bartender

There’s a local upscale bar just down the street that my wife and I often frequent. Jimmy the bartender is fun guy to be with, often throwing in a drink or two on the house. By the way he looks at and speaks to Beverly, I know that she has more than just his bartender’s attention. Mind you no sexual advances, but the flirtation is there.



Beverly is a petite gal with a terrific hour glass, tight body. She is also a sexually adventurous gal who enjoys our occasional erotic play activities. Even at 50 years old she turns heads, so I can see why Jimmy, who is mid-twenties, sees an attraction. I often engage in conversations with others, eavesdropping on Jimmy’s conversation with Beverly. In certain ways I find it erotic to think of Beverly as a gal who has a younger man’s interest.



The other day I mentioned to Beverly that I thought Jimmy found her sexy. She laughed and said no way a young guy would find her attractive in that way. Well, one thing led to another and a bet was made. The premise was that we would go to Jimmy’s bar in mid afternoon when typically no one else would be there. She would wear a sexy top and we would observe where Jimmy’s eyes roamed. She insisted that he would not even cast her more than a glance, so we upped the bet. If I was wrong, I would take her shopping for a new outfit. If I was right, she then had to have a more intimate interaction with Jimmy in my presence.



On the appointed afternoon, Beverly wore a semi sheer, low cut top with a short skirt and we went to the bar. From the moment we sat down, it was obvious to both of us that Jimmy could not keep her eyes off her chest. He even mixed up our drinks. Something he has never done.



After a bit, Beverly admitted that I was right and, as the good sport she is, agreed to pay up. I reminded her that she needed to do as I asked as that was part of our bet. Now I knew that Jimmy was getting off work soon so I invited him back to our place for a drink. We arrived at our place and while Jimmy and I sat on our long sofa, Beverly made us a couple of drinks. She then sat close to me, facing Jimmy.



We chatted away for a while and then I steered the conversation to Beverly’s attractiveness and that she had a very sexy figure. Jimmy quickly jumped in saying that Beverly was indeed a very pretty woman. With this opening, I asked Beverly to stand up so we could admire her. While hesitant, she did so. I then said to Jimmy, “You should see her in a bikini. Would you like that?” I told Jimmy not to be embarrassed and he finally drew up the courage to say “yes”. I then turned to Beverly saying, “Why don’t you do that for us? In fact, a bikini is no more than panties and a bra, so why don’t you just take off your blouse and skirt.” While she gave me one of those looks, she did as I asked.



Standing there before us in her lacy black bra and panties, I got real hard and noted that I was not the only male to have gotten a bulge in his pants. I thought that Jimmy’s eyes would join his erection and pop out. Beverly then asked if she could get dressed. I suggested that I thought that the opposite was a good idea, but that o would leave it up to our guest to decide. Jimmy said nothing until Beverly looked at him and said, “Jimmy, all I ask is that you decide based on what you really think of me. If you are not excited then let me get dressed. If the opposite is true, then I would be happy to accommodate. Then the words flowed from Jimmy’s mouth, “Beverly, I was always found you so sexy. I can’t believe that I am seeing you in this way and that you would allow me to see even more. I can’t think of anything I would like better that for you to take off your bra and panties.” That said, Beverly responded, “I can think of one thing better. Why don’t you take them off?” I nodded to Jimmy that it was okay, so he stood and slowly slipped her bra off. Kneeling down, he did the same with her panties.



As Jimmy stood to admire Beverly’s body she said to him, “Jimmy, I am happy that you find me so attractive. I like your looking at me, but I want to make a couple of things clear. One, we will never do anything like this without Hank being present. Second, we will never have sex. If you can agree to this, we can however have some fun times.” With Jimmy’s agreement secured, Beverly smiled saying, “Good. We can have a little more of a good time now. For the next fifteen minutes, you can touch me anywhere you like.”



As they both sat back on the sofa, Jimmy’s hands began to explore her body. First, caressing her breasts and then sliding his hands further down. Without hesitation, she opened her legs offering Jimmy a very wet experience. As Jimmy massaged her clit, she grew more excited, soon exploding in orgasm.



This as I would come to know, was just the beginning of having “fun” with Jimmy.

Author’s Note: Thanks to everyone who sent me feedback and for all your support! Special thanks to my beautiful editor ThisKittyKat—she has been wonderful throughout this entire process and I couldn’t have done it without her.



If you haven’t read the first chapter of this story, please take time to do so. The action picks up right where the last chapter left off, so if you didn’t read the first part you’ll be lost. More to come so keep with me!




***




“Your turn!” Cody sat up and reached down to slip my shirt up over my head. He looked down at my bare chest, not nearly as big as his own, but still in much better shape than it had been when I first woke up. He cleared his throat. “Mr. Brennan, I’d better check you to see how your recovery is coming along…” He massaged my pecs and down my smooth stomach. “Musculature seems good. Now we should check your nervous response.” He opened his mouth and sucked in my right nipple. An electric shock flew through my body, threatening to give me a heart attack. I could feel his tongue dancing back and forth across the sensitive tip and his suction tripled the intensity of the feeling. I arched my back, forcing more of myself into him. He responded by gently nipping down on me. I drew in a sharp breath and he let go, that lopsided grin still plastered to his face.



“Holy shit….” It was all I could say, over and over again. “Holy shit… holy shit….”







“Feel good?”



“Fuck, yeah.”



“Good.” He rose up further and looked down at my pants; they were tenting quite obviously and there was a small wet spot at the tip of my cock. He slowly hooked his fingers under my waistband and pulled down. My cock finally slid free and sprang back to hit my stomach with a dull thud. He looked down at it with a strange look on his face.



“Is there something wrong?” I asked, worried.



“No, it’s just that…” He looked like he was at a loss for words. He started again. “It’s just that I’ve only seen a cock that big in pornos.” I glanced down at my meat. It did indeed seem a formidable size, lying on my stomach, the tip just past my navel. The head was flared and purple, precum was pooling at my piss slit, threatening to tumble over the side onto my stomach.



“Oh.” That was all I could think of to say. I was rather speechless. “If you don’t want to…”



“Are you kidding? Of course I want to!” Without another word, Cody leaned down and, seizing my cock along the base with his soft hand, took me tentatively into his mouth. The warm, wet, smoothness of his lips almost sent me over the edge right there. I groaned, the feelings so intense I felt blinded, almost in pain. Cody was a blowjob master. He licked all around my cock, his tongue flicking across that sensitive spot on the underside of the head each time he came across it. Every few seconds he would envelope me with his entire mouth again.



I laid back, closing my eyes and just getting lost in the sensation. I suddenly felt a very different kind of pleasure on my prick. It was hotter and more intense, constricting against the length of my steely rod. I looked down and was shocked to see Cody with a good three quarters of my cock shoved down his throat. I could feel my head sliding back and forth across the back of his tongue as he forced more and more of my meat into his mouth.



“Holy shit, Cody that feels so good. Fuck… You like taking that cock?” He nodded in agreement and let out a muffled sound; it vibrated along my whole length and I almost lost control. I started to buck up into Cody’s mouth, shoving as much of my rock-hard shaft down his throat as I could. I reached around behind his head and grabbed two fistfuls of hair, holding him in place so I could fuck his face intensely. My dick made wet slobbery sounds as it pounded in and out of his mouth, his lips still tightly clamped around it, racing me toward orgasm. I felt my balls draw closer to my body and a tingling started in my lower abdomen. It started to spread across my body, up my chest and down my legs. I knew that I was getting close and would soon shoot my load into Cody’s hot waiting mouth.



Then suddenly he stopped.



As he pulled off my cock with a wet popping noise, I let out an exasperated breath. “Why did you stop?”



“Because we are nowhere near done yet.” He got off the bed and slipped his pants and underwear off in one smooth motion. His erect member bobbed before me, his cockhead was slick with precum. His balls were hefty and hung loosely in his sac, partially obscured by his cock. He was also, I noted with fascination, uncut. I reached out tentatively, my hand was shaking. Cody saw it and looked concerned. “Don’t be nervous, John.”



“It’s just that… I’m not really sure what I’m doing.” I looked away, embarrassed. Realization dawned on Cody’s face – as if he had forgotten I would certainly not remember how to give a good handjob if I couldn’t even remember my address or phone number.



“It’s fine,” he soothed, “don’t do anything you aren’t comfortable with.” His achingly hard cock seemed to be telling a different story, as a glistening drop of precum dripped slowly from the tip. I hesitated for half a second, but then I reached out again, this time grasping his prick fully in my hand. Cody gasped and I could feel his dick flexing as I held him. He walked to the bed and sat down, his cock sticking straight up into the air.



I jerked him slowly, marveling at how his shaft could feel so soft and hard at the same time. His cock wasn’t as large as mine, but it was still quite sizeable, seven inches at least. He reclined on the bed and closed his eyes, enjoying the attention to his cock. I watched in fascination as his foreskin slid back and forth over his head, a bead of slick wetness aiding the already smooth gliding motion up and down his prick.



Unable to wait any longer, I leaned down and cautiously licked at his head, lapping up some of the clear liquid dripping from his piss slit. I was almost immediately intoxicated by its salty and sweet combination. Opening my mouth wider I slipped his head into my mouth. Cody groaned and opened his eyes in surprise as I flicked my tongue across his sweet spot. I pulled his foreskin down, fully exposing his head and did my best to imitate what he was doing to me. Obviously it was working, as before long he was grabbing the sheets and twisting them around his body in pleasure.



I worked my way down further on his prick and took in a good five inches before I started to gag. He began bucking in urgency and forced his dick deeper into me. I reached down and used my hand as well as my mouth, jerking him up and down as I slurped and sucked him. His balls started to draw close to his body and he was almost whimpering in pleasure. Seized by a sudden desire to taste his cum, to swallow all of him, I raced toward his orgasm almost as fast as he did. His moans were growing louder now and the muscles in his chest and abs started to tense. His cock was pumping out loads of precum and I knew he was on the brink. All of a sudden, I felt his hands on the back of my head and he pulled me off. He was breathing heavily and there was a light sheen of sweat across his forehead and between his pecs. He looked down at me and smiled.



He positioned his mouth down by my dick and my mouth near his. Catching on quickly, I took him into my mouth as he took me into his. We sucked each other greedily and with an animal urgency. I took his cock deeper and deeper into my mouth until his soft balls were resting on my nose and his short pubes were rasping against my chin. Cody was working similarly on my rod. It wasn’t long before I could feel the impending tinglings of my orgasm again. But this time, Cody didn’t pull off me, he kept on sucking. I started to moan, making his dick twitch and his head started to swell; it was obvious he was getting close as well.



There was a tightness in my chest and, all of a sudden, every muscle in my body went tense. I thrust as hard as I could between Cody’s lips and shot spurt after spurt of hot thick cream into his mouth. I couldn’t see or hear anything, I was only aware of the intense pleasure wracking my body. I kept pumping and Cody kept sucking, as if the cum was never going to stop.



Before I could think a coherent thought, Cody started to moan and his cock exploded in my mouth. It was like a flood of sweet cream and it filled my mouth in two shots. I swallowed as quickly as I could, but it kept coming. He shot five, six, seven times into my mouth and I tried, but I couldn’t swallow it all and some leaked from the corners of my mouth. I sat up and licked my lips, drinking down the last drops of his juice. I didn’t think it would taste good at all, but I was surprised and instantly addicted. Cody sat up as well and kissed me deeply, I tasted myself in his mouth and he tasted himself in mine.



“Holy shit,” I breathed. He just nodded in agreement, a smile plastered on his face.



“It looked like the reproductive system was working correctly Mr. Brennan,” he joked.



“That was amazing…” I couldn’t believe it. My cock finally started to soften and came to rest against my leg, sticky but satisfied. He looked over at me and smiled, sweat glistening on his forehead. He got up and slipped his clothing back on without a word; I watched him, in awe of his toned body, almost totally hairless, except a small trail leading from his navel to the tidy patch of pubes crowning his beautiful cock. He walked to the side of the bed and sat down, taking my hand in his firmly. He looked at me, deadly serious.



“I hope that what we did tonight was okay with you. I don’t want to push you to do anything you don’t want to, especially given your condition.”



“My condition? You make it sound like I’m dying!” I laughed, Cody didn’t.



“I’m serious John. I…well, I really like you. It doesn’t happen for me very often, and I don’t want to fuck it up by going too fast.”



“Look,” I was mildly exasperated at this point, “I didn’t do anything that I didn’t want to do, or didn’t you notice you had your cock stuffed in my mouth and I was loving every second of it?” He giggled a little and gave a little nod of his head. “Don’t sweat it. I really like you too.”



Cody kissed me again, not as intense and heady as the first time, but still hot with passion though tenderly as well. His stubble scratched at me as he snuggled in closer and took me in his arms. I held him back, feeling more at ease, and more at home, than I had since I woke up.



***




Just a week after my first time together with Cody, it was like we had known each other for years. I learned that Kara was five years younger than him and married with one young boy. His mother had died when he was thirteen and he had been raised by his father. He had gone to undergrad at a local private college to stay close to home so that he could be close in case his dad needed anything.



It pained me to hear Cody talk so warmly about his family. Whenever he did his face would light up and his voice would tremble with excitement. It was clear that family meant everything to him. It made it all the harder for me to accept that I had no idea who my family was, or if they were looking for me.



We had put my picture into all the local news stations and had the police look into missing persons files from around the area for anyone matching my description. There was nothing. My sessions with Dr. Lehnsing were equally unproductive. He was getting more and more impatient with me as the weeks wore on, still with no progress.



“Mr. Brennan, it’s almost as if you are preventing yourself from remembering anything!” It was my last day at the hospital but, unfortunately, not my last day of memory therapy with the good doctor. I was to continue seeing him even after I was discharged. “You have to want to remember. Without any reliable triggers to bring back memories for you, we really don’t have any hope of recovering anything otherwise.”



“You don’t think I’m trying, doc?” I gritted my teeth in annoyance. Every time I felt I was on the verge of something it would slip away, like trying to remember a dream once you wake up. The details would slide away faster than I could follow.



“I don’t doubt that you’re trying, John.” He took off his tortoise-shell glasses and rubbed his eyes, clearly tiring of the session already. “I’m simply pointing out that even sub-conscious desires can prevent you from remembering, even if it’s only to protect yourself from potentially painful memories. It can significantly slow the process.”



“Look,” I sat up from a reclining position on a chaise-lounge, “I don’t know what you want me to do.”







“Perhaps you need to stop focusing on the present and start focusing on the past…” He caught my eye as I watched Cody washing his hands at a sink outside the window of his office. The doctor cocked an eyebrow at me, a smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth.







I looked down, embarrassed. “I…I don’t…”



“There’s nothing wrong with it, Mr. Brennan. I just want to forewarn you,” he suddenly turned serious, the hint of a smile vanishing from his face, “starting a relationship and beginning ties with Mr. Reynolds may prevent you from ever, and I do mean ever, gaining your memory back. I fear that if you get too content in your ‘new’ life too quickly, you will, as I said earlier, sub-consciously prevent yourself from getting anything back.”



I stared out at Cody who was drying his hands on a paper towel. A young boy ran up to him and hugged him gleefully. Cody laughed and tousled his hair, beaming at him. They shared a private joke, both of them almost in stitches. Cody caught my eye and grinned wider, waving to me shyly. I smiled to myself. “Doc, I know that you don’t necessarily want to hear this… but I might just be alright with that.”



After finishing my session with Dr. Lehnsing, I went to my room to pack my things. It was hard to believe I was already leaving the hospital. In fact, it was strangely surreal. This had been my home for the past month, the only place I had known. It was as if, by leaving the hospital, I was leaving behind the person I used to be; truly giving up hope on finding out who I really was. I didn’t have much to pack; a few changes of clothes I had managed to acquire and a small library of books I had devoured in the weeks after I woke up. That was it. All of my life (to my recollection) was packed into a duffel bag too small to hold the average person’s DVD collection.



Cody had helped me find a small one-bedroom apartment on the other side of town, near where he lived. He also found me a job within walking distance; it was just tending bar at one of the local clubs, but I needed a job and not many places were willing to take someone without references – or a social security number. It was lucky the owner of the bar was friends with Cody and they worked out a deal to let me work for two months while I got my stuff sorted out with the government.



The taxi deposited me in the parking lot of my building. I gazed up at it with no little amount of disdain. If the hospital had been overbearingly sanitary, this building was depressingly grungy. Beggars can’t be choosers, I reminded myself sternly, picking up my duffel and walking into the dingy lobby. There was an old man behind the counter who looked as old as the building himself. After giving him my information, he told me that everything had already been paid for, from the security deposit to the first month’s rent and utilities.



I asked who, even though I already knew the answer.



“It looks like a Cody Reynolds.” He grunted and showed me the paperwork. Shaking my head, I took the key he offered and he showed me to my apartment. Apparently it was the top of the building. A long time ago, still years after the complex was new and luxury, the penthouse had been split up into two different apartments. They were still bigger than the studios below, but they still weren’t very spacious, just a few hundred square feet.



As the superintendent swung the door open I gasped involuntarily. The architecture was beautiful and while it was still one-bedroom, it seemed much bigger than that. The ceiling stretched up above my head and steel I-beams criss-crossed a good fifteen feet over me. What was truly striking though, were the windows opposite the door. Rather, the wall opposite the front door. It was comprised entirely of huge glass panes, dissected with metal partitions, some obviously opening into windows.



There was a small kitchen to the left and two doors to the right which led, presumably, to a bedroom and bathroom. It was small, but cozy. And it was definitely a place I could grow to call home. The only problem was, it was completely empty – devoid of any furniture or appliances save the ones that came with the kitchen. I thanked the super and he grunted back, trudging down the hall and jamming the button to the elevator with a skeletal finger.



I set my bag down and took the grand tour. It took a total of about three minutes. To my surprise, someone had ordered in a brand new bed and mattress into the bedroom. There was a small closet to the side. The bathroom was similarly depressing. And everything was in need of a good scrubbing. The dirt and grime was caked on the huge windows so thickly they looked like a monotonous brown stained-glass masterpiece.



I had just started unpacking when there was a knock at my door. Answering it, I found Cody grinning and holding two plastic sacks bursting at the seams, with another three sat at his feet.







“Hi John! I’m glad you made it here safely. I got off a little early today so I thought I would bring over some groceries.” He hoisted the sacks and I stepped aside to let him in.



“You didn’t need to do that…” I started, wondering when Cody was going to stop treating me like a patient and like a person instead.



“Nonsense.” He was busy taking produce from the bags, one at a time and depositing them in the fridge or on the counter. “You’re going to need something to eat; I wouldn’t want you to starve.”



“I’m sure I would have managed,” I started unpacking as well, taking first bags of rice and then boxes of dried pasta out of the bags. “After all, you got me a job, remember?” Cody straightened abruptly and his expression changed just a little.



“Of course I remember,” the look was gone as quickly as it arrived, “your first night is tomorrow, by the way. Dave doesn’t tolerate lateness, so you might want to get there a couple minutes early on your first night—it would definitely get you some brownie points.”



“I’ve never bartended before,” I offered sheepishly, not entirely sure if it was true or not. “I just don’t want for you to have wasted your time and a favor if I turn out to be lousy at it.” Cody waved the self-deprecation away.



“You’ll be fine.” He was unpacking the last of it, a box of cereal and granola bars.



“So, we have all this food. What’s for dinner?”



Cody smiled at my question mischievously. “Since you’ve been eating hospital food for so long, I figured I would take you out and show you what a real meal tastes like. I know this amazing Greek place just down the road, they make the best patstitsio you will ever have in your life.”







“Cody, I…” but I was cut off again.



“I’ll finish up in here, get all of your stuff put away, and you go change. Wear that blue button down and the chinos I picked up for you.” He ordered me out of the kitchen and into the bedroom to change. I was silently fuming by this point; just like in the hospital I could do nothing but follow orders. Only this time they weren’t from Dr. Gibson or the physical therapist, they were from Cody.



I slipped off my t-shirt and pants, standing only in my underwear. I caught sight of myself in the full-length mirror nailed shoddily to the bedroom door. I had to admit, I looked really good. During the last two weeks of PT I would take the short two-block walk to the local gym and lift some weights. Not a lot, and I certainly wasn’t putting up any 200s, but it was a good workout nonetheless. My muscles were lean and the hospital food, as disgusting as it was, kept me thin. There wasn’t an ounce of fat on my body.

My dark hair was short, thanks to the haircut I had received just a couple days before being discharged from the hospital. My green eyes were bright again, after being sunken with dark circles around them as when I first woke up. I almost felt normal, until I reached up and felt the back of my head, where the bullet had exited and my life had shattered to pieces.



“John! Our reservations are at seven!” Cody’s voice was muffled through the door and it jerked me out of my daydreaming. I quickly buttoned up my shirt and jammed my legs into the khakis. I opened the door as Cody was just about to start knocking.







“How do I look?”



“Amazingly sexy.” He grinned and led me to the door. He leaned against the wall outside and waited for me to lock it. After exiting the building, we walked a couple blocks down the road, toward the waterfront. The restaurant Cody had selected was dark and romantic, but the prices were also through the roof.



I stared down at the menu trying to find the cheapest thing; it was a bowl of avgolemono for fourteen bucks. I blinked and looked at the rest of the menu; a plate of patstitsio was thirty. I looked across the table at Cody, he was studying the menu, but without the look of consternation that I was sure I had plastered across my face.



“Gentlemen, would you like to see our wine list tonight?” The waiter interrupted me as I opened my mouth to speak.



“No,” Cody replied, smiling serenely, “we’ll just take a bottle of the house red. Thank you.”



“Certainly, may I just check your IDs?” The waiter held out his hand expectantly. I felt the heat rise into my cheeks.



“I…I must have, uh…must have left mine at home…” Cody looked at me blankly as I said it and then a realization broke across his face. He promptly shoved his wallet back into his pocket.



“Me too, we’ll just have a pitcher of iced tea. Thanks.” The waiter nodded curtly and walked away. “I’m so sorry John, I wasn’t even thinking.”



“It’s fine,” I replied, embarrassed. I picked up my previous train of thought and started again, “Cody, this is a really nice place…”



“It is, isn’t it?” He gestured around. “I absolutely love this place. And they really do have the best food; I can’t wait for you to taste it!”



“No, I don’t think you understand,” I was starting to get annoyed again. It was strange, I had never felt this way when I was in the hospital with Cody, but out here everything seemed to be different. “I can’t afford any of this. The damn bowl of soup is fourteen bucks!”



“Oh, that’s what you’re worried about? Don’t be, tonight is on me.”



“I’m sure it is, just like everything else!” My voice was starting to rise now. The smile dropped from Cody’s face.



“What are you talking about?” His voice was quiet, but it sounded dangerous. Just then, the waiter came back with the iced tea and poured it into our glasses. The tension was palpable and the silence uncomfortable, broken only by the ice clinking against the glass. The waiter wisely walked away without saying anything more. I leaned forward and lowered my voice.



“I mean the rent, the new bed, the clothes, the food, the restaurant that I didn’t get to choose, the food that you’re not going to let me pay for. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m an adult. I can take care of myself.”



Cody looked dumbstruck, then something like anger blazed behind his eyes. “I did all of that for you to help you. You have to realize that you have absolutely no fucking money John. None. You should be grateful that I’m helping you out. I took you out to dinner tonight because you agreed to come with me last week. I’m starting to think it was a mistake now.”



“You’re right!” I made no effort to keep my voice down anymore and the other patrons of the restaurant were looking over, watching the show as I started to explode. “I am so grateful to you for treating me like a child. I am so grateful that you feel the need to take care of me. Believe it or not Cody, even if I can’t remember it, there was a time in my life that I took care of myself. I can sure as hell do it again!” I stood up and stormed out of the restaurant, leaving him speechless behind and made my way back to my apartment alone.



I opened the door and looked around. Even here I couldn’t get away from Cody and the overbearing ownership he seemed to have taken over me. The space that was supposed to be mine was found and paid for by him. I didn’t think I could be there anymore, it was all too much. Locking the door as I turned away, I made my way down the street to the small park a couple blocks in the opposite direction of the restaurant.



I sat down on one of the green wooden benches and surveyed the city stretching out before me, the lights twinkling innocently in the early twilight. A sudden sense of peace washed over me and the knot in my chest started to relax. Cody did have a point; without him I would have nothing right now, but it still didn’t give him the right to take over my life. All I wanted was independence; when I was in the hospital I had none, all the decisions were made for me. And I was sick of everyone treating me like I was dying or something, tiptoeing around me and avoiding the fact that I had no clue who I was.



Everyone except Cody. He talked about it openly, often speculating about how I was before the accident, whereas everyone else would act like nothing was wrong. Cody acknowledged I had a hard road ahead of me, but wasn’t daunted by it. He had been nothing but supportive, and he obviously cared enough to make sure I was taken care of after I was released from the hospital -something I was sure he didn’t do for every patient. It didn’t help that he was totally hot either.



Everything that he had done for me, everything that I had yelled at him for earlier tonight, he had done because he really cared about me. And I was a selfish asshole and ruined it. All he wanted to do was take care of me, but I was too pigheaded to see that I couldn’t do it on my own, that I actually did need to be taken care of. Suddenly, without warning, the entirety of my situation washed over me. I had absolutely no one, I didn’t know who I was or where I came from, I was starting over with nothing. I had to try to piece a life back together that I didn’t know anything about. It was like putting together a puzzle without a clear picture of what I was supposed to be making. I didn’t know when I would be done, or if the pieces are fitting together correctly.



Tears prickled at the corners of my eyes. I didn’t like feeling so guilty, and I certainly did about the way I treated Cody earlier. I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t want to talk to me anymore. After all, I gave him plenty of reasons. It was starting to get dark and streetlights were popping on all along the boulevard. I arose from the bench and made my way home. There was a note taped to the door when I got back. It was short.



“J,



Sorry that tonight went so badly. I should have known better—let’s talk soon.



-C



P.S. I left some food from Adriano’s with the super. He said he’d get it to you.”



When I opened the door there was a takeout bag sitting on the counter. I took it and threw it in the fridge; the superintendent must have come in and put it there. The note was inscrutable and I couldn’t decide if it was a good or bad one. On the one hand, he was sorry that the night went badly, and he wanted to talk soon. On the other hand, he said he should have known better. He should have known better than to what? Ask me out in the first place? Think that I could handle going on a date with him? I was exhausted and confused. All I wanted to do was go to bed.



I quickly undressed, brushed my teeth and crawled between the sheets. They must have sat at Cody’s house for a while, they smelled like him. I closed my eyes, but sleep wouldn’t take me. I tossed and turned all night, worried about what the next day would bring. I thought about calling Cody, he had left his number with me before I left the hospital, but I didn’t really feel it was prudent to do so at three in the morning.



I watched the sun rise through the windows of my apartment. Or rather, I watched the light struggle to shine in through the dirt covering the windows; they were much too dirty to see out of properly. I rummaged through some of the stuff that Cody had bought me yesterday to find something suitable for breakfast. I settled on some instant coffee and a bowl of cereal. The only problem was that I didn’t have any bowls or mugs. Or a pot to boil the water for that matter. It was hopeless. I cracked open a window and crawled out onto the balcony. The morning was warm and the sun was just peeking up over the city skyline.



The phone started to ring and I almost jumped out of my skin. I knew of only one person that would have my number, the person who paid to get it connected. I scrambled back inside and went to answer the call. My hand shook as I picked up the receiver and put it to my ear.



“Hello?” I already knew who was going to be on the other end.



“Hi John?” Cody’s voice was distorted, “How are you doing this morning?”



“I’m fine.” The conversation was really awkward, almost like we were strangers.



“Listen, I’m really sorry…”



“Don’t be. I shouldn’t have gone off on you like that.” I could feel the heat rising to my cheeks again, this time in embarrassment.



“But I also should have realized that you wanted your independence. It wasn’t up to me to take care of you, and I overstepped my bounds. I just wanted to say I’m sorry.”



“Cody, listen, it’s okay that you wanted to take care of me. It’s nice to know that someone cares. I shouldn’t have taken offense, because I really think that I like you. I…I was just worried that I messed everything up.”



“You didn’t, don’t worry.” He laughed quietly. I opened my mouth to ask him when I could see him next, but I was interrupted by a knock at the door.



“Hold up Cody, there’s someone here…” I went to the door and opened it. Cody stood there with his cell held to his ear, grinning widely. He was smoking hot in a navy hoodie and white running shorts. I stood there stunned; he dropped his arms to his side, hanging up the phone.



“So… can I come in?” His smile never faltered.



“Su..sure.” I gestured behind me, still stunned that he was here. More so after the way I treated him the night before at the restaurant. He strolled in, hands in his pockets, and swung around to face me, sitting on the peninsula counter that separated the kitchen from the living room. “So, what brings you this way?”



“Well, I fucked up.” He looked at me frankly; it was a little more direct than I was prepared for. I momentarily lost my power of speech again.



“H…how do you figure?” He rolled his eyes a little bit at my comment.



“I think you know…” I raised my eyebrows at him so he continued, “I shouldn’t have pushed you. I have worked with a lot of trauma patients in my life, I should have known better how to talk to one. How to care for one…” He was earnestly trying to placate me. Instead, he was riling me up again; when would he understand? What would it take for him to get it? I didn’t need to be cared for!



“I don’t want you to ‘care for me,’” I wrinkled my nose at the phrase, “if you want to date me then date me. You’ve already been my nurse, and a damn good one, but the man I want to date needs to be a partner. I realize that I’m going to need help and these next couple months are going to be hard. But there’s a difference between being supportive and being overbearing.”



Sensing that things were headed south again, Cody walked over and took my hands in his. “John, I want nothing more than to be your partner. I have tremendously enjoyed being your nurse, and the perks that came with it,” he chuckled softly, remembering the blowjob on my hospital bed, “I guess I just didn’t know how to separate the nurse me from the me that was supposed to be going on a date with you. I want to make sure that you’re alright, and if it gets to be too much I want you to tell me… but just maybe in a little nicer way than last time.”



My cheeks flushed with embarrassment again. That seemed to be Cody’s way – piss me off and then make me embarrassed for getting upset. It wasn’t a very fun cycle to be stuck in. “I don’t know Cody. Do you think it’s too much? I mean, I just got out of the hospital, under your care no less. Would you be able to stop being my nurse and start being my boyfriend?”



Genuine concern shone in his eyes, something that had been there all along, but I had chosen to ignore or dismiss as haughtiness or pity. He pulled me closer to him and I fell into his embrace. His voice was low and husky, almost a growl, “John Brennan, I will do whatever it takes to win you over. I don’t want to care for you, I want to protect you. Even though when I’m around you I feel like I’m the one who needs protecting. The truth is, you have more of my heart than I would like to admit. And I’m terrified about what you’re going to do with it. I think I’m falling in love with you.”



I didn’t know what to say. It seemed like so much, such a strong statement, one I wasn’t sure I could reciprocate. I opened my mouth to respond, but nothing wanted to come out. I closed my mouth and started to turn away, but Cody’s strong hands held me in place. “Please let me go.” I struggled to keep my voice calm.



“John, please talk to me.” He was shaking slightly. When I looked up into his eyes, he silently pleaded with me to stay. Pleaded with me not to run like last time.



“Cody, I-” I faltered, even then not sure what was going to come out of my mouth. “I think you should go.” I shocked even myself by saying it.



“What?” He looked confused. Tears started to prick the sides of his eyes. “Why?”



“I…I don’t know Cody!” I was growing hysterical, letting my emotions run wild. “Maybe because you just told me you were in love with me? I mean, Jesus, you’ve only known me for a month! You don’t know anything about me.”



“Don’t tell me that you don’t love me too John, I know you do. I can see it in the way you look at me, feel it when you touch me.” He was begging now, tears running down his face. My heart softened momentarily, but my resolve returned.



“But that’s not the way it works! You don’t fall in love with someone after a month!”



“Who says?”



“Everyone! Everyone says! People don’t just fall in love like that! How can you love me when I don’t even know who ‘me’ is?” Cody finally let my hands go. His expression was replaced by another and his face darkened. There were no tears anymore as he spoke again.



“You’re right.” His words dripped with venom, “I was stupid to think that I loved you. I see that now. You’re just a selfish prick who’s too wrapped up in his own bullshit to let anyone in. And I’m the stupid guy who thought he could make a difference.” He turned to walk away. I immediately regretted everything I had said, no matter how true it seemed when I was saying it. Cody looked so ugly when those hateful words were coming out of his mouth – and I didn’t think that Cody could ever look ugly.



“Cody, wait…”



“Go fuck yourself, John.” He turned around and looked me in the eye defiantly. “Be at Dover’s tonight at 7, Eric will get everything set up for you. Here’s the address.” He handed me a small slip of paper and made his way to the door and opened it, leaving me standing shell-shocked in the middle of the room. He paused as he was leaving and looked back at me one more time, more gorgeous than the first time I saw him. “Goodbye John.”



“Cody?” He paused again and looked back at me, almost hopefully, as if I could say the right thing and this all would go away. Sadly, we both knew there was no truth to fairytales. “When will I see you again?” He smirked, a little sadly.



“I think we both know the answer to that.” And then he was gone. The muddy light streamed in behind me as I went to the kitchen, suddenly famished. I pulled the Adriano’s out of the bag and grabbed one of the plastic forks that Cody bought me. I sat at my kitchen table and took a bite of patstisio. It was delicious, even cold. The events of the last ten minutes finally started to wash over me and I was overwhelmed. I knew I didn’t love Cody, but because I had been honest I lost him forever. The hopelessness of the situation took over me and I felt tears well up in my eyes. I sobbed quietly and took another bite of the takeout Cody had bought for me. It was the last thing I had left of him. I cried silently and finished it all, lamenting the death of a relationship that hadn’t even yet begun.



***




I pulled on my tight black t-shirt and a pair of jeans and headed out the door, locking it securely behind me. Ben Dover’s bar (admittedly not the most imaginative name for a gay bar ever) was situated just a couple of blocks from the bay and it was one of the premier clubs in the city. As I strolled along the boardwalk, the late afternoon sun streaming down on me, the day’s events played over in my head for the hundredth time. I didn’t see any way around it, Cody Reynolds had walked out of my life, and I didn’t think he would be walking back in. I just had to accept it and move on.



The waves crashed in the background, as turbulent as my thoughts. The beach was just starting to shift from the families and tourists of the daytime to the nighttime scene. The huts that rent out boogie boards to pre-teen boys during the day turned into walk-up bars that sold nothing but tequila shots by night. There was a small pickup game of beach volleyball just a couple of feet from the boardwalk. The teams were two on two, and the men playing were muscular and hopelessly attractive. I stopped to survey them just a little bit, but pretended to be watching the sun inching its way toward the horizon.



The two on the side closest to me were wearing trunk shorts that were slung low on their hips and cut high on their legs. Their backs rippled with muscles while they playfully batted the ball back and forth over the net. Their asses stretched the material as they bent low to dig a spike or dove to catch a stray ball. The other team was wearing lycra swimmers that clung tightly to their bodies. All four of the men were deeply tanned and well toned. But one was just a little lighter than the rest—not overly dark like his friends—and he had dusty blonde hair on his head. It was parted neatly to the side and swept across his forehead suavely.







“Heads up!” The ball came whizzing through the air toward me. On instinct, my hand shot up and caught it. The attractive blonde was running toward me, his bulge jiggling as he moved. He reached the boardwalk and stepped up to me. He was about an inch taller than myself, even though he wasn’t wearing shoes.



“Here you go,” I tossed the volleyball back to him, grinning a little sheepishly.



“Thanks.” He tucked the ball under his arm for safekeeping. Eyeing my black t-shirt and jeans, he smirked. “I’m guessing you’re a bartender then?”



“Yep, my first night over at Dover’s on the waterfront. I’ve never bartended before, so I’m a little nervous.”



“Don’t be.” He surveyed me once again, and cocked one eyebrow. “Take it from me, bartending is one part skill and two parts looks. So I think you’ll be fine.”



“Thanks.” I blushed and grinned at him stupidly.



“I’m Alex.” He held out his hand, I took it and pumped it up and down. His grip was firm.







“John.”



“Well, Bartender John, I have to get back to my game, but it would be cool to see you later. I’ll bring my friends out to Dover’s and I’ll catch you then.” We exchanged goodbyes and he ran back to the beach as I watched his tight little ass bounce up and down.



I was standing at the doorway of Dover’s just a short while after. The building was imposing, all black polished stone and glass. I walked inside and made my way past the bouncer station and into the main club area. The dance floor was sunk down from the main level and the subsequent floors above the dance floor bore over it like awnings, but left most of the club open-air. The bar was on the main floor, off to the right and on the opposite side from the DJ booth.

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