We walked out of the bar together, the crisp, cold, air of a typical Chicago Winter gripping us the moment we left the comfortably heated area. The kind of cold that you felt in your chest with every inhalation of breath. Luckily, we had both become so accustomed to the frigid weather that it barely phased us at all…past the initial shock of it. I’m pretty sure the alcohol fix helped to keep our blood from freezing over, though.
Jaylen covered up his soft brown locks with a skullcap and a pair of fashionable ear muffs. He really was adorable, you know? I took one look at him and it just…it warmed my heart to think that I was worthy of his attention at all. I think he caught me looking him over, and smiled. “So…do you want to drive? Or do you want me to drive?”
With a smirk, I told him, “I walked here.”
His eyes widened. “Wait…you walked all the way here? From where? Are you close by?”
“I’m about four blocks away. It ruins the whole effect of a ‘neighborhood bar’ if it’s not in your neighborhood.”
“Sweet! Let’s go!” He said, his sneakers slipping a little bit on the icy sidewalk. He struggled for balance, and I thought I might have to catch him for a moment before he stabilized. “Hehehe, that was close.” Then he reached into his pocket to get his car keys and press the button to make sure all of his doors were locked. How he got a spot right across the street in this part of town during the holidays is a complete mystery to me. I guess he’s just plain lucky. “It’s cool if I leave my car parked here while we walk, right?”
“I’d be careful.” I said.
“Why?” He asked, and I pointed to one of the nearby signs. “Ohhh…”
“It’s a snow plow street. They start towing every last car on the street at 2 AM. And, trust me, they start exactly at 2 AM.” I told him, and he got out his phone to start swiping and hitting a few buttons. “What are you doing?”
“I’m setting my alarm so I can remember to get back in time. Annnnd…done! You’re, like, what….ten minutes away? If I set it for 1:45, that should be enough time, right?”
I laughed. “That’s hours from now.”
He smiled. “Well, time flies when you’re having fun. I don’t want to lose track.” i just shook my head with a sigh. What am I going to do with this kid? “Let’s go.” He said, and started walking down the street all on his own. It took him a good number of steps on the ice before he realized that I was still standing there in front of the bar. “What is it? What are you doing?”
“Do you have any idea, at all, where I live, Jaylen?” I smirked.
I pointed in the opposite direction. “That way.”
“Psh, whatever. I would have figured it out.”
“Sure you would have.” I chuckled. “Careful on the ice.”
“I know. I’m cool. Let’s go.” I don’t know what he was so eager about. I already explained to him that this wasn’t going to be some crazy sex romp or anything. Just a casual evening between a couple of acquaintances. At least, that’s what I was planning on…even with my heart still trying to reach out for Jaylen in a way that I haven’t felt in a long long time. The sensation almost felt brand new to me at this point. It’s times like these that you realize just how exciting life used to be…before you got to be too ‘grown up’ to let people see you enjoy a decent surprise every now and then.
I had to watch my own footing as I tried to keep up with Jaylen’s hurried pace. If we weren’t careful we were both going to be found with our necks broken tomorrow morning. Still…it was cute. Everything he does is undeniably cute. Every smirk, every blink, every hand gesture, every lick of his thin lips…all worthy of a hearty swoon and a burst of hopeless crush induced goosebumps. It’s almost impossible not to fall for him, if only for a little bit.
“So, can I ask you a question?” He said, snapping me out of my trance.
“Go for it.”
“How is it that you’re not, like…matched up with somebody? I’m not trying to be nosy, I just think it’s a little bit out of the ordinary that you don’t have a special guy in your life.” He said.
“Turn here.” I told him, reaching the corner of the next block.
“Huh? Oh. Right.”
We walked a few more steps together, and he seemed to be waiting for an answer. “Well, I had a few people that were pretty good players…but they didn’t quite make the team.” I said.
“Maybe you’re too picky.”
“Maybe.” I said. “But, I’ve sort of played every mind game, chased every hot piece of ass, and fantasized about every dream boy, that the world had to offer me. At the end of the day, I guess I just want someone that I can build a life with. Someone of ‘quality’. If that makes any sense.”
Jaylen nodded, and after a brief pause, he replied with, “I think I get what you mean. Sometimes I feel the same way. I like the sex and stuff, but none of it feels real once it’s over, you know? It might as well have been a wet dream. I have to think about whether or not it ever happened at all the next day.”
“I find that hard to believe.” I smirked. “I’d think they’d be banging on your dorm room door every chance they got.”
“Nah, not really. Who knows? Maybe I’m too picky too.” He grinned. “I wouldn’t mind having some ‘quality’ in my life, every now and then. Guys at my school…all they really care about is hooking up. Some drinks, some sex, and then it’s on to the next one. It’s just plain exhausting.” Again, I found myself nearly floored with flattery. “I think I had a better time just talking to you tonight than I ever had trying to get some random cute guy into bed. Some of them are sooooo boring. Or full of themselves. Or have all the intelligence of a peanut butter sandwich. I have to try to come up with things to talk about, we have to sneak around and hide from everybody that might find out they’re gay, and when we do go out They look hot, but it hardly seems worth the work more times than not.”
“Hehehe, well, there you go. It looks like you learned the same lessons that I did, but you beat me to it by a couple of years. I think I was nearing thirty before I figured that out.” I said. “That’s not to say that I didn’t have fun, though. I most definitely did. You probably should too.”
“I had plenty of fun, hehehe! But…” He thought for a moment, and said, “…I don’t know if it’s really doing for me what it used to. It’s sorta like…fun that isn’t fun anymore. Does that make any sense?”
“More than you know.” I told him. “It’s good to see someone looking for something of substance. There’s hope for your generation yet.” I saw Jaylen slide a little bit, and he held on to my shoulder to keep from falling. “Easy.” I said, feeling a little shock of infatuation surge through me when he touched me. He thanked me for the assistance, his big brown eyes staring at me…nearly causing me to lose my breath. “We’re almost there.” I tried to avoid looking at him directly. The last thing I wanted to do was make things more awkward than they needed to be.
“Cool…” He sighed, and I couldn’t tell if Jaylen was blushing, or if the cold air was just turning his cheeks red with its arctic breeze.
I probably shouldn’t have taken things this far. He’s a former track team kid of mine. Am I being irresponsible here? This feels so wrong. Like, on a cringe-worthy level. I need to show better restraint here. I don’t blame a horny college boy for trying to pursue a former adolescent desire of his…I just blame myself for allowing myself to be so easily seduced by it all.
Then again…he is pretty dreamy. Who wouldn’t be lured in? I mean, he’s beautiful, sure…but after spending so much time talking and laughing with him tonight…I realize that he is the pure definition of a ‘quality’ guy. It almost hurts to think that I couldn’t have found a boy like this on my own when I was his age.
It aches inside to think that I missed out.
We finally reached the front of my apartment complex, and I had to practically tug on his sleeve to keep him from walking right past it. Heh…he was moving so fast. In a pair of sneakers on an icy sidewalk, no less. No wonder he was such an asset to the track team. I whistled to get his attention, “This way.”
“This is it? Nice!” He said, and tried to contain himself as he allowed me to lead the way from there. We both stomped some of the snow and ice off of our shoes in the foyer by the mailboxes, and I opened the door to lead him to the elevators, taking us up to the 11th floor. I was still having a bit of trouble with the situation, but it was a bit too late to turn around and tell Jaylen to leave now. I just didn’t want to be a pervert, you know? I felt so weird about it all. I guess familiarity really does breed contempt in certain predicaments.
I got to my front door, and put the key in to welcome Jaylen to my humble abode. A place that he seemed to take more pride in than I did. His reaction to my apartment was so much more over the top than what I expected, I almost thought he was being sarcastic.
“Whoah! Is this whole place yours? Dude! This is crazy big!” He said.
“Hehehe, if you say so.” I told him, and he sort of took a moment or two to explore the ‘space’. Now my apartment isn’t a ‘palace’, by any means…but it’s not a tiny little cracker box either. Maybe Jaylen’s just not used to being around someone with a place of their own before.
He immediately walked over to the big, floor to ceiling, windows on the East end of the apartment, and peered out into the night. “Omigod! Bitchin’ view, Coach! You can see Lake Michigan from here! This looks SICK!”
I was happy to see that he was so easily impressed. I reached out and said, “I can take your coat and all for you if you want to get comfortable.”
“Oh! Right. Sorry.” He said, peeling his coat off of his slender body and handing it to me, also removing his hat and ear muffs shortly afterward. I watched as he shook his head a few times to get his medium length locks of brown silk to swiftly fall back into position. How did he even do that? Three shakes of his head and a single ‘brush through’ with his long thin fingers…and you would have thought that he had just stepped out of a hair and makeup trailer on a Hollywood lot somewhere.
I was hanging up his coat on a rack by the door as he continued to scan through my living room and kitchen, almost as if he was looking for something in particular. “You keep your place really neat.” He said.
“I’m not much of a neat freak, but I like to think I manage to keep it looking nice enough…just in case I have some unexpected company.” I grinned.
This time, I know for sure that Jaylen was blushing. Not just from the red in his smooth cheeks, but from the bashful way he looked down at his feet and sort of shrugged the comment off with an adorable bite of his bottom lip. Wow, that boy certainly knows how to make your blood race when he wants to. “Good thing, huh?” He said. Then, just as I was hanging up my own coat…I noticed Jaylen sort of beginning to saunter his way over to where I was standing. Still a bit shy with his approach, but obviously pushing himself to continue forward anyway.
I could feel myself tensing up, a nervous shiver fluttering in my chest. Why did Jaylen intimidate me so? Where the hell did my self control go???
Jaylen smiled warmly at me, stepping uncomfortably close and resting his hands on my waist. He stared up into my eyes, and I chuckled a bit to myself. We hadn’t even been in my apartment for a full five minutes yet, and he was already moving in for the first kiss. I’ve got to admit, though…at nineteen years old, I would have done the same thing. Sex was such a simple ‘transaction’ back then.
“Hehehe, what is this all about?” I asked, taking a slight step backward.
“I dunno. What do you want it to be about?” He grinned, but just as he leaned in, I made sure to stop him.
“Pump your breaks, there, Junior.” I teased. “How about we just…sit and warm up from the cold for a little bit? How does that sound?”
Jaylen took the hint, but I could sense a bit of disappointment over the fact that we weren’t just going to walk through my front door, strip our clothes off, and screw like a couple of jackrabbits on a cocaine binge. But from the tilt of his mischievous grin…it didn’t look like my not-so-subtle rejection of his advances was going to deter him for very long. “Whatever you say, Coach.” He snickered.
He sat on my couch, and I turned on the TV, telling him, “You don’t really have to call me ‘Coach’ anymore, you know? Ted will be just fine.”
“I don’t know…I kinda like calling you Coach better. It just seems to fit you somehow.”
“Perhaps, perhaps not. But…” I hesitated before saying it, but I said it anyway. “…Doesn’t that sound kind of creepy to you? The whole Coach thing?”
“Hehehe, nope!” He giggled. “But, if you prefer, I could try calling you Daddy.”
“Oh God! Ewwww! No! That is MUCH creepier! By FAR!”
“Geez, I was just kidding. Loosen up. We’re just hanging out, right?”
“Right. Hanging out.” I said. “Well, I can turn up the heat to take some of the chill out of the air. Would you like anything warm to sip on? I’ve got some hot chocolate if you want some. It’s the instant stuff, but a few mini marshmallows will make it taste like you got it straight from Santa’s workshop itself.”
“Honestly? I’d much rather have something else to drink, if you know what I mean.” He said. “Don’t you have anything cold in the fridge?”
I sat down on the couch, and I said, “Right side. Bottom shelf. Help yourself.” And I watched as he energetically sprung up from his seated position and bounced his way into the kitchen. Hehehe, it’s just fun to watch him move sometimes. Like I said before…everything he does is cute. And in the most entertaining way. I might as well have brought home a brand new puppy home with me tonight.
I had to hold back a laugh as I saw Jaylen’s reaction to the bottom shelf of my fridge. “What the…?” He stood up with two cold bottles in his hand. “Root beer? Seriously?”
“You’re the one who said you wanted something cold.”
“You know what I meant!” He said, rolling his eyes. “Is this really all you’ve got?”
“I don’t keep alcohol in the house. If I did, I’d be drinking it all the time.”
With a playful pout, Jaylen closed the refrigerator door and came back to the couch. “That’s kind of the point, don’t you think?” Still, he was kind enough to hand me one and sit down beside me, twisting the top off and enjoying it as much as he could. No matter. We’ve had enough to drink for one night, anyway.
The television wasn’t much use to either one of us outside of some background noise. We fell right back into a groove almost immediately, and began to talk again. I couldn’t understand why there was such an effortless connection between Jaylen and I, but I didn’t dare to argue with it. He was definitely a charmer. Of course, he did toss in the occasional ‘comment’ with a sexy wink and a smile, but he never overdid it or made it seem out of place. I chalked it up to your average teen spill of random naughtiness. So his words were never lewd, crass, or even remotely offensive.
His eye contact, however…told a different story.
It was sweet and it was unspoken…but when he stared into my eyes, it was almost like he was trying to hypnotize me into letting my defenses down. Which was a hard manipulation to resist, since I couldn’t really tell why my defenses were up in the first place. I was definitely attracted to him in a MAJOR way, and he seemed to mirror those feelings for me. He was of legal age, and we were in my own personal living space, away from the prying eyes of any onlookers that might judge me for being here in my apartment with a boy half my age, all while he was supposed to be visiting his family for the Christmas holiday. So what was I holding back for? What was keeping me from being more open to something so…tempting.
“What are you thinking about?” Jaylen asked, his razor sharp perception always focused and ready to analyze the situation for maximum effect.
“I was thinking…” I smiled, “…That I’m glad I got the good root beer from the store. It’s pretty tasty, isn’t it?”
He giggled. “Yes. It’s actually pretty good.” He said softly, then he put his bottle down on one of my coasters on the coffee table, and he scooted a bit closer. Then he rested his hand on my leg. He didn’t grope me or anything. I think he was just testing the waters a bit. “Coach?”
“Hehehe, Coach Ted…” He grinned.
He only hesitated for a moment, but then his blush deepened, and he asked me, “What do you think would happen if I kissed you right now?”
Oh my…the rush. That unavoidable rush.
“That depends on what you’re expecting to happen. Heh…” I could hear the flirtatious tone in my voice, and cleared my throat, hoping that it wouldn’t be too obvious. It wasn’t my intention to lead him on, but I did lean back a bit, my arm finding its way to the back of the couch and almost wrapping itself around his shoulders.
“I have a few ideas…” He said, and he scooted in ever closer. Am I really doing this? Will I be able to look myself in the mirror afterwards? “Kiss me.” He whispered.
“No, really. Kiss me. I want to know what it’s like.”
I said, “I’m sure you know what it’s like to kiss somebody.”
“Yeah, but I want to know what it’s like to kiss you, though. A man of ‘quality’.” He smirked, raising an eyebrow. “It’ll be sick. Promise.”
“You can’t promise me that.” I snickered. “Maybe you’re a bad kisser.” His jaw dropped open, his eyes wide as a little gasp escaped the back of his throat.
“Maybe YOU’RE a bad kisser too, jackass! Hehehe!” We shared a little laugh over it, but our eyes connected again, and he said, “I’d like to find out for sure, though.” His hand moved further up my leg to my thigh, and I put my hand on top of his to keep it from going any further. That didn’t help much, though. Because now I was basically holding his hand on my leg, staring into those doe brown eyes…and while the guilt was doing its best to keep its hold on my sensibilities…I was hard as a rock down there. My breath short. My heart thump thump thumping out of control.
He began to lean in, rather quickly I might add. And I stopped him. “Slow down. Heh…”
“C’mon. Make out with me.” He said. “Grant a young kid his Christmas wish this year, will ya?”
I really couldn’t resist him. I took my hand and gently caressed his cheek. His face was such a miracle to behold, floppy hair and all. As I held his cheek, Jaylen closed his eyes and turned his head to kiss the inside of my wrist. I moaned, “You really are something beautiful, you know that? You always were.”
“I KNEW you noticed me.” He said.
“No, I mean tonight, Jaylen. Not back when you were fifteen.”
“Whatever. Tell me anything.” He grinned.
“Do you want me to kiss you or not?”
“Sorry! Hehehe, shutting up now.” He said, and anxiously scooted even closer to me, as if we had any room left between us as it was. I let my arm rest on his shoulder, and my hand on top of his…and I could swear that he was trembling with anticipation. Hell, I think I was too.
And that’s when he closed his eyes, waiting for me to move forward.
And I can’t say that I’ve ever felt a pair of boyish lips so soft before in my life. The moment we made our intimate collision…it was as if the floor itself had been snatched from under me, and my body became weightless. I never could have imagined that kissing Jaylen would be so magical. I actually felt the ‘pop’ of little sparkles being fired off inside my heart, and it left me completely helpless to keep from submitting to his seductive spell now.
So soft. So…real. And when his tongue entered my mouth, I nearly floated right off of the couch. Easily the best kiss that I’ve ever experienced since my very first. An emotional thrill that shook me to my very core.
And to think…we were just getting started.