“So why did your parents kick you out?”
Anthony and Jason occupied each end of the plush, beige leather couch in the den, each of their thumbs tapping away on a game controller. Across the room was a 75-inch plasma screen television displaying their split-screen co-op game of Left 4 Dead. The surround sound mesmerized Anthony; it was something his family would have never even tried to afford. Being that Jason’s father was a very successful architect, his family was quite wealthy. Wealthy enough that they hadn’t minded taking him in and feeding him over the holiday as if he was some stray pup. As much as he had tried to turn down the offer, it wasn’t easy when three people insisted he accept. Even if Anthony was certain that they only cared for him because he had, basically, tutored their son all semester, he couldn’t help but feel a little warmed by the fact that they had even acknowledged his existence in the first place. Barring the snobbery he usually expected from the wealthy, Jason’s parents were lovely people, if a bit naïve. They trusted a stranger to stay around all their valuables while they were gone out of town. It was definitely an odd situation, but he wasn’t one to look a gift horse in the mouth.
“What?” was the only response he could manage. For one, he was fairly distracted by the game, but Anthony wasn’t sure he wanted to answer that question. It was information he tried to keep to himself; he didn’t want Jason seeing him any differently because of it, especially since they were starting to really get to know each other.
“You said your parents didn’t really want you coming around,” clarified the blond. It followed logically that they had kicked him out when he turned eighteen, which, unfortunately, was exactly what had happened. He had just been lucky his aunt welcomed him into her home until he could get on his feet.
“We… disagreed about… things,” was all Anthony could say. He couldn’t think of a way to word it more tactfully on the spot. For a moment, it seemed Jason was going to accept that vague answer and let it go. However, Anthony felt himself breaking into a cold sweat when the blond took a guess at what he was hiding.
“You’re gay, aren’t you?”
“Um…” Anthony seemed to be keeping his eyes trained on the screen, but the fact that his game was going to hell suggested otherwise. It didn’t matter because Jason let his go a moment later, forcing the ravenette to stop pretending he was so invested in the game.
“Well…?” Jason turned toward him, staring straight at where his eyes would be if he would tear them away from the screen. When he finally did, Anthony turned toward him with the doe eyes of a nervous child. For a moment, he couldn’t seem to make his larynx work to form words, but he finally crackled out a timid response.
“Yeah,” he breathed, stomach tied up in knots. He braced himself for the spewing hatred and slurs that his mind convinced him, at that moment, was inevitable, but Jason wasn’t at all fazed. He just kept asking questions.
“Have you ever done it with another guy?”
Anthony felt his face flush blood-red. Where was all this coming from? Was this the same jock he had known all semester? Jason had never asked him anything so personal; he never seemed to care about getting any closer. The thought both terrified and thrilled Anthony in the same instant.
“Once,” he finally replied.
“What’d it feel like?”
His discomfort at that moment couldn’t be put into words. Anthony wasn’t trying to hide it, but Jason didn’t seem too keen on dropping the subject. It seemed, instead, that he was trying to appropriate it, to force Anthony to relax.
“It… hurt. A lot.” In all honesty, his first time hadn’t been that great. In fact, it had slightly discouraged him from trying again anytime soon. The blond nodded, averting his eyes as if the awkwardness of their conversation had finally afflicted him, too. Anthony debated within himself whether to stay quiet and let it go or ask the question floating around in his mind. Finally, he decided to force himself to be a little bold.
“Why are you asking me all this?”
“I guess I’ve just always been a little… curious?”
Anthony’s stomach fluttered with excitement. His crush was curious what it felt like being with a dude? Maybe it meant nothing, but he could feel a tiny spark of hope glowing inside him. The two were silent, staring away from each other as if the room held something more interesting, but the air was thick with unanswered questions. It felt like he was back in high school, curious about everything and wanting to try it all, except he wasn’t the one who was curious.
“So is it really all that different from being with a woman?”
“I don’t know.” Anthony shook his head slowly. “I’ve never been with one.”
“But you’ve kissed one, right?” Again, he shook his head. Jason seemed shocked.
“Then, why did you decide you didn’t like them?”
Anthony actually snorted. “I didn’t decide. I’ve just always felt that way… for as long as I can remember.”
Jason grunted in acknowledgement, chewing his tongue. It seemed he was mulling over all the information he’d just gleaned. It felt like there was something big he hadn’t yet decided to ask. In the uncomfortable silence, Anthony couldn’t resist pulling out his cellphone and scrolling through different sections of it as if he were reading text messages. However, when he noticed Jason kept glancing at him expectantly, he lowered the phone.
“What?” Anthony pressed when, after several seconds, Jason failed to say a word.
“Do you want to…?”
“Do I want to what?”
“Kiss—just to see what it feels like,” Jason clarified.
“I think that would be you seeing what it feels like,” Anthony corrected sheepishly.
“Yeah, yeah—that’s what I meant,” Jason responded, waving his hand as if to fan Anthony’s words away. He actually seemed embarrassed. It almost gave the ravenette a power high.
“S-sure,” Anthony finally responded. He worried what his acceptance meant and how it would change their relationship, but there was a desperate part of him that simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity. When they started leaning toward one another, it felt like he was floating. The whole thing was so surreal, Anthony was sure he was dreaming. But it didn’t matter. As long as he never woke up, it didn’t matter.
When there was but an inch between them, Jason quickly muttered, “You can’t tell anyone about this.”
Anthony’s eyes left his lips briefly to meet the other’s stern look. “I won’t.”
When their lips finally met, it was all fleeting pecks and tentative caresses, but Anthony never wanted it to end. This isn’t really happening, was all he could think until he let his mind go blank, lost in the moment. Since Jason seemed apprehensive, he dared to be a little assertive, poking the blond with his tongue. The larger male took the cue, offering his tongue. Anthony took it eagerly, suckling at the pink muscle as it explored his own mouth curiously. They pulled apart briefly, their tongues tangling outside their mouths before they were locked tightly together again. Anthony was getting hot; he hoped Jason was, too. As wonderful as it was, the kiss inflated his insecurities. Was Jason enjoying it as much as he was? Or would the blond shun him after it was all over? Would anything more come of this? So many questions bounced around in his mind, but Anthony had to make himself ignore them. He couldn’t ruin this; it was what he had wanted for so long.
Finally, when they pulled apart, both men were panting. Jason seemed a little hesitant about meeting his eyes at first, but when he finally did, Anthony thought he felt something between them. Perhaps, it was just wishful thinking, but he latched onto it for fear of a facing a harsh reality. If this was all he had, he wanted to keep it. He didn’t want it destroyed.
Eyes drifting impulsively to the other male’s pants, Anthony noticed instantly the bulge forming there. It made him blush bashfully, but he was incredibly willing, nonetheless. Boldly, Anthony stuck a fingertip in the waistband of the blond’s khakis.
“Do you want to…?”
There was a wild look in Jason’s eyes. They were both too far gone and neither had the willpower to resist their urges. Pleasure and release were the only things on their minds. Still, it came as surprise when Jason nodded slowly.