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Ch 2 A Sucker for Punishment
Turns out, Tyler was wrong. West doesn’t move on with his straight friends and forget all about me. In fact, he goes out of his way to stay in touch. We still go to gym together a few times each week, at his insistence, and he pops in at our place all the time. Just dropping by to hang out.
The long and short of it is, I have enough distance from him now to miss him like crazy, but nowhere near enough to get close to getting over him. Honestly, I’m not sure if it’s better or worse.
Every now and then, every few months, he stops by in the early hours of the morning. He calls me to let him in, so he doesn’t wake everyone else. He’s very considerate like that. Every time, my stupid, stupid heart races.
Maybe this time, it will be different. Maybe this time, it will stick.
“She says it’s over.” He always says. He looks crestfallen and his eyes look a little red. The sight of him like this makes me wild.
I can’t fucking stand Ashleigh.
“Don’t say too much.” Tyler warns me. “This break-up won’t last, they never do.”
I know he’s probably right. History has taught me that he is, but every time, my reckless heart hopes this time will be different. I hope against hope, this time, it will be over for good.
“What difference does it make?” Asks Tyler. “Really, when you think about it, what difference does it make whether he’s with Ashleigh, or not? One thing’s for sure, either way, he’s not going to be with you.”
“Thanks, a good kick in the guts from a friend, always helps.”
“I am trying to help you. Sarah and I both are.”
“I know.” I say, and I mean it. “I know you’re just trying to help. I’m trying, okay. It’s not like I’m not trying, I really am. I just can’t seem to shake this thing. I just can’t shake the feeling that there’s something there.”
Tyler whistles, low through his teeth. “You really got a little problem where this guy is concerned. You know that?”
I do know that. Thanks.
It’s just that when West and I are together, I feel different. I feel connected. I’ve never felt like this about anyone else. I don’t want to feel like this. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love it if I could feel like this about one of the guys that I hook up with. I just don’t.
I think about West constantly. Daydreaming all day, and all night. Yes, I imagine him naked and yes, I imagine fucking his ass to shreds, but more than that, I imagine really dumb shit, like him saying, “Can I kiss you?” to me. Oooph, that one, I play over and over in my mind. I imagine what he would look like when he says it. I imagine how low and hungry his voice would be. I imagine what I would do. I imagine every detail. I imagine the light in the room. I imagine the shadows on his face. Every distinction. Every gradation. I imagine it all. I doubt I’d be able to speak, so I’d probably just lean in and kiss him. I’d put one hand round his neck and one hand in his hair and I’d kiss him. I’d kiss him forever. I’d never let go.
I also imagine a world, where I could reach over, and trace my finger along the scar on his face. He told me, he fell onto a rock, when he was five. He was lucky he didn’t hit his temple, or his eye. He could have been hurt badly. He told me that his mom picked him up and carried him inside, lifting him up and sitting him down on the kitchen counter while she tried to stop the bleeding. He got eighteen stitches. I imagine touching the scar that it’s left. I’d love to press my lips against it, but I’d settle for touching it. Just touching it with my fingertips. Lightly. Feeling the ridges it makes when he smiles. Learning it. Reading it, like a story written in braille.
It’s pretty pathetic, really.
Okay, it’s very, very pathetic.
“Are you coming to my party on Saturday?” Tyler asks West, the next time he comes over.
“You don’t have to come, West.” I say, “It’s going to be the gayest event of the whole year, so you don’t have to come.”
“It’s a hat party.” Says Tyler, sounding a little triumphant.
I shoot West a look, as if to say, “See.”
I feel a little relieved that West won’t be there, as we get ready to head out. My outfit for the night is not what I usually wear. I’m usually a jeans and a t-shirt kind of guy. I tend to wear my hair pulled back. It’s not that long, but I can twist it over into a man-bun now. Tyler has told me repeatedly that I need a haircut, but I like it this length.
Tonight though, is something quite different. I’m wearing all black. Sarah has smoked out my eyes with mascara and eyeliner. I’ve never worn make-up before. I usually hate anything like that, but this is for Tyler, and as I’m sure you can imagine, he had some pretty clear ideas on what he wanted Sarah and I to wear. I made the hat in the art department. It’s an abstract piece that looks a little like black smoke wafting up off the top of my head. I added black ostrich Anadolu Yakası Escort feathers, just for the hell of it. It’s very dramatic and though it’s not really me, I’m taken aback when I see myself in the mirror. It looks pretty cool. I look like a totally different person.
“Oh, my Gawd!” Screams Tyler, when he sees me. “That’s not a hat, that’s a headpiece. It’s fucking fantastic.”
He hugs me happily. He’s wearing an elaborate tux and top hat. “I’m telling you, Andy, aside from me, you are going to be the best-looking person there.”
Sarah, rolls her eyes, “Thanks a lot.” She looks sensational. She’s wearing a clingy gold dress and a martini glass fascinator tucked into her raven hair.
“Oh, you know you’re gorgeous, darling.” Tyler says, trying to placate her. “If Andy and I were straight, we’d be all over you.”
“How lovely.” She says dryly. “When hell freezes over, I’ll have tons of great options. Lucky me.”
We laugh and head out. The party is fun, and I confess, I’m on a bit of a bender. There’s nothing like feeling like someone else, to lower your inhibitions. I’m getting myself another drink, when I feel a tap on my shoulder. I spin around a little flamboyantly, still in character.
My throat catches and goes so dry, I cough a little. It’s West.
Fucking West is here.
“Hey.” He says.
I’m instantly embarrassed. Mortified. I don’t want him to see me like this. I shouldn’t have made this stupid hat and I shouldn’t have let Sarah do my make-up. I feel my cheeks grow hot, as I blush in discomfort.
“Wow.” He says softly, eyeing me up and down.
“I-it’s a Say Something Hat.” I stammer, if that explains everything.
He misses the To Wong Foo reference. It goes straight over his head, but his eyes smile a little. He places his hand on the small of my back, burning me, as he leans in close to my ear, so I can hear him above the music, “Well,” he says, looking up at me, “I like what it’s saying.”
I’m dumbstruck. I feel like I’ve been hit by lightning.
He doesn’t stay very long and I’m a little shaken by the fact that he’s seen me like this, but at the same time, my foolish, foolish heart has another pathetic, insignificant thing to replay in my mind over and over, despite the fact that by tomorrow, West probably won’t even remember saying it.
It’s almost the end of the year. West and Ashleigh are on another break. Their break-ups usually last for seven to ten, angst filled days. None of their break-ups have ever lasted more than two weeks.
My phone rings in the middle of the night, I reach for it, squinting as I see the call is from West. I sit up quickly.
“Is that Andy?”
“Yes, who’s this?”
“Andy, something’s happened to West, there was a fight. He’s asking for you. Can you come?”
I fly out of the apartment and down to my car at breakneck speed. I barely heard the story before I hung up. I know where he is, so that’s good, at least. It’s not far, but I get there way quicker than usual.
I find him sitting outside on the curb. A large group of his friends are gathered around him protectively.
“What the hell happened?” I say when I get there.
“Some guy was giving a girl shit and West asked him to stop. He waited until West looked away to take a swing. We jumped in as fast as we could, but he went straight down.” Says Luke, a friend of West’s.
I look down at West. There’s blood pouring out of his nose and his eyes are bloodshot.
“Andyyyyy.” He says cheerfully, looking very pleased to see me.
“Jesus.” I say.
“We wanted to take him to the ER, but he’s refusing. He just kept telling us to call you.”
“Okay, thanks. I’ll take him.”
I load him into the car and help him with his seatbelt.
“I’m fine.” He says.
“Well, you look like shit.”
“Thanks.” He says, smiling at me. Blood has run down his face and into his mouth. His front teeth are stained red. Only West would be smiling, when he’s just had the shit kicked out of him.
“I’m taking you to get checked out.”
“Don’t be a dumbass. I’m fine.”
“Luke said you went down. I think we should get you checked out.”
“Of course, I went down, that dickhead hit me while I wasn’t looking. I was only out for a second. It’s no big deal.”
I look at him as if he’s mad.
“I’m telling you,” he says, “I’m fine. I used to get knocked out all the time when I played football. I’m fine.”
We have quite an argument about it, but the long and short of it is, we land up heading back to my place. West has agreed to let Tyler check him out. Just to be clear, Tyler is not a medical professional of any sort, but he is a dedicated hypochondriac and seems to know a lot about medical matters.
I don’t think this is a good plan, quite the opposite, in fact, but I go along with it anyway. By now, we all know, I can’t even come close to saying, “No,” to West.
“I think he’s fine.” Announces Tyler. Kartal Escort To be honest, he looks a bit excited. He would never admit it, but he loves this type of thing.
“I don’t think his nose is broken, but I’m going to give him a couple of these to help with the pain.” Tyler hands West two mystery tablets, which West swallows without any argument.
“Those are pretty strong,” Tyler says to me out the corner of his mouth, “so just keep an eye on him.”
“Uh, Ty, could you check out my hand, I landed on my wrist when I fell and it’s hurting.”
Tyler pronounces the wrist sprained and gets to work wrapping it up in a bandage. He seems to know what he’s doing. He’s taken several first aid courses. Even though he’s concerned about West, I think it’s fair to say that this little medical emergency has made Tyler’s night.
“Thanks, Ty.” Says West, as Tyler heads off to bed. It’s late and the decision has been made for West to sleep at our place, so I can keep an eye on him.
“You need a shower.” I say.
He looks at me sheepishly, shrugging a little, showing me his bandaged wrist apologetically.
“Uh, I think I might need a little help.”
“Sure.” I’m happy to help. Obviously, I am. In spite of everything. He’s my best friend. I want to help him. I hate that he’s hurt and I’m furious with the guy that did this to him. I can’t deny though, that the thought of helping him shower, immediately gets a reaction from me.
Don’t be an asshole, I beg myself. Don’t think like that.
We get to the bathroom and he tries to pull off his t-shirt, he gets it about halfway off, when he runs into trouble.
“Let me.” I say, reaching down and helping, pulling the neck of his t-shirt open a little wider, so I can ease it over his face without hurting him. He goes for his belt, but he doesn’t get very far with just his left hand. I unbuckle his belt silently, unbuttoning his top button and unzipping his fly. My throat is bone dry. I’m glad that it seems more fitting to help him like this without talking. I’d hate to hear my voice right now. I pull off his shoes and socks and then push his jeans down past his hips and he does the rest, stepping out of them. He pushes his briefs down too and heads to the shower stark naked, without a shred of discomfort.
I pull my t-shirt off. My shoes and socks, too, and head to the shower with my jeans on. I bring the plastic stool Sarah sits on when she does her make-up and set it down in the shower. I indicate for him to sit down on it, as I start the water running.
“What the fuck?” He says, looking a little bemused, when I get into the shower with my jeans, “Don’t you trust me?”
You’re not the one I don’t trust, I think.
“Just shut up and get in.”
He sits down, holding his injured wrist up and out of the water, to keep the bandage dry, letting his other hand settle over his crotch. It’s a decent sized shower, but right now, it feels very crowded. My cheeks are burning bright red. I’m relieved that it seems appropriate for me to stand behind him, spraying him carefully with the handheld shower nozzle.
He was leaning his head back in the car on the drive here, to try to stem the bleeding. He has dried blood in his hair as a result. I tell him to lean his head back, as I rub shampoo in both my hands and start working it through his hair. His hair is soft and silky. Silkier than I thought it would be. It’s so spiky, I thought it would be coarser. His skull feels warm and solid in my hands. I massage his temples and the back of his neck. Neither of us talk. I’ve never done anything like this for another person. I’m not sure if it’s just because it’s West, but in some ways, this feels more intimate than anything I’ve ever done with anyone else.
I rub his head gently, rubbing my nails back and forth through the locks of hair that are stiff with his blood. When I’m sure that it’s all out, I put one hand over his forehead, shielding his eyes from the suds as I rinse his hair. He tilts his head back, arching his neck, closing his eyes. Water droplets collect on his long, black eyelashes. I swallow hard. He’s never looked more beautiful. I’ve never been closer to him. He’s naked. My hands are on him. The soap and the water are coursing over his body. Down his neck, over his pecs. Down his spine, forming little rivers down his ass.
Though I willed myself not to, I tried not to look, I failed. I failed in every way. I’ve never looked at him more openly. I haven’t held back. He is impossibly hot. I’m so turned on, my dick hurts. My movements are sluggish. My jeans are wet and sticking to my body. I’m worried he’s going to see what I spend most of my time hiding from him.
“Hey,” he says, “can you spray my face.” He tilts his face down into the water stream, breathing out and rubbing the skin around his nose roughly. He winces slightly.
“Gently.” I say.
He goes back under, rubbing much more carefully this time.
“You missed a spot.”
I scrape the stubborn spot Kartal Escort Bayan of dried blood off his cheek with my nail. His eyes are drooping slightly. When he looks up at me, he has a slightly goofy expression on his face. Those tablets Tyler gave him must have kicked in. I raise the shower head to his face again, giving him time to close his eyes and breathe out before I let the water hit him. I spray the side of his face. I stroke his cheek with my thumb. Running my finger along his scar. Tracing the shape. Memorising everything minute detail. Trying my best to keep my mouth shut. Clenching my teeth. Trying my best, not to lean down and run my tongue up the side of his face. It isn’t easy. I want him so much, I’m shaking inside.
There was no blood near his scar. I just couldn’t resist it. I just had to touch it. I had to.
He looks up at me, smiling a little lopsidedly. “All done?”
“Yep, you’re done. Get out. I’ll get you something to wear.”
I drape a large towel around his back and shoulders. I want nothing more than to stand behind him and rub every inch of him dry. I would kill to run my hands over his body, even if I could only feel it through a towel.
I can’t take anymore though. No matter how much of a masochist I might be when it comes to West, I can’t take anymore. I’m on the brink. I’m going to lose my mind, or I’m going to lose my self-control. Neither of those are very good options.
I leave him to dry himself as I fetch a pair of my track pants for him. No zipper. No buttons. He should be able to handle this on his own. I hand them to him.
He stands there helplessly, waiting for me to dress him.
He’s definitely a little stoned from whatever those tablets were. I sigh and squat down to help him get the pants on. His dick is lolling around right near my face. Dangling tantalisingly close. He’s not trying to cover it now. His hands hang loosely at his sides. I try to keep my head turned away, but I’m shaking. I can hear my heart pounding. Pounding with such force, I can feel my pulse in my lips. His feet are big and he’s a bit clumsy right now, so I struggle a little to get the pants on. He rests his good hand on my shoulder for balance. It feels hot against my skin. Searing. I try not to shudder in pleasure. I try not to lean into his touch. At this point, I’m not entirely sure if I’m successful or not.
“Thanks, Andy.” He says over and over.
He collapses into my bed. We haven’t spoken about this. Usually, when he crashes at my place, he sleeps on the sofa. I’m not sure what to do. I don’t really want to leave him on his own, since he’s stoned on some sort of prescription medication and has almost certainly got a concussion.
Reluctantly, I lie down next to him, careful to give him as much space as I possibly can.
What kind of torture could possibly be worse than this? Being drawn and quartered? Probably, but right now, I’m in such severe pain, I’m convinced it would be a bit of a toss-up.
I lie as still as I can. Watching him. He looks like he’s about to fall asleep, but before he does, he opens his eyes and looks at me.
“I love you, Andy.”
I sigh. “Oh, shut up.”
“Huh?” He says, “I thought tonight was my night. I’ve been badly hurt, Andy. Everything aches. I thought tonight you’d say it back. I thought you would.” He’s mumbling and grinning like an inebriated fool.
He’s quiet for a while but I know he’s very out of it, so I take my chance. I’ve been trying to get this out of him since I first met him, “West,” I whisper, “what’s your IQ?”
“Nice try.” He laughs, trying to sit up and swat me.
“Lie down. Don’t get up. Just go to sleep, okay?”
“Okay.” His breathing slows and deepens. I take a deep breath, too. I need try to relax. I’m in a bad way. I can’t recall ever having been in a worse way, come to think of it.
“Andy.” He says, a few minutes later, his eyes flying open with a sense of urgency. His speech is a little slurred now, “Thank you for having me.”
I laugh, despite myself.
In case you’re wondering why I can’t get over West, this is why. It’s things like this. I can’t get over him because he’s the best. Even beaten, drunk and on heavy painkillers, he’s the kind of guy who’s still polite. Even in this terrible state, he’s still cheerful. He’s still smiling, and he still remembers his manners.
He’s the best.
He just is.
I lie there, dead still. Unmoving. I don’t move a muscle. I just use every ounce of my strength to focus on my breathing.
Slowly. I tell myself. Slow and steady. In and out. Don’t move. Just lie still.
Minutes tick by. Minutes turn into hours, for all I know. West sleeps deeply beside me. His breathing is slow and heavy.
Don’t touch him. I tell myself. Don’t you dare touch him.
I wouldn’t, okay? I’m not like that. I’d never touch anyone who didn’t want me to touch them. I just wouldn’t. I roll myself into a tight ball. I lie on my side, looking at him. I can see the outline of his face. He’s on his side, too. He’s facing me. His eyes are closed lightly and his mouth is open ever so slightly, slack with sleep. I’m so aroused, my skin feels tight. It feels tight everywhere. It feels too tight to contain me. My heart feels so swollen and bruised, it feels too big for my ribcage. Everything hurts.
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