It was unseasonably warm for the month of June in the Northeast. The temperature range was in the low to mid 90's, but the high humidity made it feel closer to 100. It was sticky and made the task of wearing a suit and a tie to local job interviews a chore. It crossed my mind that depending on what position I accepted, I might be required to wear a suit everyday. I wondered if perhaps I should take all of this into consideration when assessing any tentative job offers.
I had lived my entire life in this particular area of the country and while there was some appeal to leaving it, there were as many reasons to stay. Duo certainly factored into the equation and I didn't underestimate the impact my leaving might have on our relationship. I kept him updated on the various interviews I'd set up so far and shared with him some of the more general information I had on each of the companies.
I had expectations of my prospective employers and was quick to dismiss any response to my inquiries that didn't fit with what I envisioned as an ideal working relationship. I had done my research, choosing to apply to a dozen or so rather select companies that were known for encouraging their software engineers to be unconventional. In contrast, salary ranked fairly low on the mental scale I'd set. Judging from the responses I'd gotten so far, money wasn't going to be an issue.
"Taking off again?"
I turned to find Duo standing in the hall just outside my room and nodded. He obviously felt comfortable wandering around my house and thought nothing of lurking at my bedroom door. I hadn't decided if that was a good thing or not.
"Where to this time?" he asked.
"Boston. I leave first thing in the morning."
He stepped into the room and sat down on my bed next to my suitcase and scooted across the mattress until his back was against the wall and crossed his legs at the ankles. "They talk funny there."
I smiled. They did. "You have a New York accent," I said.
"At least we recognize r's, even if we do pronounce them as w's."
I couldn't think of anything to say in response, though I did have an opinion on the matter. "I like your accent," I admitted. "It's cute."
"You mean like, puppy or bunny cute?"
"I'm just teasing you, Heero," he said with a grin as he moved forward to rise from the bed.
I probably should have known that. "Is that what you came up here for? To tease me?" I teased back.
I suddenly became very aware of how close he was standing to me.
"Why? You have something else in mind?"
I didn't, but it certainly wouldn't have taken much to remedy that. "My parents are right downstairs."
"I know," he said. "Passed them on the way up here."
It made me feel uneasy knowing that they knew he was up here and I'd hoped I hadn't visibly flinched at his statement. The truth was they probably thought nothing of it. It was in all probability a normal thing for two guys to do and not out of the ordinary at all, though I had no experiences to compare it to. I hadn't had any close childhood friends.
"Actually, I came to see if we were still on for Thursday. The Museum."
I had not forgotten. I was very much looking forward to it. "Still on," I told him, adding, "I'll be back late Wednesday afternoon."
I nodded. It didn't make sense to fly there for just the one day. I had never been to Boston and imagined I could spend a day or two in the city alone. I also thought it would be a good idea to check out the surrounding areas as well, should the interview go well. I took a moment to explain what I'd been thinking to Duo. I could tell by his expression that he was amused that I'd thought things out so thoroughly.
"Nothing," he said with a smile. "Call me and let me know how it goes?"
I nodded, surprised the idea hadn't occurred to me, but pleased he'd thought of it.
I did call Duo on Monday afternoon once the interview was over, but he didn't answer and I ended up leaving a message on his cell.
The meeting had lasted several hours and had gone well. I'd come away from it with a good feeling, but I still needed time to digest everything that was said and sort through it all. Unlike the last interview I went on, I had taken very few notes, but the time allowed me to speak one on one with several employees from the department I was interviewing for gave me a clear picture of what the job would entail and an overall view of the company philosophy.
I spent the next few hours taking the self-guided walking tour of the city and ended up stopping at a deli around the corner from where I was staying to grab a sandwich and a drink to go. The waterfront area adjacent to my hotel was bustling with people; natives and tourists alike. I quickly decided that having my dinner there would be more enjoyable than eating it up in my room.
I searched the area and wandered around waiting for a table to empty. A young couple to my left stood and deposited the remains of their meal in a trash can nearby. I waited until they had moved away before removing my jacket and laying it across the back of the chair to my left and sat down. I loosened my tie and had just unwrapped and taken the first bite of my sandwich when my cell phone rang. I reached into my jacket pocket for it while I finished chewing and swallowed, washing it down hastily with a gulp of water before answering.
"Got your message. Went well, huh?"
"Yeah," I told him. "Very well. The city is nice, too."
"Back at your hotel?"
I shook my head no. "Not yet. I'm having a late dinner. Just a quick sandwich, then I'm heading back."
"Ahh," he said, somewhat thoughtfully. "So what's the city like?"
"Big," I said. "Not as big as New York, but a little bigger than Philly. You'd like it here. It's clean and there is a lot of interesting architecture."
He laughed and it made me wish he were here. "Don't get burnt out, Heero, Thursday's not that far off."
There wasn't any danger of that happening, though I didn't tell him so. "Anything new on the home front?"
"SOS for the most part. Rumor has it your parents are throwing some kind of a July 4th bash."
"It's been a while since they did that. Keeps my mother from getting bored."
"Your dad said the same thing!" Duo said jovially. "She's got Cynthia half crazed already and the party is still a month off."
I shrugged though Duo couldn't see it. He was the only one that didn't know how fanatical my mother could get. I certainly hadn't inherited that particular trait from her. "She'll have us all in a frenzy by the end of June. Mark my words."
Duo laughed again and I reached for my bottle of water and took a long sip. "Seriously," I told him, "we'll have to come up here for a long weekend or something. Do the walking tour."
"Yeah?" he said. "Sounds almost doable."
His response wasn't as positive as I had hoped it. I know he probably hadn't meant to come across negative, but I had given it some thought earlier in the day and had my doubts that we could make it happen without rousing too much suspicion. I guess I was hoping that he would see more possibility in it than I had.
"We can talk about it more when I get back," I told him. I didn't want him to think I was just saying it to make idle chatter. I had enjoyed walking around the city by myself this afternoon. It would have been even more enjoyable if Duo were with me.
There was an email from Duo waiting for me when I arrived back home on Wednesday afternoon.
I hadn't recognized the address and nearly deleted it along with the numerous amounts of spam I'd received in my absence, but the subject made me pause. Taking a moment to think about it, I realized that Duo had never emailed me before. We had spoken online many times, but it was always in real time using either AIM or IRC. We had exchanged email addresses last year, but neither of us had used them... until now.
It ended up being only one of three messages I didn't delete out of over 100 and the first one I opened to read. Inside it were the words ‘I'd like to get an early start,' and a link to the SEPTA train schedule, which I promptly clicked on. The page loaded and I scrolled down until I got to the weekday timetable for the Doylestown Station.
I had not entertained the idea of taking public transportation into Manhattan and couldn't help but wonder why Duo had. I had driven into the city quite often and I was sure that Duo had made the trip as many, if not more times that I had. The museum's location was the only reason I could think of why Duo was thinking about taking the train. It was in the heart of mid-town: the most heavily congested area of the city and parking could turn out to be a problem. I closed the browser window without looking at the schedule any further. I would discuss it with Duo later.
The other two messages were replies from companies I'd contacted about setting up interviews. I skimmed through them, and printed hard copies to read later before shutting down my computer.
I stood, thinking I might go take a quick swim before dinner and glanced out my window toward the pool. The area was set pretty far back, quite a distance from the house, but I could easily make out a form standing at the edge of the pool by the diving board with skimmer in hand. I knew instantly that it was Duo and it didn't take me long to decide that this would be a good opportunity to call him.
I flipped open my cell, said his name and sat on my bed while it dialed, peering out the window as I watched and waited for him to answer.
He walked toward the cabana, set the skimmer down on the ground, and leaned the end of the pole against the side of it.
I nodded. "Mmm. Got back about an hour ago."
I watched as he moved back toward the patio, and pulled a chair out from where it had been nestled under the table and sat. He leaned his head back against the webbing and stretched his legs out in front of him.
"Comfortable now?" I asked.
I wish I could have seen the expression on his face, though I had little difficulty picturing it.
"I am," I confessed. "Though I can't see you very clearly."
He moved forward in the chair a little and slowly removed his shirt, laying it on the table next to him. "See that?" he asked.
"Yes. Was it an invitation?"
"Take it any way you want," he said.
It had been four days since I'd seen him. Taking and wanting were pretty high on my list of desirable things. "I will definitely be out later," I promised. "I'm going to lie down for a while."
"Didn't sleep while you were away?"
There was no question I slept better in my own bed, but I had gotten up very early this morning for my flight after staying up fairly late the night before. "Some, but not enough," I told him, changing the subject. "I got your email."
"I figured we'd leave at around 6."
"A.M.?" I asked, full knowing that was what he meant, but surprised by it.
He laughed. "Yeah, Heero. A.M. Gonna take us a few hours to get in. I thought we might as well make a full day of it."
I had hoped for that as well, but hadn't figured on the added traveling time. "I was planning on driving in," I told him.
"And pay an arm and a leg for parking?"
I shrugged. It wasn't that big a deal and certainly preferable to spending 6 hours of the day on trains and buses. "I don't mind," I told him, figuring he would understand that I was offering to pay for the parking.
"K. 8 then?" he asked.
"Eight is good," I concurred. "See you later?"
"Yeah," he said. "Looking forward to it."
"Me too," I said and disconnected.
I watched as he pocketed his cell phone and stood, moving back toward the cabana and the skimmer to continue his work without bothering to put his shirt back on.
I did fall asleep shortly after speaking with Duo.
When I woke, I immediately rolled over to check my clock, sensing it was late, but surprised to find it nearly four a.m. If I'd thought there was any possibility I was going to sleep for so many hours, I would have set my alarm before lying down.
I didn't think it was likely that I'd be able to fall back asleep, but it was still a little too early to get up. I yawned and stretched, kicking the sheet off of myself and raised my right arm, bending it at the elbow and resting my forearm over my eyes.
It felt good to be home and in my own bed. I enjoyed being away, but preferred it in small doses. I was very much anticipating spending the day in the city with Duo. I was pretty sure that I hadn't indicated this to him directly and wasn't exactly sure how to go about doing it... or even if I should.
There had been no hesitation on my part when he'd made the invitation and I had nothing but encouraging things to say each time he'd mentioned it. I wasn't sure all of that equaled enthusiasm, but I thought that Duo knew me well enough to take those as positive signs. I was open and honest with him, as he was with me, though not nearly as blunt. I would have told him outright if I wasn't interested in going and suspected he knew this.
I was still not a good communicator, but I had gotten better. It was easier for me to say what was on my mind now, even if it did take a conscious effort. It wasn't quite that simple to talk with Duo. Nothing was simple with Duo, I reminded myself. We'd managed to get where we had in our relationship through a string of misunderstandings and mess-ups. Everything was awkward in the beginning, not that it wasn't now, but it was certainly *less* awkward, at least for me. I couldn't honestly say that Duo ever felt that way about what was happening between us, but he was more skilled at hiding what he was feeling than I was. He was more skilled at many different things, and I wasn't limiting my thoughts to things I'd taken notice of that he did in public.
Duo apparently had a great deal of experience when it came to sex. The total sum of my sexual experience before I met him amounted to less than a handful make-out sessions with a girl in my senior year in high school, whose name I couldn't remember and jerking off several times a week. Since I'd met Duo, there had only been Vincent. I couldn't discount my involvement with him, even if it had only lasted for a month. There had been an attraction and we'd had sex. Granted it wasn't as good as the sex I'd had with Duo, but it was good. I was aware that it was odd for someone my age to have such limited sexual experience and I thought that Duo was probably more on par with most guys our age.
I didn't like thinking about what he had and hadn't done sexually. It wasn't that I was jealous of his past partners, but rather that he had a better frame of reference than I did, in more ways than one.
He knew what he liked when it came to sex, while I was just discovering the possibilities; possibilities that he had introduced me to. I also imagined that he had a clearer idea of the type of person he enjoyed being with. Despite his aversion to being referred to as gay, I think it was safe to say he felt a stronger attraction to males than he did to females. I didn't waste time questioning my own preferences. Any questions I had in that regard had been answered last summer when Duo arrived.
I had never been particularly attracted to girls, or guys for that matter. Unlike some boys my age, I had not gone through my father's closet in search of girly magazines, nor spared more than a hasty glance at the glossy fold outs of scantily clad models that occasionally surfaced in the locker room in high school. I did think about those things every now and then, though and I had gotten myself off to the vision of what I thought a naked girl might look like on more than one occasion.
It was difficult to recall the last time I'd thought about anything else or anyone other than Duo when I masturbated. Thinking about him aroused me nearly as much as being with him. Sex with Duo was highly satisfying, though from my standpoint, there was certainly room for improvement. It had taken me a long time to let Duo know that I was interested in being top. I had known he wasn't going be particularly receptive to the idea, but he eventually gave in, even if it was just that once. I wondered if what he'd learned about the details of my relationship with Vincent had played a part in his decision. Despite the fact that the opportunity had not presented itself again, I was confident it would.
We both had high sex drives. He knew when to tease, how to tease and somehow, precisely when I'd had enough, while I was just learning those skills. It wasn't difficult to discern the soft hitch in his breath, or the slight squint to his eyes when he was trying to hold back a groan.
I could feel myself getting hard and slid my hand down my chest; working it beneath the waistband of my sweatpants. I gasped as I wrapped my fingers around my cock, immediately enclosing most of my shaft in the tight warm tunnel of my fist.
Duo had started affecting me like this not long after we'd met. I moaned as I began stroking my cock, closing my eyes and recalling the first time Duo touched me and how much I had wanted him to. I had only been slightly embarrassed by the chain of events; not nearly enough to diminish the thrill of having his body flush up against me. I reached down with my left hand and fondled my balls briefly before moving on and pressing two fingers against my hole.
We were both very aroused by the time we got to the hallway and I hadn't thought it possible to get any harder, but the feel of Duo's hard cock as he ground his hips into mine proved me wrong. It put me on the brink of orgasm to think about it even now. I started stroking myself faster, wriggling my fingers to ease just the tips of them inside and groaned in pleasure.
"More," I said quietly, spreading my legs as far as I could and lifting my hips up off the bed.
I imagined Duo lying at the foot of my bed with his head between my legs; licking and sucking my cock while he fucked me with his fingers. It was enough to send me over the edge and I gasped as I watched the first shot of come splatter against my chest, gritting my teeth in an effort to remain quiet as my body jerked and trembled in release.