You don’t need to be embarrassed.”
“About what?” I immediately regretted asking because I was sure he was going to say, “Your hard-on.”
“About liking the story. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.”
“I’m not embarrassed,” I said, obviously lying.
“Of course not.”
“That’s good,” he said, his magnetic confidence suddenly back in his voice. Then he touched my wrist. Never in my life have I felt such a sudden, physical jolt of panic, because I knew the next thing he was going to do, and, still staring kind of down and in front of me, trying to escape that probing look of his, I let him do it. With no force at all, almost as if it were me doing it instead of him, he pulled my wrist toward him, so the tablet wasn’t hiding my hard-on anymore. And as soon as he did it I realized he’d known the whole time that I was hard, and his little comment about me not liking the story, him getting up and walking away had been his way of letting me get away without confessing what the story had done to me. He’d given me a pass, and I’d squandered it.
“You know,” he said, his voice lower and softer now, “my book got a rave review from the New York Times. But I like this review better.”
I was nervous. I babbled, “You should actually be really proud, because thinking about two guys has never had an effect like this on me before. Not even close.”
“No.” I forced myself to finally look at him, and I tried to give him a smile, you know, just to make the whole thing less weird, with me avoiding his eyes. God, the way his big, dark eyes were fixed on me, I could hardly breathe.
“There’s never been . . . some small experiment? A kiss, maybe?”
The question shocked me. I mean, that literal, physical response where your blood pressure feels like it bottoms out. Except my cock felt like it was at about two hundred PSI. “No,” I said, and it came out weak and warbly instead of like the stern warning I meant it to be. But then when he started to lean in, instead of pushing him away or getting up, I just waited. Waited for him to lean in the rest of the way. When he took the tablet out of my hand and set it on the coffee table, though, that weird moment of surrender ruptured. “I should go,” I said.
“I want you to stay.”
I blushed. I mean, I felt my face go hotter than I can remember it ever being before.
“Do you want to stay, Aidan?”
“I don’t know.” I’ve never been so confused in my life.
“This is a first for me, too,” he said in that soft low voice I’d never heard before that night.
“What’s a first?” I asked, feeling like every word was a little life preserver holding me above the thrashing waves of panic drowning me.
“I’ve never hit on a straight guy before.” I had to turn away from that earnest, searching gaze of his. After a few more seconds he said, “I’d like to touch you. But I don’t want to scare you.”
I almost said something like, “that’s ridiculous. Why would I be scared?” But I was scared. Terrified, even though rationally I knew that whatever was happening between us, whatever might happen, it was fine. He was sitting there, looking at me, trying to read my expression or waiting for me to say no. Or yes. Finally I said, “I don’t know.”
“What don’t you know?” he asked with a guru-like serenity, his voice making me feel safe, almost like a caress.
“I think that if you touch me, I won’t want it anymore.” A cowardly way of confessing. Yes, I did want it, even though I was shaking and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. But also true, because I was half convinced that the second he touched me my hard-on would wither.
But he said, “Then I’m going to touch you. I’m going to touch you until you tell me to stop.”
Slowly—it felt like I saw it coming minutes before it actually happened—he laid his hand on my thigh. Half way between my knee and my erection. And that was the second huge shock of the night, because instead of going limp my dick got even harder. And, as he’d said, when I didn’t tell him not to, he kept touching me.
He touched me in a way I’d never been touched before, not by Avalyn, not by any of my high school or college girlfriends or any of the girls I hooked up with on weekends at the loft. He didn’t just do everything slowly and gently. He was touching me so carefully it felt almost tentative, but at the same time with the same easy assurance that was so profoundly part of his way of being and his unusual magnetism. First his hand moving lightly over my trousers, then my alarm and my breathless, aching need went through the roof as his fingers worked the button of my fly open. I heard that unmistakable zipper sound and saw my fly open in a V above his descending fingers. He slipped his hand inside, over my shorts, and I was really trembling as if it were my first time getting felt up, as if just being touched so gently were overwhelming, which it was. He hadn’t kissed me yet but he was nuzzling against my cheek, the warmth of his skin and his soft hair comforting me against that devastating, strange pleasure.
His free hand combed into my hair, cradling my head while he went on fondling me, his hand down my trousers. Then he slipped his fingers through the fly of my shorts, and it was his warm soft skin against my skin, not even really stroking, just caressing. Suddenly the pleasure just swallowed me whole, and I whispered two or three times, quickly, mortified, “Stop, stop,” but it was already too late and the sudden spasm hit. Seizing, spurting, fuck, it was really happening. Another cock-wringing contraction. I’d really let him stroke me off, I was really unloading into his hand, still caressing, oh God, impossible, another gushing expulsion.
Then everything seemed to slow down until it was almost like time stopped, and I was aware of how he cradled my head between the palm of his hand and his cheek, almost like an embrace, and how he sighed, as if the pleasure wringing my body were his pleasure, how his fingers encircled me, gently squeezing me and how that boosted the intensity of it all just when I thought it must be almost over and it felt like the waves would never stop rising over me, me quivering and shuddering and curling in on myself with the spasms.
I was about to apologize, or mumble some excuse, but Dario said, “Be still.” The encircling embrace of his fingers slowly loosened around my unbearably hyper-sensitized cock, then gradually released me, which almost drove a cry of discomfort mingled with . . . I guess sadness that that perfect act had come to an end, and I looked at his hand, covered in my semen. Actually, it was just three of his fingers, the index, middle and ring fingers, that were glistening and gooey. Looking over at me with a playful grin and a stare that pinned me down and made my heart give one heavy thump, he put those three fingers deep in his mouth and sucked them clean. Fuck. Even though I'd just come, an unexpected wave of arousal washed over me at the sight of him doing that.
After that he sat there looking at me for a few seconds, and somehow I wasn’t too embarrassed to meet that earnest gaze. I don’t know what he read in my expression—I’m pretty sure I was sitting there half composing an excuse to flee, and half hoping he’d start undressing me—but he gave me a serene smile and said, very quietly, very intimately, in what echoes in my memory as a seductive tone completely incongruous with his words, “Now I think you should go.”
Totally taken aback I said, “Aren’t you even going to kiss me?” I’d tried to make it a joke, but it came out sounding as disappointed as I felt.
“God, yes,” he said, the words like a pensive, hopeful sigh. “If you want me to. But not tonight.”