“You’re a good kisser,” Cass murmured against my mouth.
Chuckling, I replied, “I hope so.”
“Trust me, it’s an underrated skill. I’ve been with a lot of guys who were sloppy or just want to skip to other things.” His cheeks flushed. “Not that I mind those other things, but…”
The same guy who could be such a smart ass was actually blushing talking about kisses? That was so damn adorable I wanted to eat him alive.
“I understand.” I moved my lips over his neck. “I like taking my time.”
His breath came in a shutter and I wondered how we’d gotten here—standing in my living room with shirts tossed aside, Cass burrowed into my arms—though we’d hardly rushed it.
We’d been trying to do the responsible thing, after all—and there was a lot working against us. Hell, it felt like the world at large was against us. Prop 8 was even now being pushed to repeal the right of same-sex marriage in California.
Yet even with all that, and despite Cass’ conflicts about lying to his father, he had followed me up to my apartment. I knew I should’ve sent him home, told him he would have to figure out matters with Doug before we could delve any deeper into our relationship. I was the adult here. I knew what needed to happen.
I had led him inside anyway. It might not have been a mature move, but, dammit, I was only human. Now that we’d opened ourselves to the possibility of romance – and sex – it was impossible for me to turn him away. Not after he’d opened up to me. He’d allowed himself such vulnerability and I couldn’t let him go, not yet.
Maybe a part of it was me opening too, allowing someone else in. I’d been closed off for so long. I knew I wouldn’t regret letting him into my apartment, or anywhere else he wanted to go. Tomorrow be damned.
“That feels good,” he said, as I stroked down his back. He was like a cat being pet after a long absence. He was skin hungry. So was I. Every touch of skin-on-skin sent flickers of energy dancing along my nerves—nerves I’d thought dead or at least dormant.
His hands came up to tug at my hair before taking my mouth again. I wasn’t sure which was one of us had the stronger need. Our tongues battled before I let him lead. I barely realized I was guiding him to the bed until we fell onto it. We laughed into one another’s necks and shoved off the rest of our clothes. Totally unfettered, Cass twined himself around me, nuzzling his face against my neck, or into my sparse chest hair, even my armpits. When I started to laugh, he bit my shoulder.
“Little spitfire,” I said with a grin. “Tell me what you’re into.”
He shrugged. “I don’t know…the usual?”
I leaned on one of my elbows next to him, noting the new tension in his body. “Has no one ever asked you that before?”
“No. I mean, they have, but…” He shook his head. “It was usually when they were trying to pick me up, so we wanted to be sure we’d want the same things. With us, well, we’ve hung out a lot. We already know each other. I guess it feels weird to be asked that point blank when we’re already messing around. Can we just go with the flow?”
“Yeah, sure. We should talk about it sometime soon, though.”
Cass nodded, though he didn’t look all that convinced. Talking so baldly about sexual preferences did kind of suck the spark out of the moment, but I’d learned it was a lot healthier to bring the topic up earlier rather than later.
“Tonight…” Cass said, pushing me up until he could sit in my lap, “maybe a little of this.” He shimmied his hips so our naked cocks wrestled together. “And this,” he added, slipping a hand down to curl his long fingers around both our erections. He grinned, a little mischievous, a little smug, and very happy. I grinned back and he swayed his hips into mine. “Ugh, yeah,” I groaned. Of course if I’d been honest, I would’ve given a limb to have his lips wrapped around my cock. But I’d lose myself in the physical if we went that route, and that’s not what I wanted from this. It wasn’t a one-night fuck. This was about connection—about us deepening the one we’d already been making. I wanted us both deep in the present. More than anything, I wanted his eyes on mine when he came, so he’d know he was <i>mine</i>.
The thought almost made me pause; I wasn’t typically possessive. Cass bought it out in me, though, like no one ever had.
Cass kept stroking us together, the hot sensitive skin pressing, sliding…it was heaven. His beautiful eyes were half-lidded and his heavy breathing matched my own. Heat radiated between us, surrounding us in a safe shell of ecstasy.
“Lay down.” With a hand under Cass’ back I leaned him onto the bed. My body was above him, his thighs still spread under me. I slid a hand over his and took hold of my cock. “I’m not going to last long.”
“Me neither,” he gasped out.
As I watched him jack his rod with frantic efficiency, I groaned. “Fuck, Cass. What you do to me.” I felt a surge of desire grip my sac, and my inner axis tipped into point-of-no-return.
“You gonna come on me?”
“Yes.” And no sooner had I said the word than Cass erupted. It was beautiful to see him so overcome: mouth gaping and eyes squeezed shut. He’d come so fast, all I could think was ‘he’s so young’, but as I drank him in, still stroking and milking himself for all he was worth, a ripple of shock went threw me. I came, like a stroke of lightening to my system.
“Oh god!” I shuttered and quaked as stream after stream of cum fell across Cass’ skin, like paint over a pale canvass.
I collapsed next to him, still trembling. After a moment I passed him a few tissues from the box next to my bed.
“Thanks,” he muttered, making a half-hearted attempt to clean himself. I took over and wiped him clean, then dropped kisses along his chest and collarbones.
“Mmm-hmm,” he purred, and I pulled him in, flush with my side. I yanked the sheet out from beneath us and pulled it over us. We stayed there for a while, soaking in each other’s warmth and scent.
“Thanks,” Cass said into the quiet.
“For your orgasm?” I asked with amusement.
“For taking a chance on me. On us.”
I pulled him in tighter, but was stick for words. The way things had progressed, I didn’t feel as if I’d made a conscious choice. It had just…happened.
When I was starting to nod off, I felt Cass shuffle next to me.
“Oh, man. It’s late. I should go.”
“Sorry.” He leaned over to meet my eyes. “I’ll stay over another night. Soon.” He kissed me, slow and thorough. “And we’ll finally get to fuck.”
That broke me into a laugh. “I’m always up for that, but that’s just one thing on the menu.”
Cass frowned. “Dude, it’s the main course.”
I lifted my eyebrows at that; it was good to hear. Over the years I’d come across more than one guy who wasn’t into penetration, but I had to admit it was at the top of my list of favorite things. It was damn good to know Cass and I were on the same page with that, though he hadn’t said if he had a preference for top or bottom. I still couldn’t read him on that. Maybe he was verse?
I angled my head toward his neck and hushed in his ear, “Itadakimasu,” then nipped his throat.
“Ah!” He broke into giggles—yes, a grown man giggling—and it made my whole body warm. “What’s that mean?” he demanded, pushing me away, still smiling.
“It means something like ‘I gratefully accept this meal’ in Japanese.”
“Well, hold that thought for next time.”
Next time he came over I had Alia, though. And the time after that. TJ helped when he could but he had a job with regular hours, while I was riding on passive income through selling prints on my website—until I left for the Philippines in the winter. I’d been in touch with some journalists I’d worked with in the past and the project looked promising. Usually this was the stage in the game I felt a rush of energy and optimism. This time was different. This time I’d be leaving Cass behind.
Right now he was on the living room floor playing with Alia and, by the looks of it, enjoying every minute. I shook my head at the duo and moved to the kitchen to heat up some pierogis for dinner. I’d convinced Alia they were another form of mac ’n cheese, so she loved them.
I loved that Cass could entertain her while I did other things. It was amazing, and gave me a whole new appreciation for single parents like Kate. What the hell did people do if they didn’t have family to help?
“There’s my man,” came Cass’ voice from behind me. His arms wrapped around me from behind as he said, “cookin’ in the kitchen like a good man should.”
Chuckling, I turned around to pull him in. “You like it when I cook?”
“Since I don’t have to? Yeah.”
I granted him a few soft kisses before turning back to the pierogis. “What’s Alia doing out there by herself?”
“She’s got all her stuffed animals gathered for a conference or something.”
We laughed together, and I thought how much I did that lately. I hadn’t realized how somber I’d been before Cass appeared. Now I felt like I laughed all the time. Something between us just vibed at the same frequency. The feeling was new for me.
I’d loved Nate, but this was…different. Things flowed in a way they never had between Nate and me. As I watched Cass give me a wink and walk back out to the living room, I had to take a steadying breath. Leaving him for several months was not going to be easy. I tried not to think about it. Unfortunately, that got harder to do when every day greeted me with a colder slap to the face as I walked out the door. Fall was passing.
I wasn’t alone in my denial of the future, though. Cass hadn’t spoken about his father in weeks. I wasn’t sure if Doug even knew he was hanging with me—and assuming we were friends—or if Cass was telling him he was at Shaun’s or some other friend’s place. We made quite a pair.
Not that I could complain. Over the years I’d become an expert in “living for the moment”, which sounded romantic and exciting. In reality, matters didn’t always work that way. Life moved fast and if you didn’t look ahead, you could get slammed by things you never saw coming. Even little things.
On a particularly crappy, windy Friday, Cass came in straight from work after a eleven hour day.
“I feel like shit,” he said, collapsing on my couch. He looked like shit too, but I was wise enough not to say it. “Everything that could’ve gone wrong did,” he explained, as Alia climbed into his lap.
“Alia, Uncle Cass is tired. Give him some space.”
“No, it’s fine.” He ran a hand over his face, streaking it with dirt.
“What didn’t?” he said with a rueful laugh. “The wrong sheet rock came in, but no one realized it until it’d been used on half the eastern wall. The new foreman—a total asshole—gave us like five fucking minutes for lunch and then proceeded to spend the afternoon talking shit about his cousin’s kid who, in his words, is ‘a cock-sucking queer’.” Cass shook his head. He looked exhausted, body and soul. I wanted to find this foreman and smash his face in. In the wake of my anger, all I wanted to do was hold Cass in my arms and keep him safe from all the homophobic asses in the world.
How the hell could he continue his construction work if he came out? I was all for fighting the good fight, but he didn’t like his work even without all the shit talk.
“You need a beer?”
He nodded as he watched Alia tracing the Carhartt tag on his jacket. I got up, but he stopped me. “Make that an Irish coffee.”
“Yeah? The caffeine might keep you up.”
Cass shrugged. “It’ll help get my head out of this fog I’m in, though.”
“Okay.” I patted his shoulder and was going to lean in for a kiss, but his attention was all on Alia. It was rare I found solace in a kid’s company, but I knew others did, and I was glad Alia could help ease Cass’ tension when he’d come over like this after a rough day. But…
Was it unfair that I wanted Cass all to myself? Was it stupid to be kind of jealous of a toddler? Yeah, it was. Didn’t mean it wasn’t true, though.
With a sigh at my own lameness I stirred the whiskey into Cass’ cup and brought it out to him, only to find him snoring on the sofa. His arm was draped over Alia, who had passed out against him. They were damn cute together.
I grabbed a short glass of whiskey for myself and sat down next to them. I’d have to move Alia to bed eventually but there wasn’t any rush. I watched Cass’ chest rise and fall with my niece’s little head bobbing with the movement. It was a quiet, sweet moment and something unfamiliar welled inside me as I took it in.
The way we were all sitting there it seemed like we were, well, a little family. Which was something I hadn’t ever aimed for or even imagined for myself. I wasn’t sure I’d want that. Even if I did, god only knew how many other things I had going on at the moment.
I drank my whiskey and heard Scarlett O’Hara’s voice from Gone With the Wind in the back of my mind: “I can’t think about that right now. If I do I’ll go crazy… I’ll think about that tomorrow.”
Not the wisest of strategies, but I’d take it for now.