a change in the weather
I was still visibly trembling nearly a quarter of an hour later. I replayed certain portions of our conversation over and over in my head as I sat on the couch. I realized then that this afternoon's argument was inevitable; that things between us had been building up to this since the first day we'd met. I never expected that I would lose my temper with him the way I did; nor that Duo would take my accusations as lightly as he did. I had seen him become much angrier over less. It was nothing short of a miracle that things did not escalate into an all out shouting match.
I felt no guilt over the part I played in the words that passed between us this morning. There were most likely more civilized ways of dealing with such sensitive issues, but I doubted a method existed that would have been effective at this stage of the game. His parting comment to me, I think, was responsible for what little remorse I was experiencing. I had never, not even for a moment, thought that Duo had relinquished his other sex partners. We never talked in detail about it, but the subject had come up briefly last summer. It did not surprise me at the time to learn that he had numerous lovers. I had no reason to think that had changed.
I did know that it bothered him on some level that I was sleeping with Vincent. I didn't understand until this afternoon, though, that he was at least mildly jealous of him. He could not have known that he had no reason to be, because the subject never formally came up. I was beginning to notice there was a pattern of some sort here. Our relationship was pretty much doomed from the start; mainly, I determined because neither of us had ever intended for there to *be* a relationship. I was absolutely convinced now, that at some point we both began to want the same things. It was most unfortunate that neither of us thought it important enough to mention it to the other one.
Finally deciding nearly an hour later that I really needed to talk to someone and vent, I called Vincent.
Why was it that I found it so easy to talk to him, but not with Duo? My attachment to Vincent was not at all what it was to Duo. Logic dictated, therefore, that I should have felt more comfortable speaking with Duo, but that was anything but accurate. Giving some thought to my odd behavior, I came to the conclusion that I probably let my guard down more when I was with Vincent. Perhaps that was why it had not taken him very long to recognize that I was too emotionally involved with Duo to have any sort of decent relationship with him. And had done so even before I did. It was probably why it had not bothered me when he suggested we break things off a week or so after they'd begun, and coincidentally just days after Duo showed up at my apartment.
He came down about twenty minutes later and after informing me that he was no expert on relationships, listened without interruption as I gave him the quick, 30-minute abridged version of my relationship with Duo. I think that I managed to surprise him with several of my disclosures, but he took it all in stride; coming to much the same conclusion as I had: basically, that the two of us were the equivalent of the blind leading the blind; issues aside.
Rather than placing blame, he spent time pointing out things I might avoid doing in the future and reminding me that I had learned a lot of valuable lessons and that I would, in all likelihood, not screw up my next relationship as I had my one with Duo. While none of what he said would be considered a revelation of any sort, it felt rather good to get things off my chest and I thanked him for listening. He extended an invitation to me then to go out with a group of his friends that night, but I politely declined even though he might have been right about an evening out taking my mind off of what had happened. It was the next to the last night of winter break and I acknowledged it would most likely do me good, but what I really wanted was to just sit and home and brood; and that was precisely what I ended up doing.
I could always rely on school to provide me with its usual, and this time around, wholly welcomed distraction. I spent nearly all of Sunday in preparation for classes on Monday and devoted only a negligible number of minutes of the day to thinking about Duo and only on two separate occasions. Once when I removed a large clump of his hair from the shower drain and the other when I finally crawled into bed at close to midnight: the only bed in my apartment and coincidentally, the bed Duo had slept in last night.
Unfortunately, sleep did not come as promptly as I would have liked. There was always a certain amount of trepidation that accompanied the start of a new semester and I was not in the best frame of mind to handle the sudden bout of nervous tension I was experiencing. Stress relief in the form of masturbation was something I bought into; lock, stock and barrel. It was probably one of the only things I could claim to have in common with other young men my age. The idea stirred the need in me this time. It did not always happen that way.
I slid my right hand down chest, slowly, but not pausing at all I sent it to its target. My cock was still soft for the most part; though I could feel twinges of arousal begin to stir. I grasped it loosely through the soft, thin cotton of my pajamas and used my thumb to stimulate the tip. I was very much aware of how quickly I hardened; touching myself more roughly as I effortlessly coaxed my cock to full arousal. I slid my pajama bottoms all the way down and off, tossing them on the floor beside my bed.
It was inevitable that I thought of Duo then. His scent was still strong on my pillow and I knew without question that the memories of his touch would be months in fading. I stroked my length lazily as I pictured him watching me the way he had done so many times. I imagined that he was here with me, across the room, but not so far away that I could not hear the sounds he made in response to what I was doing nor hear his soft-spoken requests.
I lowered the sheet to fully expose myself and spread my legs further apart, reaching down in between them with my left hand to cup my balls. I could almost hear his deep needy moan and I closed my eyes, stroking my cock faster in an effort to satisfy us both. I was in no hurry to come though and I resisted thrusting upward, for now, into the warm, tight tunnel my hand had formed. "Gimme two fingers, baby." My minds Duo appealed. I leaned onto my side and got the lube, coating my fingers and rolled over onto my back to tease my entrance with them.
I knew that he was not here and that this was only a game, but it was working for me. I could nearly see the scowl on Duo's face at that thought and I smiled into the dark, looking back over at him as I pushed the two slick digits deep inside of myself. I moaned as they filled me, stretching me wide as I opened my legs all the way so that my lover had the best view possible. He watched me rather intently as he slouched down in the chair and blindly unfastened button and zipper on his pants to slip his hand inside. I could see his cock quite clearly, hard with its swollen tip glistening even from where I lay. It turned me on even more to see the effect I was having on him and I watched his eyes roll back in his head and finally close in pleasure.
I slid my two lubed fingers in and out only a few times before adding a third and gasped aloud as the trio struck my prostate. I began actively thrusting my body against them then, watching my hips lift high up off the bed to force them still further inside. My right hand moved faster in response to the marked increase of gratification I was giving myself, tightening around my shaft to work each hardened inch of my length.
I ignored the sound of Duo's voice as he warned me to slow down, pumping my cock still faster as if in defiance. He responded with a muffled growl and sped up his strokes, reaching down to caress his hardened sac. I was unsure of who was getting whom off at this point and I turned my gaze toward Duo, catching his glance for just a second before focusing on his two hands that worked diligently between his legs. I plunged my fingers deep inside myself and thrust my hips up off the bed as I squeezed my fist still tighter around my cock. My eyes closed as my body began to spasm and jerk when climax finally overtook me. Warm jets of come splashed against my chest and I squeezed my eyes shut tight and envisioned Duo's orgasm in fairly vivid detail.
The strangled cry that left my lips sounded altogether too much like his name.
Late Monday afternoon I came home abnormally tired and proceeded to strip the reasons for current state off my bed and throw them into the laundry. The dream I had last night, or as much of it as I could recall, had been centered on my braided ex-lover. It had involved a brief sexual encounter, followed by an extremely vigorous, yet strangely out of place decathlon event. I didn't care to recount either event in more detail, but the recall made me think of Duo and I found myself wondering how hand was. The concern for Duo now stuck in my head, I ran through a list of my alternatives. The simplest and most obvious choice was to call Duo. Immediately striking that option, I decided to call Jay. It took me a few minutes to remember his last name, some of which was spent trying to figure out if I had even been told what it was. Recalling that I had, I immediately called information and got his number, and spent the next half an hour just staring at the yellow post it note whose surface I had marred with the ten tiny black digits.
I was wary about calling him and a good portion of my hesitancy stemmed from the fact that I was certain that Jay would ask my why I had not called Duo myself. That would lead to a discussion I definitely preferred not to get into with him. I could just say that we had had an argument, failing to mention that it was major and that there no longer was a *we*. The other option was to suggest that he ask Duo about it, which seemed appropriate given that the two were close friends. The best-case scenario I could conjure up was that he already knew what had transpired between us and that he would be subtle enough not to mention it at all.
I picked up my celphone and sat down on the couch to dial; he answered on the second ring.
"Jay? This is Heero... Duo's friend."
"Oh. Hey, Heero. What's up?"
"I was curious about Duo's hand. He cut it while he was here the other day." That sounded lame even to my own ears. I cringed and waited for him to respond, dreading the even two seconds of silence on the other end of the line.
"He went to have it stitched up last night. It's fine."
"Good. I was worried he would wait."
"What the heck happened over there, Heero? He was in a wicked mood last night."
"We argued." I told him simply. He accepted my response and I thanked him for the information.
"Please do not tell Duo that I called." I hated saying that. Asking him to withhold information from his best friend was wrong. I understood that his loyalties were to Duo and that he hardly knew me and therefore didn't owe me any such courtesy; I still hoped for the best.
"Yeah. I won't." He responded after a short pause.
"Thanks." I told him sincerely.
"I'll see you around, Heero."
I didn't bother to tell him he wouldn't.
The following Saturday morning the mail arrived and I was not surprised to see a package from Duo amongst the usual plethora of junk mail. I tossed most of the envelopes and flyers directly into the garbage and set the package from Duo on the counter in the kitchen.
I had been mostly successful, this past week, in my conscious attempts to not think about him. I had thrown away the extra toothbrush I had bought for him to use and taken the bottle of his shampoo out of the shower and tucked it way in the back of the vanity beneath my bathroom sink. I knew the package he sent contained my clothes that he had borrowed. I knew too, from past experience, that he had washed them and that the lingering trace of the laundry detergent he used would remind me of him. I placed the small box on the top shelf of my hall closet, making a promise to myself that I would open it soon.
I would be lying if I said that I did not think about him over the next few months. It was not only the sex I missed; it would have been so much easier if it were. I found myself reverting back to the way I was before I met Duo. Much of the confidence I had gained in my ability to deal with people had faded, though I think the lack of time I had to be social contributed to that more than anything. I was not quite as unsocial as I had been, perhaps, but the whole experience had certainly left me gun shy. I convinced myself that it was a temporary setback and that I would have to make a conscious effort to be more outgoing.
Spring break had arrived and was accompanied by the same relief it always brought. The town of Princeton saw the mass exodus of hundreds of students on their way to wherever it was that students fled to. I had never taken part in the mysterious tradition, but did find myself wanting to do something more than spend the next three weeks hold up in my apartment.
Vince and I had remained friends and I found that I was fairly comfortable in the company of his close circle of friends. They were, for the most part, geeks much like myself. They had an odd penchant for letting loose during the occasional drunken all-nighter, but that was something I generally gracefully declined to participate in.
On the first Saturday of spring break, it was somehow decided that we were going to a club in New York City. I, for one, did not see the need to travel so far, given there were plenty of good clubs right here in town. I agreed, although a little reluctantly, and dressed casually in a pair of black straight legged jeans and a deep blue button down shirt. Vincent volunteered to drive and was unanimously voted designated driver for the night. I announced myself as back up, just in case.
The hour and a half drive into Manhattan when by quickly and we parked in a 24-hour garage just four blocks from the club. I recognized this area of the city as being not too far from The Cooper Union, where Duo attended school. It had become easier to think of him now; much of the negative thoughts had slowly faded over the past three months. It no longer bothered me that our relationship had failed. I was able to smile as I thought about it; taking from it all the good memories as well as the painful lessons it had taught me.
None of that, however, meant that I did not miss him.