Bromance on the Beach

by Jay Taylor Johnson

15 May 2024 3415 readers Score 9.7 (107 votes) PDF Mobi ePub Txt


Day Three - Aftermath

By the time I woke the next morning, Bryson had already gone. I peeled myself off the pillow and turned onto my back, staring up at the ceiling as if it might have the answers to my current dilemma. Instead, I could only see shadows of the previous night's events - Bryson pulling away from me, his eyes clouded with confusion; Bryson walking into the bathroom, a sad smile on his face as I tried to say something, anything, to make up for the awkwardness I’d caused. 

How could I be so reckless? The second day of our trip and I'd already potentially, irrevocably screwed things up with the guy I had to share a room with for two more nights. And more than that, I'd potentially, irrevocably screwed things up with someone who, though I'd only known him for a year, had become a really important friend. 

I let out a pitiful groan and pressed the heels of my hand against my eyes, hoping to squeeze out the images of last night. It almost worked, but instead of wiping the memory away completely, new images appeared - Bryson looking at my lips with fascination and desire; Bryson's hand on my chest, massaging my shoulder; Bryson cupping his obvious erection as he stood up from the couch. 

These dissonant images swirled in my mind, and I swore at myself that, even amidst my own guilt and embarrassment, I was turned on by the memory. I'd made out with Bryson. Even the idea still felt impossible. 

I rolled over, checking my phone for the time. It was eight-thirty. The boys had an eight AM tee time, so Bryson must have snuck out fairly early without waking me, though whether that was an act of kindness or avoidance I couldn't be sure. They said they'd be back sometime in the afternoon and would meet us for dinner, which right now felt too far away. 

 

The morning passed uneventfully, if a bit slowly. After brunch the girls and I ventured over to an outdoor mall where we spent some time window shopping at all the designer stores, which was all fun and games until I nearly bought myself a pair of Gucci sneakers in a desperate attempt to self-soothe after the Bryson debacle. Thankfully, Abigail and Emily talked me down, and we decided a pedicure would be a cheaper alternative. 

An hour later we emerged from the salon in the kind of relaxed daze that only comes from a good pedicure. Something about the oversized massage chairs, Jacuzzi footbaths, warm towels, sugar scrubs, and hot stone massages really has a way of putting even the most negative emotions on hold. We walked by a small cafe with a patio overlooking the lagoon and decided to pop in for a drink.

“So,” Emily gave me a coy smile as the waitress brought us three mango margaritas. “Bryson is pretty adorable.”

“Yeah,” I agreed sheepishly. “He really is. I’m glad you all like him, he seems like he's clicking well.”

“Oh, Mitchell loves him,” Abigail chimed in. “I think meeting Bryson's going to be the highlight of his trip.”

I laughed, feeling a bit of pride and a lot of fondness swell up in my chest. “Well, I think the feeling is mutual.”

“So you guys just met at work?” Emily asked. 

“Yeah, it was at this conference we had early last year. He and I got placed in the same group for this icebreaker activity and then…well, we ended up spending the entire conference together.”

“Aww, sounds like fate,” Emily said playfully. 

“What do you mean?” I asked. 

 “Just that you guys have a lot of chemistry. You act like you've known each other for years, not months. Seems like an important chance encounter.”

“Oh,” I said, replaying that first week of conference in my mind, the conversations we had huddled at corner tables in bars, the hungover smiles we gave finding each other at the breakfast buffet, the week of endless laughter. I couldn't help but smile. “I mean, yeah. I guess. Even that first day we met, I knew we were gonna be close. I was a little obsessed.”

“Rightfully so,” Abigail agreed. “He's smart, he's funny, he's attractive. Sounds like he's just your type.”

I rolled my eyes. “Unfortunately, he is. Just a shame I'm not his.”

“What do you mean?” Emily asked, a look of genuine confusion on her face.

“I mean…” I paused, waiting for the obvious to sink in. “He's straight.”

“Is he?” Abigail asked flatly. 

“I mean, yeah! Obviously, right?” I exclaimed, a little too loudly.

“You've asked him this?” She cocked an eyebrow.

Of course I have, I wanted to say, We established that boundary immediately. But as I thought back to our early interactions, I realized that while I'd been pretty forthcoming about being gay he'd been noticeably quiet about himself. Sure, he'd mentioned some former girlfriends in passing, and every once in a while he brought up a girl he matched with on Hinge, but I couldn't remember any instance of him stating, for the record, with absolute certainty, that he was straight. I knew he liked girls, but we'd never broached the subject of whether or not he also liked guys…

“That's what I thought,” she smirked.

“Yeah, I don't think he's as straight as you say he is,” Emily added.

“Why do you say that?” I asked, eager to hear her answer, but also somehow angry with her for trying to give me false hope.

“I mean, he did agree to come on a Caribbean vacation with you,” she began. 

“Yeah, but who would say no to that?” I countered.

“One on which he knew he'd have to share a bed with you,” Abigail added. 

“Okay, so what? Just because he's not a homophobe doesn't mean he's queer,” I rebutted. “Besides, he dates girls.”

“So did you at one point,” Emily said pointedly, taking a long, sarcastic drink of margarita. 

“I have apologized for that at least a hundred times,” I stated, referring to one summer in college where Emily and I tried to date. Needless to say, I didn't end things very well.

“You know I’m not upset about it, I'm just saying that you of all people shouldn't try to use ‘dates girls’ as a reason to rule someone out.”

“And besides, whoever he may or may not date at home, he…” Abigail began, deliberating. “Never mind.”

“No, say it.”

She looked at me, lips pursed. “I was going to say that he hasn't minded being your de facto boyfriend for the week.” I opened my mouth to interject, but I had no words. She continued. “And don't deny it, you two have basically been role playing as a couple this whole trip and he hasn't seemed to mind it at all.”

My stomach felt like it dropped out of my abdomen. “What does that even mean?”

“I can see it,” Emily agreed. “You two have just been very comfortable and very…cute together.”

“We aren't acting any differently this trip than we have on any of our work trips,” I blurted, realizing the brazen lie as soon as I said it. Except for one tiny little disastrous makeout session.

“Oh, so your reasoning for why he isn't into you is that he's always acted like he's been into you? That's solid logic.” Abigail quipped, one eyebrow raised. 

“I'm saying…he just has that kind of personality, he's good at showing people he's interested in them.”

“That might be true, but there's interest and there's interest,” Emily says. “I think this is the latter.”

“Why?” I demanded.

“I just…see it. He just looks at you a certain way.”

I paused, replaying the look I saw in his eyes while we sat together on the sofa. 

“What way?” I asked, my voice hoarse.

She thought for a second. “Like you're the only person in the room that matters. Like whenever someone tells a joke, he looks at you first, he wants to see your reaction first. Or whenever you tell a story he's glued to you, like there’s nothing more important than what you have to say. Like, someone could steal the shirt off his back and I don't think he'd notice if you were talking, he's that enamored. I don’t know, it's like he’s just in awe he gets to be here. With you.”

We were all quiet for a moment. I knew exactly what she meant because, more than once so far, I’d felt that way about Byrson. I’d just never imagined he’d feel that way about me.

“Holy shit, that's the most romantic thing I've ever heard,” Abigail said flatly, and we all burst into laughter. 

“Yeah, Jesus, Em. This is my life, not a Jane Austen novel!” I took a long sip of my drink. 

“I'm just speaking the truth!” She exclaimed, laughing.

“She's not wrong, you know,” Abigail said. “I've seen it too. So has Mitchell.”

 “Okay, so maybe we have a certain chemistry.” I begrudgingly admitted. “And yeah, maybe I've enjoyed letting myself pretend that we are some kind of an item this week…I mean, I do think we'd make a great couple. We have a lot of the same interests; we can talk about shit for hours; we share a lot of values; I’m…well, okay, I'm super attracted to him. So yes, it's a nice idea. But…” My voice drifted off. “Real life has consequences. And I don't want to jeopardize real life for the sake of a nice idea.” Any more than I already have, I wanted to add.

They were quiet for a minute as my words settled over us. I debated telling them about last night, but something kept me from saying it. Maybe it was an urge to protect Bryson, to spare him from embarrassment; more likely, though, it was an urge to protect myself. “I just don't want to make things awkward,” I finally said, sounding defeated. 

“Then don't be awkward,” Abigail shrugged. “Lucky for you, you're charming and attractive and tons of fun to be around. When you’re not wallowing in self-pity.”

“Yeah, you really should give yourself more credit,” Emily smiled, placing her hand on the patio table. 

“Thanks,” I blushed. “I don't deserve you guys.”

“We know," they smiled and reached for their margaritas.



By the time we got back to the hotel, it was after four o'clock. We expected the boys would be back from golf by now, but without a cell signal there was no way to know for sure. It wasn't until we got into the hotel lobby and our phones connected to the WiFi that Abigail got a notification. 

“Looks like they're back,” she said, reading her phone. “Mitchell said they're getting changed and going to the pool if we want to join them.”

“Works for me,” I agreed. “Drop our stuff and head that way?” We agreed and began to make our way to the elevator bank on the far side of the hotel lobby. 

My heartbeat quickened as I stepped off the elevator, realizing I had no idea what to expect from Bryson. I wasn't even sure if he'd be in the room or already down at the pool. Part of me was relieved that we might be reunited in a group setting, that maybe he wouldn't be so obviously upset with me  if other people were around. But another part of me was scared that, if that happened, we wouldn't have a chance to properly talk and clear the air, that we'd fall into a trap of niceties we wouldn't break free from for the rest of the trip.

I walked into the room and noticed it was quiet, showing no signs of his presence until I looked out the window and saw him sitting on the balcony, wearing bright orange swim trunks and a sky blue tank top. I thought about changing and heading straight to the pool, but then I realized he was probably here for a reason, waiting to catch me before we rejoined the rest of the group. Damn him. I took a deep breath, set my bags on the floor next to the bed, and slowly walked out onto the balcony.

“Hey,” I said as casually as I could, trying to strike a balance between friendly and cautious. 

“Hi,” Bryson responded, looking up at me, his voice and facial expression difficult to decipher. 

“How was golf?” I asked, still standing behind the empty chair.

“It was good,” he said with some enthusiasm. “I mean, I played like shit, but it was a great day. Beautiful course.”

“Yeah, I would imagine,” I commented politely.

“Honestly, me and Mitchell just tried to keep up with Tyler the whole time. He pretty much kicked our asses,” he gave a fond chuckle. 

I smiled. “That doesn't surprise me, that guy plays like two or three times a week.” 

“Well, it shows,” he commented. An awkward silence settled over us, and I could feel my pulse quicken again, my palms sweaty. I sat in the empty chair and looked at Bryson, his eyes meeting mine.

“Hey, about last night…” I began, casting my eyes to the table. “I'm really sorry. I think I just…I let the tequila take over and we were having that conversation and I got carried away and I shouldn't have done it. I crossed a line, and I promise I didn't invite you on this trip to try and hit on you or anything.  I respect you, and I respect our friendship too much to do that, and I'm just really sorry.” It all tumbled out in one breath.

I raised my eyes, bracing for the worst, only to find Bryson looking at me with a kind smile. “Dude, it's fine. Really.” He leaned forward, placing hand comfortingly on mine and giving it a reassuring squeeze. I looked into his eyes and saw that he meant what he said. He released my hand and leaned back in his chair casually. 

“Really?” I asked, sounding a bit like a scolded child. “You're not mad?”

He looked at me, his eyes compassionate, his smile amused. “Not at all. Dude, I know you didn't invite me to Mexico to seduce me. And, I mean, I…,” he looked away. “I get it. Between the drinks and the Grindr stuff…I think I got a little carried away, too. And by the time I realized what was happening, I just sorta freaked out.” I winced, and Bryson saw. “Not freaked out, sorry, that sounds bad. I just…,” he searched for the right words. “I think my brain short-circuited? It didn't know what to do so it just shut down, and I needed some room to think.”

“Oh.” I processed his words carefully, finding them oddly reassuring. 

“If anything, I'm sorry. I realized this morning I probably didn't react great. And I know you enough to realize you'd probably blame yourself for the whole thing. So I'm sorry if I scared you.” His eyes found mine again. “You didn't do anything wrong.”

I let out a sigh of relief and sank into the chair, feeling the warmth of the sun on my face for the first time since I’d stepped onto the balcony. “And here I was ready to offer to buy you an early flight back to Atlanta,” I laughed, only half-joking. 

“Wow, was the kiss that bad?” He quipped, giving me a wounded puppy dog look. I threw my head back and laughed, feeling my nerves settle for the first time all day. 

I looked at him and couldn't help but marvel at this kind, funny, beautiful person I’d accidentally befriended. “Thanks Bryson.”

“You're not getting rid of me that easily,” he grinned.

 

The afternoon spilled seamlessly into the evening. The air had been cleared, and we returned to our normal banter as hung out by the pool, arriving a little after everyone else, tossing our belongings onto a shared lounge chair. Later, as we got cleaned up for dinner, we moved about the room comfortably and openly - doors being left open and towel-clad bodies exiting the shower and mirrors were shared as we tried to fix our hair just right.

Amidst it all, I couldn't help but recall Abigail's words from earlier, about us role playing as a couple. I could certainly understand where she got that idea. As we floated through our room and stepped over each other to get ready, it all felt incredibly domestic, familiar and intimate in its own way. I imagined that, if I had come on this trip with a boyfriend, things would have played out just about identically to how they were right now. Well, except for the sex part.

Bryson exited the bathroom, dressed in light khaki shorts and a pale blue linen shirt, the top few buttons left open. His skin had taken on just a hint of color over the past few days, and he looked absolutely radiant. 

“How do I look?” He asked, a little sarcastically. 

“Not bad. You clean up nice for a straight guy,” I teased. “How do I look?” I stood from my spot on the couch and did a dramatic twirl. When I stopped, I noticed Bryson's eyes fixed on me. I was wearing khakis shorts and a new shirt I'd bought that day - a short-sleeved, black lace button-up with a subtle floral pattern, modest enough for dinner but still translucent enough to be a little sexy. 

“Whoa,” he said. “You look…that shirt is awesome.” I couldn't help but notice the abandoned first half of that sentence, and I felt myself start to blush. 

“We should get you one next time,” I quipped. We stood there for a second before I cleared my throat. “Guess we should head down.”

“Yeah,” Bryson agreed, coming back to his senses. “Yeah, we should.”

Dinner was at the resort’s Japanese fusion spot, a swanky, dimly-lit room full of dark wood and bright red accents, a stylish, understatedly sexy restaurant that felt more like Vegas than the Mayan Riviera. We were seated around a large booth where Bryson and I had somehow managed to be crammed into the middle. We ordered two plum sake martinis and some edamame for the table and set to planning our meal. 

The waiter had explained that all the plates were shareable, and it was customary to order multiple courses and split them amongst ourselves, and so, huddled over a menu, Bryson and I picked out our courses, conspiring together in hushed tones, our shoulders pressed against one another without a second thought. We ordered a feast - seared yellowtail, miso cod, beef toban yaki, spicy tuna rolls, and spicy red snapper nigiri. 

The courses kept coming and the conversation was lively and amusing, Mitchell and Abigail sharing funny stories about their early days as a couple, Tyler spilling the tea about his failed first engagement during grad school, Emily enthusiastically recruiting Bryson to train for a half-marathon. It was a wonderful meal, and not just the food - though the food was incredible. It felt complete, like there was no version of this trip in which Bryson hadn't been here with me, hadn't met my friends, hadn't shared these experiences and heard these stories. 

The dinner lasted over two hours, and we all said our goodnights and gave fervent hugs in the lobby before making our way up to the rooms, wanting to call it a night both because of the boys’ early morning on the golf course and because we had a long day tomorrow - a catamaran bay cruise. 

“You're friends really rock,” Bryson said as he finished brushing his teeth. We were already in our underwear, Bryson in a snug pair of white boxer briefs that I had to consciously avoid looking at, me in a pair of navy briefs.

“I know,” I agreed, standing next to him at the bathroom counter, putting on my moisturizer for the night, once again aware of the domestic familiarity of the scene, aware that anyone who saw us would assume we were a couple.  “I'm pretty lucky in the friend department. Always have been.” 

“Well I'm glad you recognize that,” he said while scrubbing his face with a washcloth. “It's pretty rare.”

“I guess I just know how to pick the right people,” I said, making eye contact with him in the mirror. “I picked okay with you.”

A flush crept up Bryson's neck, but he offered me a warm smile. We crawled into bed without much chatter and turned out the lights, but as soon as we did my mind began to race. I replayed our evening together, recalling every glance we exchanged, every smile he directed my way, every nudge of our shoulders or brush of our bare knees beneath the table. I wish I could say I was just horny, but I realized with a creeping sense of dread that this was much, much worse: I was smitten. 

A long silence passed before I felt Bryson roll over, throwing his weight in an attempt to get comfortable. A few minutes later, he did it again. 

“You okay over there?” I asked, my voice soft. 

I heard him let out a warm laugh. “Yeah. Just can't get comfortable for some reason.” 

“Yeah,” I remarked. “I'm pretty wired all of a sudden.” 

Bryson tossed again and I looked over, seeing only his silhouette in the dark room, but noticing he was on his back staring up at the ceiling, hands folded on his chest. The default posture of a man with something on his mind. “You know, I asked Mitch and Tyler what you were like when they met you.”

“Oh?” I was a bit surprised by the nature of the question, the intimacy of it. It felt like something you’d ask about your partner.  

“Yeah, they'd asked how you and I met at work, so I asked them what you were like.”

“What did they say?” I asked.

“They said you were really…different,” he said, landing on the last word with special emphasis. “I mean, they said you weren't out yet, so that was a big piece of it. But they said you just acted like a different person. That you were very serious, quiet, gloomy even. They said how cool it was when you came out, how you became this fun, relaxed, funny person. They felt like they finally got to meet you for the first time.”

I didn't know how to respond. I'd never heard any of my friends talk about me like this before, and I made a mental note to give Tyler and Mitchell a huge hug when I saw them in the morning. 

“Wow,” I said, softly.

“Yeah,” he said, gaze still fixed on the ceiling. “It's funny, I just can't picture you being gloomy or serious.” He paused. “Or quiet for that matter.”

“Oh, shut up,” I laughed, reading over and smacking him on the stomach. He grabbed my hand, holding onto it for a moment before tossing it back at me playfully. 

“I'm kidding. Mostly.” I could hear the smile in his voice. “It made me kinda sad, though. Imagining you like that. I'm sure it must have been difficult.”

A string of images from college flashed before me, and I let them pass, feeling a lingering sadness that so often arose when I thought about those days. “It was.” And then we were quiet for a minute. A comfortable quiet. A quiet we both knew didn't mean we were falling asleep. 

“I didn't not like it, you know,” I heard him say, his voice barely above a whisper. I turned my head towards him, his gaze still on the ceiling. “The kiss. I didn't not like it.” He turned his face towards me in the dark. 

“Oh?” Was all I asked. 

“It startled me a little. I mean, I never really thought I'd ever…ya know. But…it was okay.”

“Just okay?” I asked, rolling into my side to face him.

He laughed. “It was a lot more than okay. But…” he rolled onto his side, too, our faces separated by a few inches of air and darkness. “I think I might have…ended it too soon?”

His words hung in the air between us, thick as smoke. My heart was beating in my ears so loudly I was sure Bryson could hear it. 

“Would you…want to try it again?” I heard myself ask.

In the darkness, I saw Bryson’s head nod slightly. “Yeah,” he whispered. 

“Okay,” I whispered back. 

I scooted forward, closing the distance between us, our noses nearly touching. I hated that it was too dark to see his face, that I couldn't read his expression; I could hear the nervousness in his voice, but he didn't pull away. I extended a hand and found his shoulder in the darkness, giving it a reassuring squeeze. My fingers trailed slowly up his shoulders and onto his neck, and I felt him shudder at my touch as my hand came to rest just under his ear, my thumb on his jaw, my fingers in his hair. I leaned forward, and for the second time pressed my lips against his. 

He immediately returned my kiss, moving his lips gently against mine. It was a steady rhythm, relaxed and patient, our mouths curiously exploring one another. I was glad to be trying this again while sober, trading in last night's sloppiness for a slower, more satisfying tempo. As Bryson relaxed into our kiss, his hand found my side, resting lightly on my ribcage. I inched closer to him and slipped my tongue between his lips, brushing a knee against his. My fingers slipped further into his hair as I pulled him closer to me, a year's worth of longing threatening to bubble up to the surface and spill over. I took his bottom lip between my teeth and he moaned against me, his hand sliding from my side to my back, up between my shoulder blades, pulling me in.

I moved against him and rolled him onto his back, laying atop him, feeling his hardness press against my hip. I ground my hips slowly against his, and we moaned together. His hands found my back, exploring up and down, gripping my shoulders, sliding down towards my ass, but he stopped as soon as he grazed the fabric of my briefs. 

I broke away and looked into his face, features barely visible in the dark. “It's okay, you can  if you want,” I said, my voice hoarse. His head gave a barely perceptible nod, and his hands reached down to cup my ass. I moaned and ducked my head down, kissing him deeply. As I ground our hips together, my mouth explored up his jaw, feeling the faintest stubble on his cheeks; I nibbled at his ear, kissed and nipped at his neck kissed his collar bone. Slowly I worked down his firm, sculpted chest, the patch of hair there tickling my nose as I made my way to his nipple. 

“Oh fuck,” he gasped as I took his nipple in my mouth, sucking it lightly, flicking it with my tongue. It hardened instantly, and I lightly grazed it with my teeth. “Oh my god,” he groaned. 

“Feel good?” I asked, my voice breathy. 

“Mhmm,” he responded, his voice deep and raspy and sexy as hell. I worked my way across his chest and serviced his other nipple for a bit, relishing his moans and the sharp intake of his breath. His hands gripped my shoulders, firm but not rough. As I kissed my way back up his chest, I grabbed his hands and pinned them above his head, eliciting a surprised gasp that almost made me lose it right then and there. I kissed the outside of his chest and slowly, in one long swoop, dragged my tongue up his armpit. 

“Fuck, dude,” he let out in a long sigh. I gave it a few more licks before returning my face to his, kissing him deeply, letting him taste himself on my tongue. 

I released his hands and he wrapped his arms around my back, holding me to him as he began to explore my mouth with his tongue, bold and inquisitive. He kissed down my chin and under my neck, sucking gently at my skin. For half a second I worried he might leave a mark, but as he pressed his hips up against mine, our cocks gently rubbing together through our briefs, all thoughts left me. 

I let out what could only be described as a purring sound, and I felt Bryson laugh against my neck. 

“What?” I asked, chuckling myself.

He dropped his head back against the pillow. “Nothing, I just…” he paused. “I'm not used to people being so responsive.” His arms were wrapped around my back, strong and secure and gentle, a protective embrace.  

“Responsive?” I asked.

“Yeah…” he said shyly, and I'm sure he was blushing. “Ya know. Sounding like they like it.”

I wanted to crack a joke or make some sarcastic remark, but I decided against it. “Well, I can't speak for the girls you've been with,” I said, slowly circling my hips, feeling our erections graze against each other, heat radiating through my body, “But I'm liking it very much.” 

He sighed and moaned and squeezed his arms around my back. “Me too,” he said. 

“Do you, uh…” I started, not really sure how to word my question but feeling it was better to at least try and ask. “Do you want to…keep going? Or we don't have to? I'm fine either way.” 

Bryson was quiet for a second and I cursed myself for ruining the moment. “I think I'd like to?” he said, sounding less than certain. “I just…don't know what all that means for you.”

I rolled off of him, pressing up against his side, my hand resting lightly on his chest. “Hmm,” I said, “it doesn't have to mean anything in particular.”

“I mean, doesn't sex between two guys…kinda just mean the one thing?” he asked sheepishly. I laughed, a surprised, full-bodied laugh. Thankfully he found my surprise amusing and laughed too. 

“What??” 

“Oh buddy,” I sighed, kissing his shoulder. “If you think sex just means ‘the one thing’, that makes me very concerned about the sex you've been having.”

“I mean, I told you, it's not been great.”

“Well,” I pondered, tracing my fingers through his chest hair. “Sounds like we should fix that. What do you like?”

He was quiet for a second. “I don't really know. I mean, usually I'm pretty focused on the girl so…besides a blowjob, I haven't ever thought that much about it.”

“I can do a blowjob,” I said, my voice husky. 

He laughed. “I believe it.” He was quiet again as my hand continued to drift across his chest. I brought it up to his neck, his jaw, brushing a finger across his lips, letting it slip into his mouth where he sucked it gently, moaning as he did. I removed my finger, which he licked as it pulled away, sending a shiver up my arm. “I like that,” he offered softly. 

“Yeah?” I asked. I brought my finger down his chest and found his nipple, which I began to tease, flicking and pinching it. He gave a relaxed sigh. 

“And I like that,” he said lazily, his voice thick and rich. 

“I noticed,” I chuckled. My hand lazily traced its way up and down his abdomen, feeling the rise and fall of his breath, circling his belly button, combing the hairs of his happy trail. “And surely you like to touch yourself, yeah?”

“Yeah,” he agreed, his voice shaky. My hand reached the waistband of his boxer briefs, my finger pacing a perimeter where elastic met skin. 

“Is this okay?” I whispered. 

“Yeah,” he gave a breathless reply. 

I slipped a finger slowly beneath his waistband, tracing a circle, feeling where the smooth skin of his hip ended and his pubic hair began. I repeated this circle, this time with two fingers, inching slightly further towards the center of his groin, grazing through his pubes. 

“Sorry. I'm kinda hairy down there,” he muttered. 

“Don't be,” I replied, smiling, kissing his shoulder again. “I like you a little hairy.” I pushed my hand in further, feeling the base of his dick, the soft skin of his balls. His breath hitched, and I wondered if he'd ever been touched like this before, by someone who showed him they really wanted it. Savored it. Who just wanted to make him feel good. I figured not, and I was determined to try.

I massaged his balls gently, kneading them softly against his skin, cupping and releasing them while I rubbed my thumb against his hard shaft. I could hear his breath coming in deep sighs and quiet moans. I dragged my fingers up and along his shift, pushing up against fabric, until I reached the head. I'd still hadn’t seen his dick, but it felt big, at least six and a half inches long and girthy. Once again I cursed the darkness but knew that it somehow made this okay, gave Bryson the courage to let his guard down and try something wildly new. I feel like a teenager again, fumbling around in the dark, nervous and horny and in over my head. I'd be lying if I said I didn't kind of love it. 

A bead of precum rested on the tip of his dick; I dabbed it with my index finger and swirled it around his head. Bryson sighed deeply. 

“You should take your underwear off,” I whispered into his ear. Bryson nodded and quickly complied, sitting up and pulling his briefs off, throwing them somewhere across the dark room. 

I brought my hand to my mouth and spat on it to use as lube, and when I took him in my hand, he gasped. I fell into a slow rhythm at first, stroking gently up and down, twisting as I got to the top, squeezing softly at the base. “Fuck, dude, that feels so good.” 

“Yeah? I asked. “You like that?”

“Hell yes,” he moaned. “Nobody’s touched me like this.”

My cock, already rock hard, twitched at this comment, and I felt a wicked smile spread across my face. “I bet they haven't,” I agreed. I kept going, gradually picking up the pace and intensity, stroking fast then slow then fast again, pulling his dick down and letting it slap against his stomach. His body began to writhe and contract as his breath came in increasingly unsteady bursts. 

I propped myself up on my elbow to get better leverage, and to try and enjoy the silhouetted view. “Dude, I'm not gonna last long,” he moaned. “I'm getting close. Fuck, dude.”

And then I felt a hand on the back of my head, pulling my mouth to his. He kissed me, a hungry, needy, passionate kiss that was all lips and teeth and tongue and heat. “Oh fuck,” he mumbled against my lips. “Fuck, I'm gonna,” he said. “Fuck, Tucker,” he groaned, and I sped up my cadence, stroking fast and furious as his body twitched and shuddered beneath me. “Fuuuck, '' he moaned, kissing me roughly as he came, shooting ropes across his stomach, all over my hand, even a little on our faces as we made out.  

We kept kissing as his dick deflated in my hand and his breath returned to normal, until eventually he released my head and fell back against the pillow. “Holy shit,” he marveled breathlessly. “That was…that was insane.”

I smiled proudly and let go of his cock, my hand covered in his cum. The room smelled of sweat and musk, and I loved it. “Is it bad all I want to say is, ‘I told you so’?” 

He chuckled and let out another sigh, looking down at his torso. “Shit. I made a mess. I've never made a mess like this before.”

“Eh, the mess is half the fun,” I shrugged, fighting back the temptation to lick him clean. “But I'll get you a towel.”

I hopped up and got a couple hand towels from the bathroom, returning to the bed. We were quiet while we cleaned ourselves up, and I suddenly worried what might happen as the post-orgasm clarity settled in. 

“So, uh,” I started. “Guess that wasn't on your Cancun bingo card, huh?”

He let out an amused snort. “No, it definitely was not.” He was still on his back, wiping his stomach and his groin while I sat on the edge of the bed, watching him. 

“Wasn't on mine either,” I confessed.

“Shit dude,” he sighed contentedly, tossing the towel on the floor and putting his arms behind his head. I could feel his eyes on me in the dark. “You okay?” He asked. 

“Me? Yeah,” I answered, realizing I was still sitting awkwardly on the edge of the bed. “Just…I don't know, making sure you are.”

“Dude, I'm okay. I’m fucking great.” His voice was warm, and I believed him, my fears of a negative reaction starting to melt away. “Come here,” he said. 

I crawled back into bed and cuddled up to him, laying my head on his shoulder, my body still tense, awaiting some sort of outburst or rejection, but to my surprise, he put his arm around me, his hand securely on my shoulder, and I felt him kiss my forehead. 

“Hey. I'm really glad you invited me,” he whispered. 

I smiled into his neck. “I'm really glad you came,” I teased. 

His chest shook gently with laughter. “Yeah, me too.” 

And within a few breaths, nestled against his shoulder, feeling the warmth of his skin and the gentle drumming of his heart, I fell asleep.