Freshly showered, Aric walked into the bedroom to find Tom still in bed. The comforter had fallen away from his back, which rose and fell with his breath. Holding his towel around his waist, Aric went over and kissed Tom on the cheek. "Hey, I've got to go to work."

Tom squirmed in the sheets. "No. Another five minutes," he mumbled.

"Not you, silly. Me." He pulled the comforter up over Tom's shoulders. "I'll leave the key--"

"No, I want to eat breakfast with you." Tom shoved off the covers and sat up. Aric smiled and leaned down to kiss him. Tom's lips were soft.

Tom hooked his fingers over Aric's towel, but Aric held it tight. He chuckled. "No. At this rate I barely have time to eat cereal."

He turned away and left Tom sitting there on the bed. His erection was growing, and he didn't want to do something stupid to jeopardize his job. "I'll be in the kitchen, come out when you're ready."

He poured himself a bowl of Mini-Wheats and sat down in his towel to eat. Tom came out shortly wearing nothing, his hair a mess. He stood over Aric and massaged his shoulders a bit, then kissed him on the neck.

"You're going home today, right?" Aric said.

"Home is with you." Tom turned Aric's head around and kissed him on the lips.

Aric smiled. "Mom and Dad would rather have you with them, especially since you're going away to school soon."

Tom sighed and went over to the counter to pour himself some cereal. Aric looked after him, munching on his Mini-Wheats, admiring his brother's full, round ass. Tom turned around, and Aric went on staring at his package.

"Like what you see?" A cheeky grin spread across Tom's face. He sat down across from Aric at the table and stuck his foot up between Aric's legs, massaging his crotch through his towel.

"Stop that." Aric swatted his foot away. He glared at Tom, hoping to send the message across. Despite that, staring at Tom's pink lips and shaggy brown hair was starting to get him hard. "Look, I absolutely have to go to work today. Don't worry, I'll see you again before you go to school."

Tom didn't respond. Instead he got that downcast look on his face which Aric recognized as sulking mode. He didn't know what he meant, but he knew that finishing his breakfast and getting dressed as soon as possible would avert danger.

His work shirt felt a little tight today. It was probably time to start working out again. Tom was still at the table munching at his cereal. Aric leaned down and kissed him on the cheek. Tom still stared at his cereal. Aric turned his head up to face him.

"Tom, listen, I meant it when I said I loved you. I'm sorry you can't just come and live with me. We'll figure things out, don't worry." He leaned down and gave him a hug, then kissed him. "I've got to go to work. Here's the key. Please leave it under the mat when you leave."

He reached into his pocket and pulled out the key, setting it on the table before Tom. Then he turned to walk out the door.

"I love you too, Aric," said Tom.

Aric smiled to himself, then left.

Work was long that day. Too long. Fixing cars had become a routine, which was usually nice. He could let his mind wander just a little and have some time to really think. But he went and spent it all thinking about Tom. It had taken so much effort for him to confront his feelings for his brother. When Tom turned away on the lake, it hurt. When Tom came running to him, he was never happier. And so he spent the entire day dreaming of his brother's body, his brother's touch, his brother's touch, only to finally understand that Tom was going away to school. It hadn't really registered to him before, but he remembered when his friends all left for school, how things changed. Now Tom was leaving, and things would change.

He was thinking about in again in the grocery store. As he turned to grab a can of diced tomatoes off the shelf, though, he caught sight of Nathan down the aisle.

"Hey, Nate," he called.

Nate looked around himself, then smiled. Nate was half-asian, half-japanese to be specific, and Aric had always thought his smile to be cute. Memories flashed through his mind, but he shoved them aside for the moment.

"Aric," said Nate, approaching, "it's good to see you." His grocery cart was almost half-full.

"What are you doing here? I thought you were going to school for engineering."

Nate laughed. "I did. Now I've graduated. Things are kind of tough in the economy, and Dad found me a job with a firm in town, so I've moved back in with my parents."

"I'm sorry. I just moved out."

"Oh really? Where to?"

"Not far. It's only a ten minute drive from my parents' house. In the opposite direction from the high school."

"Neat. I'd love to see it sometime."

"Sure, when are you free?"

"How about tonight? Seven o'clock? We can do dinner."

Aric hesitated. Tom wouldn't be happy. Maybe Nate wouldn't stay too long, and Aric could give Tom a call when he left. "Yeah, sure, that sounds good."

He took out his iPhone, and Aric punched in his number and address under his contact listing. Nate's hand clasped around Aric's as he took the phone back. He couldn't tell whether it was deliberate or not, but Nate's fingers were soft as they were in high school. He could still remember how they felt wrapped around his cock. He was growing hard.

"I'll see you tonight, then. Call me if you get lost." Shifting his body to hide his crotch behind the cart, he started off to finish his shopping. His mind wandered the rest of the time between Tom and Nate, with the last image in his head as he unlocked the car being of Nate's throat, his smooth skin disappearing under his collar.

"Tom, relax. This is my place now, I'm allowed to have visitors."

He held the cellphone against his ear with his shoulder, trying to put away canned vegetables as he talked.

"If you came over again so soon, Mom and Dad would wonder what was going on here... No, they wouldn't think we were having sex! They'd think I was letting you drink or something, and you're underage... Tom, I have to go. I'm never going to get dinner cooked in time. I love you. Good bye!"

He clicked the off button and shoved the phone back into his pocket. Nate was going to be there in fifteen minutes, and the water hadn't even come to a boil yet. God, he hoped pasta wasn't too cheap to offer for dinner. He picked up frozen shrimp special and a jar of Alfredo sauce, for some degree of class.

Why was he stressing out like this? He was just having an old friend over for dinner. It wasn't like he needed to have the table set for the guy to walk in. Then the doorbell rang and it was too late for that anyways.

Nate was wearing a button-down short-sleeve red tee with gold Chinese dragons on it, along with khaki shorts and leather sandals. He had left the top button undone, exposing more of his smooth throat. In his hand he had a bottle of pinot grigio. He wore a smile that squinted up his eyes.

"Nate! I'm glad you're here." He gave Nate a quick hug, taking the bottle of wine. "You really didn't have to bring wine, Nate. You know I'm not much of a drinker anyway."

"It's a family thing. When someone invites you over for dinner, you always bring something." Nate stepped in and took a look around. "Wow, this place is very nice. No TV?"

Aric laughed. "I don't have the money for that kind of crap."

Nate looked nonplussed.

"I'm just kidding. I don't know, I didn't want to keep it in the living room. I had a separate room I made into a little study. The TV's in there. I figured having the living room clear for entertaining would be nice."

"Well then, let's sit down and have a glass of wine."

"Not yet. After dinner. I've got to keep stirring the pasta and make sure it doesn't get overcooked."

Aric went back into the kitchen while Nate continued to look around. "It's a good space, Aric! How did you manage to find it?"

"I'm renting from one of my coworkers' brothers. It was a lucky deal, really. I'm glad it's so close to everything, but I've got some space of my own."

"Yeah man, I hope I can find something this good." Nate came into the kitchen and stood next to Aric. He inhaled deeply. "Smells good. What's the sauce?" He reached up and draped an arm over Aric's shoulder.

"It's just Alfredo and some shrimp. Do you like shrimp?" Aric went to the sink and washed his hands, not because they were dirty, but because he couldn't think of a more polite way to shrug Nate's arm off.

"I love shrimp."

Aric turned around, drying his hands on a dishtowel. Nate leaned back over the table, so that the sunlight coming in the window shone on the long lines of his body. "So what's been going on with you, Aric?"

"Nothing out of the ordinary. Just work and moving in. I'm afraid life's pretty boring."

"Any men in your life?"

Aric didn't know what to say. Yes? But that man was his little brother. He decided not to answer.

Nate chuckled, then walked over, put his hands on Aric's hips and gave him a kiss on the cheek.

"Nate, I really shouldn't."

"Why not?" Nate studied his face for a moment, confused. He frowned. "All right. Let's have dinner. We'll talk about something else. How's your family?"

"They're good." The timer went off, and Aric set the strainer in the sink and poured the pasta out of the pan. He hoped he looked calm. Nate's touch had set his heart pounding in his throat. "You know how life is. Mom and Dad still work. Tom's going away to school soon."

"Oh is he? What's he going to study?"

"He doesn't know yet. He's going undeclared." Aric stirred the pasta and sauce together, then got out plates from the cabinet.

Nate put a hand on his back. "Where are the glasses and bottle opener?"

Aric directed him to the right cabinet and drawer, then served the pasta. There was no tablecloth, but a vase of drying wildflowers from Mom stood to the side of the table. Nate poured drinks and they sat down across from each other. Aric thought about the differences between having Tom across the table and Nate. Well, Nate certainly wasn't naked. It felt very formal, having a guest. Nate sat up straight, used fork and knife like a gentleman. He pictured Tom's languid body, eating with questionable manners.

"You did well. It's very good."

"Thank you."

There was silence while they each searched for what to say.

"So you never found anyone at school?" Aric asked. He wanted to kick himself for bringing the topic up again.

"No, I didn't get so lucky. I mean, I probably spent too much time with my studies. I didn't really need to get high grades every semester. I always worried too much about grades and never got much of a social life."

"Well, there won't be any grades now, right?"

Nate smiled. "I'm gonna enjoy that." He took a sip of wine. "You haven't found anyone either, have you?"

It wasn't a question; it was a statement. Aric didn't know how to answer it. He sighed.

"I guess it's complicated."

"Is it? What's his name?"

Aric shook his head, smiling. "Let's not talk about my love life. Do you still play video games?"

They spent the rest of dinner chatting about the various merits of Dragon Age, Borderlands, and Skyrim. Aric wouldn't let Nate help clean up, so Nate sat at the table and told him about dorm life and studying for finals and the few parties he went to. Aric thought that college didn't sound quite as fun as others made it out to be. He hoped Tom would have a better time.

He dried the last of the dishes and took a sip of wine. Aric wasn't a frequent drinker, and the liquid warmed and tickled his throat as it went down. Earlier in life he would say it was absolutely disgusting, but he kind of liked the taste now. He couldn't really compare it to anything else.

Nate stood up and approached Aric. "Do you remember the good old days?" He put his hands on Aric's hips again and laughed. "I feel like a senior citizen using that saying." He leaned in and gave Aric a long kiss.

Aric didn't resist. He kissed back. It seemed to last forever. He didn't want it to end. Their kiss broke and Nate drew back, lips parted and eyelids lowered. "How complicated is it?" he asked.

"Very."

Nate reached up and put a hand on Aric's cheek. "Let me simplify it for you." He kissed Aric again, this time pressing his entire body to Aric, so Aric leaned back over the counter. Aric could feel his cock growing in his shorts. He let his hands wander over Nate's shoulders, feeling his arms. They weren't thick, but he had a little meat on him. Nate started kneading Aric's chest, and he moaned. "I missed you," Nate whispered in his ear.

Before Aric could reply, could stop it, Nate reached down and started massaging his crotch. He was rock-hard now, and his cock pulsed under Nate's hand. At that point, reservations left his mind. He reached around and grabbed Nate's ass, sliding his hands down Nate's shorts to feel his underwear. Nate kissed his neck, the touch of his lips intoxicating, electrifying. It had been so long that he'd forgotten the rush he got kissing Nate.

Nate ran his tongue down Aric's jaw, then started to undo his pants. He watched as Nate worked his jeans open and slid his red boxer-briefs down. His cock pulsed and ached to be touched. Nate knelt down, taking Aric's cock in his hand. Aric gasped and let his head roll back. Nate's hand was soft and smooth and gentle. He stroked Aric's cock a little, coaxed a drop of precum out of its tip, then leaned in and licked it off.

The sensation of Nate's mouth around his cock was phenomenal. Aric reached down and started running his fingers through Nate's hair. It was soft and silky, the dark black shining in the waning sunlight. Nate swirled his tongue around the head of Aric's cock while he pumped up and down with his fist. It was all Aric could do to hold it in so he could continue to enjoy the sensation.

Nate let Aric's cock slip out of his mouth. He kept jacking it, looking up at Aric. "I know you didn't plan on me staying late tonight. Cum in my mouth."

"What?" Aric breathed.

"Don't think about it, just do it. I want it."

Nate went back to sucking him, his lips working up and down Aric's shaft. Aric leaned back and let himself relax. It was stupid, his conscious warned him, but he really wanted to cum in Nate's mouth. His bare ass brushed against the cool metal of the dishwasher. Nate worked his tongue around the head, bringing Aric closer and closer.

"Go faster," Aric whispered.

Nate sucked harder, pumping his hand faster. Aric felt the orgasm build up inside him, like an animal trying to get out of its cage. It burst, and he came in Nate's mouth. His body seized over and over, and he felt like he was shooting every last drop of sperm he held in his body. Nate took it all, coughing a little.

When he was spent, Nate withdrew, smiling. Without a word, he pulled up Aric's underwear, then his shorts and buttoned them. He stood up and kissed Aric. The taste of cum was on his lips.

"Listen," said Nate, putting his hands on Aric's neck, "I don't know what your 'it's complicated' situation is, and I don't care. I want a date with you. Whatever you've gotten yourself into, it isn't going to get you in trouble to have a nice dinner with me. I'll make reservations for next Tuesday at seven. Wear something nice."

Aric didn't say anything; he just smiled.

"You will come, yes?"

Aric nodded.

"Great." Nate grinned, his eyes lighting up like fireflies. He turned and started to go, but turned once more at the door. "Aric, I really missed you." Without waiting for a response, he left.

Aric poured himself another glass of wine and took a sip. "I missed you too," he whispered. He turned to look at the clock. There was still time to call Tom.

 

Timothy Evans

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