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With what seemed like more effort than he had ever mustered, Toby forced his eyes open. With the first crack, light flooded in, and with it, the violence of the perfect storm crashed around his head.
Thunder pounded at Toby’s brain, and he tightened his eyes against the thumping of his hangover. Slowly, he reached his arms out to his sides to check the size of the bed. If it was a single, which it was, he had made it back to Jamie’s flat.
That’s something, he thought when his fingers found the edge of his bed. For a second Toby thought about raising his head and looking around, but even the thought flashed a streak of pain across his temple. He sank back down into the pillow for a second and tried to recall what he remembered about last night.
Jumbled memories came to the fore, though through the pain, he struggled to place them in the right order. He remembered saying he was going to drink less; clearly, that hadn’t worked. Toby’s evil face appeared, so, yet again, they’d had some kind of run-in.
And then the man appeared, the strapping man, well he kind of appeared in Toby’s memory. It was more like looking through dense fog. He knew someone was there, had a feeling the experience had been okay, but he couldn’t make out any details.
The last memory he could find was taking a seat at a booth with the stranger and after that nothing. Looking harder only fired up the thunder so Toby left it in the hope that Jamie could fill in the blanks.
When his thoughts turned to Jamie, he knew, before he attempted to sit up again, that it was best to scan the flat for sounds.
And there it was, the cringe-inducing sound of two men doing what two men do together.
‘I’m awake now, so, you know, if you could stop whatever it is you’re doing, that’d be great,’ Toby shouted. Well, he aimed for a shout, but what he managed was a croaky, slightly slurred sentence that tortured his brain and made him wish he were dead.
‘What’s that from over there?’ Jamie said, adding, ‘can you go back to sleep, five minutes max?’
‘No!’ This time Toby managed a yell, adding, after a moment’s pause to let his head settle, ‘I’m awake now, so if you could save IT for later please.’
‘Fine, calm down, you slept through all the real action anyway,’ Jamie said, the smirk on his face dripping into the tone of his reply.
This time with a greater effort Toby tried to sit up, but once again his hangover won and kept him pinned to the bed.
‘You know that’s pretty gross,’ Toby said when he’d resigned to lying still for a while longer.
‘Oh, mate, I think you get the prize for that one,’ Jamie said and then chuckled, before letting out a slight moan.
The moan wasn’t lost on Toby. He wasn’t a fan of the morning after their nights out. Usually, Jamie had pulled at some point in the night, and it was rare for it just to be Toby and Jamie in the flat the next morning.
Thankfully, though he didn’t feel too thankful now, given the pounding in his head, Jamie had always been too drunk to get drawn into anything.
‘I’m not doing anything and, well… mate, tell me you remember?’ A second moan.
‘Stop playing semantics. Just stop what’s being done TO you? And I remember sitting in the booth, talking to a guy I think might have been attractive, but that’s pretty much it.’ Toby pulled the covers up and over his head. Partly, because he was pretty sure his friend was getting blown and also against whatever tragedy had befallen him in his drunken state the night before.
‘Keep going,’ Jamie muttered, and then, louder, replying to Toby he said, ‘yeah, that attractive guy, err..’ Jamie stumbled, unsure if it was even worth telling his friend what had happened. He didn’t remember, and the truth would only hurt him.
At the pause, Toby encouraged, ‘come on, mate, I’m guessing it was pretty bad, I can take it.’
‘That’s it,’ Jamie said, a little louder than he would have liked and then moaned at the same volume.
‘You know, I really don’t know why we’re friends. You know it’s gross trying to have a conversation while you’re getting a BJ?’ Toby said after Jamie reached a conclusion, if not the one Toby was waiting for.
‘What’s gross about it? You can’t see anything and why deny a friend a little pleasure?’ Jamie replied, a little out of breath.
Deciding there was nothing to gain by pressing it, Toby said, ‘you’re a freak, it’s gross BUT anyway… tell me what happened last night.’
A fuss came from under Jamie’s covers, and Toby heard someone walk across the tiny studio and into the bathroom. A spitting sound followed and then the sound of someone swilling their mouth with water.
Neither man commented, and eventually, Jamie said, ‘fine, I’ll tell you, but just so you know, I’d rather not as he’s only going to hurt your feelings.’
‘Just tell me!’
‘Okay, okay, that handsome guy, and he was pretty good looking, he took you off to a cubical and tried to blow you. I didn’t see any of this, well, I saw you chatting to him and left you to it.’
‘So, how do you know he was trying to give me a blow job, and what do you mean by “trying”’?
‘Right, yeah, that, well I came to pee and was at the urinal when I heard a guy having a go at someone. It wasn’t pretty.’
The third party was still not out of the bathroom, and now the shower was running. A little presumptuous, Toby thought, but right now he was more interested in how his night had ended.
‘How wasn’t it pretty?’
The large grey cushions from the settee and the one chair in Jamie’s apartment had been laid on the floor to create a makeshift bed. When Jamie moved to sit up, they slid on the laminate floor and left him sitting on his bum, propped up against the wall. The laminate felt cold against his naked arse, so he pulled the covers tight up to his chest.
Jamie then pulled a smaller, throw, cushion up to his chest and hugged it. He didn’t want to continue, but as he held the cushion tight he said, ‘the guy opened the cubical door and you were stood there with your jeans and pants around your ankles. Cock totally soft. The guy wasn’t impressed. Thankfully, there was only me in the toilet. He said that he’d been working on you for five minutes and nothing.’
Both men were quiet, from the bathroom they could hear happy if tuneless singing coming from the shower.
‘Well, that’s fucking awkward,’ Toby said at last.
Releasing the throw cushion slightly and allowing himself to breathe properly again, Jamie said, ‘I don’t’ know mate, could have been worse.’
‘You think?’ Toby said. He wanted to run away now, to be in a room by himself, perhaps eating a giant plate of chips covered in red sauce. He wanted so much food that if anyone saw him eat it, they would have called for an intervention.
‘Mate, I asked him how shit was he at blow jobs if he couldn’t get a guy hard and then told him to fuck off.’
As awkward as all this was, somewhere deep down, under the bubbling alcohol that threatened to erupt, Toby felt a warmth that his friend had stood up for him.
‘And he left, and I was just stood there, cock out?’
‘Well, that’s… err…’
Jamie didn’t wait for him to finish. Instead, he said, ‘mate, I’ve seen you naked at the gym loads of times and to be honest, you have a great dick.’
The shower turned off, and a head popped round the bathroom door and asked for a towel. Toby peaked out from under his covers to see a twink’s face smiling over at Jamie. The lad looked in his late teens, no older.
Jamie pointed towards, and airing cupboard and the twink walked, naked, out of the bathroom and went to get a towel. His body was slim in the way that Toby’s had never been and his cock hung long and low. Toby pulled the covers back over his head.
When the bathroom door closed again, Toby said, ‘unnecessarily large cock that for a bottom, don’t you think?’
‘Often the way, and he barely got it hard,’ Jamie replied.
‘Well that makes two of us it seems,’ Toby said, his words sad and made dull by the blanket over his face.
‘You were hammered, mate. These things happen.’
They don’t happen to you, Jamie thought, though he paused, and then said, ‘perhaps you’re right, perhaps I am dead from the neck down’.
If there were things that one says, and then wishes they could be taken back, this was one Jamie wished he had never said to Toby. But the words were out there.
After pulling the throw cushion tight to his chest again, Jamie said, ‘well, if you won’t blame it on the drink, then deal with the neck down thing.’
‘You mean like therapy?’
‘Oh, God, no, nothing like that, I mean with chemical help.’
‘You mean like Viagra? I’m a little young for that stuff don’t’ you think?’ Jamie always pictured the little blue pills as the kind of thing used by old rich guys who wanted to bed women half their age.
‘Well, perhaps not Viagra. There are other pills. They make better ones these days, like Cialis. It’s just something that gives you a boost down there. If nothing else they’d remove one worry out of the equation.’
‘Have you taken them before?’ Toby asked and then listened carefully for any trace of embellishment in Jamie’s reply.
‘Not for a while, but I used to take them all the time back in my teens.’ No trace of anything but the blunt truth.
‘You took them in your teens?’ Toby asked and decided that it was about time he sat up.
‘I did a lot of things in my teens. Some of the drugs I took back then gave huge highs but made everything else low. If you get what I mean.’
Against the bitter protests of his thunderous headache, Toby made it to a sitting position. His eyes met Jamie’s forcing him to say, ‘how do you look so good?’ His friend looked bright and bordering on cheery, though he was clutching a throw cushion to his chest, which looked a little odd to Toby.
‘It’s fucking teenagers, mate, it has great rejuvenating properties,’ Jamie said and pointed towards the bathroom door.
‘What do you think he’s doing in there?’ Jamie asked. The shower had turned off ten minutes ago, but the lad still hadn’t come out.
‘He’ll be messing with his hair, or taking selfies, something teenage and stupid,’ Jamie replied.
Deciding that he didn’t want to wait and find out, Toby mustered all his energy and after swinging himself onto the edge of the bed. He dressed, and within ten minutes he was heading home. As he left, the teen still hadn’t emerged from the bathroom.
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