Oliver was excited to be moving in the Wood Gate Apartments. The old renovated building near the park and only blocks from his office was ideal. He hated driving in the city and this would free him of that burden. With his new position and the bonus he received he decided to splurge during his move and purchase all new furniture, making the move so much easier. The new furniture arrived the week prior to his moving in so that weekend he was soon arranging his furniture, hanging art and photographs on the wall and getting his kitchen organized. He'd told his friends not to worry about helping he had movers set up and he would take his time getting everything the way he wanted. So he was surprised on Sunday afternoon when there was a knock on the door. It was Elizabeth, Teresa and Richard, with beer and pizza. Richard was an old college friend and Teresa was his current girl friend and Elizabeth was who Oliver was currently dating. He gave them the tour of the place with his furniture in position and then they sat around in the living room and ate pizza and drank beer.

It was nearly nine o'clock before they left and Oliver felt he was denied some precious time to get things in order. He enjoyed Richard's company and dating Elizabeth was going alright, but he wasn't feeling particularly social at the moment, and was grateful to be back at his tasks, which he worked on till one in the morning.

Seven came early later that morning and he got up, ate breakfast, showered, dressed and headed out for work. His first morning he could walk and the morning turned out perfect. The day went well and when he got home he checked his mail (nothing but new resident junk mail), changed into his running shorts and shoes and took off for his run. When he got back he was sweating as he always did, profusely, with it running down his bare chest and back. Even his running shorts were soaked. He was coming into the building when another guy came up carrying an overnight bag.

"Hold the door, please."

Oliver held the door open as he greeted the guy. The guy gave him a long hard look, casting his gaze down his bare chest, over his sweat soaked shorts that easily revealed his cock and balls positioned the right, and on down his long tanned legs. As he moved by Oliver, Oliver noticed how he stared at him and the way he smiled. 'Did he just check me out?' Oliver thought as he went in. They both made it to the elevator and when they got in the guy asked him what floor as he appraised Oliver's high round ass snuggly covered by his shorts and the shiny skin of his broad back.

"Ten" Oliver replied.

"Ten? That's my floor. I assume you just moved in...let me guess 1016?"

"Yeah, that's it. I moved in this weekend. I take it you know most of the neighbors?"

"More or less I know most of them. Some I wish I didn't but at least none of them are crazy. I'm Brandon. I'm in 1006, the unit at the end of the hall on the park side of the building."

"Brandon, I'm Oliver. I guess you have a great view on that end" Oliver said as the elevator doors opened, thankful for he knew his sweaty body had to smell in that cramped elevator.

"Yes, I had to wait three years to get that apartment, but damn the view is great" Brandon replied as they stepped out of the elevator, Brandon savored Oliver's fresh sweat scent. "Maybe we'll see each other around."

"Yeah, I imagine so" as they came to Oliver's door.

"Have you gotten settled? I know a great little bistro two blocks over?" Brandon asked.

"Thanks, but I've got a few things left to do and it'll drive me nuts if I don't get it done. I've got left over pizza in the frig, so I can rough it tonight and get busy. I appreciate the offer, but I'll catch ya later" Oliver stated as he opened his door.

"I understand what you mean about getting things in place, so I'll leave you to it. But if you need anything, I'm just down the hall." Brandon then moved on down the hall to his apartment anxious to get in and tell his boyfriend about their new neighbor and how he looked all sweaty and hot, especially in those running shorts.

Oliver shut the door, realizing Brandon had to be gay, which was actually the first time he had ever had any contact with someone like that, but he seemed really nice and he knew having neighbors you could trust was something to hope for and he hoped he could trust Brandon. He made his way to his bathroom, stripped, showered, threw on some ratty old gym shorts and got busy.

Over the next few days he ran into one neighbor after the next and saw Brandon several times. On Thursday he finally had the apartment all organized and the empty boxes tossed out. He invited several of his neighbors to stop by later, having already told Elizabeth and some of his other friends to come over. Elizabeth showed up early to help set up the food and bar and soon after everyone began to arrive. Richard and Teresa got there with a bottle of champagne to celebrate his new place. By eight thirty most everyone was there having a good time when Brandon came in with a couple of guys in tow. One was shorter than Brandon, with dark skin and dark hair, obviously Spanish or similar heritage. The other one was taller than either of them, about six feet, with dirty red hair cut real short, dark framed glasses and a lean body that was revealed by his tight sweater and jeans. Oliver came over to greet them when one of them looked at Oliver showing a look of surprise on his face.

"Oliver, this is my boyfriend Julio" as he indicated the shorter guy "and this is Toby. We call Toby professor because he teaches down at the university... what is it you teach again? Sex education?" as Julio and he sniggered. Toby shook his head at the lameness of their joking and extended his hand.

"Nice to meet you, and I teach biology, which these two know only enough to be dangerous."

Oliver laughed but the realization this was the first time he had actually socialized with any gay guys since moving to the city four years ago after graduating college and he was a little nervous how his friends would take them. He wasn't too alarmed or put off by it, but it struck him suddenly how isolated he was within his little circle of friends even in the city. There was something nice in meeting Brandon, who was so open about himself and Julio, and their friend seemed, well just as ordinary as anyone else. His perceptions were definitely drowned by this reality here in front of him.

Elizabeth made her way over and he introduced her as his girlfriend. It was an odd moment for he noticed Julio and Brandon seemed surprised by Elizabeth, but Toby was extremely nice to her. Eventually as some people left and people settled more into casual conversation, Oliver noticed Toby was sitting with Elizabeth, Richard and Teresa and they were talking very animatedly, even laughing out loud occasionally. Oliver made his way over and sat on the floor at the end of the coffee table so he could see everyone as they continued talking about some novel they had all read.

It was after midnight when Toby looked at his watch and realized how late it was.

"Oh, I've got an early class tomorrow, I really must be going. It was so nice to meet all of you, and you've been so pleasant to be with I hope we can do this again soon. And Oliver, don't let Brandon or Julio get the best of you with their catty talk; sometimes they just don't know when to quit."

"No worries, now that I know what to expect" as he and the others laughed. Oliver showed Toby to the door.

"Thanks for letting me into your home, it was very nice."

"You're welcome and I assume we'll be running into each other often."

And with final goodbyes, Toby headed down the hall. Oliver, Elizabeth, Richard and Teresa talked for a while longer, and not surprisingly, mostly about Oliver's gay neighbors and their friend Toby whom everyone liked.

The days passed as Oliver established his routines, and nearly every day he would see Brandon and Julio, usually when he was coming in from his run. He quickly realized they were doing it on purpose just to see him coming in from running. It didn't bother him like he thought it would but made him feel kind of good about himself. He worked hard to keep in shape and if someone else appreciated it, even the two guys in 1006, then it was ok.

He spent the next few days alone in his apartment. Elizabeth was going to the west coast to see her parents and attend her youngest brother's graduation from high school. She hinted to Oliver she didn't want him to come with her, it being just a graduation from high school and she knew he had so much still to do. He admitted his new position at work had him committed to several projects that needed to be completed in a month, so he did not push to go with her. By the weekend he had settled into a routine of coming in from work, running, making a light dinner, and crashing on the sofa to watch a movie. As much as he enjoyed the quiet evenings by the weekend he was a little stir crazy. With Elizabeth still away and Richard off with Teresa he decided to go out and knock around the neighborhood. It was an incredibly nice day, warming up into the upper 60's and sunny, so after a lunch at a little Italian place a block away he ran by a small used book store. He found the book everyone was discussing the night of his open house. With the book in hand he headed down to a coffee shop that had tables on the sidewalk. It was very busy when he arrived but a couple got up and left just as he arrived allowing him to sit outside. He had been reading for a while sipping his coffee when someone approached his table. As their shadow moved up over the table Oliver looked up to see Toby approaching.

"Hey, Toby, what brings you into the area?"

"I was to meet Brandon and Julio for an art opening but Julio got called into the hospital to cover someone's shift, so we had to cancel. Now I'm just roaming aimlessly around the neighborhood enjoying the weather. "

"Can you believe this weather after the cold wet crap we've had for weeks?"

"It's like a reward for tolerating the bad" Toby replied as he surveyed the tables and looked inside.

"Hey, if you're here for a mid-afternoon caffeine jolt have a seat. I'm alone so the seats are free."

"Really, thanks. Alone: sounds ominous."

"Nah, just...well Elizabeth went back to California for her brother's graduation and it was something she felt I didn't need to tag along; we've only been dating a short time."

"Yes, can't have them thinking they've got you on the hook too quickly."

"Amen to that, but I thought gays...I mean I thought you guys avoided serious relationships?" he asked in all earnestness.

Toby laughed "You know gays go through the same dating crap as straights, only sometimes it can be a bit messy."

"And you think straight relationships can't be, Jesus, the stories I could tell about Richard's previous girl friends."

"Tess...Teresa? She seems nice."

"She great. So great I hope this one works out. So what about you?"

"Well, single, and for a while now. I've just been so busy getting situated at the university and after the last relationship I've just not been....I don't know....in the mood to deal with it, so I read, prep for my classes and come over to Brandon and Julio's place for some gay time. Exciting, I know" as he shook his head smiling then looking at Oliver.

"Hey this gallery opening is someone I know and should really attend, you wouldn't be afraid to come with some ole queen to an art exhibit would you?"

Oliver looked surprised at first, and then recovered. "No it wouldn't bother me but I'm surprised... I mean...you don't have anyone other Brandon and Julio to go with you?"

"You mean another gay man?" and he laughed at the idea. "I guess we sometimes do stick with our own kind, but I think we're all guilty of that, but honestly I've not really tried to find anyone else. I was just going to walk on over and, make my presence known and leave."

"So it is within walking distance?"

"Yes, it is six blocks that way....I mean this way" as he corrected the direction he was pointing. "So you up for some struggling artist exhibit. It is bound to push some buttons knowing the artist."

"Sure why not; just let me finish my coffee."

"I see you're reading Murakami, what do you think? I didn't hear you comment on his writings the other night."

"Well I've not read him before, but I found this in the used book store..."

"Oh the one over on 22nd?"

"Yes."

"Oh sorry for interrupting, but that tiny book store if incredible, but do go on."

"Well I found it the other day and was really shocked how much is packed into the place, and this afternoon I found this book I heard everyone talking so positively about, well, I thought I'd give it a try."

"Not sure the genre you like but I think you'll like it."

Oliver finished his coffee and they made their way over to the gallery. There was a nice group of people in attendance, enough to make the place feel busy but not to the point you couldn't see the art work. Oliver was somewhat shocked at the topics of a few pieces. Toby laughed and told him the artist was still young and had not quite worked out how to be subtle. Toby introduced Oliver to several people who all gave Oliver a full vertical look as if appraising him. It wasn't long before one older guy came up and greeted Toby and asked if Oliver was him finally getting back in the saddle. Toby was embarrassed and quickly corrected him. Later when they had made another trip to a small bar set up by the front storefront window Toby motioned for Oliver to move to the corner.

"Hey look, I'm sorry about the misunderstanding..."

Interrupting Toby, Oliver replied "Hey man forget it. If I had a woman with me people would have assumed she and I had something going, so what's the difference?"

"I guess nothing, if it didn't bother you."

"Besides he seemed to think you've been out of practice for a long time."

"It has been...let's see, nearly a year."

"A year? Damn, that is some dry spell."

"Yeah, well, I thought he was the one but when his job took him overseas he not only did not tell me until the night before, but made it clear I was not invited. It hurt, and after so many just superficial dates I just lost it. Said to hell with them."

"Well fuck'em."

They made their way back into the crowd and they talked with several of Toby's acquaintances. When they finally made it back out on the sidewalk it was dark.

"Well, I appreciate you coming with me."

"Hey I appreciate it; it was nice to get out and do something a little different."

"So...this is odd, how do straight guys part company? A slap on the back and a 'see ya'?"

They both laughed.

"Yeah, something like that. Hey if you're just going home, you want to grab something to eat. There is a Vietnamese place over on...I think it is..."

"On 33nd by the skateboarders shop. I know it well; love the place."

"Well if you haven't eaten there recently would you like to grab a bite to eat?"

"Sure why not."

Oliver and Toby had to wait a long time to get a table so they hung out at the bar talking about their careers and other miscellaneous things. When their table was finally ready, in an innocent gesture, Toby put his hand on Oliver's back and he made way for him to take the lead to the table. Oliver felt the hand and the odd way it made him feel, not sure what to think. But just as quickly it was gone. They enjoyed their dinner and sat for a while with one more drink before departing. Outside they said their goodbyes and each headed home.

Oliver replayed the afternoon and evening over in his mind as he walked toward home, feeling a certain kind of contentment he had not felt before. It was odd to spend half a day with a guy and not have him debating the best football team, or talking about which women around them could they take home, or any of the usual antics his friends usually would do when they were together. And to spend a Saturday not on a date with Elizabeth, or any other woman, fretting over what to wear, where to go, what to do as he felt the need to host the evening's activities. He knew it was Toby's easy going personality that gave the evening the laid back feel and if it had been Brandon and Julio he knew it definitely would not have felt this way.

Elizabeth returned on Sunday and they got together that evening. It was good to see her but all evening he kept comparing it to Saturday with Toby, the differences, and more oddly to Oliver, the similarities. Over the next few days, with the routine of work, exercising and crashing in front of the TV, Oliver tried to stop making those comparisons, but he also knew something was different with Elizabeth. She hadn't called for a couple of days, and had acted a little distant last Sunday night. On Friday when he showed up at her door for their date she was not dressed. Instead of a night out for dinner and then hitting some clubs to listen to music, they sat in her apartment as she told him it wasn't working for her. Not their relationship, not her job, not anything. She was moving back to California as soon as she could find a job. Oliver wasn't as upset as he thought he should be but instead he was understanding and supportive. In the end, he wished her the best, told her to call him before she left town and let himself out.

He decided to walk back to his place instead of taking a taxi. Sure it would take over an hour, but it would be nice to just enjoy the cool evening. He wasn't upset, being instead rather resolved to the whole situation. The relationship hadn't progressed and he knew something wasn't right, and now it was over. He could look to the future with a new perspective. As he walked he enjoyed seeing the night life of the city, the small crowded sidewalk cafes, the bars packed with loud, laughing patrons, and the different groups of people wandering the streets out for a good time.

About half way to his place he turned the corner and saw a small bar with the door held open. Music was playing, but not too loudly, and there was just a small crowd of people in the narrow little bar. Fuck it he thought, as he decided the quiet little bar would be perfect to grab a drink. Something strong was in order. Without looking around to really survey the place, he made his way to the bar and ordered bourbon, straight. The first sip gave that warm burn all the way down as it hit the spot. A few more sips and he was relaxing already. He turned to look around and realized the bar was mostly guys. There were only a few women scattered around among the guys. Then he noticed the rainbow flag on the wall near the back over a booth.

"Well, I be damn" he thought laughing to himself at how easily he just strode into a gay bar without realizing it. Suddenly he realized someone was coming up from his right, turned and saw Toby walking toward him.

"I think you're lost, are you not?"

"I think oblivious is more like it. I was walking home, decided I needed a drink and this place not being packed or really loud seemed ideal. I just noticed its target customer is not me."

"Well, I wouldn't say that, straight people in the area come here all the time, for the very reasons you just wandered in, but what brings you out alone. What about..."

"Elizabeth. Well, she is not...satisfied with our relationship, her job, or the city. She is moving back to California as soon as she finds a job."

"Oh, I see. Well you seem to be taking it well."

"I saw it coming, so I guess I'm just....what am I doing?"

"Having a fucking drink."

"That's it, how about you? Buy you a drink?"

"Sure, I was just coming to the bar for round two."

After Toby got his drink he asked Oliver if he'd care to join him and a couple of his friends. He promised no misbehavior. Oliver was relieved to see it was only one other guy and woman in the booth at the back of the bar. Introductions were made, Jane and Marc, both of whom were instructors at the university with Toby. They were talking about how the students were so much more open, more experimental with sex and their own identity; it was amazing to them how much had changed since their college days.

Oliver felt relaxed and enjoyed the evening with Toby and his friends, not even realizing how time had passed until the bartender made last call.

"Wow, I had not realized it was so late, I really should head home" Oliver told them as he slid out of the booth. They said their goodbyes, and they watched Oliver leave the bar.

"He's very nice, and attractive; are you sure he's not gay, or at least a little curious?" Marc asked Toby.

"No, I think he is just one of these guys with no hang ups and tonight he was just looking for a little company to pass the evening" Toby replied.

They all agreed and then they moved out of the booth, paid their tab and each headed home.

The next day Oliver hooked up with some guys and played some tag football in the park then spent the late afternoon watching games at one of the bars where TV's hang from every wall. Then Sunday he spent with Richard and later Teresa too, where they had dinner at a little Mexican restaurant. When he got home Brandon and Julio were coming in too. They all got into the elevator together to ride up to the tenth floor.

"I hear you were out Friday night alone; sorry to hear what happened with Elizabeth."

"Thanks. It was a nice low key evening which was what I think I needed after Elizabeth's little chat earlier."

Soon they were each settled into their own apartments. Oliver lying in bed that night thinking of the last three days and how last night with the guys wasn't the same. It was all the bravado and over drinking. It just wasn't fun anymore. He thought of Friday night sitting with Toby and his friends and how much more enjoyable the evening had been. Toby was so nice; too bad he wasn't a woman. He could ask him out and...and what? Toby was a guy, it was part of who he was, but it was a nice aspect where he related on some level that was different. He wondered what it would be like to actually have a relationship with a guy. To sleep with them, to have sex with them. To have sex with Toby. He wondered what it would be like. He found himself rubbing his cock as it got hard, thinking of sex. He was surprised at how it didn't matter if it was thinking of sex with a woman or with a man; he was aroused just the same. He wondered what Toby would want to do. Would he let someone....let him fuck him, or would he want to fuck him, to push his cock into his ass. Would it hurt? He stroked his cock until it was slick with precum as he laid there thinking of sex. Sex with Toby, of Toby sucking his cock, of touching him down there. He suddenly came shooting a line up the middle of his chest. He kept stroking his cock as he shot two more times before it just dribbled out and became smeared by his stroking hand. He lay there breathing hard for a moment, unbelieving how he got off with the images he had just formed. He ran a couple of fingers over his chest scooping up some of his cum. He smelled it, and then with some hesitation, he stuck his tongue out and tasted it. Odd flavor but not bad so he licked it off his fingers. Then he rolled over and after some time finally fell asleep.

Toby had spent the rest of the weekend grading papers, reading some popular new novel that kept him entertained but not one he'd recommend for it was pure pulp, and doing those domestic chores he had no time to do during the week. Each night he would crash in bed after a glass or two of wine and relax back and think. He thought about how lonely he'd been and how he had to snap out it. He thought about how he missed waking up with someone snuggled up to him, to feel their warm body in the morning. And he thought about Oliver. Tall, handsome and straight; who had once again crossed his path on Friday night. He was so nice, so easy going, Toby wished he was gay. Oliver wasn't looking to just hook up, but then again he wasn't looking for a man, especially Toby. He should keep his distance, but damn how he wanted him. It made his cock hard as he thought of what it could be like to be with Oliver; to suck his cock or to let him fuck him. Would Oliver suck him? Would Oliver let him penetrate his ass, what he knew had to be a beautiful tight ass. He stroked his cock as the thought of it all; the possibility of taking Oliver's cock inside him, feeling that tall athletic body move over him, thrusting himself into Toby, working up both of them into a sweaty mess....he came shooting so hard he hit himself in the face, then shot another line up his stomach to his chest. 'Goddamn' was all he could think as he got up to wash it off. He really needed to get out.

Oliver went through the week in a daze. He caught himself looking at guys who were similar to Toby, tall, lean, and dark haired. He wondered what was up with that, but then he would be looking at some woman the same way, admiring her beauty. He would freak himself out at times with the eyeing one sex then the other. He didn't know how to respond, felt it wasn't right to consider anything but a hetero relationship, it wasn't what he wanted...was it? On Thursday night he went out to a nightclub alone, just to be around people, but able to just watch and not be engaged in silly banter. It was getting late when a very attractive woman approached him.

"Buy me a drink?" as she smiled up at him.

He smiled back, nodded ok and turned to the bartender. She ordered her drink, some nasty fruity concoction and turned back toward him.

"I've never seen you here before?" see stated.

"No, I don't come here often, but tonight I just felt like a little people watching."

"See anything you like?" as she posed seductively against the bar.

"Yeah."

They talked for a while, being flirty with each other, until she finally came right out asked if she could leave with him. There was a moment's hesitation but he smiled and agreed. At his apartment, they were quickly naked and on his bed making out. She was aggressive, but not in an erotic way, but more in desperation. No matter how hard he tried he just couldn't get it up for her. She was too eager, no finesse, just looking to fuck. Eventually he rolled over on his back and told her he was sorry and made up an excuse of having just broken up with someone and just couldn't concentrate. She claimed understanding but as fast as she could, she was dressed and out the door.

Oliver sat on wide window sill of his bedroom watching the traffic pass by below, the late night partiers moving along and the movement in a few windows in an apartment across the street. He felt confused but relieved to be rid of his pick up.

Toby kept busy with his classes, having an exam to administer on Wednesday then grade on Thursday. He worked well into the night grading the exams. It was nearly eleven when he finished. He felt stiff and foggy headed. He jumped in the shower and called Brandon. As reliable as always he was up for meeting for a late night drink. Julio was working at the hospital so Brandon was just as stir crazy. They ran into several friends and had a good time catching up and talking.

"So how's your neighbor?" Toby asked as casual as he could.

"Which one?" Brandon replied nearly laughing out loud at the obvious reference Toby was making. "You've not hooked up for coffee or a late night drink this week?" he asked in mock surprise.

"Fuck you. You know it was nothing, but he is nice and not at all freaked out by hanging out with someone who's gay."

"I don't know, maybe he hasn't been truly tested yet. Maybe we should introduce him to Taylor?"

"Oh hell no, Taylor gets on my nerves. Christ, I can't imagine how Oliver would respond to him."

They both laughed at the idea and continued talking about Oliver for a few more minutes, until Toby said enough; his ears were probably burning. Then he said it was time to call it a night so they paid their tab and headed out.

Friday was colder than normal, and Oliver's lungs burned as he did his run. He was only a few blocks short of his apartment building when he had to stop. The cold was so much worse on him than the heat of summer. He began to walk trying to get his breathing back to normal. The coldness began to cut through the sweat soaked shirt and shorts he was wearing. As he was approaching his building's entrance he saw a flier posted of the gallery he had gone to with Toby. It was announcing an exhibit of another local artist. He noted it was that very evening as he went on his way to his place.

Showered and having had dinner he was soon on the sofa channel surfing. There was nothing on that caught his interest. He turned the TV off and sat looking out the window. How long he sat like that he didn't know but he looked over and saw it was still fairly early.

"Fuck it" he said aloud in the empty apartment and headed toward his bedroom. He pulled out several pairs of jeans before deciding on a pair of black jeans that were very tight. He rarely wore them but decided tonight he liked the snug feel of them. He put on a white t-shirt that was stretched tight across the chest, and then pulled his suits over until he located the old black dinner jacket he had found in a resale shop a couple of years ago. He had worn it regularly for a while then he had put it away and rarely thought of it. Once dressed he looked in the mirror wondering who the person was he was looking at, but feeling a certain satisfaction that this person was him, just like all the other images he had of himself. Grabbing his keys, he locked the door and headed out to go see an art exhibit.

Toby had tried to get Brandon to go with him but since Julio was home for an evening for the first time in days, they wanted to stay in. So he called Marc who was busy, then he tried a couple of other friends before getting Jane to go. They had grabbed a quick dinner at a Middle Eastern place down the street from Jane's place and arrived in time to meet the artist and be able to walk with him as he discussed his work, his approach to his subject matter, in this case, the human ability to see faces where none exist. Toby and Jane were pleased with the work and afterward settled into a back room set up as a sitting room enjoying the company of several friends and new acquaintances. The gallery filled up around nine, with the artist trying to meet everyone he could as people came and went. Toby got up to get another bottle of wine from the front where the caters were set up when he saw someone come in that caught his eye. He was moving away from him toward one wall of paintings, but it was plain to see how the guy was tall, broad shouldered and very good shape. His tight black jeans highlighted his round ass and the muscular curvature of his thighs and calves. Toby noticed he wasn't the only one staring as this guy moved toward one particular painting where the brush strokes of red, pink, yellow on a dark background gave the image of a face, but it was only noticeable from a distance and Toby knew the minute the guy got too close he would lose the image. Toby poured some wine from the bottle he was holding as he watched the guy move in and then stop, cocking his head one way then the other. Then he turned to move over to another wall and Toby nearly dropped his glass and the bottle. It was Oliver, dressed in a manner that seductively revealed his body. Toby looked around to see if he was with someone, and then became self conscience of his motives. He turned and headed back to his friends. He'd take them the bottle of wine and then may be go seek out Oliver to say hello. That's all, just to say hello.

Oliver looked at the paintings along one wall then another admitting to himself some of the paintings captured his interest. He had admired how some needed some distance from them to see the image of a face but there were a couple he never did see any sort of facial features. He made his way around one wall and turned to move to the other side when he spotted Toby heading toward the back. He hadn't seen him when he came in but noticed he carried a bottle of wine with him. So he was here with someone. A sense of jealously bubbled up, but he knew he was being ridiculous. He made a decision to continue looking at the exhibit and when he came to where Toby was he would simply say hello, provide a moment of friendly conversation and then leave him alone with whoever he was here with.

When he got to the rear of the space he saw Toby walking toward him. He couldn't help but smile at him as he approached.

"Well, I guess I shouldn't be surprised to see you here."

"No, but I am surprised to see you. Nice look by the way."

"This...well it is something I've had for awhile but never have a reason to wear."

"Too bad, you should find more reasons....I mean it is a good look for you. Everyone in the building has been giving you the eye."

"What? Come on." And they paused awkwardly for a moment. "Hey this artist isn't bad is he?"

"No, he is rather good" Toby replied. They began to talk and without realizing what they were doing moved off on their own to a corner of the room. They talked about the exhibit, about Brandon and Julio, about Richard and Teresa; in summary they just talked until Jane came over to say they were all leaving for the gallery was getting ready to close. Surprised by how late it had gotten they followed the others out to the sidewalk.

"Hey...well, you up for going somewhere...I mean...I'm wound up after this week and just not ready to go home" Oliver stammered unsure how Toby would feel about going somewhere this late.

"Well it is, damn, it is almost two. Well, I've got no urgent errands tomorrow and I'm caught up on my examination grading, so why not. Suggestions?" Toby asked as Oliver looked at him smiling, and shook his head no.

"I really don't think you'd like any of the usual places I go to, so...your call." Oliver knew he was taking a chance. Would Toby take him to some typical gay nightclub?

"There is a place I've not been to in quite some time, but it has a decidedly mixed clientele and the music is...well a little edgy."

"Edgy? Is that some new genre?"

"Probably not, but did you ever listen to music by Depeche Mode, or Chemical Brothers, or Front 242?"

"Yeah, but I don't think I've been in a nightclub that played them."

"Well come on. I know you'll like this place and you're definitely dressed for it."

The club entrance was actually down an alley with one black light burning over the door. A few people were standing around in the alley. A couple in leather, a guy in faded worn jeans, no shirt and a collar around his neck, and in another group was a girl in just her black bra and short skirt. Oliver knew right away this was going to be different. Inside it was obvious the space really had been a warehouse with its service elevator half raised, now housing the DJ's booth, and the steel columns supporting the old heavy timber structure which flashed into view by the flashing, strobing lights. It was crowded but not packed and Oliver saw it was as Toby promised. A very mixed crowd of men dancing with women, men dancing with men, women dancing with women, or all together in undefined groups, or even alone moving to the music, lost to its beat.

Toby and Oliver stood at the bar having a drink as they surveyed the room.

"Well what do you think?" Toby asked Oliver.

"It's great, but I must admit, I'm surprised you recommended this place."

"I've loved the music ever since I was a kid listening to my older sisters CDs. She had all this music that was so different from what you could find on most radio stations. And when I came out and starting going out, it was clubs like this we came to." Toby replied, and then seemed to get lost in his memories, so nothing was said for a while. Suddenly "Helter Skelter" by Meat Beat Manifesto came on and Toby became animated like he had not done before in front of Oliver.

"Hey...uh, would you like to go dance?" he asked cautiously afraid of crossing a line "I mean I'm not trying to...I just love this and..." and he faltered in saying anything else.

Oliver looked at him and smiled. "Sure why not. I think I've heard this one before. You lead."

Something happened. The distance between them seemed to diminish and both seemed to relax with one another, to just enjoy the moment, dancing to the DJ's selections as he controlled the floor, brought everyone along to the beat. Occasionally they bumped into each other as they danced around. Toby hadn't danced like this in years and Oliver had never opened up like this on a dance floor. Oliver soon tossed the dinner jacket over a bar stool close by, revealing what Toby suspected. A very tight white t-shirt that was now half wet with sweat. Toby had already pulled off his sweater so he too was only in a white t-shirt which hung loosely around his narrow waist. When Toby made a move to turn on the dance floor he stepped into Oliver. Oliver grabbed a hold of him to keep either from falling. Toby stopped, caught in Oliver's embrace, feeling the warmth of him and he realized Oliver was not letting go, but pulling him back until he was snuggled up to his chest. He felt Oliver's breath on his neck then he felt him lean his face up to his ear.

"Can we leave?" Oliver asked barely loud enough for Toby to hear. Toby pulled away and looked at Oliver who had the look of a little boy about to be denied something. And he looked scared.

"Yeah, we can leave" and he reached out and took Oliver's hand and led him toward the exit, grabbing the jacket and sweater as they went. In the alley way they made their way toward the street not stopping until they got to the brightly lit sidewalk.

"Toby, I don't know why, can't explain why I'm asking, but..." and Oliver looked away for a moment. "Look, a few weeks ago I never thought about another guy, but after....meeting you I've thought about it. I still think about women too, which is so confusing."

"You're not letting some sexual identity cloud your mind on who you want to hang out with, who has provided you with some sort of companionship you are looking for, but look, you don't have to go any further with this..."

Oliver interrupted him, his voice clipped but firm. "But I do. I want to. With you. There I said it, so are you going to make fun of me; the confused straight boy going gay or some shit?"

"No, no, no Oliver I'm not. " Toby looked at Oliver until he looked back up at him and then a small smile spread across his face. Toby nodded it was ok.

"You want to come to my place?"

"No, I want to go to my place; its closer and I think I'll be more comfortable there."

"And if Brandon or Julio sees me leaving your apartment?"

"I guess I'll some explaining to do" Oliver replied, suddenly laughing at the thought.

They whistled down a taxi and arrived at Oliver's apartment building with the sun breaking the horizon. Inside his apartment, Oliver opened the blinds to let the sun shine in, then turned to Toby and came up to him, real close, face to face.

"OK?" he whispered to Toby who reached out and took his chin and leaned over and kissed him, gently, simply at first. They embraced, pulling up tight together and kissed more passionately. Toby ran his hand down Oliver's back and over his ass, pulling him tight, mashing their growing erections together. Oliver pulled back and took Toby's hand.

"Come on, let's move to the bedroom."

They caressed each other, kissed each new exposed area of flesh as they undressed each other, until both were in only in their briefs, tenting obscenely by their hard cocks pushing out. Oliver noticed Toby's cock leaked more pre-cum than he did since his briefs were wet at the head of his cock. Toby pushed him on to his back and grabbed the waist band of his briefs, pulling them down and off. He rose up between Oliver's legs and took his cock in hand and began to lick it, from his nuts to the head, several times he repeated this move until he finally took the head in his mouth and sank his mouth down over Oliver's cock. Oliver gasped at the sensation of Toby's ministrations'. He pushed upward driving his cock further into Toby's mouth. Toby ran one hand over his nuts, grabbing them in their sac and pulling down, making his cock flex in Toby's wet warm mouth. Oliver couldn't stop himself; he began to pump his hips, driving his cock back and forth in Toby's mouth. Toby knew he was close and reached up with both hands running them over Oliver's muscular chest, rubbing the sweat around feeling the warmth of his skin, the erectness of his nipples. He grabbed each one between his fingers and as he moved his head down, sucking hard on Oliver's cock, he pinched down hard on them.

"Goddamn" Oliver cried out as he pumped up into Toby's mouth and arched his back with the pain/pleasure his brain was frying on. "Fuck, I'm coming."

Toby held Oliver's cock as it blasted down his throat the first couple of ejaculations then he pulled back and captured the rest in his mouth, savoring he taste. When Oliver was spent, heaving to catch his breath, Toby moved up by him to snuggle up next to him, thinking this would be as far as it went. He assumed Oliver's fear would prevent him from going further. As he rested his head on Oliver's chest, listening to his breathing and his heart beat, he ran his hand over Oliver's still erect cock, then up his stomach to his chest. He looked up at Oliver who was now leaning up looking at him.

"Toby."

"Yes."

"Will you...fuck me?"

Not believing what he had heard he asked "Are you sure?"

"No, not really, but if I don't...if you don't...I'll regret it later."

Toby nodded ok and moved down, taking Oliver's cock in his mouth again. Arced around on the bed, sucking Oliver's cock, he felt Oliver's hand move over his back, over his ass then around to his own hard cock. He clumsily stroked him but it made him harder, more aroused than he had been in a long time. He sucked harder on Oliver's cock and then began to move his hand down, working his fingers up and down his ass, rubbing his opening until Oliver actually spread his legs. Toby eased one finger in and worked the inner heat of Oliver, then he added another finger, another, until he could feel Oliver's hips move with him, giving small fuck motions along his fingers buried in his ass. Toby moved up and on top of Oliver, kissing him hard on the mouth, feeling their sweaty bodies rub over each other. Toby slid between Oliver's legs, feeling Oliver spread them wider accommodating him, opening up to him. Toby leaned up and took his cock, positioning it at Oliver's hole, rubbing over it harder and harder until he focused on penetration. He eased in, slowly, as he heard Oliver gasped.

"You ok."

"Toby...yeah...go ahead...fuck me." And Oliver pushed his hips up taking more of Toby's cock. Toby began to move, pulling back and then pushing back in, going deeper on each stroke until he was hitting up against Oliver's body, hearing them slap together. They suddenly began to move in rhythm, grinding hips together as Toby fucked faster and faster. He felt Oliver relax under his body, take his fuck, and push back for all he could give. There was no changing of positions or some porn positioning, just Toby on top, letting Oliver feel his weight, feel the heat of his body as he pumped his cock into him, feeling a pleasure he'd not felt in a long time. Toby began to fuck harder, hammering his cock into Oliver. Oliver couldn't take it, the rubbing of Toby's hot sweaty body over him, the pleasure of Toby's cock plowing through his insides hitting spots that made him see stars; he came again, shooting between them, spreading his cum between their bodies. Toby felt Oliver cumming, felt his cock ejaculating and his ass flexing around his cock with every cum shot between them. It was too much as he pumped into Oliver harder and came up his ass, pumping himself into Oliver, thrusting as deeply as he could go as if he was going to crawl up inside Oliver. When they were spent, Toby fell down flat on top of Oliver. They lay breathing hard for some time before they both settled back to normal. Oliver ran his hands slowly over Toby's back and ass as they both lied there content.

Oliver brushed his face through Toby's short hair and when he came to his ear whispered "Thanks Toby, that was great."

Toby leaned up and looked at him smiling. "You're not going to freak out on me, are you?"

"What?" Realizing what Toby meant, he only smiled at first. "No I'm not going to freak out. But I am going to ask you if it is alright for us to take a shower now?"

Toby smiled and got up leading the way to the bathroom. They showered a long time, enjoying bathing each other, then barely drying off, they came back into the brightly lit bedroom and fell across the bed in each other's embrace. Sleep came quickly this time for both of them.

 

Grant

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