“Ok, so tell me about the new girl.”
I stared at my friend, pausing with my beer nearly at my lips, my expression somewhere between puzzled, amused and terrified. There was someone new, but it wasn’t what my friend was hinting at. It wasn’t a girl.
“Oh, come on, don’t deny it, I know what it looks like when you’ve found someone new to crush on”, Terran sat in the booth across from me with a self-satisfied expression. I wanted to wipe his smugness right off his face, but couldn’t muster the indignation to deny he was right.
“Um.. well, there is someone but.. uh.. I don’t know if I’m ready to talk about it yet.” I was stalling for time because I honestly didn’t know how to talk about what had happened and how much I wanted more. I was terrified about what he’d say, sure he’d be disapproving and judgmental. I was painfully aware of his bias. One night, while hanging out at a queer bar scoping out the babes, Terran spotted a couple doing heavy petting in the corner and realized they were both butches. Terran’s lip had turned up in a disdainful snarl as he proclaimed them to be “disgusting”, “fucked-up” and “sick”, even though he hadn’t been able to take his eyes off them all night. And me, well, I was less obvious, but I’d also kept watching and had a harder and harder time sitting still. By the time I got home that night, I’d been so worked up, I’d needed to get myself off 3 times just to fall asleep.
“It’s sick.. butches shouldn’t go for other butches. If they want to be fags, they should just get sex-change operations and be gay men”, crude those he was at times, he was really just parroting a common, if usually unspoken, feeling. Butches like us were supposed to be attracted to femmes, or a least someone more feminine than ourselves. And so, I had a decision to make, was I gonna tell Terran who I was crushing on, for real? Or was I gonna dodge the question?
I sighed, leaned back and rubbed the back of my neck, studiously avoiding his gaze. Terran raised an eyebrow, reading my tell perfectly, whistled, “Oh, wow… who is it? Someone with a girlfriend? Oh! A straight woman?!” He peered closely at me as I squirmed and continued to avoid his eyes. “Oh, my god, it isn’t one of your exes, is it?” He made a face like he’d bitten into something sour and mushy.
It was time to bite the bullet, come clean, confess my sins and reveal the taboo that I’d broken. There was a good chance Terran would get up and walk out, but I was tired of going along with all his biases and bullshit, it was time to come out and let the chips fall where they may.
“Ok, I’m gonna tell you… ”
“Excellent…” He leaned forward, practically licking his lips.
“The other night, when you were working?” He nodded. “I went to Toro’s but there wasn’t anything happening, so I went out back to have a smoke. I’d finished one and was about to leave when this guy stepped out. He was standing in the doorway, lookin smooth and confident and strong, and, damn, I couldn’t take my eyes off him.”
The smirk on Terran’s face had frozen, but he wasn’t moving for the exit yet. I decided to keep talking, maybe I’d be able to get it all out before he popped me one.
“I asked him if he had a light, heh,” I laughed a little at the memory, remembering that I’d shoved my own lighter deep in my pocket. I also remembered the smooth way he’d answered.
Terran was watching my face, a quizzical look on his own. “So, let me get this straight, you’ve fallen for a guy?”
I blushed a bit, and took a long sip of my beer in attempt to cover it, “Well, yeah, a guy like us. Well, he’s a bit older, handsome, confident… I don’t know what to tell you except that, the minute I saw him, I knew I wanted him. And I wanted him to want me” this last came out almost as a whisper, like words I wasn’t sure I wanted to say out loud.
Then it all came up in a rush, with much more detail than Terran wanted to hear, I’m sure. Once I started, it was like a flash flood. I described his strong hands, the way he pressed himself against me, and how I’d had to fight to keep my knees from buckling when his hard cock pressed against mine. About tilting my head back, exposing my neck to him, expecting to feel his lips, or maybe the scrape of his teeth. Instead, he opened his mouth wide and took my windpipe between his teeth. I’d gasped and struggled, it scared me, thrilled me. He was growling, the message was clear, he was claiming me. His hand against the base of my neck was strong and constant, he patiently waited until I stopped struggling, then he released my throat, brushing it with his lips. I could feel the stubble on his chin. He pressed his hands against my shoulders, urging me down to my knees. I leaned forward into him, I could feel his desire, smell his sweaty, musky, sexy smell. He grabbed my hair and pulled my head back, looking down at me.
“You want this, don’t you, boi? I can see it in your eyes”, he said, so sure of himself, so strong and confident, all I had to do was ride his confidence. There wasn’t any need to think or question it. His other hand went to his belt buckle, he opened his jeans, reached into his briefs and then stopped, “Open your mouth, boi, show me you’re ready, show me how much you want … ”
I’d nearly forgotten Terran was there and wasn’t really certain I’d been saying all that out loud, but his wail of anguish and protest drowned out my stream of consciousness and jolted me back to the present. I looked at him in shock, and realized everyone in the bar was looking at us. Terran was being his typical subtle and understanding self.
“OH, MY FUCKING GOD, you SICK FUCK, you’re a fucking FAG? Great, this is just great, what is the world coming to? I don’t want to hear any more about it”, he slammed his beer down, endangering the bottle. He looked around, as if to gather support. Fortunately for me, most everyone had gone back to their conversations, already in progress. His face was contorting weirdly and I wondered for a second if he was fighting back tears.
He took a deep breath, “Ok, dude, this is a bit too weird for me to handle right now. I need to go, sorry man, maybe we can talk later.”
He got up and walked out, shoulders hunched over, glaring at the world, looking like I’d kicked his dog and stolen his best girl. Honestly, it might have been easier to handle if he’d just punched me. Something quick, decisive and physical. I could handle the physical pain, but I hated his rejection, his adamant disapproval. I drew in a deep breath and closed my eyes. Maybe he’d cool off and come back, or maybe it would take a few days. It could go either way with him. I realized that Terran saw it as me rejecting him, not the other way around, so he’d have to work through his hurt feelings before he’d be able to decide to be my friend again.
I leaned back and emptied my pint glass and then stared at it, willing it to fill itself again. Instead, Don, the bartender, appeared at my table and handed me a fresh one.
“On the house, buddy, you look like you could use another one.” He looked uncomfortable, having overheard Terran, of course, but he was a stand up guy and I appreciated his gesture.
I sat there and slowly drained that pint, thinking about what I’d told Terran and how I might have handled it differently. In the end, though, I knew that telling him the truth was a good thing, it was certainly a helluva lot easier than telling lies.
I flipped a couple more bucks into Don’s tip jar and walked out into the night air. I had every intention of going to my truck and heading home but my boots seem to have other ideas. I found myself standing in an dark alley, looking at a doorway, watching and waiting.
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