Zane put aside Xenobia when the doorbell rang. He was halfway down the stairs to answer it before he realized that it almost had to be Geordie Finsen. Not that he’d forgotten, just that…he wasn’t sure he’d expected him to show.
He opened the door and tried to swallow a sudden rush of nervous anxiety. Geordie snapped off a mock salute and grinned, hitching a huge—but mostly deflated—canvas backpack over one shoulder. Again he wore a really damn thin white undertank.
He was also completely barefoot.
He said, “Hey. So, we still good for sky-watching?”
“Yeah.” Zane leaned out the door, looked up at the fresh night sky. So weird—this was wildfire season, so the threat of anything like rain was unexpected. “I mean, it’s kinda cloudy, is the thing.”
Geordie chewed on his lower lip, eyes closed, face turned upward. A sudden wind ruffled his shocking blue hair like a bad Hollywood special effect.
Zane couldn’t resist a grin. He let it out just as Geordie opened his eyes, which were still turned skyward. Geordie said, “Well, looks like the clouds are blowing past pretty quick.”
Zane was about to argue, but Geordie slung the pack off his shoulder and pulled out a squarish bottle. “Anyhow, I brought a warm-up. Dessert.”
Rumple Minze. Zane laughed. “You have got to be the first dude ever to show up at my door with schnapps.”
“Chocolate sauce too.” Geordie dug in the pack again for a second before producing a bottle of syrup. “Dirty girl scouts?”
Zane chuckled some more. He’d forgotten in the drama of the day, but now he mentioned it, yes, proximity to a hot guy and a bottle of liquor—any liquor—was bound to improve his state of mind. Throw in some chocolate sauce, and yeah, he was definitely feeling this.
Zane waved and started into the kitchen, in the direction of the living room and stairs. “Come on in.”
Rearranging his pack, Geordie complied, closed the door behind him, and padded over the Italian marble. “Nice place. Anyone else actually live here?”
“You wouldn’t think so, but yeah. Dad, on occasion Mom, and my sister, Lauren.”
“Pretty girl? Kinda willowy? Ponytail?”
“Mmm-hmm.” Zane smiled at the description. “My room’s more lived in. That’s the balcony I stargaze from.”
This continued as they scaled the stairs and made their way to Zane’s room. He wished he’d borrowed some of Lauren’s incense, but the room didn’t smell like anything, really, apart from the strange woody-metallic scent from his open guitar case and the grassy-diesel smell from the wide-open windows.
Geordie went straight to Xenobia. He held out one hand but paused before touching her. Then looked up at Zane. “Whoa, you play?”
Zane scratched at the back of his neck. If he’d realized there was a possibility of it being Geordie before
he’d left the room, he might’ve hidden her under the bed. As it was… “Yeah, that’s Xenobia.”
“You got great hands for it.” Geordie dropped his pack on the rumpled bed—which still had a big old Raff indentation in it—and took Zane’s left hand. He lifted it and examined the fingers, his own strong, long, cool. He tapped the very tip of Zane’s middle and pointer fingers, where Zane had zero feeling through the calluses, then grinned. “Nice.”
Their eyes met, and a little spark made its way down Zane’s spine. Oh Jesus, give me strength not to make an ass of myself tonight.
Geordie grinned as if he’d heard him and liked it.
Zane disentangled himself reluctantly and rummaged through some nearby shelves for one of his college boxes. “’Scope is already out on the balcony. I got some shot glasses here somewhere…”
For a while he felt Geordie’s eyes on him, unabashedly curious but not uncomfortable, and then Geordie started circling the room, all curiosity.
Meanwhile, Zane succeed in finding a pair of shot glasses from Las Vegas. Another place he probably could’ve gone for summer break, or at least part of it. “We’re good. Outside?”
“Yeah, weather’s perfect now,” Geordie said. Weird, since he was facing away from the windows so he could admire Zane’s music shelf, centered around his high school prized possession: the pristine-condition vinyl of Bad Brains’ I Against I
“It…?” But Zane trailed off as he popped his head outside. Barely a cloud dotted the spotted-black night sky. “Weird. Forecast said cloudy all night.”
Geordie came close, put his hands on Zane’s shoulders—cool again, weirdly gentle—and steered him out onto the porch. “Told you, good weather follows me.”
He got his bottles all set up, poured out two full measures of schnapps, and set them on the end table beside the telescope. Then he threw his head back, lifted the chocolate syrup, and squirted it into his mouth with that little sucking noise that made all small children (and Zane) want to giggle. He closed his mouth, handed off the chocolate to Zane, and took the shot. Instead of swallowing, held it in his mouth, cheeks puffed out, and shook his head from side to side vigorously. His hair went every which way, falling over his forehead and into his eyes. He stopped, swallowed; Zane watched his throat contract, turning pink from lack of breath and exertion.
“Ah fuck, that’s good.” Geordie clapped his hands and smacked his lips.
The procedure wasn’t unfamiliar, even if Zane had never done it himself. He shook the confection up in his mouth and swallowed the minty-sweet liquor as fast as he could, all at once. When he could speak again, he said, “Shit, for real.”
Geordie grinned and licked his lips with a long pink tongue. “Someone left it at the house last night. I figured what the hell, right?”
Zane distracted himself from watching that tongue by pouring two more shots. “They’re all surviving off you anyhow, looks like.”
“We’re all surviving off someone. The idea is to do more than survive, to live. Feel the burn of it when it hits your throat, all the way down into your belly, inch by inch. That’s alive.”
Zane raised his eyebrows but remained silent as Geordie did his second shot. When he took his own, Zane actually tried to follow the advice, to feel it. To think of the alcohol burn waking him up inch by inch, though putting him asleep inch by inch might’ve been more accurate.
Not bad, actually. For a hippy-dippy white boy.
Geordie, still grinning, turned to lean over the terrace and look up at the now clear black sky. “So what’s that?” He pointed upward vaguely.
Zane stepped up and angled in just behind him without actually touching. Geordie’s back was at least as fine as his front. Those lines of muscle under that tank top, the perfectly defined V leading down into a sweet, muscled bubble butt.
Zane cleared his throat and focused very hard on trying to figure out what the hell Geordie was looking at. “What do you mean exactly? Describe it.”
Geordie turned his head but paused suddenly, as if he hadn’t realized how close Zane was. Then he smiled and leaned back a little. He smelled so good, though. Sweat and sunlight, fresh, but so real. “There. The really bright one that’s kind of yellow.”
Zane made a face. “Um, Venus?”
“Yeah. Definitely Venus, man.”
“Sweet, can we look at it?”
Zane laughed and backed off. “C’mere. She’s really pretty.”
They did shots between each heavenly body—the ones Zane could remember off the top of his head. He’d left his notebook inside, in case Geordie was the curious kind; dude did not need to know about Zane’s delusions of poetry. He seemed superentertained, just admiring stars, planets, the man in the moon, on a low-powered telescope with a mouthful of dirty girl scout.
By about the sixth shot, Zane was feeling fuzzy. By the seventh, they ended up sitting with their backs to the stucco, looking up and out, past the telescope, into the night. Geordie stretched his long legs out and leaned against Zane’s arm. He asked, “Would you go, if you could?”
Zane asked, “Where?”
“Just…” Geordie waved one expressive hand. “Space.”
Zane had heard it said that every kid wanted to be an astronaut at some point. But he never had. “Can I come back?”
Geordie shook his head. Blue hair flopped into his left eye. “No.”
Zane, who happened to be on that side, became fixated on the peace sign tattooed into his neck. At close quarters, it appeared slightly raised, like a scar. Zane had the stupidest urge to lick it, of a sudden.
Right. Space. No coming back. “Then no. Not unless Lauren comes with me. And maybe Raff. Though I’d kill him in the shuttle.”
Geordie laughed and set up the shot glasses between his legs, then poured out more schnapps.
“You?” Zane asked as he accepted his glass, this time for sipping.
“Yeah, I’d go.”
“Because you wouldn’t miss anything, or just because you’re that curious?” Zane looked up again, out, far, far away. He’d got the telescope for Christmas one year. Raff had gotten into Deep Space Nine
, and they’d spent long nights discussing the possibilities of life on other planets.
Or Raff had, and Zane had spent long nights laughing and wondering what difference it could possibly fucking make if there were or weren’t aliens. Well, that and just enjoying listening to Raff talk about it.
Voice gone even softer than usual, Geordie said, “Yeah. Both. I don’t know. I’d miss some things, but, like, that’s living in the past. Which isn’t really living.”
“That’s…” Zane wanted to argue but couldn’t. He sipped on his drink. “That’s true. But we need things. No, not things. We need people. Certain people.”
“I’d miss my mom.”
Zane liked that. Like there was some kind of universal brotherhood of People Who Loved People. And that was okay.
God, he fuckin’ hated how much of an emo punk liquor and “deep” conversation made him.
“Where is she?” Zane asked.
“Jersey. I grew up out here, up and down. But she got remarried again.” Geordie raised his shot glass as if toasting with the absent mother. “Fourth time. Free spirits, me and her.”
Of that, Zane had no doubt. “Sounds like fun.”
“But not for you?”
“Not much of a free spirit. Was never an option.”
Geordie raised his glass again, this time as if looking at the universe through it.
Which Zane supposed they both were, just then, in a manner of speaking.
“Everything’s an option. The universe is limitless possibility.” Geordie thrust his glass at the sky in illustration. “See?”
Zane only laughed and sipped his drink to halfway down. He did not see, but he had no doubt Geordie did. Good enough.
Geordie knocked most of his drink back, then licked a drip from his lips. He leaned on Zane a little more.
Zane wondered if he was really drunk or just really lucky. He said, “You smile a lot,” because he liked Geordie’s smile. It was big, genuine, but not overwhelming. His mouth was gentle, long, soft, while the rest of his face was hard, rugged. The contrast was something. Aesthetically. Mentally. Suggestively.
Geordie said, “You hardly smiled last night until you were alone with your friend.”
Zane thought: hate crowds, and only survived last night because of Raff—just like he survived it because of me. But Zane just said, “I’m not a big social guy. I mean, I had fun the other night—parties are okay for a while. But long-term, I prefer to keep things small, personal.”
“Yeah, I get that. I felt it. Like, this really calm, cool vibe. And you got compassion coming off you in waves. It feels nice.”
Zane wasn’t sure if this was a new development or not, but Geordie’s hand was suddenly on his thigh. Not just chilling there, but actually holding him as if to keep him in place. His hand, so cool before, was hot through Zane’s jeans.
In what he suspected was very much a belated reaction, Zane’s blood began to heat and rush to his center. “I—thanks, I think? I mean, long as that’s as good a thing as it sounds.”
“It is.” Geordie leaned nearer, so his liquor-mint breath was hot against Zane’s cheek. Closer still. Just as Zane was about to turn his head and go for it, Geordie asked, “You get high?”
Normally the question would’ve disappointed Zane. Tonight it just seemed like a matter of course, considering Geordie. “No. I mean, I’m okay with it, just—”
“I get it, man.” Geordie squeezed, then let up a little, running his hand up and down the length of Zane’s thigh, almost like he didn’t even realize. “I don’t much either. Picky about my company. Makes people feel so intense on my skin.”
Before Zane figured out his meaning, Geordie picked up the bottle again. He pushed off the wall and sat up on his knees, turned to face Zane. “How about body shots?”
Zane looked up at him, blinking. Body shots. As in, licking salt off each other, then shooting tequila? Because while the licking part sounded great, the whole tequila thing—that had been responsible for many of the hard lessons young Zane and Raff had learned together. Most of them involving praying to the porcelain god all day. “What?”
“Girl scouts make great body shots.” Geordie yanked off his shirt, revealing a broad, defined series of muscles and grooves across his bare chest and stomach that made Zane sit up straighter and squeeze his legs together. The hair trailing from the center of Geordie’s chest down, past the sweet indentation of his navel, over the flat hardness of his lower belly, into his shorts, was scruffy and pale.
Zane almost laughed at himself. Of course it fucking was—what, had he expected it to be blue? Jesus. “A’ight. Let’s do it.”
Geordie threw his shirt at the sliding glass door, then pointed to Zane. “‘First you gotta lose the shirt.”
Zane complied. He wasn’t as cut as Geordie—with muscles that were more long, flat planes than defined in deep relief. He took care of himself, though, and it was sure as hell nothing to feel ashamed of.
“Then…” Geordie leaned over to rummage for the chocolate. When he found it, he sat up on his knees. “I’m not really into food play, by the way. I just kind of want to lick you.”
Zane thought, Holy shit, is this really happening? Zane said, “Read my mind, man.”
“Don’t move,” said Geordie. “Stay just like that.”
Zane stilled, hands pressing hard into the clay tiles beneath him. Geordie threw one leg over his lap and sat straddling his thighs, facing him. The smell of clean sweat filled Zane’s head, overpowering the peppermint. When Geordie leaned forward, looming over him, Zane rolled his head to one side, offering up his neck.
Something wet and cold hit his collarbone, and Zane lifted his shoulder to form a deeper cup. It filled with chocolate, cooling his overheated skin; a little line of it dripped down his chest onto his jeans.
He wrestled down a sudden shudder as it tried to race through his body. Goose bumps broke out, and his nipples hardened.
Geordie placed his hands at Zane’s middle, thumbs sinking into his jeans. He lowered his head, opened his mouth, and— Jesus Christ, look at him stick that fine ass up in the air like a goddamn cat in heat.
Geordie licked up his pec, cleaning up the little chocolate trail before more could drip off. Raff was right. I so want to smash in that back door. Fffffffuuuuuuuuu—
The thought never completed, as by that time, Geordie was sucking at his collarbone, licking, sucking some more, licking again, cleaning it out. Zane’s nipples perked even tighter; his fingers and toes tingled. His dick grew too heavy to hide, and fast. He curled up his fingers, forming fists to try and keep him from grabbing for the fine-ass man in his lap. His throat clenched as he bit back a little groan, swallowed it whole.
Geordie sat up, snagged a shot glass from the ground next to his knee, dropped the contents into his mouth, and began shaking his head.
Gently this time, but it still meant there was now a vibrating
fine-ass man spread out over Zane, the backs of his thighs pressing into the tops of Zane’s, the flat of his belly, the button of his fly, the mouthwatering bulge behind it, all inviting Zane to touch, stroke, play. Zane uncurled his hands and ran his fingertips through the trail of hair between Geordie’s navel and the waist of his shorts. His skin was warm all over, like it held the sunshine.
Geordie swallowed and settled his ass against Zane’s thighs again. He dragged the back of his hand over his mouth and said, “You made it taste better.”
Zane sank two fingers into the front of Geordie’s shorts and pulled, just a little. Not enough to actually bring him forward.
Just enough to let him know he wanted to.