IN THE MIDDLE
Gap-Filler for Episode 15 (The Leather Ball)
Itís really hard being in the middle and seeing both sides. It must be easier to be prejudiced, to see things only one way, not to care about honesty and fairness, not to be torn between two people you love who hate each other. I love Melanie, she has been so good to me. But if Iím backed into a corner, then itís Brian who will always win. No matter what happens, I will always be on Brianís side. But wow, he makes it difficult sometimes.
The whole thing was really my fault. It I hadnít been so stupid, Melanie wouldnít have had anything to hold against Brian. He says thatís not true. He says she would have found something, anything, to throw at him last night, just because she hates him so much. Heís right, and yet, heís not right. It was my fault. I canít believe he didnít yell at me afterwards and kick me out of the loft.
I was thrilled on Saturday morning when he asked me to come over and babysit. He asked Debbie first but she had to work, so when he asked me, I remember grinning and practically falling off my chair with happiness. When I told Daphne about it, she said Iím a dope, getting all excited just because Brian wanted to take advantage of me. She doesnít understand what an honor it was for him to ask me. It proved he trusted me with his son. But in the end, I let him down. I wonder if he will ever trust me again.
Saturday morning I woke up early, and remembered that Brian had told Deb he would bring Gus over to visit, and she invited him for breakfast. I found Debbie sitting in her robe at the kitchen table sipping the first coffee of the morning, and offered to help her make breakfast. My mom taught me how to make waffles and Iím very good at it. I searched the kitchen and found everything I needed, canned peaches, frozen strawberries, and even, surprisingly, pushed to the back of a high cupboard, a half-empty bottle of Grand Marnier, which didnít seem to belong in the Novotny household. I never see Deb or Vic drinking, except at parties. Deb questioned me, to be sure I knew what I was doing, then went back upstairs for a shower.
By the time Brian arrived, Iíd filled a platter with waffles and had already prepared two sauces, one with peaches and Grand Marnier and the other with strawberries and rum. Of course Iíd sampled the sauces and they were delicious. When Vic came downstairs for his morning coffee, I gave him samples too, and he smacked his lips appreciatively. ďForget the waffles, Wolfgang,Ē he joked, ďAnd just serve the sauce.Ē
Then the front door banged open and Brian came rushing in, and set down the baby carrier on the table. Gus had thrown up all over his favorite leather jacket! Youíd think Brian would be angry, but he wasnít. He is a good daddy, no matter what he or anybody else says. He loves Gus unconditionally. I know it. Iíve seen it, in the way he looks at Gus, in the way heís so hard on himself. Heís never told me anything about his family, so I was all ears listening to him and Debbie talk about his father.
Brian told Debbie his dadís got cancer. I was at the table holding Gus, and couldnít help interrupting, barging in to ask, ĒYour dadís sick?Ē I shut up real quick though; this was a private conversation between Brian and Debbie. I listened of course, but I kept my mouth shut after that.
Iíd known for a long time that Brianís parents arenít aware that heís gay; heíd told me so himself. It always surprised me that Brian, whoís so open about his sexuality, never dealt with his parents. But I donít know anything about his family, not really, just bits Iíve overheard between Debbie and Vic or Debbie and Michael. From what I gather, Brian spent most of his teen years in the Novotny house. I guess Brianís dad beat him up all the time, something I can hardly even imagine. I mean, I know it happens a lot, but I never even had a spanking all the time I was a kid. My parents hardly even yelled at me and Molly. I donít know what it must be like to live with people who smack you around all the time. I wish Brian would tell me about it, but maybe he doesnít want to remember.
Debbie was leaning on Brian to tell his dad heís gay. I knew why she felt that way. In Psych class in school we read all about Ďclosureí and how if you donít deal with issues with somebody who is dying, you might carry around regret the rest of your life. Brianís behavior surprised me while Deb was talking to him; he looked so vulnerable, Iíve never seen that side of him, not really. He covered it up pretty fast though and shut her right up, but not in a mean way. They smiled at each other and she stopped nagging him. Thatís when he asked me to babysit. Iíd do anything for Brian. Anything.
What just kills me is this: that right that minute I asked if I could feed Gus, he was getting fussy, and Debbie piped up that sheíd fix him a bottle. Brian smiled at me and squeezed the back of my neck, then pulled off his jacket and took Gus, so I could finish getting the waffles ready. Brian helped himself to coffee, I got the platters on the table, and when everyone sat down to eat, Debbie gave me the bottle for Gus. I didnít watch her get the bottle ready. I know now that she must have tested the milk on her arm, but I didnít see her, I was busy at the stove. I should have watched her. I should have.
I love holding Gus in the crook of my arm and watching him suck down his formula, he makes the cutest faces as if heís saying ĎYum yum yum.í Someday I want to make a son of my own, like Brian did. I love Gus so much, I canít imagine how it would feel if he was my own flesh and blood. Brian says itís different when they belong to you. But I donít think I could love any baby more than I love Gus.
Everybody gave me a lot of compliments on breakfast, even Brian said the waffles were not half bad, which is high praise coming from him. I was surprised that he pitched in and helped clear the table, even stood at the sink rinsing dishes and handing them to me to put in the dishwasher. He hates that kind of thing, domestic stuff, so it was really nice of him. He denied it when I said so, and he goes, oh, Debbie always makes him work for his supper, she always had. Debbie and Vic laughed out loud when he said that, so it must be a private joke.
Brian came back to Debís about seven that night, and said he needed to leave Gus for a while, he had to go see somebody. I didnít mind, Gus fell asleep in his carrier on the sofa, and I did a couple sketches of him while we waited. When Brian came back, he was in a strange mood, he seemed very sad or depressed or something, but when I asked what was wrong, he just goes ĎNothing,í in that way of his that means, leave it alone. But he was very gloomy. I wish he would confide in me but why should he. Iím just a kid, or anyway, thatís what he thinks.
I knew enough to back off, so I did, and we drove over to the loft and got Gusí diaper changed and settled him into his porta-crib in the living room. Brian watched me change the diaper and said I was very good at it, which made me feel great. He showed me the bottles of formula ready in the refrigerator, and HE ASKED ME IF I KNEW HOW TO HEAT THEM UP. I said of course.
He asked me. HE ASKED ME. I tried to tell Melanie this, but she wouldnít listen. It wasnít Brianís fault. It was my fault. Only mine.
I also tried to tell Melanie that Brian only went out for a couple hours. Heíd promised to be gone just two hours and he came home right when he said he would. Itís not like he abandoned the baby with a stranger. She wouldnít hear it; she says I always make excuses for him. Maybe I do, maybe sometimes I do.
What I didnít tell Melanie was that I was glad Brian went out last night. Which sounds insane coming from me, right? But he was so down, so gloomy, all the time he was talking to me about Gus and promising to come home soon, it was like he was walking on a tightrope in the middle of a dark cloud. Well, that sounds dumb, but itís hard to describe the state Brian was in. I felt like he might explode and fly into a million pieces at any moment. I think Brian just needed to go off by himself for a while.
And yeah, Iím not stupid, I know he wanted to go fuck the shit out of somebody. Or several somebodies. And it killed me that I wasnít the one he wanted to do it with. But that is Brian. I have to accept him the way he is or I would go crazy. Mom says you canít change anybody, and I see the truth of that with Brian. I keep trying anyway, because I love him so much I canít help it. Someday he will see the truth, someday heíll know I love him Ďas isí and be glad about it. Well, that is the hope that keeps me going. I know I canít live without him.
So anyway, Gus wakes up and itís time for his bottle. I heat it in the microwave, for the time Debbie told me, and Iím ready to feed him when the doorbell rings. Itís Melanie, and how can I turn her away? So I buzz her up and she storms into the loft demanding to see Brian. I know now that she was looking for any excuse to take Gus away from him.
The thing is, I know why, and I can see Melís side of things too. She loves Gus as much as any of us do, and sheís been suffering without him. I donít know all the reasons she and Lindsay split up, itís none of my business, but I do know itís killing her, I know she misses Lindsay and the baby. And I know she hates Brian and does not believe he is a good father, so here was her opportunity to check up on him and damned if he wasnít out at the Leather Ball instead of home with his son. She was already fuming when she picked up the baby bottle and exclaimed, ďItís too hot, did you test it on your arm?Ē
When I watched Melanie sprinkle milk on her arm, I got an immediate flashback to my mom. I was ten when Molly was born, and sometimes Mom let me help take care of her. And now I remembered seeing Mom sprinkle milk on her arm. At the time I didnít know why she was doing that, maybe she didnít tell me, and it didnít stick with me. Till now. I could have cried, I nearly did, and I tried so hard to get Melanie to see that it was my fault, not Brianís. But she wouldnít listen. Then suddenly he walks in, and she goes off on him.
Maybe I watch too much TV drama, but Iím always amazed that Brian doesnít haul off and smack Melanie sometimes. She says the cruelest things to him, like she did this time, calling him a selfish shit and lecturing him on parenthood. As if sheís been a perfect parent and never used a babysitter for Gus. But then Brian smacked her right back, with words not with his hands, saying ďIím his father, WHO ARE YOU?Ē and she recoiled as if he had punched her.
By now I was shaking and hugging myself. Melanie demanded to take Gus home with her, and I couldnít believe it, but Brian finally agreed. Heíd been carrying some kind of leather stick, some S&M whippy type thing I guess, and suddenly he just threw it on the floor, threw up his hands and says, ďTake him.Ē
There was dead silence, then Brian turned to me and said, ďPack up Gusí stuff and help Melanie load her car. Hereís my keys.Ē He tossed me the keys and walked away, up the bedroom steps, pulling off his jacket.
I hurried after him and had to ask, I just had to ask, ďDo you want me to go too?Ē
ďDo what you want,Ē he muttered, then he turned and looked at my face. It was like he was really seeing me for the first time since he got home. He put a hand on my shoulder and squeezed. ďNo, donít go,Ē he said. ďIím taking a shower now. Iíll drive you home later. Okay?Ē
Unable to speak over the lump in my throat, I nodded, then turned away and started gathering up Gusí things. In the kitchen Mel stood holding the baby, and when I carried an armload of things to put in the tote bag, she whispered, ďCome with me, Justin, Iíll take you to Debís.Ē
ďNo, thanks,Ē I shook my head, ďIím staying here a while.Ē
ďJustin,Ē Mel said insistently, ďHeís going to give you hell about this, come away now.Ē
Shaking my head again, I said, ďI deserve hell for this, itís all my fault,Ē and she goes into this blaming-Brian routine again but I just shut my ears and went to retrieve baby toys scattered in the living room, then helped carry everything down to her car. She tried once more to get me to leave but I refused. I watched her car disappear into the darkness, then I went back upstairs.
After gathering all my own stuff and shoving it in my backpack, I went to sit on the ledge of the bed, waiting for Brian to come out of the shower, which he finally did, with a towel wrapped around his hips. I braced myself and stood up to meet him. ďBrian, this is all my fault, Iím so sorry.Ē
Expecting him to say ďSorry is bullshit,Ē his usual response to apologies, I was surprised when he walked right over and pulled me into his arms. ďItís not your fault, Justin.Ē
I was prepared for anger, for coldness, for I donít know what. I was not prepared for tenderness, and it made me come undone. I started shaking and felt hot tears pressing behind my eyelids. He hugged me tighter.
ďWeíre not going to talk about this,Ē he said, his harsh voice belied by the pressure of his arms around me. ďI fucking hate post-mortems. I shouldíve made sure you knew how to heat the milk, but even if you had, Mel wouldíve found something else to use against me. This is our fight, hers and mine, you just got in the middle.Ē
ďBut, Brian,Ē I argued, pulling away a few inches, ďI should have known Ė ď
ďStop.Ē He has this way of tilting his head and staring deep into my eyes that always gets my attention. ďI said, no post-mortems,Ē he repeated sharply. ďThe end. Got it?Ē I swallowed unshed tears and nodded. ďNow Iím starving, is there anything to eat?Ē
We went into the kitchen and scrounged some leftover Chinese from the night before for him to eat and I had a glass of milk. ďHow was the Leather Ball?Ē I dared to ask, but he only shook his head.
ďBoring. Though youíll have to get Emmett to model his new outfit for you sometime.Ē
He wouldnít explain, just scraped his plate and had a last bite of noodles, then tilted his bottle of beer and chugged it, and burped quietly. ďYou in a hurry to get home?Ē he asked, and I shook my head, my heart already starting to pick up speed.
ďI need a pity fuck,Ē he said, half seriously, and I immediately volunteered to be the fuckee.
Iíve never written details about sex in this journal before, afraid somebody would find it I guess, but now Iím going to write about it, for me. It was one of our best times ever, and I want to remember all the details, so I can read it over and over again.
Considering how mad Brian was at Melanie, and how depressed heíd been before he went to the Leather Ball, I thought he might be kind of rough with me, but he wasnít. To be honest, sometimes I like him to be a little rough. Heís never hurt me, well that first night doesnít count, everybody hurts the first time. But once in a while he gets majorly aggressive, like that time in the hotel in New York. And I have to admit it can be a big turn-on. But most of the time itís like weíre equals. Iíve figured out that usually he likes me to meet him halfway, and this was one of those times.
Brian pushed his plate away and slipped off the stool, but when I started to get down, he put his arms around me and grabbed onto the sides of the stool. He leaned his forehead against mine and our eyeballs almost touched. Brian likes to get in close and I love it. I slipped my arms around his neck and he whispered, ďYeah,Ē then our lips met and opened and he sucked my tongue into his mouth. I felt my cock go Ďsproing!í That fast.
Then I felt him grab my hips, he murmured, ďWrap your legs around me,Ē which I did, and he carried me like that up the steps and into the bedroom, then had me stand on the ledge. In almost a single motion he pulled down my sweatpants; Brian never fumbles. I reached for his towel, it slipped off and he kicked it away. I jumped down off the ledge and lifted my arms so he could pull off my t-shirt, then I wriggled out of my underwear.
Brian laughs at my underwear. I like cotton briefs, theyíre comfortable. He made me try one of those thongs once but I hated the feel of it rubbing on my crack. Brian has a whole drawerful of beautiful briefs and jocks, mostly 2(x)ist, but he usually just wears them to work. He says the only reason he does then is to protect his suits from leaky stains. Brian is not a leaky guy, he says itís because he comes so often he doesnít get any backup in his pipes. Iím not sure if that is a joke or not. It seems like I am leaky all the time and I jerk off a lot (like, A LOT), but Brian says itís totally normal for guys my age. That was a relief to hear, itís one of those things you canít ask your mom. And my dad. . .well, I couldnít ask my dad even before he knew about me. It seems like in school Iím always getting hard-ons, Iím glad baggy pants are in style, if I wore tight jeans like Brian, Iíd be embarrassed all the time. Thereís some hot guys in my school, too. Especially this one guy I used to like, I wonít write his name but his initials are C.H., anyway, I donít like him any more.
So weíre naked and he pulls me tight against him and we kiss really hard till Iím breathless. One of the sexiest things about Brian is this: that although he is very tall, he has this way of kind of slinking down till weíre the same height, and somehow that gives me confidence to be aggressive right back with him. And Brian likes it. I bet people donít know that. Just looking at him, and knowing how harsh he can talk and act, I bet people donít know how generous he is in bed. At least with me he is, I donít know how he is with other guys. He definitely likes to take the lead, but he wants me to keep up with him. He said once he canít stand guys that just lay there and donít do any work.
Itís funny to think of sex as Ďwork,í but Brian has taught me that it is. The harder you work, the bigger reward you get, he says, and itís true. If you care about your partner getting a lot of pleasure, then you do everything you can to make it happen, and he will do the same for you. Brian taught me that. He shows me with his hands and with his lips what he likes, and I love giving it right back to him. He says Iím a fast learner.
Anyway, soon I was lying on my back in the middle of the bed and he was kneeling over me, sitting on my legs really, and I remembered our first night, how ignorant I was and how he teased me. Once I got to know Brian, the public Brian, I was amazed, remembering how good he had been to me that first time, going slow, calming my fear, never pushing me too far or too fast. Even more amazing, he was incredibly wasted that night, high on E and I donít know what else. I was so horny it hadnít fazed me, nothing could have stopped me I donít think. Heís never been like that with me since the first time. He takes drugs often, too often (sometimes it worries me but Iím not allowed to say so), but only at night. Iíve never seen him do it any other time. I dared to ask him once, did he ever get high at work, and he curled his lip and asked me if I was crazy. So I know heís not like an addict or anything. Still, I wish he wouldnít do it. As hot as sex is with him all the time, itís even hotter when heís sober. I told him that once and he got mad, but it seems like since then, he is sober most of the times we are together. Maybe itís a coincidence.
ďSo what do you like to do?Ē he asks, and I laugh; heís remembering our first time too!
ďEverything,Ē I answer, running my hands up his chest, tweaking his nipples. He has very tiny nipples but they are extremely sensitive.
He lowers his head and I think heís going to kiss me, but instead he kisses my right ear, licking slowly inside the rim, his warm breath tickling, making me giggle, then he nibbles on my earlobe just enough to almost hurt, so I will stop laughing. I hold onto his head, twisting my fingers gently in his glossy, shaggy hair while his lips move down my neck, he licks my adamís apple, moving in a straight line to a point in the middle of my chest. He kisses and nibbles and licks my left nipple first, he always saves the pierced nipple for last, he holds the ring in his mouth and flicks it a few times, driving me almost crazy with sensation.
ďLet me Ė ď I say, struggling to move, I want to get my lips on him, taste him, but he whispers, wait-wait, and moves his tongue lower, circling my belly button, then pushing his tongue inside, heís making me writhe on the bed.
ďTurn over,Ē he tells me.
ďWait,Ē I insist, ďLet me Ė ď and I struggle to sit up. He moves back so I can pull myself up, I stand on my knees and slide my arms around his neck. ďMore kisses,Ē I insist breathlessly, and he smiles, then bends his head and we kiss, I can never get enough of his kisses. His arms go around my back and pull me tight against his chest and we kiss for hours, days, weeks, I can feel his hard cock rubbing against mine, and then suddenly itís spontaneous combustion and I come like fucking blazes, just like that, just by kissing him. He holds me tighter while my body spasms once, twice, three times and Iím breathless, my whole body goes limp, but he hangs onto me and whispers in my ear, ďMmm yeah, mmm yeah, oh yeah, Justin, Justin, Justin,Ē just my name like that and I could die with happiness right there in his arms.
I know all about sex now, I know youíre supposed to wait a long time before having your orgasm, that itís like selfish to come before your partner is ready, but Brian never minds that, he tells me so, he says he wants me to get off first because itís too hard to wait when youíre my age. And that I could do it about twenty-seven times a night which is just exaggeration, really I donít think I could do it more than four times, five tops. Well, we did it four times that first night, and once again in the morning, which technically counts as still the same night.
Then he lowers me on the bed, and this is something that maybe sounds weird but is so hot, Brian bends over my body and licks me clean, all the time going ďMmmĒ as if I am delicious. He says I am, but Iíve tasted myself and itís, you know, just salty, but he says I taste sweet as honey. I tried to tell him the same thing once and he laughed at me, he knows what he tastes like he says, and itís not honey, itís tangy and slightly bitter. Which is true, but itís HIM, so to me that is delicious. Or anyway, I love to taste him in my mouth.
Brian whispers, ďMy turn, now flip over, Iím going to eat your ass,Ē and I feel my whole body jerk like Iím electrocuted, just thinking about what he can do with his tongue down there. So quickly I turn over. Iím not going to write about that part, because, I just canít. There arenít words for what he does to me and the way it feels.
I practically have a second orgasm before he stops and turns me back over to face him, and ďRaise your legs up,Ē he says, but I shake my head no.
ďLet me sit on you,Ē I insist, and he nods and lies down on the bed so I can climb on top of him. He hands me a condom and I try to tear it open with my teeth like he does but something goes wrong and my teeth rip the condom as well as the package. He takes it from me, I canít look at him because Iím embarrassed but he doesnít laugh, just takes it from my hand and gives me another one. I donít try my teeth again, I will practice alone in my room after this, I just rip it open the normal way and roll the thin latex over his cock. Heís holding the lube and he rubs it on himself, then beckons for me to rise up on my knees, so he can get his fingers inside me, one then two then three, by then Iím squirming and dying for it.
Brian puts his hands on my hips and guides me slowly over him, he said once itís like lining up a rocket at the port of a space station, he has a good feel for it so quickly I am hovering in place with the tip of his cock just inside me. Iím dying to just plunge myself down on him but he wonít let me, he holds my hips and guides me slowly by degrees, an inch at a time, until I go ďUuungh,Ē and heís home, all systems are go.
In just moments we get into a rhythm, Iím bouncing on top of him, he slows me down when I get too fast, sometimes I go crazy when Iím on top of him, itís as close to fucking him as heíll let me get, if I close my eyes I can imagine I am inside of him. His hand clutching me tight, jerking me, sometimes feels like a tight ass must feel. He keeps one hand on my hip to control my crazy pumping while his other hand holds my cock, his hands are so big and strong and always warm, Brianís whole body is always warm, soon weíre both covered with a sheen of sweat and Iím gasping for air. ďOh!Ē I cry.
ďNot yet,Ē Brian insists, I open my eyes and see him smiling at me, he nods and says, ďHang on, Justin,Ē so I take a deep breath, then another, and slow down my rhythm, getting in control again. ďHow do you want to come?Ē he asks.
ďOn my back,Ē I answer him, predictably; itís my favorite way. So he grabs hold of both my hips and helps me lift off him, then he moves sideways and gently flips me down on the bed and crouches over me. My legs rise up automatically to his shoulders. Sometimes Brian calls me Ďhelium heels,í which makes me get a picture of a bunch of colored balloons tied to my feet raising them up and that almost makes me laugh, but then heís sliding right inside me again and I lose all urge to laugh, instead I am gasping and my body instantly picks up the rhythm of his thrusts.
All the time he is fucking me this way, heís leaning over to kiss me, over and over, and we look at each other, sometimes smiling, sometimes gasping, sometimes kissing, and we look in each otherís eyes the whole time and I am so full of love for him I canít believe my body doesnít swell up and explode into a hundred million pieces of bloody confetti splattering the walls of Brianís bedroom. I hold out as long as I can, then I know itís going to happen, Iím coming any second, and I can see in his eyes that he knows Iím ready, he times his own orgasm to match mine, I donít know how he does it but he does, and we come together suddenly, violently, explosively, magnificently, incredibly hot and wild, both our bodies spasming together at the same moment.
Brian collapses on top of me, but carefully, leaning on his elbows so I donít get smashed, his body is slim but itís all muscle and sinew and heís half a foot taller than me, but I wouldnít mind dying crushed underneath his magnificent body. We hold on tight for a while, I am biting my lips to keep from saying ďI love you, Brian,Ē but I know better, instead I listen to him breathing and going ďMmmmm, mmmmm,Ē like Iím a delicious meal heís just eaten. And he even licked the plate.
Well thatís enough for now, Iím getting writerís cramp, besides Iíve made myself so horny just remembering last night with Brian, I donít know what to do about it. Maybe Iíll go take a shower.