Neutral Territory Ch. 03byPS_Lopez©
This place was called The Henhouse, but it was something of a misnomer. It was a bar, which the name fit, but there weren't any women, except the bartender and waitress, in it. It was actually a gay bar, and it had more than one room only because it had restrooms. I'd gotten to know Cindy, the hen of The Henhouse, by virtue of rather frequent visits to this one-room hole in the wall.
I didn't chat her up tonight, though. I was too busy with my own thoughts. I was getting too hung up on Geoffrey. It wasn't going to get me anywhere. I mean, I'd gone through the same shit he was now, but I couldn't imagine him taking the road I'd taken. He was too scared. I could predict his path. He'd get a job, move out of his grandmother's condo, and return to the straight life.
"Blue Bayou," faithfully renditioned by the jukebox in the corner between the vacant stage and the wall, ended. Then it began again. I pushed myself a little more upright and twisted to look around, but the place was too dark to pick out details from this distance. There were maybe fifteen or twenty other patrons here, but I had yet to identify the bastard who loaded up the jukebox to repeat this song.
I usually hung out at a table next to the dance floor, and tonight I would have had something to see. Someone was slow dancing by himself, hands in his pockets as he moved around the dance floor in time to the song. He wasn't just rocking side to side, this guy, and I got hooked up into watching him.
He was the kind of guy I usually went for. Confident. Sure of himself. He didn't care that he was the only one dancing, and he did so in a lazy sort of way, looking directly at his surroundings.
I realized the lone dancer was ballroom dancing. I couldn't determine precisely which dance--it had been years since I'd last done any ballroom dancing.
"He's been coming here a few times a week," Cindy said.
I turned to look at her. "Who, the dancer?"
She nodded. "Yeah." She put a fresh glass of beer on the bar in front of me. "Comes here, dances by himself. Sometimes talks to a couple other guys, always leaves by himself."
I looked over my shoulder at the dancer. Once, before I'd met Geoffrey, I would have taken that as a challenge. I would have decided to be the first man he left this place with. And, actually, a little of that feeling rose, but it wasn't enough. I turned to face Cindy again and pushed my empty glass across the bar.
"Thanks," I said.
She flicked the full glass with her finger. "Last one for you."
I nodded. I'd kept count. It wasn't that hard to count to two, and I'd been here for just about three hours. I sipped, not guzzled. It helped that I didn't much like beer. I'd just been in the mood for it tonight. Usually I nursed a Black Russian over the duration I spent here. I never came to get drunk--it was too far out for me to be willing to pay for a cab, especially when I could get drunk for much cheaper at home.
I came here when I just wanted to relax, which was most of the time. I came here because I could actually hold a conversation here, as opposed to having to shout until my throat hurt at the clubs downtown. I came here for a change, to get out of the city, and to brood.
Sometimes, I left with someone. Not as often as I left clubs in someone's company. Then again, when I came here I wasn't on the hunt.
Cindy moved off, to the other end of the bar where there were more patrons, and I put my hands against the edge of the bar and twisted to look at the lone dancer again. There was something about him. Not lonely, exactly. More . . . I couldn't identify it. As if he was content being by himself.
Lucky dancer. I sighed and turned to face my beer. I wished I could have been as content, but that just wasn't happening. Especially not with Geoffrey. I'd walked into a swamp with him, and I didn't know how to get out. His troubles had sucked me in, and I'd realized over the past few days that I really didn't want to be going through this process again. Maybe I was only by proxy, but once had been hell enough. And the worst thing was, I couldn't do anything to ease his way or push him through it. He had to do it all himself, and I could see where I'd end up at the end of all this.
Where my contentment with the prospect of being alone had gone, I didn't know. It had died or something over the past few weeks, since I'd started talking to Geoffrey. Whatever had happened to it, it was gone, and I just felt disturbed.
Someone settled in the stool to my right. I glanced over and did a double-take. The man who'd been dancing smiled at me as he set his drink on the bar.
"Hey," he said.
I waved once with my left hand. "Hi."
"Saw you watching me dance."
"Blue Bayou" ended. It started again.
I nodded. "Yeah. Dance floor doesn't get much use here."
He extended his right hand. "Drew."
I shook that hand. "Silas."
We turned to face the bar in unison, and I gazed at my beer.
"Haven't seen you here before."
I nodded. "Been a couple months since I've been out this way. How often you come here?" It was polite to ask.
"Few times a week. I consider this place a lucky find. It's someplace to go without requiring a deep dedication to socializing."
I chuckled. "Yeah." I sipped my beer, pushing aside thoughts of Geoffrey. I didn't want to think about him any more.
"So, what do you do?"
I chuckled. "I'm a real estate agent." I glanced at him. "What about you?"
He laughed a little. "Nothing so glamorous. I'm a meter reader for the electric company."
I chuckled again. "I've seen the movies. You must get a lot of ass," I said in a perky tone of voice.
That made him laugh. I grinned, looking at him. He wagged a finger at me. I laughed.
"No making fun."
I snorted a laugh. "Who said I was making fun?"
I chuckled. "Yep."
Drew laughed. I grinned at my beer. He grabbed my right arm.
"Come on, let's dance."
I slid off my stool and followed him to the dance floor. "Blue Bayou" ended and started again as we went to the center of the floor, and Drew turned to take me in his arms. I fumbled a bit, trying to position my arms as though I was going to lead when he'd already done so himself. I swallowed.
"I've never followed before," I said, setting my hands properly for it. "And it's been years since I danced like this."
"Well, at least you'll be familiar with the dances."
I nodded and met his gaze. "Okay. Just don't get angry if I step on your feet. I really have no idea where to put mine with following."
"Okay, I promise I won't get angry."
I chuckled a little nervously. Drew led me in a dance. We didn't move in time to the slow beat of the song, but then it had been so long for me that I had no idea what kind of dance one would do to "Blue Bayou." I didn't really think Drew cared, though. Then again, after enough repetitions of the song, I didn't think it mattered if anybody tried to dance in time to it. It was like white noise. Just there.
I did step on his toes, and he didn't complain. That helped me relax enough that I stopped stepping on his toes so much. I found that if I moved my mirroring leg when he moved his, things went pretty smoothly. I stopped tripping and actually managed to find some of the grace I'd been praised for when I'd been in dance classes.
"You're getting the hang of it."
I stumbled a little, causing us to lose step with the dance. "Yeah, as long as I don't think about it."
He chuckled. "How about I let you lead when the song changes?"
I laughed. "Right. Like that's going to happen." I regained my balance and stood a little away from him until he pulled me back into the dance.
He spun us around, sweeping our path around the dance floor. I stumbled a little, then regained my feet and followed like a proper dance partner. I kind of wanted to switch us around, feel what holding him felt like. But then, I'd been wanting to hold Geoffrey for days now, and I was feeling rather desperate to hold anybody at this point. I hadn't hugged anyone but my sister for weeks.
I met Drew's gaze. "Oh, just a friend. It's a bad situation for him and I got to thinking about it."
Drew slowed the dance and we settled into a gentle circling sway. He pulled my hand he held to his chest and tightened the embrace of his other arm. I looked at my hand wrapped in his on his chest. The changes made me want to lean more fully against him, seek comfort, and that was something I'd thought I'd long ago outgrown.
"It's stressing you out?"
I nodded. "Yeah. His parents found out he's gay and threw him out. He was planning on living life straight, and I'm thinking that's what he's going to decide to do no matter what I say or do to help him accept himself."
"You can't force him into it."
I sighed, nodding again. "I know. It's just frustrating. I feel like I'm going through it all over again."
He said nothing in reply to that, not even a suggestion that I should try to get out of the mess. I wasn't sure what I should feel about that, but it told me one thing about Drew. He wasn't judgmental.
We slow danced through a couple repeats of "Blue Bayou." Neither of us spoke again, and in the middle of the third repeat from when we'd started slow dancing, Drew stepped back, keeping my hand in his, and headed off the dance floor. I went with him, not seeing any point in trying to protest his decision. I didn't feel like dancing by myself.
We returned to our stools and I sipped my beer, then set it down a little more forcefully than I intended. It suddenly tasted awful, and I pushed the glass away. Beside me, Drew rotated his glass, causing the ice within to tinkle, a sound unobscured by the song playing. I checked my watch to find it near ten.
"I have to go," I said on a sigh. I waved Cindy over and gave her my debit card to pay for my beers.
Drew grasped my wrist after she took my card, and I looked at him.
"Come home with me."
I swallowed. A few weeks ago, I would have agreed promptly. Drew was attractive, maybe a few years older than I, and I'd enjoyed talking with him. I thought about Geoffrey and felt again my certainty that he'd revert to trying to live a straight life. That was a lose-lose situation for me, no matter what I did. I knew it.
"Okay." Anything for a bit of sex, eh?
Drew smiled. Cindy returned with my card and he passed over one of his cards to pay for his drink. I hunched beside him after putting my card away, elbows on the bar, and tried not to think about what I'd agreed to do. I could back out. But a part of me didn't want to. I couldn't let myself get too hung up on Geoffrey. I was too far gone on him already. I needed a break from that mess, and I wanted the guarantee of more than just platonic associations. Going to Drew's offered both.
Cindy brought his card back and we slid off our stools as he put the card away. I grabbed my coat off the stool's back and put it on as I led the way to the door and stepped out, feeling both a little relieved and a little afraid. Drew stopped to tell me his address, pulling on his own jacket, kissed my cheek, and went to his car. I wandered over to mine and got in, got situated, and followed his car out of the parking lot.
Once The Henhouse may have been well beyond city limits, but now it was just at the edge of the outskirts. Drew didn't live far, considering; he pulled into an apartment community just outside the city proper and I parked in the first available spot I found and got out of my car. He'd parked a little ways away, under a roof that shielded the tenants' cars from rain and sun and snow. I walked over to him as he shut his car's door.
"This way," he said.
I followed him to his apartment, up three flights of stairs and along a walkway. He gained us entry and I stopped a few paces within and looked around. Nice. Not overdone, but not ratty, either, even if the furniture's patterns didn't match. Drew had clearly made an effort to make sure that at least the colors did.
He joined me and took my hand. I looked at him. He kissed me. I participated, feeling a little as if I was doing this just because it was expected of me. I'd followed him over here, hadn't I? Of course we were supposed to have sex now. That's what happened when you went home with a man. A one night stand.
It wasn't like I was going to get anything of the sort from Geoffrey. He barely knew which way was up right now. And he'd probably choose down to try and preserve what sanity he had left, and there was nothing I could do to convince him that decision would be unwise because I hadn't done it and couldn't speak from experience. We'd pretty much milked my experiences for all they were worth with our conversations about his sexuality up to this point. I had no grounds on which to stand while I warned Geoffrey how things could backfire--and how badly they could do so--if he chose to try and live a straight life.
So I kissed Drew, who at least knew what he was and accepted himself. Who'd made me laugh and danced with me. I turned toward him and shook his hand free of mine so I could unfasten the buttons of his shirt.
His hands grasped my hips, pulling me closer, and I paused long enough to remove my coat and tee. Drew removed his jacket as well, then slid his hands up my back as I tossed my shirt aside. I finished unbuttoning his shirt and pushed it open, smoothing my hands over his chest. It was hairy, and the hair tickled my fingers and palms. Drew kissed me again, and I returned it, getting into things now. One of his hands slid down to grasp my ass and I slid my hands around his torso, embracing him.
And it felt so good to wrap my arms around him. I hugged him tight, squeezing with as much strength as I could muster before loosening my embrace. Drew didn't complain. His hand gripped my ass tighter and his other hand rose to grasp the back of my neck. He ended the kiss and trailed more along my jaw.
"You want to bottom?" he asked.
"It doesn't matter to me." I'd realized after my first few encounters that I was apparently one of the few guys who really had no preference. Most of the men I'd ended up in bed with had preferred to bottom. "Do you have condoms?"
Drew went still. "What if I told you I don't? Theoretically speaking?"
"I'd leave." I had, on the few occasions I'd encountered men who hadn't been prepared at all, departed without finishing what I'd started. "Theoretically speaking."
He chuckled. "I have condoms."
I relaxed, realizing only then that I'd been tense. "Okay."
"Okay." He kissed my earlobe and pushed me away gently. "Come this way."
He removed his shirt on the way to his bedroom, which was down a little hall with the kitchen, bathroom, and a laundry closet. I paused long enough to remove my shoes and socks, leaving them in the little hall, near the wall. Drew pushed down the waistband of his jeans, revealing that he wasn't wearing any underwear at all, as he entered his bedroom, and I unfastened mine.
Hardly romantic, I agree, but this was sex, not the love of my life. Drew dropped onto his bed and removed his socks and shoes, tossing them toward the dresser. I finished disrobing as he did, and our jeans ended up in a pile on his shoes.
I considered for a moment calling a stop at this point, thinking of Geoffrey. But he had no hold on me, had made no claims. He never would, so I had to go on as I'd begun. In this as well as in my life. I knew better than to expect any other outcome.
"Do you want me to top or bottom?" I asked, since Drew hadn't told me what he wanted from me.
I nodded. He reached for me, and I went to him, bending down to kiss him. He stroked my cock and I moaned, trying to escape his touch. I finally pulled away from the kiss and stepped back.
"I last longer if I bottom," I said.
He pointed to the nearest nightstand. "Condoms and lube are there."
While Drew rose and threw back the covers on the bed, I put on a condom. He settled in the center of the bed, and I joined him, walking on my knees, bottle of lube in my hand.
"How much prep do you need?" Sometimes it was so much work to get to the good stuff. It felt like more than usual this time, but I absolutely refused to consider why that might be. I didn't want to think about Geoffrey any more.
"Just do it slowly."
I nodded and lubed us both up, taking the time to test his ass with my fingers. When I found his prostate, he moaned, back arching off the bed. I pulled my fingers out and settled between his thighs, pushing in with care. After about a minute, Drew wrapped his legs around my hips and pulled me all the way in. I sank in with a moan.
We moved slowly for a while. Drew pulled my head down and kissed me. I closed my eyes, concentrating on not coming too soon. But it felt so good, and it had been weeks since I'd had the real thing. My hand was a poor substitute, especially when there was someone I wanted as close as Geoffrey was. I squeezed my eyes shut and dropped my head to Drew's shoulder, trying to banish thoughts of Geoffrey. It didn't work. I nibbled Drew's neck, increased the pace of my thrusts, and saw Geoffrey in my mind's eye, what he might look like naked in my bed.
That's who I really wanted. Geoffrey. I was trying to lie to myself, trying to deny the truth, but I couldn't. I hadn't been able to from the beginning. All I could do was resist thoughts of him, and even that failed, even now, when I was fucking someone else.
He'd been in the front of my mind from the first moment Tina had pointed him out to me. Geoffrey. He'd looked a little afraid that moment when we'd looked at each other, and it had hurt so much when he'd run away that day he brought the apple cobbler.
I wrapped my arms around Drew's body, up under his arms. He met my thrusts, arms wrapped around my shoulders, legs around my hips. I didn't know what I was doing, but I was apparently doing something right because he was moaning and yelping in pleasure. I wasn't really trying at this point. I'd stopped trying when I'd started thinking of Geoffrey again.
One of Drew's arms left my neck and slid between us. I felt him grasp his dick and stroke. Taking that as a sign that he was ready to come, I let myself go. I stopped trying not to come and I just let my thoughts wallow on the subject of Geoffrey, clenching my teeth tight, keeping my lips in a grimace as I grunted in orgasm, so I wouldn't say his name. Drew may have been a one night stand, but even he didn't deserve the disrespect of me calling out another man's name while I came.
Drew came with a sound very like an insensate yodel, and I lost my rhythm for a moment, surprised by the sound. His legs tightened around me, jerking me in, and I moved again, too close to climax to protest, and it rushed through me. I pressed my face against his neck. When it left me, I lost physical coherency and just dropped onto him. Drew didn't seem to notice. He finished stroking himself, then sprawled beneath me. I kissed his shoulder a few times, still catching my own breath while he panted.
The first time I'd come at the same time as my lover, and I felt like an ass.
I pulled away from Drew, pushing to my hands and knees, then maneuvered myself to the side of the bed we'd started on.
"Stay the night," he said.
I opened my mouth to say that I couldn't, but the realization that I had nothing for me at home overwhelmed my voice before I could speak. I nodded, swallowing. Sabriana wouldn't be pleased with me, but what the hell. It didn't really matter.
"I just need to go to the bathroom," I said.
I rose and removed the condom on my way out of the bedroom. In the bathroom, I threw the condom away, relieved myself, and stopped to look in the mirror while I cleaned up with the washcloth I saw hanging on the towel bar. I felt like I should have looked different. More sinister, perhaps. Less normal, at least. But nothing had changed. I could see the beginnings of the shadow of my facial hair; on days I worked I shaved twice, once in the morning and once before work. I'd look like hell tomorrow morning.