"Boy Meets Boy Meets Boy"
Artie walked into Jessie's house ahead of me, leaving a very brief moment for Jesse's eyes to meet mine in the most flirtatious way imaginable. I couldn't help but smile and almost giggle out loud when we made contact. He lightly reached out to touch my hand, but only for a second or two before Scotty was able to turn around and catch us. I mean, it did feel good to see Jesse again, and even more so to be able to have some level of physical contact with him...but it was important for us to put a muzzle on that for right now so we could take care of the plan at hand.
Still...I'd be lying if I said that little touch of my hand didn't give me an instant thrill. He's just...he's so damn fascinating to me!
Scotty turned around and we attempted to stop smiling at one another. Because Scotty still had a suspicious look on his face. It was obvious that his focus had sharpened itself since seeing Jesse answer that door. He didn't seem hurt or anything...just suspicious.
Jesse closed the front door behind us and said, "Well, my room is over that way. I was just watching this animated series about cyborgs fighting these vampire monsters in the streets. You've gotta check it out! C'mon!" Jesse led the way, and Scotty sort of looked at me again before following along.
Suddenly, he had become so hard to read. We went from treats and bus rides to him looking at me as if I had...'betrayed' him somehow. I don't know, maybe in a way, I did. But I wasn't trying to bruise his golden heart, I actually had good intentions for him this time around. And Scotty's really the pure definition of a thirteen year old sweetheart, and anybody would be lucky to have his attention. I'm just...I'm not that guy. Maybe if I was a year or two younger...but...Jesse was everything that I ever wanted in a boyfriend and more. I'm in love. I can't help it. It just sort of...happened, you know?
Besides, how was I supposed to know that Scotty had seen, or might even be a fan, of 'Jesse-101'? Hundreds of thousands of gay teen Youtubers out there in the world...super popular and famous ones...and Scotty had to find Jesse and Artie's channel out of all of them. I mean, it's not like they're the first ones to come popping up in the Youtube search algorithm unless you were searching for them specifically. Not unless you spend hours, days, or even weeks, trying to comb through them all. Even I just happened to stumble upon Jesse's channel by mistake, and that's only because it was a reaction to a viciously viral video published by somebody else.
This is definitely throwing a monkey wrench into the gears right now, but if we stay focused and just 'wing it'...we might be able to still steer this afternoon towards a happy ending. I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed for now.
Jesse's room was super clean as usual. Definitely much cleaner than I keep my own at home, but then again, my bedroom doesn't double as a recording studio for an online audience for thousands of people. So I guess I can understand why it's like that. Scotty sort of looked around for a place to sit, and Jesse offered him the chair at his desk. I noticed that Scotty was being unusually quiet at the moment. Partially from a touch of shyness in front of a stranger, but mostly because he still seemed to be trying to figure out what this was all about. I was trying to think of something to distract his worrisome emotions long enough to get Artie over here so they could meet while his charm and wit was still fully in tact.
But I couldn't really think of anything. And when I sat on the foot of Jesse's bed like I normally did whenever I came over, Scotty quickly stood up and came over to sit next to me. Almost as if to 'claim' me for his very own in front of Jesse. The two of them made eye contact, and Jesse kind of shrugged it off, and attempted to lighten the mood. "Say, I went out and got some snacks this morning. You guys want anything?"
"No, thank you." Scotty said.
"I could use a nibble or two." I smiled.
"Well...I mean, what kinda snacks?" Scotty said, quickly changing direction.
"I'll grab some stuff and bring it back, k? Just give me a second." Jesse said.
"I can come with you..." I said, standing up from the bed.
But Scotty suddenly popped up a second later, saying, "Me too!"
Ok, so...he was obviously being a little protective today, and I don't blame him. I mean, between dealing with Jesse's Youtube fans and other online celebrities...or hell, even the replies in his comment sections under his videos...I totally get it. I probably would have done the exact same thing.
"Ok. That's cool." Jesse said, and he led the way back to his kitchen. His cute little sock feet padding along on the carpet, his fingers lightly pushing back some of those bright golden locks out of his eyes...the mounds of his supple ass pushing out the material of those shiny green soccer shorts as he walked. I'm so glad he went with green. It shows off his beautiful butt a lot more clearly. You can see how round and tight it is, and a hint of the deep cleft in between the cheeks...and that little crease where his ample bottom meets the top of his thighs. It's enough to leave you breathless when you really stare at it the way that I do.
Jesse walked over to the fridge and reached inside. he pulled something out that looked a bit like a half gallon carton of orange juice or something, but it was white and beige instead. He smiled at me and said, "I found this at the grocery store. It's iced coffee. French Vanilla. I know it's your favorite. I've got some ice up in the freezer too if you wanna grab a few plastic cups from on top of the microwave and have some."
"You remembered..." I grinned, trying to hold back a sigh.
"Of course I did. Annnnnd...." He walked over to the counter and brought out a box. "...I've got some glazed honey buns from the store. I mean, they didn't have any bear claws, but I was hoping this would be a decent substitute. It was the best I could do on short notice." Jesse took one out of the box and looked over at me with a grin. "Raawwwr! Hehehe!"
"Don't worry. I love it. Hahaha!" I said.
But I don't think Scotty liked that very much.
He stepped forward a bit, and was quick to say, "Tristan likes chocolate too. He loves chocolate. Right, Tristan?"
I guess I wasn't doing a very good job of hiding my infatuated feelings for Jesse, was I? "I do! I love chocolate too." I said, hoping to stabilize Scotty's love stricken investment for a little bit longer.
"Yeah. He said he loves chocolate. I got him some yesterday. We both had some on the bus on the way over here." Scotty said.
"Oh. I didn't know that." Jesse smiled, and I blushed as he tried to keep quiet about it all. "Chocolate, huh?"
"Uh huh..." I nodded.
"And strawberry soda." Scotty added. "Which we also had on the way over. So...he might not be hungry, or whatever."
"It's ok, Scotty. We can just have a little taste. It won't hurt us, right?" I said. Awww, the poor kid looked so stuck at that moment. "I'll tell you what...you and I can split one of the honey buns, and then have some iced coffee. How's that?"
"K..." He said softly, feeling a bit better about sharing something with me, but still feeling like he 'lost' at the same time.
Jesse fixed us up with everything, and Scotty was going to grab a paper towel and go sit at the kitchen table, but Jesse said, "It's ok, dude. We can take it back to my room if you want. Let's all hang out for a bit."
"Oh. Really?" Scotty asked. "My mom says that's how you get ants. You don't have ants, do you?" Hehehe, was it just me, or was that question a little less 'innocent' that Scotty's usual out of the blue comments?
"I don't have ants, Scotty. Promise." Jesse snickered. And we all went back to his room to chill for a bit longer.
I can't say that it wasn't a bit awkward, the three of us trying to maintain some level of normality while we were talking. Scotty seemed to be getting increasingly nervous as he examined our interaction closely. I wish Artie would hurry up and get here so we could at least get the two of them talking and maybe smooth things out a little. I don't expect instant fireworks or anything, but it'll at least keep his thoughts busy for a while. Scotty seemed to get uncomfortable whenever the room got quiet. And he got even more uncomfortable whenever I laughed at something that Jesse said. But it came so naturally to us that it was difficult to suppress the urge to giggle and play around whenever we were together. And if Jesse said anything about something he did or someone that he talked to, Scotty was quick to jump in with some kind of 'one up' story that he was hoping would impress me more than anything that Jesse had to offer. Under different circumstances, it might be seen as really sweet.
But under these circumstances...I just felt guilty about making Scotty Lynch so jealous.
Looking over at Jesse, I tried to give him a silent hint that we needed Artie get his ass over here before this whole covert operation went bust on us. Eventually, I just said, "So...are you still working on that next video, Jesse? I thought you have started on that by now." Giving him a look to let him know exactly what I meant by that.
"I was supposed to, but things are running a little bit later than I suspected." He replied.
However, I think Scotty was picking up on that too. I'm sure he didn't know what we were talking about, but he could probably tell that there was a double meaning behind the words coming out of our mouths. So we clammed up for a moment to keep from making things worse. That's when Scotty asked, "So...this is where you make all of your videos and stuff, huh? In this room?"
"Yeah. Well, most of them. We use other rooms in the house too, like the basement, or the kitchen. And some stuff we do in the back yard too." Jesse said.
"Oh, ok. Some stuff...looks familiar, I guess." Scotty sounded a little pouty when he said it, but I don't think he could stand the silence. "Is it hard to do that stuff? Like, how do you keep coming up with new stuff all the time?"
"It's not really hard. That's my camera over there in the corner. And I looked up some stuff on lighting and got a decent microphone. Everything else is just...finding the time to record whenever the inspiration hits me. I think that's the most important part. Capturing the moment while it's still fresh in your head. Otherwise, ideas get stale pretty fast." Jesse told him.
Scotty nodded, and then he asked, "So...you just...put it out there. For everybody to see?"
Jesse and I exchanged a quick look, as Scotty seemed to be slightly apprehensive about that particular part of it. "Well...yeah. That's a part of it too. What good is it to go through all of that trouble to express myself and never share it with anybody?"
"You're not worried about...you know...what people might think? Or say? Seems kinda risky to me." Scotty said, peeking over at me briefly before looking away.
"There are times when I think about it, sure. But, once you figure out that you have real friends out there who are willing to understand and support you for who you are...it ceases to bother you anymore." Jesse said. "You learn to appreciate and elevate the people who cheer you on over the ones who would judge you or refuse to talk to you one way or another. Besides, having an audience makes me work harder to make good content."
"So, I guess a lot of people watch you then, huh?" Scotty mumbled.
"Well, we're not super famous or anything. But I'm super happy with my little corner of Youtube, you know? We just topped two thousand subscribers this week. That's major! I never ever thought we'd make it that far, we were just doing it for fun. As a hobby. But it's kinda cool to know that I can sort of reach out and maybe make somebody smile. Like...brighten their day. There's just something cool about giving our audience a temporary escape. It's fun." I love how Jesse's eyes always brighten up when he talks about his channel. Hehehe, it's so adorable to see him so passionate about something he enjoys.
Scotty fidgeted a little bit, looking down at his feet. "Two thousand subscribers. That's a lot of people." He said softly.
"There's no way that I could have done it if it wasn't for the help of another Youtuber putting the word out there to his fans too. There's this guy named Jimmy Jukebox, and he does these music challenges on his channel and stuff..."
"I know who Jimmy Jukebox is..." Scotty said, with a sullen tone.
Just when I thought Scotty was starting to warm up to my boyfriend a little bit...the hurt of not knowing about our connection ahead of time seemed to return with a vengeance. Jesse could sense the touch of venom in his response, and simply ended the conversation with, "Well...yeah. He's the one who helped us...reach our goal, so..."
"Do people ever recognize you? Like, in public and stuff?"
"Sometimes they do." Jesse said.
"What do you do then? I mean...are people 'weird' to you?" Scotty asked.
"No. Not at all." He said. "Most times...they just say hello, or they might want to take a selfie with me or something. That's about it. They just want to show some love, you know? Just something to say, 'hey, we see you'...and 'thanks'. I like that part. It's all I ever wanted. Just to be seen and appreciated for doing what I love."
Scotty turned to look me directly in the eye, and he asked, "I take it you've seen Jesse-101's videos too, Tristan?"
Just then, Jesse heard his phone 'ding', and he picked it up to read his texts. Yikes! PLEASE, let that be Artie! I saw Jesse smile, and he nodded in my direction to let me know that things were FINALLY coming together as planned! Thank God!
"I let him know that the back door was open. He'll be here in a minute." He smiled.
I smiled back at him, but when I looked at Scotty, he was staring down at the floor again. I tried to cheer him up. "Hey, Scotty? Artie's coming over. From the channel. He's, like...practically outside."
"Cool." He said, hardly displaying any emotion at all. I wasn't worried though. They just need to talk to one another for a little bit. Once Scotty starts getting all chatty and animated, and Artie starts flirting with that trillion dollar smile of his, I'm sure they'll both forget that Jesse and I are even in the room.
We could faintly hear the back door opening up and closing, with Artie's footsteps coming down the hall to Jesse's bedroom, and we were both wiggling and smiling with anticipation, our inner thoughts practically screaming..."This is it!!!"
And...much to our surprise, Artie came around the corner to stand in the doorway, wearing a shiny cardboard hat, and blowing into two party favor blowers with a loud noise and tossing a handful of rainbow glitter stars up in the air over his head to litter Jesse's floor! Hehehe, what the...???
I'm going to assume that Artie was planning to surprise Jesse with some fun props for their two thousand subscribers appreciation video...but he had NO idea that Scotty and I were going to be there! Hahaha! Immediately, Artie froze like a deer in headlights and blushed so hard that I was afraid the loss of blood would cause him to faint. You know, I never noticed how BLUE Artie's eyes were until I saw them open as wide as humanly possible while standing in that doorway. They are SERIOUSLY, like...bright neon blue! Geez!
Everything stopped in an instant. Time stood still.
Jesse attempted to chisel his way through the tension by telling Artie, "Tristan decided to drop by for a visit today. And ummm...well, this is one of his closest friends. This is Scotty."
Scotty looked up and managed to say, "Hi..." It sounded bashful, but Scotty might still be trying to recover from the overwhelming stress being put on his heart right now for even being here right now.
Artie was quick to snatch that silly hat off of his head, and with a deep breath, he sort of waved at Scotty and me for a brief moment before directing his attention to Jesse. I watched as Artie frantically gestured towards his best friend, beckoning Jesse to get up and come talk to him outside of that room. He was in a bit of a panic, so Jesse sprung to his feet to talk to him. "Ummm, ok, you guys...I'll be...right back, I guess." And just as son as Jesse was within reach, Artie grabbed a hold of his shirt and dragged him out into the hall. "Dude! What are you doing? And what's with all this stuff? You're cleaning up that sparkly shit you put all over my floor..." But his voice faded out as they went to another part of the house to talk.
Scotty and I were left alone in his room, and it almost seemed like Scotty didn't want to look me directly in the eye. This really wasn't going the way that I saw it in my head, but I still think things have a good chance of working out. Just....ugh! Let me go, Scotty. Please? Just...look at him. Give Artie a shot. You guys could be sooooo happy if you just...
...Oh wait! They're coming back!
Artie felt a little embarrassed by the way he sort of jumped in, and I noticed that he had handed all of his party favors and stuff to Jess so he wouldn't be caught with them himself. And Jesse deposited them on top of his dresser, standing in front of it to block it from everybody's view.
Artie looked like he was squirming helplessly in his own skin, shifting from one foot to the other, barely able to glance up from staring at his feet. I said, "Hey, Scotty...I'm sure you recognize Artie, right?" Neither one of them said a word. "See? You get two internet celebrities for the price of one today. Right?"
Doing his best to be polite, despite his rapidly souring mood, Scotty stood up to shake Artie's hand...which was trembling like crazy at the time. "Hey, Artie." He said, and Artie could barely catch his breath as he gave him a limp handshake in return. "It's alright, dude. I have a cousin on my mom's side of the family who's deaf too. He doesn't talk either." Jesse and I exchanged a look. "I don't know any sign language though, except how to spell my name. Actually...I think I forgot most of that too. I never learned much more than that." Artie's brow wrinkled up in the cutest way, and Scotty turned to Jesse to say, "I don't...I mean...does he know what I'm saying? If he can't hear me, you might have to translate..."
"I can hear you just fine." Artie said, speaking up at long last, albeit with a confused look on his face.
Scotty gasped. "Oh...wait...OH!!!" He stepped back. "You can TALK???"
"Of course, I can talk..." Artie said, a little squeak in his cuter than cute, high pitched voice.
"Oh man, I'm sorry. I just...I never...in your videos, you never say anything. So I figured..." Scotty turned red in the face. "My bad."
"It's ok." Artie replied, trying to control his maturing voice as best as he could. "I guess...that's to be expected." There was a pause between them, and he said, "It's good to meet you, Scotty. I'm sorry about...you know...the whole party favor, sparkle, thing. It was just supposed to be, like...a joke."
"I thought it was kinda cool." Scotty said softly.
"Really? I'm pretty sure that I looked pretty silly, coming in here like that."
"At least you made a fu entrance." Scotty said, and as I looked closer, I could ALMOST see him smile!
Is this working??? Omigod...I think it's working!!!
It might be way too early to tell but...
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