Matt and Christopher's second date, as told from Christopher's POV.
|I looked into the full-length mirror in my bedroom for the hundredth time, ran a hand through my hair—as much as I could with all the product in it, anyway—and studied myself as critically as any nervous teenager on a first date.
On this—technically our second date since deciding to pursue a steady, exclusive relationship—Matt had chosen our activity: a live music venue in Jackson Heights, Queens. So I’d dressed appropriately in distressed grey jeans, a red Neutral Milk Hotel t-shirt, and a tan leather jacket. My red Chucks and grey pork-pie hat completed the outfit.
I was looking fierce and fine. . . .
. . . or so I hoped.
I’ll admit it: I’m a vain hipster. From my musical taste, to my clothes, and even to the brand of cigarettes I smoke when I fall off the tobacco wagon. And there’s nothing wrong with being a vain hipster. It’s just that Matt was so everything that I wasn’t. He was a man’s man. He worked as a carpenter and did construction on the sides. He drank mainstream beers and wore plaid shirts un-ironically. His musical tastes ran to classic rock (and, amusingly enough, show tunes) and metal.
He wouldn’t be caught dead smoking a cigarette, though I knew he smoked pot. Not as much as I did, but he wasn’t a prude about it, either. (And he was cute as a kitten, stoned. Cuddle-y and, sooner, rather than later, horny as toad.)
We’d had some pretty unforgettable nights when we got stoned together. And not just because Matt was an epic lay. When he was stoned, he let that façade of strong, silent type fall away, and the person underneath was chatty, charming . . . and kind of lonely.
It was that loneliness that had drawn me to him, more than anything else—his looks, his personality, his sexual prowess—and made him stand out from the parade of faces that was my bedroom, once upon a year ago.
Matt wasn’t just some empty good time that followed me home, no. He was, I sensed from the moment our eyes met in that bar, that he was different. I didn’t know how, but I knew that I wanted him. And he was so not my type. Not small and twinkish, with quirky hair and a slightly flame-y manner. No, he was big and brawny, all muscle, with a shaved head, tattoos on his arms, and facial hair—ginger facial hair—In the form of a mustache and soul-patch. He’d been holding a Rolling Rock and staring off into space in the direction of the exit, looking very much out of his element.
But maybe my stalkerish staring caught his attention, because suddenly his eyes were on mine and—
The rest, as they say, was history. I took him home with me that night and fucked him cross-eyed. And had been doing so more nights than not, in the year since. Slowly, I stopped seeing other guys without realizing what I was doing. Until one day, a booty-call-cum-old-friend and I got together for dinner and wound up back at my place, as expected.
Long story short, I couldn’t . . . well, I could perform, I mean, I’m Christopher Rivera Bosch. My dick is always in working order. I just . . . couldn’t finish. Which was a good time for Devon, my booty-call—I basically hit it hard and fast, then slow and sweet, alternately till sun-up, chasing an orgasm I couldn’t quite catch—but not so much for me.
And all night long, I kept wishing it was Matt, on his knees in front of me, on his back below me, on his stomach under me. Being with someone else after months of not felt . . . wrong. Dissatisfying.
It took me three more months to admit to myself and then Matt, that what I wanted—and maybe had since the beginning, despite my insistence on a No Strings Attached sexual relationship only—was someone I could . . . have a real relationship with.
And no matter what he’d been in the beginning, Matt had become that person. For the first time in my lonely life—yes, I’ll admit, though not lacking for bed partners and companions, my life has been surprisingly lonely—I was . . . in love. And, the double whammy of Rivera and Bosch luck had held true, for the person I loved, loved me back, I was sure of it. Not for my name, or my money, or my connections, or even my looks. None of those things mattered to Matt. What mattered to him was the way I made him feel . . . and not just in bed.
I’d never had that before. Not once in my life.
I intended to do everything in my power to hold on to it.
So, I told myself as I primped in front of my full-length mirror,it doesn’t matter how you look, really. You could step out in sweatpants and that Space Jam t-shirt you tell yourself you wear ironically, and he’d still smile that smile and look at you like you hung the moon.
“True enough,” I said aloud, to my reflection, mugging and crossing my eyes. I resisted the temptation to flip my lids inside out, however, and adjusted my hat exactly one micron to the left, then grabbed my keys, wallet, chapstick, and cellphone from the dresser.
When I pulled up to the front of Matt’s crumbling apartment building, he was waiting outside, looking like a pornstar in a tight, white t-shirt, brown suede vest, straightleg jeans, and black workboots that’d seen actual work.
My steel-toed shit-kickers, Matt had told me once when I’d commented on them. Just in case someone takes it into their head to play Kick-The-Queer, some night. When I kick back, I want ‘em to feel it.
Now, Matt slid into the passenger seat and shut the door, smiling at me. He hmmed when I leaned over and kissed him. I meant for it to be a quick kiss hello, but Matt deepened it, his large hand settling on my upper thigh, before traveling higher to touch and tease.
“Fuck,” I exhaled, nuzzling his cheek with my nose, and down to his jaw, and thence his ear and neck. “Fuck.”
“Mm, is that a promise?”
“It’s an inevitability.” I caught his Roman hand and Russian fingers, and pulled them up to my face. I kissed his palm and nuzzled it, too, for good measure. His hand was tougher than mine. Callused and scarred. Nonetheless, I wanted nothing more than to feel those hands on me rough-gentle, hard-soft, tight-tender. “How was your day, gorgeous?”
Matt blushed, as he always did when I called him gorgeous and/or kissed his hand. But his light blue eyes were steady on mine. And when he pulled my hand down to his lap, my eyebrows shot up even as I started and sustained a slow, hard stroke.
“Hard,” he said, snorting and leaning back as I took my turn to tease and touch. Even in the dark of my car, I could make out the minute changes on his face as I did: the furrow of his brow, the biting of his lip, the flare of his nostrils. “God, all I could think about all day was you.”
I leaned in and licked a stripe up Matt’s neck to his ear, where I nibbled on the lobe. “Which do you want?” I breathed in his ear, and he shivered. “My hand or my mouth?”
“When it’s you? Always.”
I chuckled and put the parking-brake on, glancing up and down the street. There was, at this time of night, in Greenpoint, not a lot of foot traffic—certainly no one I could see. So I unbuckled my seatbelt and proceeded to give my lover a very thorough hello.
“So, tell me about this band of yours,” I said, sliding my stamped hand around Matt’s waist as he led the way through the somewhat crowded bar.
Matt glanced back at me—he still looked good and relaxed from the impromptu hummer . . . relaxed and a little starry-eyed—and grinned. “They’re called Six Kroner, and they’re my friend, Marty Schulze’s band. They play . . . let’s call it Deutsch-rock. They’re like a cross between Rammstein, Chumbawamba, and Dead Kennedys.”
“Ah. . . .”
Matt laughed. “Don’t look so horrified. I promise: they’re really good.”
As we got closer to the stage and the crowd that’d swarmed the bar had thinned to only a relative few, I pulled Matt close and pecked his lips. “Okay. I’ll defer to your judgment. But if they’re wearing lederhosen, I make you no promises about not running out of here screaming.”
Laughing again, Matt let me put my arms around his waist again. I had no idea if this place, Castle Heights, was gay-friendly, but then, Matt probably wouldn’t be so affectionate in public if it wasn’t. “If you really think you’re gonna bolt, lemme know, first, since you’re my ride home. Just squeeze my hand and blink twice, and I’ll know to make for the door.”
“Will do,” I swore as he leaned in to kiss me. One of my hands had slipped down from his waist to his ass and I was about to suggest we go hang out in my car till the show started, when someone hailed Matt by name.
“Marty!” Matt broke the kiss to look over his shoulder and I sighed, giving his ass one promising squeeze before moving my hand to a more PG part of his anatomy.
Hopping down off the stage was a short guy in jeans and a black wife-beater. He had curly dark hair, bright blue eyes, and the build of a boxer. He side-stepped some scattered equipment and patrons, returning hails as he got them, and without stopping to talk. Then he was clasping Matt’s hand, laughing. I let go of Matt reluctantly as the handshake turned into a hug with lots of back-patting. The straight man’s embrace I thought, rolling my eyes.
“How ya doin’, Bud?”
“Not bad, not bad—you?”
“Ah, I’m aces,” Marty said as they let go of each other, his bright eyes sweeping the crowded bar proudly. “It’s a pretty good turn-out, tonight. And you made it out, too. A good night.”
“I wouldn’t miss you guys for the world,” Matt said warmly, clapping Marty’s shoulder. “Despite old man Bronfman working us all like damn dogs, today.”
Marty rolled his eyes. “I swear to God that old bastard’s trying to work us all into early graves. Little does he know the Schulzes frequently live into their late nineties.” He snorted, his roaming eyes coming back to Matt, then flicking to me.
Matt saw this and turned to me, grinning. “Christopher, this is Marty Schulze, my friend and coworker. Marty, this is Christopher Bosch, my, um. . . .” Matt and I glanced at each other, Matt pink from the tip of his nose, to the tips of his ears. It was cute.
But even as I thought how adorable Matt was when flustered, I realized this might be a pivotal moment in our relationship. That Matt didn’t know what to call me because despite talking about how we felt for each other, we’d never really named what we felt, or ourselves in regards to it.
What was Matt to me? Equally important, what was I to him?
It took a moment of blank-minded hesitation before I moved close to Matt again, sliding my arm back around his waist and holding out my other hand to Marty.
“I’m his boyfriend,” I said easily, and could see Matt’s eyes widen from the corner of my eye. Marty’s eyebrows quirked, and he took my handwithout hesitation. His grip was as powerful and callused as Matt’s. “Pleased to meet you, Marty.”
“Same here, Christopher.” Marty’s smile flashed out at me: a crooked, but very white one. “You’re taking good care of my boy, here, right?”
“Oh, nightly,” I replied, and could see Matt blush—again, from the corner of my eye. But Marty only laughed and snorted.
“Good! Lord knows he needs it,” he said, his eyes darting over my shoulder and narrowing. “Ah, shit, there’s my brother, and fuck-a-duck, but he’s already drunk—‘scuse me, fellas.”
Then Marty was gone, off toward the bar. He waded through the crowd with elbows and shoulders, till he reached a rather tall man with the same curly dark hair and a tall-boy in hand. Marty snatched the tall-boy and proceeded to somehow, play keep away with it.
“Oh-kay, whatever else this night is, it’ll definitely be interesting.” I looked at Matt, grinning, expecting to see him doing the same. But instead, he was watching me with a wondering, solemn look on his face.
“What?” I asked, wiping at my face just in case. Matt smiled and caught my hand, holding it to his chest.
“Nothing, just . . . you’re my boyfriend?”
Now that the moment of bravery had passed, I was the one to blush. And look away. “Well . . . yeah. If you want me to be.”
Matt’s smile widened and brightened till it was ear to ear incandescence. “I do. I do want you to be.”
“That’s good.” I let out a breath I hadn’t realized I was holding and squeezed Matt close. He put his arm around me and nuzzled my neck before leaning his head on my shoulder with a sigh. I kissed his stubbly crown and sighed in rarely-felt contentment. He felt good and right in my arms—more so than anything ever had. “That’s really excellent.”