Title: "First Kiss"
Archive: This may be archived at WestWingSlashFanFic if you want it
Disclaimer: Sam & Josh were created by Aaron Benjamin Sorkin
Feedback: I would like to know your opinions
Thank you Robin. You know why.
First Kiss by Amaranth
Josh turned the radio down and slowed his car for a better look at the boy who walked alone on the sidewalk. He hadn’t intended to cruise this Saturday morning, but when he happened upon THIS kid, his curiosity and libido were piqued and he just had to check him out.
He took a quick glance from behind the relative anonymity of his dark sunglasses, didn't want to be obvious, then accelerated and drove around the block to come upon him again.
"Let him to be there, let him be there, let him be there," Josh mumbled as he sped around the corner. He noticed the kid carried a basketball under his arm and hoped he hadn't veered off into a pick-up game somewhere before he could get back around to him.
"Cool, he's still there," Josh said out loud to no one. He stayed a few paces behind the young man and watched him as he walked.
He wore faded Levis that hung a bit too loose on him; extra denim gathered at his ankles and almost hid his red, well-worn Chuck Taylor high-tops. He had on a grey sweatshirt, nothing special, but when Josh had sped ahead to circle the block, he had noticed in the rear view mirror something printed across the front of the shirt. He just couldn’t make it out.
Maybe the kid felt himself being stared at. He turned and looked at the car that crept behind him. Not a long look, just a quick turn of the head. He went a few steps then turned and looked again. He HAD to know he was being followed.
Josh snapped his face forward and kept his eyes on the road in front of him, as much as he wanted to see what this guy really looked like. But he didn’t want to scare him off by being too obvious, too aggressive. Too scary.
Then a third time the young man with the basketball turned his head, stared directly at Josh, and kept his gait steady at the same time.
Again, Josh stepped on the gas and left his prey behind. He tried, but still couldn’t make out what it said on the sweatshirt when he had to read backwards in the mirror.
”Dammit,” Josh cursed, a death grip on the steering wheel as he circled the block one more time – the LAST time, he said to hiimself. Shit! I AM out cruising for young guys on a Saturday morning! An afterthought – No, just running errands and got luckky. Please be there.
Josh pulled his car into the far right lane and slowed to a crawl until he caught up with the young man. He drove directly beside him, ready now to get his attention, play the game, dance the dance.
The kid ignored him.
Josh put his finger on the electric button and lowered the passenger side window and leaned across the seat.
”Excuse me!” he called out.
The young man glanced his way, but showed no interest and walked on.
”Hey, you! Kid!” Louder this time. Josh was determined to at least get some recognition from this sweet thing.
Sweet thing stopped, did an about-face, and looked directly at Josh. He was young. Very young. But not jail bait young. Streaks of the sun’s natural lightening ran through his shaggy-short brown hair that hadn’t seen a comb all morning. Little clumps of it hung over his forehead.
Josh wanted so much to reach out and push them back.
He had shifted the basketball to his hands and cradled it casually in front of him. Josh still couldn’t make out the bits and pieces of letters printed on the front of his sweatshirt.
He was boy-lean, but Josh could see muscled arms and legs outlined beneath his clothes. The zipper on his jeans was down just a scotch, he had dressed quickly to get outside and play basketball and had been careless.
Josh’s eyes rested on the healthy buldge behind the zipper. Just one of those things that happen whenever there’s the scent of raw sex in the air. The boy couldn’t help it.
”You yellin’ at me?” he asked.
Josh was startled by the softness of his voice. It wasn’t a frightened sound so much as a sincere question.
”Not really yelling,” Josh said, toned down a bit. ”I just want to ask you a question.”
The kid shifted the basketball to one hip and let his arm dangle over it.
”Whaddaya wanna know?”
Josh finally saw what was written across the front of his sweatshirt. In black letters it read: ”Princeton”.
”So, do you go to Princeton?” Josh called out.
Josh motioned for him to come closer to the car and hoped he would. He did, and leaned down so he was even with the passenger side window.
The sight of him so close nearly took Josh’s breath away.
His face was a canvas of contrast – so handsome he manifested the cclassic man’s man; yet with features so strikingly beautiful, he was pretty to the point a male wouldn’t dare look at him twice for fear of accusations of lust. Or more frightening, to almost certainly whisk him away to fulfill the fantasy all men have at least once in their lives, but only a handful will admit to.
His eyes were blue. Not JUST blue, but a blue with no name because they changed in tint and tone so often. When the light hit them one way, they were navy blue – steady, strong, confident. If the sunn flinched off the glass of a passing car and caught them just so, they changed to a crystal sapphire blue. Sharp and steely, they pierced through Josh and burrowed deep into the core of his intentions. Then, shaded and out of the sun, his eyelids would droop halfway. He would gaze at Josh with eyes of powder blue through long, thick eyelashes, blink slowly and sleepily, then break into the bashful smile of a child.
For a moment Josh wasn’t sure who was flirting with whom. Josh thought HE was orchestrating this game, but was HE being played?
While he unnerved Josh with his unwavering, self-assured demeanor, the boy also emanated an innocence, a purity, a sweetness that drew Josh to him as a protector. It wasn't supposed to go like this.
”I said, whaddya want?” the young man repeated.
Josh bounced back to the present.
”Uh, yeah. I wanted to ask you a question,” Josh nearly fumbled but managed to save.
Josh’s mind went blank. Say something, he thought. Anything. Just don’t let him get away.
”So, do you go to Princeton?” Oh man, Josh cringed. What an idiot I am.
”That’s the question you drove around the block three times to ask me?”
”No, not originally,” Josh said, irritated at himself for being so sloppy that he got caught. ”But DO you go to Princeton?”
The young man hesitated. ”Not exactly.”
”Oh yeah?” Josh perked up with interest. Get a conversation going, Lyman. ”What are you going to study? At Princeton, I mean.”
The boy shrugged. ”I don’t know. Haven’t thought much about it.”
”Art maybe. Music. I write stuff. I don’t know. I like to look at the stars.”
”You’re into music?” Josh asked.
He shrugged again. ”Me and some guys have a garage band. No big deal.”
”Oh yeah? And you play. . .?”
”Drums, bass. Mostly drums.”
”Hey,” Josh smiled, ”I see you’ve got a basketball. Are you going TO a game or coming FROM one?”
”Yeah, ok. Uh, where?”
”Where’s the game?” Josh asked.
”The park. Down the street. Just a few blocks.” He shifted the basketball to his other arm.
”I’ve kind of held you up here. How about I give you a ride so you won’t be late for your game?” Josh offered.
He had to be careful to word it just right. Be non-threatening. Come up with a legitimate reason for the boy to get into the car with him. It’s just a few blocks. The park is a clear ending point to the ride. The basketball makes a safe buffer.
The kid was silent. He looked in the direction he was headed. He looked in the direction he’d come from. He looked back at Josh.
”I’m going that direction anyway,” Josh said.
He tried not to sound too anxious, but he already knew he wanted this young man to get in his car at this moment more than anything else he could think of. Josh’s mind had a single focus, and it was on the boy with the sun-streaked hair who wore a ”Princeton” sweatshirt and had a basketball tucked under his arm.
”Sure you don’t mind?” It was the baby blue eyes, the soft, innocent voice.
Josh felt a stir in his pants. He shifted so it wouldn't be obvious.
Then he pulled up on the handle and pushed the passenger side door open.
”No problem. Hop in."
The boy looked up and down the street again, both directions. He took his bottom lip into his mouth and sucked on it while he thought.
He draped himself into the front seat; longer and lankier seated than he stood on the sidewalk. He set the basketball in his lap and pulled the door shut.
Josh looked over his left shoulder and saw a stream of cars in the next lane. He turned to his passenger.
”Put your seatbelt on,” he said.
”Nah, that’s ok.”
”Put your seatbelt on,” Josh repeated.
”Don’t need it. We’re not going far.”
”I said, put your seatbelt on,” Josh said again. "There's a seatbelt law and I don't want to get pulled over just because you don't want to buckle up."
He didn’t take his eyes off the kid and immediately assumed the dominant role. They were officially on the dance floor and Josh took the lead.
”Asshole,” the boy muttered as he fastened his seatbelt.
Josh saw an opening and eased into traffic. The kid slumped in his seat.
”My name’s Josh. What’s your name?” Josh stuck his hand out.
He returned Josh’s handshake. ”They call me Sam.”
Sam’s hand was soft, fingers long and lean, skin smooth and warm against Josh’s. They both lingered, neither ready to be the first to pull away.
Josh didn’t want to let go, but he did.
”So, Sam, do you live around here?”
Josh disliked the awkward small talk in the beginning, and the kid didn’t make it any easier with his nearly monosyllabic responses.
”Back that way. Not far.” He jerked his thumb over his shoulder.
Josh nodded. They rode in silence a few minutes.
”Just let me know where to stop,” he finally said.
”For your game. Your basketball game. You said it was down this way.
Tell me when to let you out.”
”Do you go to school, Sam?”
Josh stopped at a red light. He knew the park was close. He considered turning down a side street before they got there. Then the light turned green and he drove straight ahead.
”Are you out of school?”
”Good. That’s good.”
Josh tapped his fingers on the steering wheel.
Ahead and on the left he saw a group of guys playing basketball. Shit, he thought, there they are. And I blew it. I didn’t make a good impression, or I made a bad impression, or worst of all, no impression at all. Maybe I’ve lost my touch. I haven’t cruised for young men in a long time and apparently it shows. I must look nervous, act nervous. No, I think I seem pretty cool. I AM cool. And I’m not being unrealistic here, even to myself. I’m ok. I’m just out of practise.
As they approached the basketball court, Sam looked out the passenger side window, away from the game. He spun the ball in his hands, coughed, and cleared his throat. Josh continued to drive and didn’t say anything. It wasn’t until they were well into the next block that Sam turned and looked out the front window and let the basketball roll down his legs onto the floor. Neither of them mentioned the game.
”Are you hungry, Sam?” Josh asked instead.
The kid shrugged. ”Yeah. I don’t know. I guess so. I could eat. Yeah, I’m hungry if you are.”
”How about we go get some breakfast?”
”I, um, don’t carry any money on me when I play basketball. I guess not.”
”I’ll get it this time,” Josh said. He looked over at Sam and smiled.
”You pick it up next time, ok?”
Sam ducked his head and smiled bashfully. ”Yeah, ok.” Then a minute later. ”Thanks.”
Josh took the first freeway entrance ramp two blocks down the street and accelerated to a quick 75. Sam immediately pushed the electric button and opened his window all the way. Papers in the back seat scattered and flew and generally turned the car into a wind tunnel. Josh saw it first in the rear view mirror then looked over his shoulder to see if the cyclone in his back seat was real. It was. He also knew there was nothing he could do to fix it at this point, so he just hoped nothing important flew out the window.
Without a word, Sam changed the radio dial to a hard rock station. He turned up the volume, settled back into his seat, and closed his eyes.
At first a bit irritated, it took just a quick glance at the boy for Josh to have an instant attitude adjustment. He realised he had fallen under the spell of the exhilaration of youth. He pushed the button that lowered his own window. He watched the speedometer rise to 85 and reveled in the rush of the wind as it whipped through the car and totally upheaved any semblance of organization he might have had. He adjusted the balance on the sound system and the bass thumped louder and deeper until the car shook.
Sam opened his eyes and looked at him, this time without the shyness, but with a look of new-found respect. Josh couldn’t hear him over the rushing wind and the ear-shattering music, but he could see the kid nod his head and mouth the word ”awesome” through his smile.
This was the first time Josh had seen Sam’s smile: his whole smile, his sincere smile, full on, when it came natural. And dammit, he has dimples, Josh groaned inwardly. Dimples I could get lost in. Dimples I want to see again and again and again because I want to make this boy smile every day. And I can do it. If, he reminded himself, I don’t scare him off with that first kiss. . .
No way has this boy ever been kissed by a man, Josh continued with his inner dialogue. Hell, I’d bet money he’s never been kissed – REALLY kissed – by a woman. Maybe some awkward fu fumbling around in the back seat of Daddy’s Chrysler parked behind the Dairy Queen, but I know for a fact his lover is his right hand.
Josh took the exit ramp and made a left turn into a part of town he was rarely in. This was the ugly part – he had to protect himself annd hide in a less-than-desirable neighbourhood where the likelihood of his being recognised was next to none. He tried to convince himself he needed to shield the young man from scrutiny, but he knew that wasn’t true. No amount of soul-searching or attempt to ease his conscience could take away that uncomfortable gnaw in his gut whenever he came here for this reason.
He turned the radio down. ”Sorry,” he explained ”business and residential area. We’ll get pulled over for disturbing the peace if we drive through here like we’re trying to break the sound barrier. Ok?”
”Yeah, ok. Great sound system. You got something this good at your house?” Sam asked.
”Better. If you like the sound in my car, you would go nuts over my set-up at home.”
Josh pulled into the parking lot of a small diner. The sign out front said, "Good Eats".
”This place ok with you? Doesn’t look like much from the outside, but you won’t find a better breakfast in all of D.C.”
Josh closed both windows and they got out of the car. He set the alarm, ran a comb through his hair, and resisted the temptation to run his fingers through Sam’s. He wanted to. God, how he wanted to, just to touch him. To know if his hair was as soft as it looked. They walked toward the door and Josh noticed Sam carried his basketball.
”Um, you can leave that in the car if you want. It’s locked and the alarm is on. And we can get a table by the window to keep an eye on it if you’re worried,” Josh explained.
”That’s ok. I’ll keep it with me.”
”Have it your way. May I ask why?”
Sam gave him the smile with the sapphire blue eyes – sharp and steeely that went straight to Josh’s soul and knew his every secret. There was a ‘58 Buick parked across the lot and the sun glinted off the side view mirror and reflected into Sam’s eyes.
Josh didn’t have a clue what the young man was thinking or doing or going to do. In fact, this smile rattled Josh because it took Sam off the radar completely and Josh was flying solo.
Sam now took over the lead as the dance continued.
”Sure, you can ask why,” said Sam playfully.
”Ok, I’ll bite,” Josh sighed. ”Why do you want to hang onto your basketball instead of leaving it in the car?”
Sam hesitated just to mess with Josh’s mind. Then the smile disappeared and a new Sam stood before Josh. Still the boy, but one who had been around, used, hurt, discarded. He didn’t just look at Josh . . . he glowered at him with the sultry come-on of a kid who had been fucked one time too many and just didn’t give a damn anymore. His voice deepened and he spoke in a tone so serious it wiped the smile from Josh’s face too.
”Why? In case I get a better offer before breakfast is over, I won’t lose my basketball.”
Josh cocked his head to the side and gave Sam a puzzled look. Where the hell is this kid coming from?
Then Sam flashed the dimpled grin again and playful innocence radiated from him.
”Aw, I was just raggin’ on you, man,” Sam said in a slow, affected drawl. ”I always go home with the one what brung me.”
Josh laughed and shook his head. ”Come on, tiger. Let’s go eat.”
He put his hand on the small of Sam’s back and guided him inside the restaurant. Josh made a quick scan of the room, was sure he didn’t recognise anyone or would BE recognised, and nodded his head toward a booth next to the front window.
Sam slid in and put his basketball between himself and the wall. Josh resisted the urge to sit next to him, put his arm around him and pull him close. Instead, he sat across the table from Sam and took his sunglasses off. He pulled two menus from behind the napkin holder, opened one and set it in front of Sam, then opened the other for himself.
Sam wasn’t interested in the menu. He turned sideways in the booth and looked around the restaurant.
”Hey, they got a jukebox.”
”THEY’VE got a jukebox,” Josh corrected.
”Yeah, I just said that. You got some change?”
”Hold on, hold on. Let’s order first then you can go.” Josh motioned for a waitress, who promptly came to their table.
”What can I get you?” she asked.
She pulled a pencil from behind her ear, put the leaded tip to her tongue, and stood poised with her order pad, ready to write.
”Sam, do you know what you want?” Josh asked.
”Which means. . .?”
”Whatever you get.”
”Ok then, with the steak and eggs, is that a rib-eye?” he asked the waitress.
”Yep,” she replied.
”Then I’ll have the steak and eggs, please. And make sure the steak is double extra well done. Black. Crispy. Burned. And trim all the fat off. I have this sensitive system and fat doesn’t agree with me. The eggs I’ll take scrambled, and make them hard scrambled. Nothing loose or runny or wet or anything like that. OJ, no pulp, plain wheat toast, and black coffee. Thank you. Sam, you say you’ll have the same?”
”Yeah, but I want my steak just barely warm and my eggs super runny. Add an order of hash browns and some cinnamon apples. I want biscuits instead of toast and a side order of pancakes. Please.”
”Short stack or tall stack?” the waitress asked.
Sam grinned up at the 60-ish waitress, winked, and said, ”What do YOU think?”
As a blush crawled up her face and she wrote on her order pad she said,
”That’ll be one tall stack. Anything else, hun?”
”Milk. A big glass of milk. And could you make the pancake syrup really hot?”
”Anything for you sweetie. I’ll have it out here in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.” She picked up their menus and left the table.
Sam's eyes focused on Josh’s. ”Now?”
”Now? Now what?”
”Now can I have some money for the jukebox?”
Josh laughed. ”Sure.”
He dug in his pockets, brought out all the change he hand, and held out his palm. Sam scraped the coins out of Josh’s hand and into his own.
Josh felt another twinge when Sam’s fingers touched his hand. They were almost graceful as he swept them across Josh’s skin.
”Anything special you wanna hear?” Sam asked.
”Whatever you choose will be ok.”
Sam slid out of the booth and went straight to the jukebox. Josh watched and noticed his step had more bounce in it than when he walked alone on the sidewalk. He seemed to be having a good time. Josh was glad he’d stopped and offered him the ride. More importantly, he was glad Sam had accepted.
Two songs for a dollar. Sam counted the coins in his hand. He had enough. He read the list up one side and down the other. He turned and looked at Josh. He was still there. Sam grinned.
Josh sat sideways in the booth, his back against the window, one leg stretched out in the seat. When he saw Sam look at him, he gave a little wave. The waitress brought his coffee and Sam’s milk.
Sam made his selections and came back to the table. ”That’s an old Wurlitzer,” he said. ”A real one. They’re the best, you know.”
”No, I didn’t know.”
The first song started to play. ”Wind Beneath My Wings.”
”That song ok?”
”Sure. I like it fine.”
”I like where it says, â€˜Did you ever know that you’re my hero?’ You know that part?”
”Well, I like that part,” Sam said quietly.
The waitress came with their meals. She spread plates on the table and set down forks, spoons, and knives rolled up in paper napkins.
”Anything else, fellas?” she asked.
”I’m fine,” Josh said. ”Thank you.”
”I need catsup, A-1, and Texas Pete,” Sam said. ”Oh, and extra jelly and some honey.”
”All that food and you’re going to put more stuff on it?” Josh asked, incredulously.
”Well, yeah. I can’t eat it just, like, plain. Do you?”
”Well, yeah. I’ve got this sensitive system and. . .”
She returned with the condiments. ”Anything else?” she asked one more time.
Sam looked around. Satisfied, ”Nope, I’m good. Maybe some more milk.”
She nodded and walked away.
Sam covered his hash browns with catsup, his steak with A-1, and his eggs with Texas Pete Tabasco Sauce. Then he buttered his biscuits and added jelly and honey to each one. He buttered his pancakes and drenched them in hot maple syrup. He salted and peppered everything but the pancakes then put both his hands on the table, palms up and looked at Josh.
Josh had a piece of burnt steak mid-way to his mouth when Sam cleared his throat. Josh looked up. Sam cleared his throat again.
”What?” Josh asked.
”We need to say our blessing.”
Josh closed his mouth and wondered if the boy was going to break into a grin and say ”Gotcha!” But he didn’t. He waited, hands on table, palms up. Am I supposed to hold hands with him and pray, Josh wondered?
As if he could hear Josh’s thoughts, Sam said softly, ”Just put your hands in mine. It’s ok.”
Josh reached out and put his hands on Sam’s. Sam folded them around Josh’s, closed his eyes, and bowed his head. Josh closed his eyes for an instant, and then opened them so he could watch Sam.
”Jesus, thanks for all this food. It looks really good and I’m hungry. Thanks for letting Josh pick me up. Please let my team win at basketball later and especially, Jesus, watch over and protect me in whatever happens next. Amen.”
Sam opened his eyes and raised his head, but he and Josh kept their hands clasped on the tabletop.
”That was real nice, Sam,” Josh said.
”Yeah, well. . .”
”The song you picked just ended and we missed it.”
”I got two songs for a dollar.”
”Oh. What’s the other one you picked?”
The second song started to play. It was the same.
”Guess we need our hands if we’re going to eat,” Josh laughed. He started to pull away but Sam tightened his grip.
”This feels good,” Sam said quietly. ”Your hands are warm.”
Josh studied Sam’s face. He had no idea what was going on behind those eyes. He just knew he couldn’t look away.
”Yeah, well. . .”
Sam released his grip and slowly slid his hands from Josh’s. He stopped just before he took them away completely and gently ran his fingernails over the inside of Josh’s palm and fingers, then let go and picked up his fork and began to eat.
He brought his legs up and put his feet on the seat across from his, one on either side of Josh. They didn’t touch him at first, but as the meal went on, his high-tops gradually moved closer until they were up against Josh’s legs by the time they finished eating.
Sam ate voraciously and Josh enjoyed watching him. The waitress brought more coffee for Josh and more milk for Sam. The song came to the part about heroes again.
”Tell me, Sam, do you have a hero?”
His mouth full, Sam could only nod.
”Who is it?”
Sam washed down the food with half a glass of milk. ”Batman.”
”Batman’s cool,” Josh agreed.
”Do you have one?” Sam asked.
”Well, I’ve always thought of the President of the United States as my hero.”
”Nah, I mean somebody real, like Batman.” Sam scraped up the last of the syrup with his last piece of pancake.
”Oh, real. Ok, then it’d have to be Spiderman.”
Josh put one hand on each of Sam’s ankles and squeezed them with affection. Sam lowered his face, but looked up occasionally and gave his bashful grin. Then he bounced his shoes off Josh’s legs. Josh laughed and tried to keep them still. It was a game, Josh knew, part of the getting-to-know-you dance, and he enjoyed the hell out of it.
”I’m gonna get some scissors and cut about six inches off the bottom of those jeans,” Josh said.
”No way, man.”
”You’re going to trip and break your neck.”
”You keep your hands outta my. . .away from. . .aw shit.” Sam blushed with embarrassment.
Josh laughed and knocked Sam’s foot off the seat. ”I’m going to pay.
Don't forget your basketball."
Josh paid, returned to the table to leave a generous tip, and the two stepped out into the sunshine. Josh put on his sunglasses.
Outside, Sam asked, ”Can we go check out that Buick before we leave?”
”Sure. My Dad used to have a two-toned Buick kind of like that.”
As they walked across the gravel parking lot, Sam spontaneously pushed Josh for no reason. It took Josh by surprise, and then he realised the boy was flirting with him again. It was his way to touch Josh, play with him, get his own feel for what might be in this for him. Josh pushed back, and they half-wrestled their way across the parking lot to the Buick.
They circled the car as much as they circled each other -- looking, admiring, checking out the body and the chassis, trying to figure out how many miles were on each, how well the other ran, how long and how far each could go into the night.
”Pretty old,” Sam said.
”But cherry,” Josh added.
”You can tell it’s been around.”
”But well-taken care of.”
”Seems kinda lonely to me.” Sam ran his hand over the sleek aqua-marine hood that glistened in the sunshine.
”Just needs somebody to love it.” Josh ran his had over the other side until he and Sam met in front of the car. ”You know, somebody to give it attention and keep it off the streets and clean. Run their hands over its body with hot wax to keep this baby happy and purring like a kitten. Just needs somebody to love it.”
Sam looked at the car one last time then at Josh. ”Sounds good to me.”
”Yeah, me too,” Josh said. ”Are you about ready to go?”
The boy shrugged then nodded.
They walked back across the parking lot toward Josh’s car. When they were almost there, Sam shot the ball toward Josh.
Josh caught the ball with a thud and shot it right back. They pantomimed a little one-on-one then Josh weaved in Sam’s direction and put his hand at the back of Sam’s neck. He guided him to the passenger side of the car and Sam leaned against the door. Josh put his hand on the car, his arm so close to Sam it touched his shoulder.
Josh knew this was another cruicial time in the dance. Sam could still bolt. He'd just got a hot breakfast out of the deal. He was under no obligation to get back in the car with Josh. And Josh wasn't go to force him. God knows if Josh had his way, he'd do the boy right then and there on the hood of the '58 Buick.
”Do you want me to take you back to the basketball game?” Josh asked.
”Probably over by now.” Sam spun the ball on the tip of his finger.
”Any place special you want to go then?” Josh gave the young man every opportunity to leave if he wanted to, so it couldn’t be said later. . .
Josh looked at the restaurant. He looked toward the street at the traffic. He turned and looked behind him. He grabbed the spinning basketball. ”Get in the car.”
Little was said between the two as Josh drove to his place in Georgetown.
He turned the car radio down and Sam immediately turned it back up. Josh turned it down again and changed it back to his original station. Sam reached out to re-adjust it and jumped when he felt Josh’s hand clamp onto his wrist.
”Leave it. Please,” he said. ”That’s where I like it.”
Sam slumped in the seat and looked out the passenger side window.
Josh saw a parking spot about a half-block from his place. He stopped in front of his building. ”You get out here while I go park. I’ll just be a few cars up. Go ahead and step inside the entry hall and I’ll be there in a minute.”
Sam unfastened his seatbelt and started to open the car door. Josh put his hand on his arm and stopped him.
”Sam, you didn’t have much to say on the drive here. Are you ok?”
”Say you’re ok.”
”Are you mad at me because I wouldn’t let you listen to your station on the radio?” Josh asked.
He could feel the muscles under Sam’s sweatshirt. They were taut and felt flexed, but Josh knew they weren’t – they weree just that firm, he was just that strong.
”Well, are you?” he asked again?
”No. I'm thinkin'.”
"Thinking about what?"
"What kind of stuff?"
Josh hesitated. Do I really want to do this? It’s been a long time.
He’s so young. What if someone saw me? Is it worth the risk? Something could happen. What if we get in there and he gets scared?
”You want me to just wait inside for you?”
”What?” Josh was startled by the voice.
”You said for me to go right inside the door. Isn’t that what you said?”
But he’s so beautiful, Josh thought, I’d be a fool to let this one go.
”Yeah, wait for me right inside the door. I’ll just be a couple of minutes.”
Josh watched Sam bound up the steps two at a time, basketball under his arm, and disappear into Josh’s building. Then he drove off and captured the parking space half-a-block away.
Josh had his door key out when he entered the building. Sam was just inside, leaning against the wall, one leg bent so his foot was on the wall below him. As soon as Josh came in, Sam bounced the basketball on the hardwood floor. It reverberated in the empty hallway. He started to bounce it a second time.
”DON’T. . .do that, please.”
Josh grabbed the basketball and stuck it under his own arm. He ran his hand through his hair and motioned for Sam to follow him.
”Come on in and make yourself comfortable,” Josh said as he unlocked the door to his apartment and pushed it open.
Sam followed him and stood just inside the door. Suddenly he became shy again and hugged his basketball in front of him.
Josh turned when he realised Sam wasn’t behind him. ”Is that what you consider comfortable?” he laughed. ”Look. I’ve got furniture. You can sit down. It’s soft!”
”NoI’mok,” Sam said as one word.
”Don’t you want to see my sound system? Remember? We talked about it,” Josh urged. ”Come on in, Sam, I’m not going to hurt you.” Josh walked toward the boy.
He could see Sam tense as he got closer to him. Keep your distance, he thought. Don’t scare him away now. You’ve come this far. You’ve got HIM to come this far. Just take it slow and easy. He’ll come around.
”Sam, do you think I’m going to hurt you?” Josh asked gently.
Sam shook his head so slightly Josh wasn’t sure if he saw it or not. He gave Sam the benefit of the doubt.
”That’s right. I’m not. I’m not going to hurt you. I promise.”
Josh took his sunglasses off so Sam could see his eyes. And then those words he hated to say but knew he had to if this was going to happen:
Sam’s shoulders relaxed a little and his chest expanded as he caught the breath he’d held since he came into Josh’s apartment. He nodded his head.
”Yeah, ok,” he said in a soft voice. ”I’ll trust you.”
This time it was Josh who nodded. He wasn’t sure what to say next. It had been a long time since he’d done this.
”So where’s your stereo?”
”Uh, in here, in the living room. Come on in.”
Josh led Sam to the elaborate state-of-the-art sound system and music collection. He extended his arm and gestured toward the set-up.
”There it is,” he said. ”Knock yourself out. Just keep the volume at a level so the neighbors don’t call the police.”
Sam set his basketball on Josh’s coffee table. Then he had both hands on the sound system as he rifled through the CDs, experimented with sound levels, adjusted knobs, toggle switches, levers, and generally lost himself in the music.
Josh sat on the edge of the coffee table and watched. Like a kid at Christmas. And these are just CDs. I don’t dare show him the video games that are so elaborate even â€˜I’ don’t understand them. Maybe later, if things work out. Hell, maybe even if things DON’T work out. I like this guy.
After about 15 minutes Sam turned to Josh. ”Where’s your bathroom?”
Josh pointed down a hallway. ”First door on your left.”
Sam put down the CD he held and walked out of sight.
Josh sat, elbows on knees, hands clasped, and watched him go. When he heard the door close he stood, picked the CD up off the table, and put it in the stereo. Then he walked down the hall and leaned against the wall outside the bathroom door. He heard the water in the sink run and the door opened. Sam seemed surprised and stepped back when he saw Josh.
”You want in here?” he asked.
”No. I’m going to my bedroom to change out of this sweater and into a sweatshirt. Sorry if I scared you,” Josh explained.
He then walked the short distance down the hall. He went into the bedroom and pulled the deep plum-coloured sweater off over his head and tossed it on the bed. He had a t-shirt on underneath. He opened his closet and reached for a dark green sweatshirt.
”Why do you keep asking me if I’m scared?”
”Jesus!” Josh spun around. Sam stood so close, Josh bumped into him when he turned. ”What the hell are you doing?"
”Did I scare you?”
Josh stared at Sam for a moment, then Sam broke into a grin and Josh breathed a little easier and laughed. ”Fair enough,” he said. ”I deserved that.”
Sam leaned against the wall next to the closet and watched Josh lower the sweatshirt over his head. He reached out and laid his hand flat on Josh’s chest and then pulled it away. It was touch and go, that fast, and it took a moment for Josh to realise it had happened at all. But it had.
Josh reached for Sam’s hand, now jammed in the pocket of his jeans. He guided the boy’s hand under his sweatshirt and placed it back on his chest, palm down, and rested his own hand on top of it.
”What are you thinking?” he asked quietly.
”I think your hand is warm,” Sam answered, just as softly.
”Do you like my hand on your’s?”
Do you like my hand on your’s, Sam?” Josh repeated.
Sam made a fist and scrunched up Josh’s t-shirt. Josh’s hand rounded over Sam’s. Sam released the shirt and Josh’s hand once again flattened out over Sam’s. They repeated the movements and Josh’s hand never left Sam’s.
”You’re gonna stay right with me, aren’t you?” Sam asked.
Josh locked eyes with Sam. ”Yes.”
Sam let his eyelids fall shut, and when he opened them it was only halfway. The powder blue eyes with the inpenetrable gaze. It was this look that addled Josh. The virgin slut. Sam came across as a mixture of innocent boy and at the same time, a man who had played this game before, danced the dance, and he had the upper hand with Josh.
No way, Josh thought. That come-on look is just a blessing he was born with, but he has no idea what it does yet. This boy hasn’t a clue of what that smoldering pout means. Once he learns how to work it, he’ll be a killer.
It never occurred to Josh the boy was working it now.
Josh took a step toward Sam and Sam retreated. Almost immediately he found himself with his back against the bedroom wall. Josh took out his own comb and ran it through Sam’s hair a couple of times, mostly to get it off his forehead.
”I’ve been wanting to do that all day,” he said. ”Do you own a comb?”
”Any mirrors at your house?”
”Do you ever use them?”
”I like my hair this way,” Sam said.
”I do too; it’s cute. It just wanted it off your face so I could see you better,” Josh replied.
”Why do you want to see me better?” Sam asked.
Josh hesitated. He could still lose him.
”Because, Sam, I want to kiss you. Have you ever been kissed by a man before?”
As Josh spoke he put his hands on the wall, one of either side of Sam. He didn’t hold him against his will, but it was clear he wanted him to stay within the confines of Josh’s arms.
Sam looked at the floor and shook his head.
”I can’t hear you. What did you say, Sam?”
”I said no.”
Josh put a loosely formed fist under Sam’s chin and lifted his face up until he looked straight ahead.
”Look at me, Sam.”
Sam wouldn’t. He looked straight ahead.
”Look at me, Sam,” Josh repeated.
He spoke softly. The gentleness in this boy brought out the gentleness in himself. He felt a need to be tender with Sam, protective of him, mindful of his every word and movement.
”Sam, please look at me.”
Still faced straight ahead, Sam shifted his eyes so they locked in with Josh’s. The connection was there. I’ve got him, Josh thought. This baby’s not going anywhere.
Josh took the step-and-a-half between them until his body was against Sam’s, pressed now between Josh and the wall. Sam didn’t object or try to move away. Josh put one leg between Sam’s and the other against the outside of Sam’s and held it tightly. He took each of Sam’s hands in his and interlaced their fingers. He held their hands against the wall. Sam couldn't escape Josh's grasp now even if he wanted to. He didn't try.
Apparently he didn't want to. Their eye contact never broke.
Josh gave a little smile. ”Relax Sam,” he said. ”I would never do anything to hurt you. Trust me.”
Josh leaned into Sam and kissed him gently. His lips barely grazed Sam’s, then rested on his cheek. Babyface peach fuzz, Josh thought. The skin of one so young, so naÃ¯ve, so vulnerable. Untouched. Unsullied. Pure. Open. Open to me.
Josh's lips found Sam’s again and he kissed him, soft and lingering. He didn’t want to scare him away. Not now.
Then he felt Sam respond to his touch. His lips came alive to Josh, and Sam kissed him back. Josh pressed his body harder against Sam’s body as he pressed his lips harder against Sam’s lips.
”Are you scared?” Josh whispered
”No,” Sam whispered back.
”Am I hurting you?
”Do you want me to stop?”
”Can I kiss you again?”
But Josh didn’t. Instead he bent his knees just enough so when he straightened his legs and pushed up and in, his hard cock met and rose at Sam’s crotch and caused an involuntary cry of pleasure to escape from Sam.
”Did you like that?” Josh asked quietly.
”Uh huh.” Sam’s voice was barely audible.
”What do you want, Sam?”
”What do you want from me?” Josh asked.
”I want you to kiss me.”
Josh put his mouth on Sam’s. His tongue parted Sam’s lips and slid inside. Sam’s head jerked a little at the unexpected fullness in his mouth, but there was nothing behind him except wall, so he turned his head to the side. Josh pulled out.
”What’s wrong? Don’t you like that? Too much?” Josh asked.
”Just surprised me,” Sam mumbled. ”I didn’t expect. . .”
Sam turned back to Josh, leaned toward him and took the initiative, his mouth eager. His tongue eased inside Josh’s mouth, then explored and hungered for whatever might come next. Josh showed him. He kissed Sam like he’d never been kissed before. His drew Sam’s bottom lip into his mouth and sucked and nibbled. His tongue and Sam’s wound around the other as they kissed and sucked and bit and licked. Sam responded in kind, tentative at first, then with more eagerness and aggression as he dared to go further and further.
Josh untangled their fingers and put his hands either side of Sam’s face. He kissed Sam with a passion he hadn’t felt in a long time and a want he hadn’t known for anyone that he could even remember.
Sam let Josh have him. Play with him, control him, move him, turn him, take him. Sam’s eyes were closed and his head spun. All he could feel was Josh. Josh’s hands, Josh's mouth, Josh's lips - on him, over him, under him, around him, in him. Josh’s fingers in his hair, behind his ears, at his throat, at his jaw, on his cheek. Josh ground his erection against Sam and was met with Sam’s hard cock, pushed wantingly against Josh. Josh’s lips were on Sam’s, his tongue inside Sam's mouth. Josh ate him, swallowed him, consumed him, took him for his own.
Sam could barely breathe. He didn’t want Josh to stop so he caught gasps of air when he could. His arms hung limp at his side. He felt like a rag doll in the clutches of this man who had just bought him breakfast. He didn’t dare open his eyes for fear it was all a dream and would go away if he should wake up. He wanted this kiss to last forever, this kiss to take him places he’d couldn’t even imagine, this kiss to be the first of a million.
Then Josh pulled his mouth away from Sam and wrapped his arms around him. He lifted him off his feet, held him against the wall and whispered into his ear.
”Am I hurting you?”
”No,” Sam whispered back.
”Am I scaring you?”
”Do you like this?” Josh's voice was gravely.
”Tell me. Do you like this?”
”Yes. I like this,” Sam replied.
”Do you want more of me?”
"I want all of you."
Josh set Sam back on his feet and Sam opened his eyes. They were baby blue, the eyes of a child. Josh brushed the hair off Sam’s forehead and kissed him gently, sweetly.
”Be sure, kid,” he said softly. ”Be very sure.”
Sam bowed his head.
"Where’s my basketball?”
”It’s ok. It’s in the living room.”
They stood in silence then Sam started to take his sweatshirt off. Josh helped him pull it the rest of the way over his head and tossed it on the bed. The young man had well-defined muscles and his abdomen was flat and hard. His jeans hung low on his hips and the top of his underpwear peeked out.
Josh unfastened the button on Sam’s jeans and the zipper came down by it’s own volition from the swelling in his pants bursting to break loose. Josh pulled the flaps open and exposed Sam’s white cotton underpants. He put his forefinger in the waistband of his briefs and ran it along the edge.
”You’ve got to trust, kid. Can you do that? No matter what?”
”Say it,” Josh insisted.
”I trust you. No matter what.”
Josh smiled. ”Take my hand Sam, and above all, trust me.”
Sam put his hand in Josh’s, and he trusted.
An hour later Josh’s eyes flew open from a sound sleep. He looked at the clock on the bedside table. 2:00 in the afternoon. He turned his head on the pillow. Sam was gone. Dammit! I fell asleep and he got away. Dammit!
He got out of bed and saw his clothes on the floor. He didn't see Sam's.
He pulled on a pair of jeans and t-shirt and walked into the living room.
Sam sat on the coffee table, bent over, tying his red Chuck Taylor high-top tennis shoes. He had on the loose jeans and Princeton sweatshirt Josh remembered from before. A shock of hair hung over his forehead. Sam looked up when he sensed Josh’s presence and grinned.
”Hey Sam.” Josh smiled back. ”Glad to see you’re still here.”
”So, are you ok?”
Sam nodded. ”Yeah, I’m good.”
”Ok, I just want to make sure.”
”I’m going to go play basketball now.”
Sam stood and picked up his basketball and tucked it under his arm. He looked just like he did when Josh first saw him walking down the sidewalk that morning.
”Do you want a ride to the park?” Josh asked.
”No, I’ll drive myself. I need to stop by the office on the way back and pick up a thing Toby left for me.”
”He shouldn’t leave you things to do on the weekend.”
”Well, he does. I’m going to fit in a couple of games first. You want to come?”
”Nah, it’s nice out. I think I’ll roll the car windows down, turn up the radio, and just take a drive.”
Sam looked at Josh with a wink. ”You’re not going cruisin’ for young boys, are you?”
Josh leaned forward and kissed Sam deeply without touching him. ”Don’t need to. I’ve got one at home.”
Sam opened the door and was halfway out when Josh called his name. ”Hey Sam!”
Sam stuck his head back inside. ”Yeah?”
”Don’t get in cars with strangers.”
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