Music pulsed. Pounding through the dance floor and up Meik’s legs. In the dark room, the vibrations felt like a heartbeat in the cavernous hull of a giant’s chest. Meik was wrapped up in a writhing brunette. A snake so eager to be fed. Meik’s head spun. The lights flashed, and his blurry eyes had trouble focusing. He didn’t remember the man’s name, which had been shouted over the din as they stood at the bar. He wasn’t wearing a shirt, vinyl pants so tight that they looked painted on. They might have been. Meik had a hard time knowing what was real or not.
He already knew how the rest of the evening would go. More alcohol. Groping. He’d take the stranger into one of the back rooms. They’d kiss, grind. Hands sliding and grabbing. Meik’s cock would strain, ache. The stranger would beg for it, for him. And then Meik’s thoughts would shift. To pale skin and black hair. Glinting green eyes shining up at him, soft lips curling into a mischievous smile.
Those thoughts pulled at him, distracted him. Reminded him of what he didn't have. What he wanted. What he missed. What he’d lost. Torn away from the moment, he would leave the club alone, unsatisfied, and return to his empty apartment. It was a game he’d been playing and losing for the past two months. Ever since he’d woken up that cold December morning, hungover and alone. He’d been pissed at first. But anger soon dimmed, and Meik realized what had happened. Sebastian had told him he loved him. And he’d returned the favor. But then, Gabe. It had been Gabe for a long time, but Sebastian had slowly filled that void, and deep down, Meik wanted him to know that.
When he couldn’t find him in the streets, looking for him day in day out, to apologize, to tell him it had been a mistake—in the heat of the moment—the drinking and insomnia began. And then more drinking and sleeping pills. Days passed in a blur. He went to work...sometimes, even less than when Sebastian had been around. Lillie expressed concern, but Meik ignored her. He didn’t care anymore. Sebastian was gone. And he wasn’t returning anytime soon.
“Hey! Wanna go to the back?” the stranger called to him over the music, a hand sneaking down to grope Meik’s cock through his jeans.
Meik nodded. “Yeah, sure.”
They stumbled off together, heading through a hidden archway. There were several rooms, doorways covered in curtains; some opened and empty, others closed to hide sin. Hands grabbed vinyl-clad ass cheeks, Meik pulling the stranger into one of the rooms. The curtain shut and their lips connected. Alcohol mixed on their tongues. Meik yanked the stranger close. His eyelids lowered, memories drifting like snow as he tried to feel nothing.
* * *
16 Years Old
“Why are we watching this shit?” Meik asked.
He must have spoken too loudly because Gabe shushed him. “There’s nothing else on. Stop complaining.”
Meik huffed, pushing himself into a seated position next to Gabe. He glanced over, pouting. They sat on Gabe’s messy bed, blankets covered in bags of snacks, watching a shitty movie. It was late, past midnight and the house was quiet. All the lights were turned off and the screen cast an eerie cold glow, flickering across their faces.
Gabe stretched out on his stomach, chin propped on the palms of his hands, and his elbows digging into the blankets. His eyes were half-lidded, sleepy, and his hair curled around his pale face. Pajama pants low on his hips, t-shirt riding up to show a sliver of his back. Meik trailed his eyes down Gabe’s side, stomach clenching. A squirming warmth pooled in him, and his heart fluttered a bit. What was wrong with him?
For the past few months, he’d felt weird about and around Gabe. He tried to act normal. Like nothing was wrong. But something was wrong, and Meik was afraid that he knew why. Shaking the worrying thoughts out of his head, he reached over and plucked up the remote. “Boring,” Meik said, holding the controller out of reach. “We’re not going to keep watching this.”
“Don’t be an ass,” Gabe huffed. “I kind of like it.”
Meik patted Gabe’s head. “That’s because your taste in movies is shit.”
“Ssssh.” Meik grinned, starting to flip through the channels. “People are sleeping.”
“Dick,” Gabe grumbled.
Blue eyes glanced down at Gabe, Meik smiled while the colors played across his face. Gabe was beautiful with his lower lip stuck out. Another shake of his head and Meik turned back to the TV. He halted on a channel with a woman standing topless in the center of a tacky room. Her breasts were large and clearly fake, nipples stiff. When her hand slipped down into her panties, Meik realized they were watching porn. Softcore porn, but porn nevertheless. “Meik!” Gabe reached over and whacked his arm, hard. “Turn it off.”
Meik flicked his eyes from the screen towards Gabe. While the breasts on TV were appealing, he couldn’t help but be more interested in the red spreading across Gabe’s cheeks. “Why? Don’t ya like porn?” he teased. Meik liked porn. He liked it a lot.
“No! I mean...no, not like this,” Gabe said, curling his arms up and burying his face in them.
“Then like what?” Meik was dying to know the answer, breath held in anticipation.
“I don’t wanna talk about this.” Gabe’s voice was muffled in his arms.
“Why not?” Meik prodded.
“Because,” he whined.
Meik reached out, fiddling with one of his curls. “Come on,” he said. “You can tell me.”
Another whine and he kept his head hidden away. “I don’t like…”
“Girls?” Meik offered.
He’d had his suspicions for quite some time. Gabe wasn’t nearly as sneaky as he thought, and Meik paid a lot of attention to him. He’d never once talked about a girl he was interested in and it was pretty obvious when he had a crush on a male celebrity. He’d never brought it up because it didn’t really matter. Gabe was Gabe, and he could be gay all he wanted, as long as he was friends with Meik.
Gabe pushed himself up onto his knees, looking at Meik with wide eyes. “I don’t...what?” He blushed so hard his face practically glowed. “What are you talking about?”
Meik knew that tone of voice. It was Gabe attempting to play cool and failing at it. It was precious. “Dude, we’ve known each other forever, and I hate to tell you, I’m not a dumb blond,” he said. He wanted to sound soothing while he was trying not to laugh. “It’s cool. We like who we like, yeah?”
Tangling into his shirt, Gabe looked down at the bed. “Yeah, I guess,” he said sheepishly.
Gabe’s lower lip stuck out in a pout, and like lightning, a sudden thought struck Meik. “Have you...have you ever kissed a boy?” Meik’s mouth was dry, anticipation clawing at his chest. He didn’t know why he was so nervous. Why he wanted Gabe to say no.
Gabe shook his head. “No. I-I haven’t kissed anyone,” he admitted. “I haven’t even been on a date.”
Meik released the breath he didn’t know he’d been holding. He was hypocritical; he knew that. Dating and kissing girls had been his hobby since he’d turned fourteen and they’d played spin-the-bottle on his birthday. But it never felt exactly right. Like something was missing.
Meik pushed to his knees next to Gabe and looked down at him. “I could…” Meik’s cheeks heated up; so hot he’d burst into flames at any moment. He never blushed. Gabe made him feel so weird. “Want me to kiss you?”
“What?!” Gabe’s eyes shot up, mouth agape.
Time to play it cool.
“Yeah, I mean, you don’t want to go on a date and not know how to kiss, right? Like, you need to know what to do with your hands and tongue.” Sure, that sounded good to Meik. Casual. Not like he was desperate to feel those lips on his. Not like he’d kill any guy who so much as looked at Gabe the wrong way.
“But, it should come naturally, right?” Gabe’s fingers kept tugging at his shirt, dark hair falling into his eyes.
Meik reached out, touching Gabe’s burning cheek lightly. “Not really. When I had my first kiss, I sliced my tongue open on her braces.”
Gabe burst into laughter, hands shooting up to muffle his mirth. “Oh...I’m so sorry,” he giggled.
“Wasn’t funny.” Meik grinned, then put on a fake scowl.
That made Gabe laugh harder, body shaking. Meik reached out, grabbing Gabe’s wrist and pulling his hands from in front of his mouth. A crooked grin adorned Gabe’s lips as he looked up at him. “I’m sorry,” he said, voice trembling with repressed laughter. “I am. So sorry.”
Meik kept hold of his wrists, squeezing gently. “Which is why you should let me show you how,” he said firmly.
Instantly the laughter faded and Gabe nodded, back to being bashful. “Okay,” he muttered.
It took all of Meik’s efforts not to fist pump when Gabe agreed. Those proverbial butterflies felt more like pterodactyls in his stomach. He didn’t know why he felt so nervous and excited. His first kiss hadn’t even felt like this. All he knew was that he might have cried if Gabe had said no. “All right.” Meik pretended to be all business. He guided Gabe’s palms to his chest, hoping he couldn’t feel how fast his heart raced. “Put your hands on my chest, like this.”
“Oh.” Gabe lowered his eyes, watching his hands rise and fall with Meik’s breathing. “I can do that.”
Cupping Gabe’s chin, Meik lifted his head up to meet his eyes. “Good,” he murmured. Gabe was so warm. “Just like that.”
Meik leaned in, Gabe’s touch gliding over his chest. He didn’t warn him before he brushed their lips together in a featherlight kiss. “Is that okay?” he spoke softly, lips centimeters apart. He could taste Gabe’s breath, the air heavy and electric.
Gabe seemed scared to move, thin body tensed. “I’m going to kiss you deeper this time,” Meik told him.
A slight nod gave Meik permission, and he pressed their lips together. Gabe inhaled a shaking breath through his nose; Meik smiled. One hand moved, sliding over curls before resting on the back of Gabe’s neck. He pulled him closer, parting his lips and dragging his tongue across Gabe’s lower lip. He gasped, grip tightening in Meik’s shirt, posture stiffening. Taking advantage of Gabe’s parted lips, Meik flicked his tongue into his mouth, tasting the faint sugary hint of the candy he’d eaten earlier.
Gabe jerked in surprise, teeth clamping down and biting Meik’s tongue. It hurt. A lot. Gabe’s teeth were sharper than one would think, and he was pretty sure he tasted blood in his mouth.
“Oh God. Shit. I’m sorry.” Gabe leaned back from him, eyes wide, apologetic. Meik had never seen his cheeks that red before, and God did he want to rain kisses down on the warm flesh.
Sliding his grasp down from his neck, Meik pressed against Gabe’s lower back. “It’s fine,” he assured him, swallowing down the coppery tang lingering in his mouth. “Only hurt a little.” He’d let Gabe bite him again and again if it meant they got to kiss some more.
“Are you sure?” Gabe’s hand slid up, touch light against Meik’s lower lip.
God, he was precious.
“I’m sure,” he murmured. “I’m gonna do it again. This time, try not to bite me.”
“Hey!” Gabe huffed, whacking his chest.
“Sorry, sorry.” Meik’s smiled didn’t fade. Couldn’t fade. He never thought they’d be sitting here kissing on Gabe’s bed while his parents slumbered down the hall. He’d never thought it, but he sure had thought about it. “What you’re going to do is brush your tongue against mine. Lightly. Gently.”
The way Gabe’s nose wrinkled up was similar to the way it looked when he studied for his classes. Leave it to Gabe to want to ace making out. Cute little perfectionist.
Both of his hands went back to Meik’s chest, and he nodded. “I understand.”
Meik tilted his head down to seal their mouths together. Like a flower, opening in the warm sun, Gabe’s velvety lips parted for Meik. He gently flicked his tongue into Gabe’s mouth. This time he didn’t bite down, returning Meik’s caresses with his own. A quiet whimper left Gabe, fingers fisting on Meik’s chest.
All thoughts and doubts melted away from Meik, ice in the fire of his desire. He forgot he was supposed to be teaching Gabe and not just enjoying it. It felt right. Like it was supposed to be. Besides, Gabe had always been a fast learner. He didn’t need much help. His eyes were closed, and Meik mimicked him, angling his head and deepening the kiss.
Lost, dazed, Meik slid his hand down. Lower and lower until he was able to get a handful of Gabe’s ass.
He had a few seconds to enjoy the bubbly cheek in his palm before he suddenly plummeted off the bed. Time and his body seemed to hang in the air for a moment. And then it all came crashing down, Meik’s back hitting the floor. The air was knocked from his lungs as he blinked up at the ceiling, eyes glazed. “Ow,” he groaned, squinting dully.
Like the moon to the stars that spun in his vision, Gabe leaned off of the bed and looked down at him. Anxiously, with his brows drawn together and that plump lower lip caught between his teeth. “Fuck! I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to. You startled me,” he babbled, plucking at the blanket. “Are you okay?”
Pushing himself into a seated position, Meik nodded warily. “My ass hurts but other than that…” He looked up, offering a crooked grin. “S’my fault anyway. I shouldn’t ha—”
“Can we try again?” Gabe burst out suddenly.
“Uh…” Meik met his eyes. “Sure....”