"I don't think I've ever had apple cider in this place before. So, I'll
have to take your word for it, I figure." Niles said, his eyes, once
again, sweeping over to secretly connect with my dreamy haze for a quick
second before looking back at Jason.
"It's good. I like it." Jason said, and Summer smiled.
"Actually, you know this is Gabe's first time having the cider
too. In fact, he's never been here before either." She said.
I suddenly felt this imaginary spotlight suddenly shift to me, and the
pressure of the situation suddenly fell down on my shoulders like an avalanche of
bowling balls. My breath simply rushed out of me in one swift gasp, and
my heart felt like it was trying to pump liquid concrete through my
veins. To make things worse, Niles looked over at me with an
alluring smile, his big bright blue green high beams almost
blinding me with their brilliance. He said, "Is that so?
Well, good. I won't be the only virgin at the table today, then." And his smile
widened while I blushed furiously and forced my eyes back down to the table again.
There was a pause where nobody said anything, and then Niles said,
"Well...I'm gonna go up and order one at the counter so we can all get them close to
the same time. You said it takes about ten minutes, right?"
"Yeah, about." Summer answered.
"Ok. I'll be right back then." Niles got up from his seat, and his eyes
glanced at me again. "Do you want anything while I'm up?" Was he talking to everybody, or was he directing that question to just ME?
"Um...no. I'm fine." I muttered nervously under my breath.
"Ok then. I'll be right back." He grinned a bit, and backed up a few steps,
before turning around to go to the counter. I would have kept my eyes on
him the entire walk over there, but I didn't want Jason and Summer to
know I was watching. Wow...he's...ummm...he's nice
I let my eyes casually wander over to Niles as he was ordering his cider.
Damn...he was really something to behold. Summer surprised me as
she yanked my attention back to the table and said, "Earth to Gabe? Hehehe! What's wrong? You got all quiet on us."
Trying not to look at all phased by the overwhelming emotional
crash that their new 'friend' had caused inside of me, I tried my
best to appear aloof. "Nothing. Just thinking about...something.
Something else, I mean." I shrugged it off, and waited a second or two
for their attention to leave me for a moment so I could take another
peek at him. I couldn't help it. My eyes gravitated to him helplessly,
as though my vision couldn't believe his beauty was real. He was at the
counter, leaning on it with one elbow as the lady at the register went
to get more change from the back. I watched his super slim profile just
stand there and peacefully 'exist' for a few seconds. He reached up a
hand, and let his long thin fingers run through his shiny dark hair to
tuck it gently behind his ear on one side. It only took a second, but to
me, it was in super slow motion. I had to fight just to keep from gasping aloud. That's when he turned his head to look back at me from across the
room...another gentle smile crossing his thin kissable lips. It was like being struck by lightning. I looked
away quickly, and Summer was giggling sweetly to herself while Jason
looked out of a nearby window to hide his grin.
"WHAT?" I asked, hoping that it didn't sound too accusatory.
"Nothing. Relax." Summer replied. "Geez, paranoid much?"
I was glad to let it go. But so help me, I'll kill them both if they
start teasing me about this! Especially in front of Niles! They shouldn't be watching me anyway. They
should be minding their own business.
I took another short peek, and
this time, Niles was the one to turn away. Was he watching me now? I
couldn't tell. It might have just been because the lady returned with
his change. Still, it gave me a chill, you know? A shiver that seemed
to affect my soul more than it did my physical form. It was like
this...sweet giddy sensation that kept me grinning on the inside without the
added relief that a physical grin usually brings. Ugh...I always get like this
around cute boys. It must be a defect in my hormones somewhere. I
timidly asked Jason a question, attempting to appear as uncaring as
possible. "So...is Niles a friend of yours?"
"Sorta. I just know him from playing against his school in a few games.
Sometimes a few guys from his bus hang out with us after a victory. I
couldn't even BEGIN to tell you why, though. But he's good people. We
hung out once or twice, and he's cool. Besides, he works at the
newsstand across the street. He told me ha had never been here before, we were already coming out together, I figured
I'd invite him along." Jason said. "So...do you like him?"
"I don't even know him." I replied.
"Well, give it a while. You will. But so FAR...I mean, he's pretty cool,
right? He just turned 16 a month and a half ago. He basically told me
that if HE gets a car, then we ALL got a car. Really nice guy."
"Yeah...he seems friendly."
"VERY friendly. And he's not your average dumbass either. He's way
smart. AND he can draw anime too! I've seen his stuff, it's good! Isn't
"Sure...I guess." I looked at Jason sideways for a second.
"Well, I just figured that since you like anime and all that stuff,
you'd dig it. You should bring that up when he comes back."
"Bring it up?" I asked.
"Yeah. Well...I mean if you want to. It's your call." He said,
and I could have sworn that I saw Summer give him a hidden signal to
shut the hell up.
I was already a bit suspicious about this whole thing, but now it was even worse, seeing as Jason doesn't usually
care one way or the other what we think of other people he's
affiliated with. Not to mention that he hardly ever turns down
the opportunity to be the center of attention. I know Jason, and he
doesn't usually just give me the green light, and then simply chill
out in the background of a conversation while I do all the entertaining. I don't know. Something about
this whole thing just really felt...off.
"Yeah. Maybe. If it comes up." I said, and looked back over at Summer who was
cheesing up with a silly grin like the joker in a deck of cards.
"S'all set." Niles announced as he came walking back to our table. He
had such an awesome stride when he walked. Even THAT was cute. "It
shouldn't be too long now. So you better be telling me the truth about
this cider, because it wasn't cheap." I was instantly drawn in by him all
over again, and stared longingly, unable to do anything more than smile.
Our eyes met...again, and it was quickly becoming obvious that our
eye contact wasn't as accidental as I had originally thought.
He was definitely trying to get my attention.
I began to feel
uncomfortably stiff under the table, thankful that my lower half was
hidden from view. It wouldn't go down. The erection swelled to its full
length, and I closed my legs tight, leaning forward so I could hide my
hardness from any other roaming eyes in the cafe. My cheeks were so flushed that I was close to breaking a sweat now. I felt awkward and
clumsy, trying to look normal as my mind was wrestling with ways to tame
the savage beast below. I wasn't having much luck.
This had to stop! I'm going to be severely traumatized for life if my friends see me this...er...aroused!
I distracted myself a little
by talking to Summer, trying to physically wiggle my way out of feeling
that intense pressure that Niles was putting on my emotions. Wondering if he could see my undeniable attraction to him. Wondering
if maybe Jason let it slip to him that I was gay, and he was watching me to
make sure I wasn't being a pervert or anything. I mean, Niles was SO fucking hot! Gay boys must lose all control whenever he walks into
a room. I'm sure he's always on the lookout for some homo to be staring
at his ass. Little did he know that it was the beauty of his bright eyes alone that had
captivated me to the point of almost falling out of my chair. It was more than enough.
We all entertained some small conversations back and forth until our cider
came. The waitress set them down in big mugs that took two hands
to hold, and they were almost hot enough to burn our fingertips...but
not quite. You could not only see the caramel at the bottom of the glass, but you
could see the sticky sweet runoff that dribbled down the outside of the
mug, puddling on the napkin beneath it. Then there was the slowly
melting mountain of whip cream at the top. It was so tasty that you
didn't mind the discomfort it took to sip the hot liquid from the edge
of the glass. Jason and Summer weren't kidding...this was EXCELLENT! I'd
enjoy it a lot more if my emotions were in working order. But I
did get a slight sexual thrill out of seeing Niles continually lick the
whip cream off of his upper lip time and time again. Not to mention that the tang of the
cider caused him to display the most subtle little dimples in sides of each of his cheeks. Can
he possibly get any more adorable?
I did what I could to get myself comfortable and stop fidgeting so much.
But his every movement was like a wet dream to me. It tingled all over
and made me weak from the inside out. It was a struggle to keep from
withdrawing away from the rest of the group. I tried to participate in the discussion, but when you're in
the presence of something like...like HIM...everything you want
to say comes out wrong. Even when it's right it sounds wrong. His
sweet accent didn't help matters any, because it was sexy as hell to me. When
combined with the delicate melody of his voice, it was like a
weapon against every ability that I had to keep from squirming in
my seat. His tongue could just 'angle' words in the most charming way,
and even when he was talking fast, as he tended to do every now and
then, you could understand every word. Or maybe I was just paying him
more attention than anybody else at that table, sighing to myself at the
end of his every sentence. I took as many opportunities to glance at his
smooth and pretty face as I could. It sounds weird, but if I could just press my
cheek up against his and hold his lithe body up against me...I'd be in
heaven. No other boy has ever captured my hormones and shaken them up so violently before. I used to pride myself on being intelligent and
selective enough to not let some random pretty face rattle me this way. Where's my dignity, for crying out loud? But...I don't know. Everything about Niles was so unspeakably beautiful. From his looks to his mannerisms to
the way he sometimes had to tilt his head to keep the fringe of his hair
from dipping into his cider. The whole vision of him sent me spiraling down
into a helpless infatuation from which there was no escape. Which only succeeded in making me even MORE nervous.
As our stay had reached the forty five minute mark, I felt slightly more
comfortable just having Niles at the table with us. But it was only
because I was getting used to talking to him as little as possible. I
shared a laugh or two with him, sure, and he made sure to ask me
questions directly if I got too quiet. But deep down, I knew that the
only way for me to keep from becoming the caricature of some lonely lovestruck puppy
over this boy was to avoid any kind of connection with his seemingly
infectious personality. He just had this sweet sense of charm that
radiated off of him with little to no effort at all. It shined in his
eyes, it glowed in his smile, it pranced around playfully with every
witty second of his almost unnatural ease with social comfort. His very
aura hit you from every direction. There was no escape. And, omigod, he had the cutest laugh! I
swear, you could even hear a bit of that Irish lilt in his chuckle. It
was beyond adorable.
The thing that really got to me, though, was the
fact that his eyes were still gliding over to look at me the entire time. I mean, not like he was sneaking a peek or anything. It was more
like he wanted me to see him looking. And if I ever got up enough courage
to let my eyes linger on his stare for an extra second or two...he
wasn't afraid to hold the contact. In fact, once...he even SMILED at me,
with an almost invisible blush in his cheeks. Forcing me to giggle as I looked away for fear that my boyish thrill would create some sort of goofy outburst right there in front of everybody.
At that point, I tried
to take a sip of my cider and missed my mouth completely.
Luckily, it was just enough to dribble out of my lips and drip down to
my chin. We all got a grin out of it, but it was Niles who was first
to offer me a napkin to wipe it off. He laughed at my jokes, and was
always glued to me when I spoke. It was like he really took an instant
liking to me, and it only made the rubbery feeling in my lower abdomen
all the more turbulent as I wiggled some more in my seat to keep my guts from
twisting up too tightly. Wow! He's really got my heart doing backflips here,
and he doesn't even know it. Geez, I hope Jason and Summer don't see me
making a fool out of myself. I think I was trying even HARDER to hide my
infatuation from them than I was from Niles. They already KNEW
that I was gay! They can tell when I'm not being myself. Sit a cute boy
in front of me and witness any weird behavior, and the next thing I know
they'll be poking fun at me from now until we're ALL 103 years old! I
can't have that. So I worked up whatever mask of normality that I could,
and attempted to slow down my racing heart to a speed more
"Hold on a sec..." Summer said, and reached in her jacket pocket to get
her ringing cell phone. "Hello? Wait, I can't hear you." She said. "Hold
that thought. I'll be right back, you guys." Then she got up and left
the table to go stand right outside the front door of the cafe so that
she could talk on the phone.
Then, a second or two later, Jason got up and said, "I'm going to the
bathroom. I'll be back." He patted me on the shoulder on his
way out. Leaving me there alone with Niles. Alone. And nervous beyond
I think my hands were the first thing to start trembling. The sudden silence was
so thick that I could barely breathe. I began tearing my napkin into
little shreds just to keep my fingers busy and my eyes down, but then my
feet started to nervously tap on the floor beneath me. I was SURE
that Niles could hear it. I didn't even know I was doing it until the
sound reached my ears. That must have made me look weird, so I had to
consciously make an effort to stop. It was a chain reaction that got my
stomach to flutter wickedly beyond my control. And when I peeked up into
his bright blue green eyes, he smiled at me again.
I instantly slammed my gaze
back down to the table, my quivering body turning cold on me. I didn't know what
the hell else to do or say, so I let a soft giggle escape my lips, and
shrugged my shoulders timidly. Not that it had any meaning, or that I
had anything to laugh about, or...sighhh, whatever. I didn't know how else to
break that damn silence! Ok? That was all my sexually tormented mind could
come up with on such short notice. "So...Gabe, is it?" He said, his sweet voice tickling the
whole of my insides all at once.
"Y-y-yeah?" I stuttered, clearing my throat.
"What do you do?" He asked.
"Do? What do you mean?"
"What's your thing? Everybody's got one. I figure you're hiding a little
special gift or talent in there somewhere. I'm curious as to what it
I looked up at him briefly, and his eyes nearly paralyzed me with fear. But I
fought to look him in the eye anyway, for the sake of not appearing
terrified. Boy, was THAT a fight! "Oh...umm...I dunno,
really. Nothing, I guess. Or...at least, I haven't found it yet."
"Ahh, well that can be admirable, believe me." He said, turning my lame
answer into something cool. This boy was pure magic. "The ones that take
their time and define themselves before their goals often have
the most passion when it comes to doing what they really want to do. So
cheers to that." He raised his mug of cider, and after an awkward moment
of not knowing how to respond, I raised mine as well. We clinked glasses
and took a hearty sip of the cooling cider with a smile. Our eyes met
again for a brief moment, and something deep in the pit of my stomach
felt like it was shrinking to the size of a marble. The strange thing
is...it felt kinda good. Almost like it tickled.
I giggled cheerfully to myself again. My cheeks were burning. I had to have been SO red
in the face at that moment.
Attempting to return Niles' friendly conversation, I swallowed hard and
asked, "So, Jason says you work at the newsstand across the street,
"Yeah. I like it. It's nothing special, just a temporary gig to keep
some dollars in my pocket. But I get free snacks, I can read all the
magazines I want when it's not busy, and at the end of the month,
whatever they don't sell...I get to keep if I want to."
"Really? You get to keep 'em?"
"Sure. All we do is tear the front cover off and throw them away anyway.
So anything I want, I just take home."
"Cool." I said, feeling the increase of pressure as I realized that
Niles and I were actually getting....'acquainted' here. With no
one else around. It was like an advanced game of hackey sack, with him
speaking, and me trying to speak back to him, so scared that I was going
to screw up and drop the ball. But the further the game went, the less
it felt like my chest was tightening up with panic. Shameless flirtatious grins
seemed to appear on my face all by themselves, even though I didn't mean
to do it. Seeing that Niles seemed to get sheepishly flustered by
every last one of them only produced more effort on my part. Wow...this is so
unbelievable. If Niles isn't careful with all of this charm, he's going to
end up with a hopeless gay crush on his hands. "Soooo...maybe I can come
in and get a 'hook up' some time, then?" I smiled.
"Actually..." Niles leaned closer to lower his voice, and motioned for
me to lean closer too. You have NO idea how freaked out I was to bring
my face even closer to his than it already was. I swear, my heart was
about to explode at this point. He looked as if he was getting more attractive by the minute. Not to mention that he had the faintest
scent of almond and vanilla on the collar of his shirt, or maybe it was
his hair, and it was like candy to my senses. "...Your friend, Jason, he
really likes the nudie mags we've got in there." He whispered.
"Hehehe, are you serious?" I chuckled.
"DEAD serious! I mean, we met during the basketball games, sure. But the
real reason we started talking to each other is because he can't browse
through the adult section of the store. So at the end of the month, when
the new mags come in, and the old ones go out...I make sure to go in the recycling bin and snag him a couple. So..."
"You're his 'porn' dealer!" I giggled.
"Hehehe, SHHHHH! Yeah, basically!" He told me, and while the idea of
Jason jacking off to porn was almost too hot for me to imagine, the fury
of Niles' gorgeous eyes held my focus, his smile making them sparkle
with a fascination that defied all reason. His teeth were so white, and
the apple cider and caramel on his breath was intoxicating. When he
leaned back away from me, I missed the closeness we were sharing for
those few seconds instantly. Not a bad trade, though, being far enough away to take in the whole picture again.
"That's so wrong, it's right!" I told him bashfully. Niles laughed, looking over his shoulder to make
sure neither Jason or Summer were on their way back to the table or not.
"I'm sure you snag a couple for yourself too, huh?"
"Snag a few what?"
"You know...girlie mags."
"Hehehe! Oh. Nah. I don't really go in for that kinda stuff." Niles
"What? C'mon...every heterosexual man on the planet loves girlie
"Yeah...well, I wouldn't know." He told me with a smirk.
I don't know how long it took for what Niles just said to 'compute', but I'm sure that it was too long.
I don't know if time had stopped completely, or just for me. All I knew
was that I had suddenly found myself on the other side of that eternal
silence that I had been complaining about a month ago, where my brain is trying to figure out if my first impression
of what this boy had just said to me was real or not. I felt my smile
starting to fade, and I worked to keep it up at full blast so as not to
let on that anything was wrong. Or...I mean...WAS anything wrong? Maybe
not. I just...I didn't know what to think. So I just kind of sat there,
trying to find a smooth way of getting our conversation back in working order without
drawing too much attention to the fact that I just totally tripped all
"Oh..." I said.
"What?" He asked.
"Nothing." My smile was getting harder and harder to maintain. Not because
I wasn't happy. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I was shooting rockets and turning cartwheels! It's just...everything changed in that one instant.
Everything. I wasn't sure that I could adapt that fast. "So...you don't like girls. Right?" I asked. DUMB
question, Gabe! Jesus!
Niles blushed a bit, and shyly looked down at his hands. "I like 'em
just fine. I'm just not attracted to them sexually, you know?" He said.
His eyes looked up at me briefly, and it felt like my spirit had just
fallen out of my body and left a shell sitting there at that
table with him. "I'm just not one for hiding it, you know? I'll
never get myself a boyfriend that way." Niles let his smile warm my
heart from across that table, and his lips never looked so soft. So
Gorgeous. And gay. And no boyfriend.
"Oh..." I said.
"Hehehe, again with the 'oh'!" Niles giggled. "C'mon, it CAN'T
be all that shocking, can it?"
"No. Not at all, I just...it's cool." I said, and then I smiled.
"It's...it's REALLY cool, actually." I didn't know what to feel. I mean,
at first, I was bewildered. Then I was kind of turned on. Then I became extremely self
conscious. Then I got turned on again. Then...confused. And after that,
something strange happened. All of that emotion seemed to swirl itself
up into a big ball, and it turned into this polluted mixture of being
hurt and being angry. All of a sudden, it turned ice cold, and this new
emotion hit me out of nowhere. But it clicked. I got it. It all made sense now.
Jason's friend, this cafe way on the other side of town, Summer's cheesy grin,
and this heartbreaking teen boy model just so HAPPENS to be gay, and
meeting us on a Saturday afternoon? I was being SET UP! Goddammit! My
own friends set me up! They left the table and purposely tried to push
me off on this guy like some kind of desperate farm animal that had to
be mated for better production of goods! I was SO humiliated at that
moment that I didn't know what to do!
They made a total sucker out of me...and in front of one the cutest, most
deliciously handsome boys on the entire planet! Arghhhhh...I am REALLY
going to hurt them when they get back!
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