In the bathroom, Michael splashed his face with the coldest water the tap afforded him.
Alex you shit, Michael thought, how dare you come back here like this and give me hope.
But every bad word against Alex conjured a good memory. The night’s on the run when Alex would make inappropriate jokes that made Michael seethe with anger on the outside and fall about with laughter on the inside.
Too uptight, I was too uptight. But I was allowed to be. We were running for our lives. I should have been nicer- more appreciative. His experience was imperative for us to avoid being caught…
He turned off the tap, looked in the mirror, and saw the face of a washed out thirty-three year old boy.
There was a loud knocking on the door. “Michael, are you ok?”
He opened the door to find Alex hovering around nervously.
Michael nodded in reply when he was sure Alex was paying full attention.
Alex was now standing with one hand on the door frame, the other hand idly rubbing the back of his neck. “We’re not getting anywhere like this,” he sighed, dropping his arm to his side.
“I know, I know.” What else could Michael say? Frustration was getting the better of both of them. “I just never pictured our reunion to be like this. Well, I never pictured one at all but…”
“That would make two of us, Michael.” Sensing the tension was subsiding between them, Alex took a step closer to Michael. “Can’t we just stop all this?”
“What do you want from me?” Michael asked, looking down at the floor. A vivid memory washed up in his mind concerning the first time Alex had so elegantly shoved his hand down Michael’s pants. That night so many years ago, Alex had replied “To make a mess out of you…” in a sex-starved growl against Michael’s ear.
Tonight was surprisingly less urgent. Alex was tender. He moved fluidly, and before Michael could react, Alex’s lips were brushing against his own. He shuddered at the touch, knowing where it was leading, feeling Alex’s hands gently moving up and down on his sides, down the back of his jeans, before grabbing his hands and pinning them above his head. Michael mewled in submission and allowed Alex to pin him against the wall. It was then that Alex began to grind against Michael, rolling his hips just enough to make Michael squirm. God, he hadn’t been touched like this forever…
With his breath hitching, Michael choked out, “I knew you’d only come here to get laid.”
“What would you do if I said that was true?” Alex asked, biting at Michael’s neck, sucking on the abused skin.
Michael forced one of his hands out of Alex’s grasp and slowly reached into Alex’s pants. He gave his hard cock a squeeze and whispered in Alex’s ear, “I haven’t been fucked in five years… what d’you think?”
“Are you saying you want to violate your celibacy, Michael?”
In a daring move, Michael gently pressed his knee into Alex’s groin, causing Alex to take a protective step back. “The bedroom’s to your left.”
Michael watched him stride towards the bedroom while he quickly went back into the bathroom and grabbed a much neglected jar of Vaseline. He knew he was making a job for himself by not allowing Alex to take him right there on the hallway floor or up against the wall. Challenging Alex was always the best way to achieve optimum results in any situation.
Entering his bedroom, Michael was tackled onto his bed by Alex who had been waiting in the shadows; shedding his clothes and continuing to heighten his arousal.
Michael gave a surprised yelp, but it quickly disintegrated into a laugh which was airy against Alex’s lips.
“We need to get you out of those clothes.” Alex quickly tugged off Michael’s shirt and discarded it the pile of clothes he had created moments ago. Then came Michael’s belt; jeans; Michael toed of his socks and Alex shoved Michael’s briefs down so they fell to his ankles.
“What’s that?” Alex enquired, noticing Michael’s hand was clamped into a fist. It was too dark to notice what was hidden.
Michael opened his hand revealing the small pot of lubricant.
“Naughty, naughty,” breathed Alex, and he leant in for another kiss. It was rough and primal, and it made Michael harder than he already was.
Not wanting to break from Alex’s lips, he allowed himself to be pushed towards is bed. The back of his legs pressed against the mattress and sent him and Alex falling backwards, still kissing like teenagers who had a free house.
Moving up the bed, Alex straddled Michael, both of them groaning as their erections pressed together. Obscenities started falling from Michael’s lips and he eagerly thrust his hips up. Alex let out a small chuckle and leant down.
“You want me to fuck you,” Alex said, biting on Michael’s ear lobe, kissing his jaw. Michael trembled in anticipation and Alex began to gently move his body backwards and forwards, rubbing their cocks together steadily. “Do you have any condoms?”
“No,” Michael replied, “No. It doesn’t matter.”
Alex stopped his movements. Michael responded with a disapproving groan. Alex was suddenly serious, his face devoid of any lust.
“You realise you have just massacred this moment, don’t you, Alex?”
“Yeah… uh, it’s just. I don’t know…”
“I don’t have any diseases!”
Alex laughed, “It’s not you I’m worried about, kid.”
With a frustrated sigh, Michael rested his hands over his eyes. “Did you use a condom with every one of these women?”
“Then what the fuck are you worried about?” Michael grabbed the jar of Vaseline that was lying not far from him and held it out to Alex. “If you can name me one time that we used a condom after we got out of Sona, then I’ll put my clothes on and make a pot of coffee.”
“No, no I’m serious.”
“No, neither can I. They gave you a full medical before you got parole?”
“They find anything?”
“Then it’s settled. I trust you, ok?”
Alex nodded and took the jar of Vaseline thinking, you manipulative asshole.
Michael wondered why Alex was hesitating. He’d never had any reservations before: never had any reservations about being domineering or downright dirty when it came to sex. Unless…
“Do you… y’know, still feel the same about my body?” God, Michael, that sounded ridiculous.
“What do you mean?” Alex questioned, undoing the jar.
“It’s just that it’s different now, isn’t it?” Michael replied as he watched Alex coat two of his fingers in Vaseline.
Alex leant down and kissed Michael deeply, apparently ignoring Michael’s question. Until, without warning, Alex reached down and pressed a finger into Michael’s entrance. “Not really,” Alex said, and continued pressing deeper and deeper.
Michael turned his face to the side and groaned. Eyes tightly shut, he gasped, “More…”
Alex obliged and added a second finger, curling them gently, making Michael’s body tense up and tremble. He scissored his fingers gently, loving the faces Michael was making, the movements his body was making; ones that Michael wasn’t even aware of, but that Alex could feel.
He pulled out his fingers, eliciting a groan of displeasure from Michael. He opened his eyes and looked at Alex. There was that unsure look again, that hesitation.
“Maybe you should turn over,” suggested Alex, pushing on Michael’s hip.
“Ok, but maybe…”
“Alex! Why do you keep having the sudden urge to stop and talk? If something’s wrong, you can tell me.”
“No, it’s nothing.” Alex leant down and kissed Michael again, nuzzled his head into the crook of his neck. Sighing, he worked his way down in-between Michael’s legs.
Michael spread his legs, suddenly feeling so very exposed to everything. It was in the moment of Alex greasing his cock in true porno style, that reality finally hit home. This wasn’t going to be like all the times before, all those heated and quick fucking sessions that happened anywhere and everywhere. No wonder Alex was so unsure, so hesitant about everything. Reality had hit him as soon as Michael told him not to bother with a condom. He looked to the ceiling, down at Alex, at the clock on the nightstand. He felt sick.
“You ready?” Alex’s voice cut through Michael’s haze of doubt and solemnity. He met Alex’s eyes.
Alex nodded and positioned himself at Michael’s entrance. “Tell me if you want me to stop.”
Alex had never said that before.
Michael raised his bent legs to Alex’s sides as he slowly began push through the tight ring of muscle. Alex ran his free hand over Michael’s forehead. “Relax,” he whispered soothingly. Michael nodded, biting his biting lip, his eyes squinted. He was going to have to forget about their situation if this was going to work.
He closed his eyes and began to think about their cramped bathroom in
It was working. When Michael opened his eyes, Alex was looking him dead in the face, a crooked smile on his lips. “You’re grinning.”
“Am I?” Michael pulled Alex down on top of him and wrapped his legs around him possessively. “Didn’t notice.”
“I do now,” Michael assured.
Alex smiled again, leant down until he was inches away from Michael’s face and thrust all the way into him, causing Michael to grip his back tightly; squeezing the skin on his shoulder blades with such force that he was sure Alex would be left with bruises. He wrapped his legs around him more tightly, let go of Alex’s back and ran his fingers through his hair, signalling him that it was alright to go on.
Alex realised Michael’s permission and began thrust up slowly, moving in and out with a steady pace that Michael was sure would make him come sooner than he’d hoped.
Thrusting more deeply, Alex revelled in the groans and gasps that Michael was beginning to make. He watched the beads of sweat begin to form and then escape down the sides of Michael’s forehead, saw those perfect lips part: top teeth biting the bottom lip in failed attempts not to moan too loudly.
“I can’t…take,” another loud moan, “this for… too long.”
“I know, I know,” Alex reassured, feeling his own release not far off. He reached down and took Michael’s cock in his hand. He stroked him slowly, trying his best to synchronise his thrusts with each movement his hand made. He leant down lower, pressing himself as close to Michael as he could. It was in this moment of intense intimacy, the feeling of Alex’s hand on his cock, the pressure of Alex on top of him, that he shuddered and came, gasping iloveyouiloveyouiloveyou.
It didn’t take Alex long, and when he came he looked into Michael’s face. Michael was staring into his eyes, daring him to look away, challenging him to leave what could be. Alex didn’t. He stared right back as Michael grabbed the side of his face and kissed him desperately, Alex moaning into his mouth as he collapsed, spent, onto Michael.
Neither spoke. Michael ran his fingers through Alex’s hair. Alex rubbed his thumb in circles over Michael’s collarbone. Any words could ruin this moment. Any requests such as “Stay” or “Don’t go” could compel Alex flee.
After a little while, Alex shifted off Michael and sat up. “I’m going to take a shower,” he said flatly, “Are you coming?”
Alex followed Michael to the bathroom, both of them moving slowly and unsteadily.
They showered together, lazily washing one another, occasionally stopping to stand under the water and be washed off all past grievances. Their kisses were wet and their skin slippery as they embraced and Michael was glad that his tears were disguised, masquerading as water droplets on his long eyelashes.
When they emerged from the steam, they dried each other off without looking one another in the eye.
“Do you think my clothes are dry yet?” Alex asked.
“I doubt it,” Michael answered, rubbing Alex’s hair dry. “Aren’t you staying the night?”
“But you won’t?”
“No, I’ll stay,” Alex assured. “I can’t leave wearing wet clothes, can I?”
They got back into bed naked. Alex’s hair was still damp and smelled heavily of shampoo. Michael knew that smell would stay on his pillow for a long while and was glad.
Under the comfort of a warm, clean duvet they held each other closely. They might have been like any other happy couple settling down for the night.
“Will you be here when I wake up?” Michael asked before a deep yawn escaped him.
“Probably not,” Alex admitted. He ran his hand over Michael’s shaven head, “It’ll be too difficult. It’s just easier if we both go to sleep.”
Michael closed his eyes. “Will it?”
Alex gave a small chuckle, “Of course not.”
“Then I’ll have to stay awake.”
“Bet you won’t,” Alex challenged. “You always were a heavy sleeper.”
“That’s only because you wore me out during the day and made me feel safe at night,” replied Michael, tightening his grip around Alex’s middle. “Not having that anymore… it makes me feel so old.”
“How do you think I feel?” Alex laughed. “I’m not exactly a spring chicken anymore.”
They were silent again. Words weren’t necessary now; the sound of breathing, the rise and fall of their chests, the twitches in their muscles, all these processes created an atmosphere that made them comfortable.
It was darker now. Alex continued to rub Michael’s head soothingly. Michael had ceased to move, but his arms stayed possessively tight around Alex. He’d give it another few hours and then he’d leave. Leave the state, the country. Leave Michael.
Alex shook Michael roughly. He didn’t stir. Alex shifted his weight around causing the mattress to creak. Still, Michael didn’t move.
It was the perfect time, Alex concluded, to save himself and flee.
It was garbage day. Michael’s alarm sounded off with its incessant buzzzzz. He reached over and smacked the snooze button. Another ten minutes wouldn’t hurt- the garbage man was always late.
Shifting his body around to try and fall back asleep, Michael realised something was missing. His hand snaked up the right side of the bed and felt the void left by a sleeping body. His eyes shot open, sunlight burning his newborn eyes as he bolted upright in bed. Michael threw back the sheets and swung his legs over the side of his bed, ready to put on his boxers and run into the street in a desperate attempt to find Alex waiting for a taxi. He stopped when he saw a piece of paper on his nightstand.
He knew the loving scrawl that covered it. He picked it up tentatively, knowing what it contained but to scared to admit it. He considered putting off reading it because he didn’t have his reading glasses, but when his eyes caught the word Michael in that jagged, joined up writing, he couldn’t help but see what words followed his name.
I’m sorry that I didn’t say goodbye in person. I don’t have to explain why I didn’t, because you know why.
Last night was incredible- and I’m not saying that to make you sound like a cheap date.
There’s no use writing you a novel telling you how I feel and telling you that I wished everything could have worked out differently, because you know all of that.
Please look after yourself, Michael. That’s all I ask. Find someone to share your life with. Have a family. Love and be loved.
Michael smiled. He traced his finger over the ‘x’ in Alex’s name, feeling everything Alex was trying to convey in the few sentences he’d written.
He folded up the letter and put it in the drawer. Smiling fondly, he dialled