Muscle and Music Ch. 04bydomiroa©
I was glad that Vaughn was sitting across from me, so I could look at him straight on. Even though he was mostly staring at his food, when he did glance up, our eyes locked and I couldn't look away. His beautiful, intense eyes would glare at me, knowing what I dream of and accusing me of dreaming. Even if he, maybe, somewhere hidden in his heart (probably repressed), dreamed of me too.
Then he'd rip his eyes away and I remembered that the rest of the world actually existed.
Sophie, of course, is the complete opposite of Vaughn. She's outgoing, talkative, and easy to smile, and I'm actually really enjoying talking to her about art and music. We chat on and on as Vaughn stubbornly drinks his beer and tries not to look at me.
I wonder if Sophie knows about my attraction to her brother. She's looked at us funny a couple of times, and I don't think I have a good poker face when it comes to hiding how I feel for Vaughn. I glance at Vaughn again. He's glaring at his beer like it's trying to start a fight.
I take a chance.
"So Vaughn, why did you go into construction?" I ask, deciding to start with the topic of conversation that he'd be most likely to respond to.
His head jerks up at my saying his name, and our eyes meet briefly (there it is again, my heart falling over) then looks bad at his plate. Then he glances at Sophie and she leans back at grins at him, and a look passes between them --understanding? Challenge? I can tell she wants him to be more social.
He clears his throat. "I don't know, buildings are logical. I like putting the parts together and making things that last." He stops and drinks his beer, then sees me and Sophie still waiting for him to continue.
He gives a tiny eye roll. "And each building is unique, so that's nice, I guess."
I nod, I can't help being drawn into him. "You're a modern day Howard Roark," I say, and a corner of Vaughn's mouth actually twitches. "Well I'd never burn down any of my buildings unless they really deserved it," he said, and I smiled, delighted that he was actually speaking with me, and secretly placing myself in the position of Dominique Francon in my mind.
Sophie cut in, "Vaughn was actually accepted into some great architecture schools, but he didn't go. I still haven't forgiven him for it!" She punched his arm and he punched hers back, but lightly.
"Why didn't you go?" I asked, genuinely curious. Vaughn is strong, smart, beautiful, and more loving than he let on. I'm beginning to think that I'm going to lose myself in whatever pieces of him that he gives me.
Vaughns eyes instantly cloud over and his mouth sets in a hard line, and Sophie glances at him then sets her fork down.
She clears her throat and smiles at me, sadly.
"Our parents passed away right before Vaughn had to decide. He chose to stay home with me, we actually grew up only an hour outside the city."
I look at Vaughn, not trying to pretend I'm not, and he refuses to look at me.
"Sophie." He says, voice low. The share a look and I feel like an intruder.
"I'm sorry," I say, "no one should have to lose their parents so young."
Sophie smiles at me, and I can't help but smile back, she is contagious.
"Thanks," she says, "it was a long time ago."
But from the way Vaughn is still staring into space, a far-off look in his eyes, I don't think that it feel like a long time ago for him. I want to put my arms around him and kiss him until he gives me a rare and perfect smile.
Sophie grabs the wine bottle.
"Bottoms up!" she says cheerfully, and tops off our glasses.
The rest of dinner is fun, me and Sophie chat and I get a little tipsy, but Vaughn has closed off again and I don't think I'm going to get him back tonight.
Vaughn offers to do the dishes, though, and I make plenty of excuses to "accidentally" brush his hands while handing him plates and cups. He glares at me a few times, but I don't care and enjoy standing close to his tall, sexy body.
They leave after I get Sophie's contact info, we're definitely keeping in touch, and I close the door after them.
I play some piano later, in the moonlight coming from my window, and imagine that Vaughn is sitting on the couch across from me, Bear's head in his lap, looking me straight in the eyes.
I managed to avoid Laurie the whole next day after Sophie left. The whole day I had been dreading seeing Laurie, and having to confront what I felt about him. Dinner was almost too much, he sat across from me looking so beautiful and talking with Sophie about art that I'll never see or understand. When he looked at me, I had to tear my eyes away or risk grabbing him and showing him what I felt. Whatever this feeling is, that I don't fucking understand. I don't know why I'm so attracted to him, and I don't know why I'm acting this way, but I know that I can't look at him and think logically. There's no point in denying that I want him -- I'm drawn to him in a way I'm not drawn to other women (or men). That itself defies sexual orientation.
So I walked Bear at 6:00 AM, because Laurie wouldn't be awake, and stayed out out the apartment all day. I went to the library, I visited the site (despite my friends' protests), and I went out to dinner after that. Finally, at 9:00, I returned to my apartment. I made it there safely, my heart beating fast, trying to not look at Laurie's door. There was a lot of music and laughter coming from underneath the door, and it pissed me off. Why is he throwing parties when I'm warring with my mind.
I limped into my apartment, and sank onto my couch, already tired and wanting to sleep. I was alone, and that's how I liked my life. Except for Bear, and he forced me to interact with other people. Like Laurie. FUCK! Would it be so bad to let him into my small, uninteresting life? Like he'd even stick around. I'm sure there's plenty smart, attractive, cultured, outgoing artsy men for him to be with (but the idea of it made me clench my jaw).
I closed my eyes and rubbed my temples. Maybe I just had to get away. I couldn't keep living like this.
Suddenly, someone knocked on my door. But it was a quieter knock then I've heard before, and didn't seem like it would come from Laurie.
I stood, limped over to the door, and opened it. It was the girl from Laurie's last party who opened his door. His girlfriend? But from the way Laurie touched me yesterday, I don't think he's into girls.
"Hi!" She said in a chipper way, and I restrained myself from frowning at her.
"Yes?" I asked, and tried to sound nice.
"I'm Rachel! I'm Laurie's friend. I kind of met you a few nights ago, but you stormed off before I could introduce myself." She stuck out her hand.
I grudgingly took her hand and shook it.
"I'm Vaughn." I said, wondering why she was here.
Bear bounded at her, and she smiled delightedly. "Ooooh!! What an adorable dog!" She squealed, and I raised my eyebrows, but my heart softened a little.
"Don't tell him that to his face, he likes to think he's a ferocious man killer," It told her, enjoying the attention Bear got almost as much as he did.
"He's gorgeous!" Rachel gushed, and I had to agree. Then my thoughts flew to someone else. Laurie.
I cleared my throat. "Can I help you with something?" I asked, trying not to sound like the mean son-of-a-bitch I am.
He bounced upright. "Oh! Yeah! Well I feel bad we kept you up with the music last time, so I was wondering if you wanted to join us! There's just a few of us over at Laurie's, we're just hanging out. Come!" She was looking at me with a big smile, expectantly.
I frowned. "Does Laurie know you're asking me over?" I asked hesitantly, not sure what to think about it. I didn't want to go, I didn't want to be around people, and I didn't want to face Laurie again so soon.
"Oh yeah, he thinks it's a great idea. Let's go!" Rachel said, grabbing my hand, and before I could protest, she pulled me out of my apartment.
"Um," I protested, a little in shock at this random woman dragging me from my sanctuary, but Laurie's door was close and we were already there.
She pushed the door open and pulled me into the bright, noisy room. Jazz music was playing, and five other people were standing around the living room, making drinks and laughing and being completely unfamiliar.
My gaze sought Laurie. He was standing talking to another man who looked younger than me, and maybe younger than Laurie. The other man put his hand on Laurie's shoulder and gazed at him adoringly, and I felt jealousy stab in my stomach. That fucker needed to get his hand off Laurie before I removed it myself. Laurie was holding a beer, and he smirked at me, knowing exactly how I got there and enjoying watching me squirm outside of my comfort zone.
"Hey guys!" Rachel yelled, and the pushed me in front of her and into the room. "This is Vaughn, he's Laurie's neighbor, and he broke his leg so let's get him drunk!" WHAT?
I opened my mouth to protest but two people came up to me and thrust beer into my hands, and dragged me over to a couch to sit down with them. Their names were Jack and Melissa, and they were actually really nice and funny, but I couldn't stop looking at Laurie as he moved about the room, laughing and chatting and refiling people's drinks. It occurred to me that he was just like this: generous, lively, open, and giving. Everything I wasn't. Rachel plopped down next to me and smiled at me.
"So Vaughn, what do you do?" She asked, looking like she actually cared about the answer.
I glanced at Laurie again, and his eyes flicked away from mine. He's been looking at me. I felt a little thrill in my stomach. I turned to Rachel.
"I'm in construction," I said, and she nodded.
"That explains why you're so good-looking. I knew you had to do something physical!" I stared at her, she was so forward.
"Uh...thanks. How bout you?" I asked uncomfortably, and she smiled, knowing I felt awkward.
"I work down at the museum, but I'm trying to be an artist too," she laughed, and I smiled at her. She reminded me so much of Sophie.
"My sister is actually an artist as well, but she works in sculpture mostly," I told Rachel.
"That's awesome!" Rachel exclaimed, and I smiled back at her, missing Sophie's similar enthusiasm. "Have I heard of her?" Rachel asked.
"I doubt it," I told her, "She's only 22, she's in her last year at RISD. But maybe someday," I said grinning, and Rachel laughed.
"That's crazy, I went to RISD too! Well, for undergrad. But I graduated seven years ago, no chance of knowing your sister. She must be really talented though, RISD is really hard to get into!" Rachel exclaimed, and I felt my head swell a little with pride. I remember how damn excited Sophie was, and how I picked her up and swirled her around, and how my parents had told every single person they knew, and put all her application portfolio pictures up in the house. Back when we were happy, when we were okay, and when Sophie laughed, and when I believed in happy endings.
I looked up to find Rachel staring at me, looking concerned. "Oh yeah, she's an amazing artist," I said feeling my heart begin to cloud over.
"Your parents must be really proud," Rachel said, and I nodded, not wanting to speak a lot.
"They were," I confirmed, looking down into my beer. I took a swig and felt someones eyes on me. I looked up and Laurie was looking straight at me, eyes boring into mine, and I just knew he could see my sadness and heartache. I stared back at him, challenging him to say something, because he wouldn't stop staring at me and I didn't want him to. He dropped his gaze and I turned back to Rachel, changing the conversation topic.
The music swirled around me, as did the chatter, and I sipped my beer and only listened half-heartedly to the conversation. What am I doing here? I wondered to myself, and couldn't answer the question. Laurie looked in his element, surrounded by talented, glamorous, attractive people, and I was very far out of my own. I needed solitude, and silence, and buildings, and not too much human interaction. All of a sudden I stood, mumbled something to the people around me, and walked to the bathroom. It was down a hallway secluded from the rest of the party, and it was what I needed.
I was about to open the door to the bathroom when I heard someone behind me.
"Vaughn." I liked the way Laurie said my name, and I felt shivers go up my spine.
I turned and Laurie walked up to me, standing close in the small hallway. He looked great in a maroon v-neck sweater that made his eyes look even more gold than usual, and the same black pants I was admiring the other day. He looked like the beautiful, cultured, intelligent, smart-ass that he was, I felt like a big oaf next to him. I was all too conscious of my fraying grey t-shirt, and unruly hair, and gruff exterior. I hadn't shaved today, and there was stubble on my chin.
"Hey," I said uncomfortably, and my heart sped up when I saw Laurie still looking at me funny. God he looked great, and I felt something start to pool in my stomach. "Sorry for crashing your party."
He grinned and made a motion like it was nothing. "Oh no it's great, Rachel's like that sometimes. I mentioned you broke your leg and she felt bad for you. She kept going on about how lonely you must be, and how she wanted to make you soup or something." I frowned and shrugged, not liking the pity these people were feeling for me.
"That's very nice of her, but I like solitude sometimes," I mumbled, and Laurie laughed.
"Yeah I know you do, but I'm glad she made you come in here." He watched my face carefully, with something in his eyes that made my heart thump erratically. "I think she knew how much I wanted to see you." The laughter stilled in his eyes, and I could feel my heart thumping awkwardly. Surely he could hear it.
I blinked at him, amazed that he'd just come out and say something like that. Who just says exactly what they're thinking? I looked down at my beer, unable to meet his eyes for fear of what I might see. God, I think I was actually blushing, and that hadn't happened since about third grade.
"Vaughn." Laurie said softly, and I think I visibly shivered, and cautiously looked into his eyes.
He stepped closer toward me, and I could see the determination and the lust in his eyes. My heart was pounding and my palms were sweating, but I wanted to grab him so badly I almost shattered the beer bottle I was clenching.
"I don't know what you want from me," I said softly, finally looking into his eyes. And it's true, I didn't know, and I also didn't know what I could give him. I needed to deal with a lot of things, and I needed to be alone to do that, and I didn't want my life to change. But I wanted Laurie, I wanted him more than I'd ever wanted anyone in my life, and I knew that ignoring what I felt wasn't an option anymore.
He looked into my eyes and smiled slightly, saying, "Yes, you do. And you should stop denying that you want it too," At that moment, there was nothing else I wanted more than to take him right there on the floor.
"You're used to getting what you want, aren't you" I whispered, and my voice was rough and harsh.
Laurie nodded, and moved one final step closer, so our mouth were inches away.
"Yes," Laurie whispered back, and I felt his breath softly on my face. My body itched to be pressed over his, and his mouth on mine. It had never been this way with anyone else, and I couldn't really believe what was happening to me.
Laurie licked his lips. "And I've wanted you from the first moment I saw you." His eyes were full of desire and truth and anticipation, and my heart was about to explode. I couldn't resist him anymore; it's a fucking miracle I ever could.
I cursed and grabbed his shoulders roughly and pulled him to me. Our mouths met in a bruising kiss, and it was hot and hard and breathtaking. His mouth was firm and soft, but not at all like a woman's, and my mind was spinning. How had this never happened before? This kiss was unlike anything I could imagine, and I knew it was because it was Laurie, not just because he was another man. My heart was clenching and Laurie's lips were married to mine, and he was kissing me like I was the last man on Earth. And he was so good at it. His lips coaxed mine open and I grasped the back of his head with one hand and tilted mine to deepen the kiss. Laurie's hands threaded through my hair, and I held his body to mine in a death grip. I kissed him back with passion I didn't know was in me, and I distantly heard Laurie moan, and it was like fire rushing through my veins. I could feel his erection against my thigh, and was positive he could feel mine, and if someone hadn't called his name from the other room, I don't know what would have happened.
I tore my lips from his and looked down at him, panting like I'd just run twenty miles. He had a semi-shocked look on his face, and I knew he'd been affected by the kiss just as intensely as I had. He was breathing heavily and his perfect lips were red and swollen. I did that. His beautiful gold-brown eyes bored into mine, and he moved one of his hands to rest on my chest, sending more shivers down my spine.
"You--", Laurie tried to say, but his voice was husky and he couldn't articulate. I couldn't help myself: I dropped my head and kissed him again, softer, and bit his upper lip with my teeth. This time Laurie shivered, and I smiled to myself, and slipped my hand underneath his sweater to feel the soft skin of his back.
"LAURIE!! COME PLAY FOR US!" The voice cried again, and we broke apart, startled. I pushed him toward the other room without looking at him, scared I'd pounce on him again if I looked at him, and turned into the bathroom.
I heard Laurie's steps walking away from me, and leaned against the counter, breathing hard. What the hell was that? It's like my body has been completely overtaken by another person. I never acted like this, like a fucking teenager in heat, and I never kissed men. What was happening to me?? I sure as hell didn't know, but I did know with absolute certainty that there had to be a reason behind everything, and there had to be a reason I felt so strongly for Laurie. I shook my head to clear it, but my heart was still pounding and I could still feel Laurie hot, skilled mouth on mine, and his body pressed flush against me, and his hands, with their long, beautiful fingers, in my hair. My dick was still hard and if I kept thinking about Laurie, it wasn't going to go down. I ran some water and splashed it on my face, and sighed. What was I going to do about this? I didn't know how to be this person who had taken over my body and still be the man I've been for 28 years.
Then, the piano began to play. I opened the door, and walked down the corridor into the living room, where everyone was watching Laurie playing the piano. His dark head was bent slightly, and his eyes were closed, and there was no sheet music in front of him. His fingers flew over the keys, in the most beautiful and erotic way--or maybe it was just the music he was playing. I watched his hands, mesmerised, as they moved swiftly and skillfully over the keys. I didn't know human hands could move like that. I couldn't stop my brain from imagining what they could do to my body.
Suddenly, I couldn't take it anymore. What had just happened with Laurie, I would deal with in my own private solitude, where I could think clearly and logically. I quietly let myself out of the apartment without anyone but Rachel noticing, and I didn't look at her. Laurie didn't see me.
I limped into my apartment, my mind reeling, and petted Bear absently as I tried to work out what had happened. I had just had the most intense, explosive, unbelieveable kiss of my life...with another man. I didn't know what to think; I didn't think I was gay, but at this point I didn't know if I was completely straight either. And I didn't like to think about it that way--my parents had always told me and Sophie that love is love, and that's all there is too it. What people do in their private lives is their business, and I wouldn't want anyone trying to tell me how to live my life. I sighed and sat down on my bed. I couldn't think about this anymore tonight. I pulled off my clothes and got under the covers, and fell asleep, dreaming about Laurie's mouth and his fingers.