A New Life Ch. 01byingarlm©
Author's note - I like reading and writing stories where there is some romance and build-up to the action, so there is no full-on sex in this chapter, sorry!
My name is Simon. I'm 29, but am often told I look younger. I'd like to think I have the perfect body but in reality I'm slim but not toned and could certainly use a few sit-ups now and again. I hate exercise unless it's rampant sex and frankly I haven't had any of that in months. My hair is long and dark brown, with annoying curls that can look great if I make some effort to style them but usually end up looking a mess so I just tie it back except on nights out. I haven't had any of those in months either. I'm 5'10" or at least I claim that because I'm just over 5'9" and deserve that extra three-quarters of an inch.
And this is the start of my new life. Standing outside my new flat as the removal van heads up the road, and not quite wanting to face the piles of boxes inside. I insisted nothing was to be unpacked because I need to know where it has all gone, and the only way is to do it myself. Also, since I hadn't labelled all the boxes I wasn't entirely sure where some things were. Like my porn collection and my dildos. I could just picture one of the burly removal men opening that box. 'Where would you like these sir?'. The thought now made me smile, but in reality I would have gone bright red and prayed for the ground to open up and swallow me.
Back inside and looking around my living room it seemed like a daunting task, but at the same time I had been surprised at how few boxes were needed to move four years of my life to a new town. It helped that I hadn't taken any of the furniture, especially not the bed even though I loved that bed when I bought it. Now all I associated with it was finding my boyfriend of those four years in a 69 with 'our' friend Pete. I should have guessed long before then that there was something going on, but it took coming back early from a business trip to make everything fall into place. I'd hoped to surprise Ken, but the surprise was on me, and it wasn't a good one.
Anyhow, now was the time for my new life, and the thought of the two of them curled up together on my old sofa in my old house was not going to worry me. Much. New home, new town, new job, and I desperately hoped new friends soon and a new lover eventually. I wasn't going to rush into things because I couldn't kid myself I wasn't still hurting. But at least now I wouldn't have to worry about bumping into them while out shopping, or seeing them dance together in a club, hands all over each other just like Ken and I used to be.
Thankfully my trip down memory lane in the worst way was interrupted by the doorbell. And even more thankfully the box I tripped over on the way to answer the door, contents spilling everywhere, was full of kitchen utensils and not the porn. I would have to work out where that was sooner or later though.
I opened the door to a man probably a little older than me, smiling and holding a covered dish. The smell coming off it made my stomach rumble so loudly that we both heard it and he laughed.
'Hello neighbour. I'm Mark, I live next door, and I thought I'd be the welcome wagon and bring you some lunch. Seems like I was just in time! I hope you like lasagne.'
'That's great, thank you so much. I haven't found anything yet. There is space to sit down though, if you'd like to come in for a bit, and I have unpacked the kettle. I'm Simon, by the way.' I shook his hand and backed away so he could pick his way through the corridor of boxes.
Mark entered the house carefully, which was probably a good idea since kitchen knives and spatulas were rolling around in the hallway. I grabbed some and started to get them back into the box.
'Sorry about the mess, I managed to trip over this one already. God only knows what is in most of these boxes, I was way too disorganised to write on all of them.'
'With any luck anything vital will come to hand fairly quickly.' he replied, casting an eye around and finding pretty much the only place to sit. 'We've all been through this at some point. I just hope it doesn't happen to me again soon.'
'I wasn't planning on it.' I said, with some bitterness clearly in my voice because he looked at me surprised. I felt the need to explain myself, although not too much. 'Bad break-up. It was either move or end up slapping one of their smug faces, possibly worse than slapping.'
Mark looked at me with feeling. 'Ah, that kind of bad break-up. Sorry.'
I smiled. 'It was hardly your fault, I only met you five minutes ago!'
He laughed. 'At least you have some sense of humour about it. Why here? Have you got friends and family locally?'
'No. I am closer to my parents than I was; they are about an hour away. I just found a really good job here, or at least I hope it will be, so I figured this was the place I was meant to be for the time being. We'll see if I made a huge mistake sooner or later!'
Mark laughed with me for a moment, but then started to look rather nervous. He put the lasagna down on the coffee table before speaking. 'I'm happy to offer to be your first friend here and show you around, but it's only fair to let you know up front, I live here with my partner Charlie, so if you aren't comfortable round gay men we can leave it at the lasagna, and I promise there were no ulterior motives.'
He was saying this clearly and not quietly, but studying what could be seen of the carpet hard rather than look at me. When he finally glanced up to gauge my reaction I was grinning and he visibly relaxed. 'That's fantastic, you can fill me in on where the good gay bars are!'
His grin joined mine. 'Excellent. I can't wait to tell Charlie we have a gay neighbour. There are those two women up the road we've never been quite sure about, but I don't reckon they'd be up for a night out clubbing! If you fancy it, come over this evening for dinner. I should probably admit that Charlie is the cook, not me. He'll be pissed if I took the credit for making this.'
Mark left me to my boxes soon after, and I couldn't stop smiling. It had to be fate, coming here and the first friend I meet I don't have to be cautious around. I did want to check out the nightlife as soon as I could. Not for random sex, or at least I didn't plan on it, but to get to know some people. Now I already had two gay men as friends, assuming Charlie was as nice as Mark. I'd just have to find out at dinner.
I felt guilty for bolting the lasagna as it barely touched the sides, but I was really hungry. It had been an early start and a hectic day so far. I was relieved I wouldn't have to cook later either. I had found the utensils but there was no sign of the pans anywhere. I'd probably find that box in the spare bedroom, but once I had eaten I concentrated on the living room because I needed that space clear. Still no sign of the porn either, but I was sure if I needed to I could use my imagination. Gradually it did seem to be getting clearer, and there were books and cds on shelves where they needed to be. I could also see the tv from the sofa which would be handy.
As I cleared out one more box I found one of the most important things around; my letter from the new job with details I needed to look at before starting on Monday. I had three more days before then, but I needed a sit down for a bit so decided to open it. The thickness of the envelope had put me off when I was packing up and I'd just put it away for later.
Inside was a letter confirming what I already knew about the job and when they expected to see me, and a list of documents for me to have a look at. Health and safety stuff I put to one side immediately. I worked on a computer at a desk and was perfectly capable of adjusting my chair and monitor without detailed instructions. The rest of it would be common sense like not climbing on a wheely chair to reach stuff. The contract was pretty standard and I'd already seen a copy. I just had to take one with me on the first day to sign up for my personnel file. The only thing of interest was a document about the department and the work they did. I knew I would be coding and programming because that was what I was hired for and good at, but it would be handy to know a bit more about the specifics.
I skimmed through most of it to be honest. I was familiar with all the software they used and it would just be a question of gearing what I was doing to the firm. I was more intent when I saw the details of each team and their responsibilities, and got very interested when I got to the bit about my team. I'd met the management at the interview, but anything I knew about the others would be a bonus. I knew there were six in the team but not who or what they did exactly. A post-it note drew my attention, and scribbled on it was a note saying that there were photos and biogs of the team enclosed. I flicked through the rest of the document, not finding anything.
I checked the envelope again and it fell out. Grinning slightly at me from the front page was my new department manager. The photo looked rather staged, but I guess they often do that in large firms. Everyone has to look friendly and smile just so. His education and employment background were pretty impressive and it was clear how he had got his way into management. I flicked to the next page and saw the head of my team, a middle-aged woman called Sally, who I had also met. The next two pages revealed two guys, probably younger than me, and classic computer geeks. I could just picture them in their off hours wearing t-shirts with jokes on in binary and arguing about Star Trek. I couldn't be overly critical of that, I was a major Doctor Who fan after all.
The older guy and young woman on the next pages were much less obvious as programmers, but also had good experience and clearly knew their stuff. I was going to be working with some really good people and I was looking forward to the change and new experiences. I flicked to the last sheet to see the final member of the group and instantly the breath left my body. Oh my god, he was gorgeous. He had short dark hair and bright blue eyes and even in the picture they seemed to be staring straight into me. It was only a head and shoulders shot but I instantly wanted to see more of him. I don't even know how long I looked at the photo, but I became aware that I was actually stroking his face. I dropped my hand and gave myself a mental slap. What the hell was I doing, it was a photograph for fucks sake.
Hot on the heels of my next thought, concentrating on his lips and what they would feel like on mine, was the one that hit me like a brick wall. I was practically creaming myself over a picture of this guy and I was going to have to work with the real him nearby all day. I realised I hadn't even read his biog and read down to discover he was Greg Nichols, and he had another impressive background and skills. No, don't think about what other skills he might have. There was no detail on marital status, but only the married ones had that down. This sheet wasn't going to tell me if he had a partner, and it sure as hell wasn't going to tell me if he liked boys.
'Shit!' I said out loud, and put the sheets down, although I somehow couldn't turn from that page. What was I going to do? It might have been a long while since I'd had sex, but a picture should definitely not be doing this to me. I shook my head and managed to walk away far enough to get to my bedroom and make the bed ready for later, all the time trying to clear my mind of any unclean thoughts of Greg. It wasn't working very well, either.
* * * * * * *
After a busy afternoon I was pleased with progress on the unpacking, but less impressed with myself for my regular glances back to that picture while I did it. Still, doing the work helped keep me occupied until it was time for dinner with my new neighbours. I managed to find a bottle of wine to take with me, and headed next door looking forward to the company and not having to cook. It turned out that Charlie was just as friendly as Mark and I instantly warmed to the pair of them. Mark was indeed a little older than me, and dark haired with a wicked sense of humour and ability to bring any conversation down to the lowest possible level. Charlie was blond and a bit younger, and also not only a fantastic cook but the far more mature and sensible one of the pair, although I got the distinct impression that his chiding of Mark for his risque jokes wasn't all that serious.
The only downside I guess was their ease around each other and how happy they were. It reminded me of how that had been taken from me. They made every effort to include me and not be couply, but I couldn't help remembering what had been and thinking how much I wanted that again. Of course then the picture of Greg floated back into my head and I had to stop myself drifting off yet again. The others noticed when I became distracted, and Mark finally asked me about it.
'Sorry, I'm just thinking about work on Monday.' Not a total lie, but it wasn't the work itself that had my attention.
'It must be a bit weird moving somewhere new then starting a new job straight away.' replied Mark.
'I don't think I've got my head around it all yet. But I'm determined to have this as the start of my new life, no Ken and definitely no Pete, starting afresh. I just need to settle in and I'm going to need to empty all those boxes and get a few days at work under my belt before it will start feeling like home. I just hope I can cope with work.'
'When you talked about it it sounded like you were doing something very similar to your old job, so I'm sure you'll settle in fine. It's more about meeting the new people than anything else.'
I went red without even realising. It was definitely the meeting new people bit, and the part of that (or possibly part of me) that was going to be hard was still weighing on my mind. Mark and Charlie looked at me puzzled. 'I saw photos of my new colleagues earlier.' I started to explain.
'And they looked like some sort of swamp creatures?' asked Charlie, laughing.
'Most of them looked pretty normal, couple of obvious computer geeks. Only one really caught my attention. I think someone is playing a mean trick on me, because he looks like a living version of my best ever wet dream.'
They both started laughing at that, hopefully with me not at me. Mark chirped up first.
'So you reckon working with the real thing is going to be pretty hard?!' The emphasis on the word hard was not lost on me.
'I appreciate your support! But seriously, yes, I am worried. If he looks that good in a photo I'm going to be drooling over the reality. I'm supposed to work with the guy, and all I'm gonna want to do is strip him naked. It doesn't help that it's been a while either.'
Charlie patted my back in a kindly gesture. 'It will be okay once you meet him. You're just working yourself up with nerves over the whole thing, and this is just one more idea your brain is putting out there to fuck you up.'
Mark spoke up then. 'Why don't we do what we said and go clubbing at the end of the week. Then you'll have something to look forward to, and maybe ogling the guys there will help get your mind off anything else. And if you're really desperate for a release I'm sure you'll find someone there who takes your fancy.'
I pulled a face. 'I'd love to go to the club, but random sex isn't my bag any more. Been there, done that, and although looking would be good, I don't want to get into something that isn't going to at least be an attempt at a relationship. I must be getting old!'
We all smiled at that, the two of them sharing a look that again made me ache for the connection you have to someone you love. Christ, it had been months, what was I doing still getting worked up over Ken? I hoped it wasn't Ken himself, it was just the companionship (and of course the rampant sex) that I missed. I guess I had lost that long before I even knew it because he was already sharing it with someone else.
* * * * * * *
I had had a lovely evening with my new neighbours and it could only be a good sign that I had made friends here so quickly, and that I had a night out clubbing to look forward to at the end of the week that I was pretty much dreading by this point. I really wanted the new job, it was a step up from what I had been doing, and I had no doubt it would challenge me and I would learn a lot. But ever since I saw that photo what I wanted to do was learn exactly how to make Greg moan. I didn't understand how I could be getting this obsessed over someone I had never even met. Perhaps it really was fate screwing with me. In person he might be totally different and all would be fine, but I couldn't shake the nagging doubt that he would be wonderful and probably straight. I could only figure I was really ready for a new relationship, no matter who that might be with.
I decided on my tactics for the weekend. I couldn't clear my head of Greg no matter how hard I tried. I kept imagining meeting him and the variations on what could happen. Most of the time I managed to concentrate on how I would keep myself under control when I did meet the reality, but my mind did stray. I tried to imagine that he would be shorter than me, because I like my men taller, or that he would turn out to have a huge beer belly, but I couldn't shake the feeling that the reality would be much more gorgeous than the picture, and just in case, I was gonna wear my dick out this weekend so there was no chance of any reaction. I managed to find the porn eventually, giving up on finding anything else useful in the boxes and just briefly opening them up to check their contents. The sense of relief when I finally saw the fit naked bodies on the front of my magazines was immense. I could jack off to these and not think of anyone else.
My only mistake was on Sunday when I was on round two for that morning. I was almost at climax when it suddenly struck me that the guy I was looking at had short dark hair and bright blue eyes, and before I could stop myself the face had changed in my mind and I shot so hard I saw lights behind my eyes. I groaned a mixture of the pleasure of the orgasm and my horror at replacing the nameless man in the porn with my soon to be co-worker.
I managed to make twice more that day before Mark and Charlie came round for the dinner I owed them. I had located most of the kitchen equipment despite prioritising the search for the porn. They brought a cheesecake that was clearly homemade and looked delicious. More evidence of Charlie's expertise in the kitchen. I wasn't up to his standard but at least I wasn't going to poison anyone. I presented them with marinated chicken breasts with new potatoes, carrots and broccoli. They seemed to appreciate it, or were at least decent enough to lie that they liked it.
Mark broached the dreaded subject as we tucked into the cheesecake.
'So, are you ready for tomorrow? First day and all that comes with it.'
I groaned, and they laughed. 'Don't tease me for god's sake. I'm nervous as hell. I keep hoping that picture was a fluke and he's actually 50 with a beer gut and a body odour problem. I guess even if he is really that pretty he could still have halitosis or a voice that could make me want to strangle him, or be the most boring man ever to walk this earth.'
Neither of the others could stop laughing through my speech. Mark pulled himself together quicker than Charlie. 'You seem to have all the bases covered there. There is a good possibility he won't make you horny the instant you see him.'
'And just in case he does, I'm wanking for England the whole of this weekend. He's not going to get little Simon to stir if he's already got friction burns.'
This time they were actually crying with laughter, and I joined in.