Sixty Tricks in Sixty Days Parts 12-13
When they were both satisfied, Adrian slumped above him, and Brian laughed as he rolled him over. “You’re heavy.”
“I resent the implication,” Adrian teased, folding a pillow behind his head as he stared at Brian’s perfect profile. “How was it?”
“Now you’re asking me for reviews? How pathetic is that?”
“I’m asking you if you’re alright with it, Brian. Are you?”
He shrugged and lit a cigarette, offering one to his guest, who accepted. “I told you before, I’m a top. This doesn’t change that fact.”
“Of course not. We each have a role we prefer.”
“Have you ever...?”
“Of course I have, Brian.”
“Will you with me?”
“I need to feel comfortably ensconced in a relationship before I can play the bottom. Just a hangup of mine. Silly, really.”
“So you’re telling me you’ll never let me fuck you.”
“No, and don’t mischaracterize my words. I’m saying I won’t do it now. If we ever form a relationship, ask me again. But you won’t have to ask. It will just flow naturally.”
“I didn’t even want to have lunch with you, let alone a relationship. What is it you don’t understand about the fact I don’t do boyfriends?”
Adrian sat up on one elbow, focusing his gray-blue gaze on Brian as he said, “I understand this. You’re a beautiful young man, nearing thirty, which is a big event in our sub-culture. You’ve always had your way with tricks, the pick of the litter, and you have a huge capacity for sex. For you, in this phase of your life, that’s enough. It’s uncomplicated, and you don’t have to test your emotional capacity. It’s fun. I’ve been there myself.”
“But nothing. Maybe you’ll be one of those men who tricks until he gets charged for it, and he’s perfectly fine with that outcome. Or maybe you’ll find the love of your life and settle down. Or maybe you and the love of your life will be wild and crazy together, as a team. Endless opportunities.”
Brian smiled up at him. “Is this where you ask me to come visit you in London or New York and let’s see what develops between us? Because...”
Adrian quieted him by putting a fingertip on his lips. “This is where I get out of bed, have a quick shower and arrive a little late for my meeting with your competitor.”
Brian stared at him, feeling a shimmer of something work through him. Relief? Regret? Rejection? He wasn’t sure. But it was intense and immediate. “So what?” He forced a smile. “You proved what you wanted to prove so now you move on? I was your trick of the what? Week, maybe?”
“Brian, isn’t this what you wanted? No frills, no entanglements. Right?”
“But nothing. You’re right. Go.”
Adrian leaned over and kissed Brian on his unwelcoming lips. “I would like nothing better than to pursue this with you, Brian, but not now.”
Brian raised a brow in question, unable to find the right words. Adrian went on. “I haven’t been this turned on, mentally or physically, by anyone in ages, if ever. You’re smart, you’re beautiful, you’re hot, you’re sure of yourself. I find you incredible.”
Brian smiled now, pleased by that litany. Adrian continued. “But you’re a virgin. And I’ve learned to steer clear of virgins.”
“A virgin?” Brian laughed. “I’m a lot of things, Adrian, but a virgin I’m not.”
“But you are. Emotionally. And first loves with virgins rarely turn out right. So much learning to do. So many mistakes to be made. I don’t want you to make those mistakes with me. I don’t want to fall madly in love with you, only to lose you in a year or so because you’re utterly without clue on how to be in love. I don’t want to be the one you fear as well as love, the one you run from as well as embrace, the one you love but ultimately leave. Or cause me to leave you.”
“So what do you want?”
“I want to be the one you come to after you make all those initial mistakes. The one you can look in the eye and say, ‘I get it now’. When you can do that, then we should undertake a journey together and see where we end up.”
“What makes you so sure if I do something as totally out of character as fall in love with someone that it won’t work out for me and him?”
“Experience, love, experience.” He kissed him again. Brian frowned.
“Okay, say you’re right. Why would you be available after I learned this big lesson? You’re a pretty good catch. And even if you were, what makes you think we’d still want each other? We’d both be older.”
“We can’t answer any of those questions now, Brian, and isn’t that what makes life so fascinating? We never know what’s going to be waiting for us behind the next door.”
“So we never talk to each other again until I go through some life altering experience?”
“Send me an email on my birthday every year. I’ll respond. We’ll leave it at that for now.”
Brian felt a ridiculous sense of loss. He didn’t know why, but he felt sad. “So, in other words, this is it.”
“Only for now,” Adrian got out of bed and began to gather his clothes. “But we’ll meet again.”
“Why do you say that with such certainty?”
“Because I made a wish.”
“Now that you told me, it won’t come true.”
“But I didn’t tell you what I wished for, now did I? I only said we’d see each other again.” He went into the bathroom, and Brian stared up at the exposed ceiling, refusing to give in to the emotions that brewed beneath his cool exterior.
When Adrian was showered and dressed again, he sat down on the bed and rested a hand on Brian’s chest. “I’m leaving my private email address by your phone in the main room as I go. Keep it. I don’t give it to many people.”
“Whatever. I’m not much on cyber friendships.”
Adrian picked up on his brittle tone and smiled. “You’ll be angry at me for awhile, maybe a little unhappy, sad, even, and then you’ll deny you ever felt anything for me at all, and then you’ll think you exaggerated what it was you felt, and finally, I hope, you’ll decide to wish me a happy birthday next year and let me know if you’ve started your first love affair.”
“Yeah, the one you’ve already doomed. Well, don’t sweat it, Adrian. It’s not happening.”
Adrian reached out to comb his fingers through Brian’s hair, not withdrawing when he flinched. “Okay, maybe not. Or maybe it will work out blissfully for you. I’m not dooming anything. I’m just saving myself from pain that I know I’d never be able to fully overcome because if I fell in love with you, that would be a significant event for me, Brian. I can’t take that chance until you’re a bit better seasoned. I understand I may miss out completely, but for some reason, those odds are less bothersome to me. Besides which, you aren’t available now, anyway.”
Brian shook his head. “Coward.”
“Says the virgin. Take care of yourself. Above all, stay well.”
“Happy birthday, Adrian,” Brian said, watching him walk out of his loft and out of his life, lighting another cigarette as he stared into the void.
“Well now, hot shot,” Marlon said as he sat down on the spot Adrian vacated. “You blew it and not in a positive, life affirming way. You let him walk out and you know you didn’t want him to go.”
“Shut up, Marlon. I’m sick of your shit.”
“Sick of the truth, you mean?”
“Sick of you. Go away.”
“But if I go away, who will call you on your bad behavior? Who will fill the emptiness, Brian?”
“I just want to be alone.”
“And so you shall be. You won’t like it very much, old friend.”
Brian blinked and Marlon was gone. He turned on his side and closed his eyes, deciding to take the rest of the day off.
Michael poked Brian in the ribs with his pool cue as they shot a game at Woody’s. Brian winced and knocked it aside. “Watch your shot, numb nuts!”
“I did it on purpose. You’re so fucking out of it tonight. What’s wrong with you, Brian?”
“I’m not out of it.”
“Yeah, you are.”
“I’m beating you, aren’t I?”
“Not by your usual margin. First, you disappear for a couple days, and now this grouchy and distracted shit. What happened? Did you get fired? Do you have the clap? Again?”
“No, no, and shut up.” Brian made his shot and then another. On the third shot, he missed the pocket. “And so?” he motioned to the table as Michael stood there and stared at him.
“It can wait. Are you going to tell me?”
“Nothing to tell.”
“Bullshit. This all started a few days ago when you had that business dinner. Wait, it really kind of started when we went to the movie. That was what? Five days ago? You’re running out of time. What number are you up to? I missed the daily tally. This is your last night.”
“Fifty-eight,” Brian grumbled, although he still wouldn’t count Adrian, for some stupid, sentimental reason, and the ones who came after were a disappointment.
Michael took in Brian’s dark t-shirt, tight jeans, perfect haircut and sighed. No way he couldn’t find two tricks looking the way he looked tonight, even if he was grumpy. Sometimes grumpy played hot when it was Brian.
“Would you take your shot?” Brian insisted, lighting a cigarette as Michael missed a sinker. Brian then concluded the game and said, “Let’s go to Babylon.” He pocketed the ten he won from Michael at pool, and set out to get the sixty. His reputation mattered a lot more to him than did the money. He didn’t want it said that Brian Kinney couldn’t pull sixty tricks in sixty days. That fucking Adrian threw him off his game. That fucking Adrian threw him off everything.
Number fifty-nine was a boring blow job in the backroom. His friends were complaining about needing a ride home, so Brian agreed to chauffeur them, planning to come back to rope number sixty before the evening ended. As they walked towards where the Jeep was parked, he noticed a young guy standing under a street lamp on Liberty Avenue. He was blond, a newbie, his jeans and plaid shirt a real give away of his clueless status. But he was beautiful and Brian paused, directed to him as if by a laser beam.
His friends groaned as they read his move before he made it. He just smiled and walked over to the kid, ignoring his comrades’ complaints. Some things were more important. Up close, the kid looked even better. Great skin, no teenaged acne, nice blue eyes, perfect hair and a killer smile. He answered a question from Brian by saying he had no special plans. Brian said,
“I can change that.”
Little did he know how much everything would change after those fateful words were spoken. And not just for the twink. Number sixty left the others standing on the curb as Brian drove off with him, and Michael said, “There goes my sixty bucks.”
“Next time go for six hundred, honey,” Emmett suggested. “At least make it interesting for him.”
They all laughed except Michael as they walked towards Ted’s sensible sedan, leaving the winner with his spoils.
(Author’s Note: While this story ends here, the connection between Adrian and Brian will continue in a new series that’s in a format I haven’t used often but want to explore. I’m calling it “A2B, B2A” (Adrian to Brian, Brian to Adrian). I’m posting the first few entries so you get the idea. Let me know what you think. )
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July 25, 2004