Love at a Premium
Journal Entry 1:
I’m writing this journal as a way to get down my thoughts and feelings, and perhaps make sense of them at the same time. So much has happened in the last few months – my life has changed a good deal. Sometimes I feel bewildered by these changes, by their speed and necessity. Luke laughs at me and teases me about the fact that I’m kind of a stick-in-the-mud. I know that this is true. My life has always been orderly and somewhat contained, but is there anything wrong with that?
Oh, I want to backtrack a bit and write down something about myself. The only other person that I might let read this is Luke, but I’m not writing these things for other people’s edification anyway. It’s just that putting these facts and ideas on paper will help me by letting me read them and perhaps get a new perspective about myself. At least that’s what I hope will happen, anyway.
I was born Peregrine Charles Jennings in 1977. Yes, that is actually my real first name. My parents were biologists whose work involved tracking the migratory patterns of certain species of hawks and falcons. So when I came along, they decided to grace me with the name of the species they were studying at the moment, namely the peregrine falcon. While this falcon is a beautiful and majestic bird, I would much rather that they had given me a more conventional name. It would have saved me a lot of teasing in school, that’s for sure. When I started college I shortened my name to Perry, and I only use Peregrine on certain official documents like my driver’s license. I could just change it legally to Perry, but I know that my parents didn’t give me that name out of spite or because they thought it was ‘cute’. They genuinely thought that I should be named after the marvelous winged creature that they were studying the habits of, so it would make me feel guilty and as though I were dishonoring their memory and their work if I changed it. So I don’t.
I was never an athletic boy, preferring (much like my parents) more intellectual pursuits. In point of fact, I always believe that I’d become a biologist just like them. That’s what I went to college to study, anyway. But I soon found myself becoming very bored. I didn’t want to tell my parents that I was having second thoughts about following in their footsteps, but finally I just couldn’t stand it any longer. I changed my major to accounting to become an actuary, because I enjoyed numbers and statistics.
My parents were not pleased at all with my choice of career, but they finally had to accept it. I was a year away from my Bachelor’s when a phone call changed my life forever. My parents had been in a car accident – a severe one. My mother had been killed outright, and my father was in intensive care fighting for his life. I flew to Oregon right away to be with him, and he did survive. But he was a helpless paraplegic, paralyzed from the neck down.
Someone needed to care for him. I could have gotten him a nurse, but that seemed like a cruel choice to me. I couldn’t leave my father alone with only a nurse to care for him, especially when he was grieving for my mother. So I left college and moved in with him to take care of all of his needs. Eventually, though, I had to get a job to help pay for his medical bills, even though my mother had had a substantial life insurance policy. It had been eaten up by the hospital bills during his six-month stay there. So I hired a nurse to help out and got a job at an insurance agency.
I found that the work actually suited me. I dealt with facts and numbers and statistics, and unlike many customer-service oriented jobs I didn’t generally have to deal with the crackpots and the anger-management head cases on a regular basis. I had found a niche, and the pay was good enough that it covered my father’s medical bills as well as our basic living needs. So things went on like that for a few years, and my life took on a routine. I went to work, came home, and took care of my father. I should have felt stifled and trapped, but actually I found my life to be almost…comforting.
This was partially because I’d begun to suspect something about myself after I left college. I’d dated girls in both high school and at college, but never frequently or with any intensity. And as I cared for my father and went to my job, I eventually came to realize something that discomfited me greatly…I was, in fact, a homosexual.
I didn’t have the normal hang-ups about being a homosexual male. My parents were atheists, so I didn’t believe that a vengeful God would smite me for my dreadful sins. And I of course knew that homosexuality was quite natural, since in nature there are many examples of animals forming homosexual partnerships. No, I didn’t exactly have the normal problems of a man discovering his ‘deviant’ sexuality…mine were a bit different.
One problem I had was that I don’t care for most of the places that gay men tend to gather at. Bars, clubs, what have you…I hate those kinds of places. The smoke, the noise, the crowding, all of those things and more contribute to my aversion. But it’s not as though I could go up to an attractive person on the street and ask him outright if he’s gay. Since I seem to lack all of the natural ‘gaydar’ that some men are famous for, I’d probably end up leaving a stream of outraged straight men in my wake. An embarrassing and potentially dangerous past time, and that’s why I have never worked up the courage to try it. Which didn’t exactly leave me many options for finding a potential life partner. That, coupled with the long hours involved taking care of my crippled father(when I wasn’t working)left me with little time or energy to even think about my personal life.
I don’t know whether I was glad or sad when my father died of an infection when I was thirty. I’d spent almost five years caring for him, and during that time he’d been sunk into a depression that never lifted. I can understand that – he’d lost his wife and his entire life in one fell swoop. He was dependent on his grown son for everything – including cleaning him up after he went to the bathroom. That can eat into a man’s sense of pride and dignity, and I really believe that he welcomed death in the end.
I was left sort of at loose ends after he’d gone. There I was, a thirty-year-old man, with a good job but not much else. No one to care for anymore, no lover, nothing. I decided to move, to uproot myself and start afresh somewhere new. And I knew just where I wanted to go – San Francisco, the heart of the thriving gay community in California. Surely I could find someone in that fair city? There was even a section of the city that was almost exclusively gay people. If I stopped someone on those streets and asked him out, I wouldn’t have to worry so much about being beaten to a pulp.
I transferred to a branch of the insurance agency that I worked for that was in San Francisco, and I drove down there to rent a house. I could afford to do that, and had gotten used to living in one while I was caring for my father. I decided to rent a furnished house so that I didn’t have to bother with buying furniture and other necessities. I really don’t like shopping.
So I got settled in, and I’d been at my new job about two months. To my chagrin, I still hadn’t met anybody yet. I was starting to think that it was a total waste of my time, trying to be a gay male. I was going to give up and just raise cats, when one day a man walked through the door…
Perry Jennings was working on his computer when the receptionist opened his office door. “Mr. Jennings? There’s a new client here to see you. He says he wants insurance for his motorcycle.”
“Send him right in, Debbie,” Perry answered, looking up from the figures he’d been studying.
“You can go right in,” the girl said over her shoulder, stepping aside to let the man behind her enter the office.
Perry’s brows shot up as he got a good look at his potential future client. This was the most…colorful…client that he’d ever seen. A tall, slender young Asian man stepped into his office, holding a motorcycle helmet under one arm. His black hair had been gelled stiffly into short spikes atop his head, and he wore a long black leather coat over a dark red t-shirt with the logo of a burning skull on it. His pants were leather as well, and hugged his narrow hips faithfully. A belt made of several length of chain was looped around those hips, and his boots were thick and square-toed.
The young man(he didn’t look more than in his mid-twenties to Perry) had piercings everywhere. There were at least six hoops in each of his ears, another through his right eyebrow, and yet another through his right nostril. A necklace that looked like it was made of the teeth and claws of dozens of small animals was strung around his neck, and he wore…make-up. What seemed to be some sort of pale foundation, a dark lip gloss, eyeliner so thick it looked like his eyes were outlined in kohl, and some kind of dusky eye shadow on his lids.
If a dancing pink elephant had come into his office, Perry wouldn’t have been more taken aback. He just wasn’t used to dealing with people who looked like this. The younger man waited for him to say something for a moment, but when the silence dragged on he remarked: “It’s all right, I won’t attack you. I promise.” He held up two fingers even as he smiled, looking far less sinister as he did so.
Perry blinked, his mind scrambling to get itself together. “I’m sorry,” he said apologetically. “Please sit down, Mr…”
“Yamagura,” the younger man replied as he gracefully slid into a chair and looked at Perry across his desk. His dark eyes were disconcertingly direct.
There was only a California accent, so clearly this young man was Japanese-American. Perry cleared his throat a bit and finally managed to get down to business. “Debbie said that you need motorcycle insurance?”
The other man smiled lopsidedly. “Yeah. My parents insist on it. My mom nags me about it every time they come to visit me. So I finally decided to get some just to make her happy so she’ll leave me alone.”
“Oh, I see. There are basic coverage plans, as well as some that have more features but that cost a bit more…”
“I’ll just take the basic.”
“All right. I’ll need some information, of course,” he drew a large sheaf of papers out of a folder, which made the younger an eye them ironically.
“Some information?” he asked in scornful amusement. “Looks like you need my entire life’s story.”
“No,” Perry said. “Just all of it after you started driving.”
His little joke made the younger man blink, then grin dazzlingly. “Yeah, okay. Let’s get to it, then, Mr. Jennings. Since you’re going to know so much about me, can I call you Perry?”
“Err…yes,” he replied after a tiny pause. Few people asked to call him by his first name.
“Shoot then, Perry. What do you need to know?”
“Your name, address, and date of birth would be a good start,” Perry replied, his pen at the ready.
“My name is Lucas Yamagura, but everybody calls me Luke,” the younger man began, then gave Perry his address. “I was born on March 15th, 1984,” he continued easily. “A spoiled only child, not that you need to know that.”
“Occupation?” Perry asked, moving his pen down to the next line.
“I’m a website designer. I work out of my apartment,” he replied. “But I can pay your premiums, I swear.”
“That isn’t a concern, since if you stop paying the premiums your insurance will simply lapse,” Perry pointed out.
“Good point. Anyway, I just bought this motorcycle a few weeks ago. I had a car before that, but I decided not to go with the insurance company who had my policy before. They were pretty expensive, not to mention hopeless where customer service was concerned. A friend of mine recommended you guys instead. So here I am.”
“I’ll need the make and model of your motorcycle.”
“Hey, why don’t you come outside and look at it?” he replied wheedlingly. “Get out of your stuffy office for a bit and breathe in some smog-laden air,” his voice was teasing and wry. “You can see my baby.”
Perry hesitated, but after a moment nodded and got slowly to his feet. “Very well.”
“You don’t have to sound so happy about it,” Lucas said dryly. He led the way out of Perry’s office, through the reception area(past a rather astonished Debbie), and out the glass doors into the parking lot beyond. There were half-a-dozen cars parked there, as well as a gleaming brand-new silver-and-red motorcycle. It wasn’t of the Harley Davidson variety – it looked more like some kind of lean, mean racing bike.
“Here she is,” Lucas said unnecessarily, patting the bike in a proprietary way. “My pride and joy. A brand-spanking new 2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R, a sport racing version of the Ninja. I plan to race it on weekends. Not that you really need to know that, I’m sure…”
“Not really, no,” Perry agreed as he wrote down the information on the make and model. He noted the bike’s sleek silver-and-red chassis. “You have the title, of course?”
“Sure, right here,” Luke pulled the piece of paper out of the pocket of his long leather coat.
“Then we’ll finish filling out the paperwork inside. Please come back into my office.”
The younger man followed him back inside. They sat down and Perry finished the paperwork, having Lucke sign in the right places and putting the information into his computer. Finally they were done. Perry looked at his new client over the desk. “Well, that’s that,” he began.
“Umm, yeah. Listen, I don’t just race my bike on weekends. I like to go out too…and I was thinking, maybe…that you’d like to go out with me? Maybe this Saturday?”
Perry’s mouth fell open, and he blinked as his brain tried to catch up with the question that Luke had just posed to him. “Are you…asking me out?” he said in total astonishment.
Luke grinned faintly. “Yep,” he replied readily. “I am. So will you?”
Journal Entry 2:
What a strange occurrence! Nothing like that had ever happened to me before. Luke says that I just stood there looking like a fish for about a minute. He laughed when he told me this. I seem to amuse him heartily sometimes, which puzzles me. I’ve never thought of myself as being particularly funny before this. But then, I’m often puzzled by Luke. I really don’t understand what he sees in me. We are so very different – in looks, temperament, attitude….our age difference is the least of the things that separates us.
He tells me not to worry so much about those kinds of things. To just go with the flow. Unfortunately, I am not built this way. I sometimes get anxious about the future. Because I cannot comprehend just why he wants me, I worry that he will grow bored of me. Sometimes that thought wakes me up in a cold sweat at night…
Perry stared at his newest client in perplexity. Luke stood there with his hands in the pockets of his long leather jacket, looking relaxed as he waited for the insurance agent’s answer to his question. He stirred after a moment as his brain came back on line. “I don’t…you honestly want to go out on a date with me?” he said, sounding rather dazed.
Luke grinned. “Yes, I do.”
“Why?” a dumbfounded Perry asked next.
The biker chuckled. “Because I think you’re attractive,” he replied easily. “You are gay, right?”
“Well, yes I am,” the insurance agent said rather hesitantly. This was the first time that he’d ever admitted that aloud.
A nod of the gelled, spiked head. “I thought so,” Luke replied shrewdly. “I haven’t been wrong yet. So what do you say? To going out with me, that is?”
“Err…” Perry began uncertainly.
“Do you already have a boyfriend? Is that it?” the younger man asked, exhibiting the first trace of anxiety that he’d shown so far.
“No, I don’t,” Perry said.
Luke relaxed. “Oh, good! How about Saturday, then? We could go to dinner.”
He didn’t have anything to do on the weekends. Not anymore. His schedule was entirely clear. But…he stared at Luke. Why did this person want to go out with him? He was a boring insurance agent. He didn’t wear wild clothes, make-up, or have tattoos or piercings. He didn’t yearn for the speed and thrill of riding a racing motorcycle. He was just Peregrine Jennings, a man who was more at home with numbers and spreadsheets than he was with people.
Luke saw his hesitation. “Listen, is there some reason that you can’t go out with me?” he asked. “Just tell me now and I’ll go.”
“It’s not that,” Perry replied. “I don’t have a boyfriend, nor do I have anything else to do this weekend. I’m just…I’ve never been asked out by anyone before. I’m new at this.”
Luke’s eyebrows shot up. “You’ve never been asked out by anyone before?” he repeated incredulously. “Why not?”
Perry’s brow wrinkled. “Erm. I don’t know how to answer that,” he began.
Luke waved a hand. “Okay, okay. I guess I can understand why you’re kinda thrown by this, but all you have to do is say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. So which is it? But please say yes, because if you say no I’ll have to be sad and that’ll be on your head,” he did a credible imitation of ‘sad, puppy dog eyes’ for Perry.
“Ummm…I’ll have to say yes then, I suppose,” the insurance agent replied, making him brighten up.
“Great! Do you want to meet here? Or you could come to my place, since you have my address,” he nodded at the papers on Perry’s desk.
“We can meet here. What time?”
“How about six? If you don’t mind, you can drive us to whatever restaurant we choose in your car. I only have my bike right now. Unless you want to try to cling to the back of me like a biker chick,” he added with a laugh.
“We can go in my car,” Perry replied with as much dignity as he could muster.
“Cool. I’ll see you Saturday at six then. And thanks, Perry. I really appreciate this.” He did a little two finger salute before strolling out of the insurance agent’s office.
Perry sank down in his chair with a small frown on his face. What had just happened? Had he actually agreed to go on a date with a make-up wearing, heavily pierced, leather-clad young biker? Yes, yes, he had. Apparently he’d lost his mind. He put a hand to his head, but could find no signs of fever. Perhaps it had been a momentary lapse into madness? Whatever the case, he had his first date with another man ever, on Saturday.
He felt his stomach muscles tighten and his belly churn at the very thought. He felt horribly nervous. Yes, he’d come to San Francisco with the intention of finding a life’s companion. But the reality was quite different from any fantasies he might have had. He’d certainly never imagined someone like Luke Yamagura coming into his life. Whatever had possessed the other man to ask HIM out? Perry didn’t overestimate his own attractions. Perhaps he could find out on Saturday. Maybe he’d just ask Luke outright.
He went home after work, stopping to buy some groceries at the store. He walked into the rented townhouse with bags draped over his arms. “Isabella? Are you here?” he called.
Silence at first, then a soft meowing reached his ears. He smiled slightly as a slender, dainty black creature padded out of the living room and looked up at him out of a pair of emerald green eyes. “I brought you some treats,” he told the cat, holding up one of the grocery bags. “Salmon, your favorite. Come into the kitchen and get some.”
The cat was happy to follow him. She knew what the word ‘treats’ meant. He began to unpack the food out of the bags and put it into the refrigerator and the cupboards. Then he opened the bag of kitty treats. He turned to the expectantly waiting Isabella, who was sitting with her tail draped over her dainty front paws. He held one between his fingertips. “Here you go, sweetheart,” he said, then dropped the little treat on the floor. The cat didn’t like to take them from his fingers.
Isabella crouched down and ate the treat from off the tile. Perry fed her five or six more, but that was it. They were called ‘treats’ for a reason. Then he opened her a can of cat food and set it down for her. She came over and began to eat it, her tail lashing in a satisfied manner. Perry started his own dinner, cooking a small steak and making a baked potato to go with it. He talked to his pet as he worked.
“I got asked out on a date today, Isabella,” he said, and heard the incredulity still in his voice. “By my newest client. He came in for insurance on his motorcycle. He’s…interesting. He has piercings and he wears leather and make-up. He’s seven years younger than me too. And HE asked ME out! Can you believe it? I couldn’t. I still can’t,” he added wryly.
The cat didn’t stop eating as he talked. But Perry was simply talking aloud to help get his thoughts in order. The whole thing still felt rather strange to him. He could say that he had a date on Saturday, but he still didn’t quite believe it. He wondered if he would even on Saturday at six. Probably not. He shook his head and took the steak out of the broiler. Going through his usual routine helped to center him when he felt so off-balance.
He ate his dinner alone at the small table, as he did every night. He still hadn’t gotten used to not having anyone else around. His father hadn’t been the best company, being bound in a wheelchair and unable to move anything below his neck. But he’d still been company. The silence was only broken by the sounds of his utensils on the plate and Isabella’s purring as she wound around his ankles. While it wasn’t the same as having a human being around, the cat was still pretty good company.
He cleaned up the kitchen and picked up Isabella in his arms. He took her into the living room to watch some t.v. with him. She butted her head affectionately against his arm. He sat down on the couch and picked up the remote. Isabella settled into his lap and began to knead his thigh lightly with her claws. He winced but bore it stoically as he began to flip through the channels.
He found an old romantic movie on TCM. He loved movies from the Thirties and Forties. The acting, the screenwriting, all of it had been superior back then. Movies nowadays had far too many explosions and far too little plot development. They were, for the most part…dumb. Perry had no use for stupidity. He respected intelligence too much, a trait he’d gotten from his parents.
Perry petted Isabella as he watched the movie. The cat’s purring filled the room, soothing him. This was something else that he’d had to get used to over the last few months. Having time to himself, time to just relax. When his father was still alive, he’d had a ton of things to do pretty much from the moment that he came home from work each night. The nurse only stayed until he got home; so Perry had had to take over her duties of feeding, cleaning, and seeing to the needs of his invalid and helpless parent.
He’d tried very hard not to resent his father. It wasn’t his parent’s fault that he’d been a paraplegic because of the tragic car accident that had claimed the life of his wife and working partner. He’d tried to be patient and caring, but sometimes he couldn’t help but feel resentment. He was only human, after all. And when his father had finally passed away peacefully in the hospital, he’d felt such intense relief that he’d felt almost sick with it. But guilt had followed hard on its heels. He shouldn’t have been so happy that his father had died, even though the man had really wanted to go.
Starting a new life had seemed a great way to get away from all that. Moving out of the house he’d shared with his father for five years, going to a new city in another state – it had all helped. San Francisco was completely different from Portland. The steep hills, the wide bay with its magnificent bridge, the narrow houses clinging to the sides of those hills…he enjoyed the difference. It made him feel like a different person, not just boring Peregrine Jennings with his miserable lack of a life.
But up until now, there had been one part of his life that hadn’t been different or new. Not until today, that is. Today, when Luke Yamagura had asked him out on a date. He might actually have a love life after this! It seemed almost impossible to believe. Well, on Saturday he’d know one way or another. He started sweating at the very thought, so he tried very hard not to think about it at all.
Luke strolled into his apartment in a decidedly good mood. He had a date for Saturday! He smiled as he thought about Perry Jennings. He’d walked into the office at the insurance agency expecting to deal with some overweight old guy with a wedding ring on his finger and a picture of a wife and kids on his desk. Instead, to his pleasant surprise, the agent had been a quietly good-looking(and also quietly gay) man with a serious demeanor and a pair of steady eyes the color of loamy earth. Luke had been attracted right from the very start. He’d always liked older, serious guys – maybe because they were so different than he was. He knew his mother disapproved of the string of ‘sugar daddies’ that Luke had dated in the past, but he couldn’t help his preferences. He liked what he liked, and Perry Jennings just happened to be right up his alley.
He grinned as he remembered the astonished look on that gravely handsome face when he’d asked the insurance agent out on a date. Luke knew his rather wild appearance must have taken Perry aback somewhat, and to be propositioned by him must have really blown his gasket. But he’d just had to try. If Perry had said no that would have been the end of it. Well, maybe. He might have tried again later, because he REALLY wanted to go out with the older man. He wanted to see the expression on Perry’s face the first time he initiated a kiss between them. And something told Luke that he was going to have to be the one to do so, that Perry was too reserved to even think about macking on another guy. That was okay; he’d thoroughly enjoy being the one to initiate things.
Luke threw his bike keys into a ceramic dish that sat on a little table in his front hallway. He was really looking forward to Saturday – that was the day he got to try out what his new bike could really do, and it was also the day that he’d have his first date with Perry. With emphasis on FIRST. He intended to have many more if Saturday went well.
He diverted into his small kitchen to put a frozen dinner in the microwave, then went out to fire up his computer. Being a web site designer, he could set his own hours. But he still had to work or he didn’t get paid. He’d get in some work now, then really put his nose to the grindstone tomorrow afternoon. He wanted to get it all done before the weekend so that he’d have more time for his other interests. Far more INTERESTING interests, at that. Including his blazingly fast new racing bike and the rather yummy insurance agent who provided coverage for that self-same bike.
He chuckled as he sat down in his computer chair and stretched his long legs out so that he could put his booted feet up on his couch. This was going to be one hell of a weekend. Hopefully he wouldn’t break his neck putting his Kawasaki through her paces, since he couldn’t very well wine and dine Perry if he was in traction. Maybe he’d have to be a little careful when he went to the track. Although with the adrenaline rush that he was sure to get, that wouldn’t be easy at all.
Journal Entry 3:
I was so nervous that first night that I could barely breathe. Thank God for strong deodorant, or I would have smelled like an animal farm. I just didn’t know what to do or expect – I meant, I’d spent the last five years of my life with a certain routine, a routine that never varied. I wasn’t used to new things. And Luke was definitely…new. And so strange he might have come from an alien planet. I didn’t know what to make of him at all. Now I believe that this was a good thing – that he helped me break out of the rut I’d been living in for so long, helped me look at the world in new and exciting ways. But back then…all I knew or believed was that I was going to end up screwing the whole thing up horribly…
Perry paced the parking lot, trying not to pull at his tie. He was waiting for Luke to arrive – and also waiting for the man not to come, because why would he? He still had no idea why the younger man had asked him out. So if Luke decided to ditch, he’d understand completely. He’d be disappointed, but he WOULD understand…
There was the light roar of an engine, and a familiar red-and-silver racing bike turned into the parking lot. Perry took in a deep breath of both relief and acute nervousness as he turned to watch Luke come to a halt not far away. The younger man lifted a helmet off of his head and grinned ruefully at Perry. “Sorry I’m late,” he remarked, “But I was trying out my beauty at the track today and I got home a bit late. And since I wanted to make myself look nice for our date, I took a long shower and did some primping.”
“That’s all right,” Perry replied. ‘I didn’t think you were going to come at all,’ he added in his own head, but didn’t say it aloud.
“No it isn’t, since I didn’t have your cell phone number so that I could call you and tell you I’d be late. I wouldn’t have blamed you if you’d just left,” Luke swung easily off the bike, putting down the kickstand. “But I’m glad you didn’t,” he went on, looking at the older man over his shoulder. “Because I’m really looking forward to tonight.”
The insurance agent looked baffled by this statement, which made Luke’s lips twitch a little. He locked his bike and strolled over to where Perry was standing beside his car. “You look good,” he remarked, taking in the suit that the older man was wearing.
The admiration in his eyes made Perry feel quite strange. He’d never had anyone, male or female, look at him quite like this before. “Should we go?” he asked hurriedly, to cover his sudden attack of shyness.
“Sure. Just let me wriggle out of these,” Luke said, waving a hand at the leather clothing he was wearing. He unzipped and pulled off the jacket, then began to slide out of the pants.
Watching him, Perry felt uncomfortably like a voyeur. Not that Luke was stripping naked, but still…Then the pants came off, and he was so startled that he just stood there for a moment gaping at the younger man. Luke’s outfit under the leather biker’s clothing was just so…conventional! He was wearing tan slacks, a white polo shirt, and a tan suede leather jacket. Loafers covered his feet. There was no sign of his piercings; he seemed to have taken them off for the evening. His hair wasn’t gelled either, and was tamed and neatly brushed. No make-up or wild jewelry was evident. A brushed steel watch with a leather band was on his left wrist. He looked like a young, up-and-coming professional, a yuppie for Gen Y.
Luke smiled, spreading his arms a bit. “So what do you think?” he asked. “These are the clothes I wear when my parents come to visit, or when I have a face-to-face meeting with a client.”
“Oh. I…err…” Perry didn’t know what to say. But suddenly his mouth moved almost of its own volition. “Actually, I preferred your other clothing,” he said, and then blinked at what he’d just said.
Luke’s brows shot up. “You do?!” he said incredulously.
Perry nodded, having surprised himself as well. “They were…you,” he began slowly, trying to explain it to both Luke and himself. “They represented your personality. These clothes,” he looked the younger man over, “This is a camouflage that you wear to get along in ‘normal’ society. I prefer seeing the real you, not the camouflage.”
Luke slowly shut his mouth. His eyes were full of awe. “Man, I’ve got good taste,” he muttered. “I found someone who understands me. That’s awesome.”
Perry felt his face turn rather red. “It was just an observation,” he began.
“But an acute and accurate one,” Luke shot back. “Don’t sell yourself short.”
The insurance agent didn’t know what to say to this, but Luke didn’t seem to need a reply. “Come on, let’s get going. We’ll be late for our reservations if we don’t hurry.”
“Reservations?” Perry repeated in astonishment.
Luke grinned. “Yeah. I called to get ‘em a few days ago. I wanted to take you somewhere nice.”
“Oh, but…shouldn’t I pay for myself?” Perry asked uncertainly as they moved toward his car.
Luke shook his head. “Not tonight. I want to wine and dine you. Maybe after this we could go halfsies, but for tonight I want to impress you.”
“You don’t have to do that,” the older man protested as they got into his vehicle.
“I know. But I still want to. Call it the show-off in me,” Luke replied with a twinkle in his dark eyes.
Perry started the car, and then looked at his companion. “Where are we going?”
Luke gave him the name of a very ritzy French restaurant downtown. Perry was startled; he’d seen a spread on it in a magazine, and the place was astronomically expensive. When he looked uncertainly at Luke, the younger man chuckled. “I can afford it,” he told Perry easily. “And as long as we don’t go to places like it every day of the week, I won’t go broke. No worries.”
Perry pulled out of the parking lot and turned left. Luke lounged back in his seat. “I had a hell of a time getting the grit out of my hair,” he remarked
Oh, yes. He’d said he was trying out his racing bike. “Did you win?” he asked.
“No. Not today. But since I’d never been on that course before, that’s no big surprise. I’ll do better next time.”
Perry shuddered a little at the thought of Luke driving that terribly dangerous-looking bike at very high speeds. Having no thirst for speed or danger himself, he couldn’t quite comprehend why anyone would want to risk life and limb doing something so reckless. “Your weekends are far more exciting than mine normally are,” he noted aloud. “All I do is water my plants, watch t.v., and pet my cat.”
“You have a cat?” Luke asked interestedly.
“Yes. Her name is Isabella.”
“That’s really pretty,” Luke commented. “Wish I could keep a cat; but my apartment doesn’t allow pets. I had one when I was younger, a cantankerous tom by the name of P.I.T.A.”
Baffled, Perry glanced at him sideways. “Pita? Like the bread?”
Luke began to laugh. “No. It was short for Pain-in-the-Ass, which is what he was. Always out getting into fights and knocking up the neighborhood females. He had a tattered ear and a ton of scars after awhile. But I still loved him. He’d sleep on my bed all curled up and keep my feet warm at night. I was sad when a coyote got him.”
“Oh, that is sad,” Perry remarked in sympathy. “I’d hate it if anything happened to Isabella. She’s my friend.”
“Pets should be our friends, although with cats it’s more like we’re their devoted slaves,” Luke remarked dryly.
Perry laughed, for this was such a spot-on statement. Then he noticed that Luke was staring at him. “What?” he asked.
“I like it when you laugh,” the younger man replied promptly. “You have a nice laugh.”
“Oh,” Perry felt uncomfortable with this compliment. He cleared his throat a little.
Luke smiled. “You’re not used to guys saying nice things to you, are you?” he asked shrewdly.
“Well, no,” the insurance agent conceded. “I haven’t had any practice, that’s all. I told you that this was my first date with a man.”
“Yes, you did,” Luke replied. “Something I still can’t believe. Why hasn’t any other guy asked you out? You’re cute, really cute,” he added.
Perry felt his cheeks heat again. “Err…up until a short time ago, I was taking care of my paraplegic father,” he explained hurriedly.
“You were? What happened?” There was sympathy in Luke’s voice.
“He and my mother were in a car accident. She died outright, but my father was paralyzed from the neck down. I didn’t want to leave him a nursing home or care facility, so I moved in with him and saw to his needs when I wasn’t working. I hired a nurse to care for him when I had to go to work, but otherwise I took care of him. I didn’t really have time for a personal life. He finally died a few months ago, and I moved here from Oregon afterward.”
“Wow,” Luke breathed. “How long did you take care of him?”
“A little over five years,” Perry replied.
“Five years?!” this shocked exclamation made him glance at Luke. The younger man’s face was a picture by the light of a street lamp. “Jesus, I could never do that!”
Perry was puzzled. “What do you mean?”
Luke shook his head. “You have to have the patience of a saint, Perry. I can’t imagine being a nursemaid to my Dad, even though I love him. It would drive me crazy that I had no life of my own.”
Perry sighed. “It was very difficult at times,” he conceded. “But I just couldn’t stand the thought of putting him a place where no one knew or cared about him. It was bad enough that he was paralyzed and unable to move, and that my mother had died; it would have been so much worse if he’d been surrounded by strangers while he was grief-stricken and disabled.”
“You are a total sweetheart,” Luke stated. “And an amazing person all around.”
Perry’s shoulders lifted a little. He’d never thought of himself as being particularly amazing. He’d just done what he’d had to do. He didn’t realize how few people did what was right without prodding, and were willing to sacrifice anything (let alone their whole lives) for someone else. “I was glad when he died,” he said rather defensively, as though to dispel any idea of sainthood that Luke might have about him.
“Anyone would be,” Luke replied promptly. “Sounds to me like your dad didn’t want to live. I know I wouldn’t, if something like that happened to me. So it’s not sad when they get what they want and are released from suffering and misery.”
Perry didn’t know how to reply to this. He concentrated on his driving for a moment, and silence fell in the car. Then Luke remarked: “I have to say, I’m kind of glad that you’ve never been out with another guy. I get to be your first,” he went on with a slight insinuation in his voice.
Perry stiffened (in many ways) at his words. Seeing his face, Luke laughed. “I mean your first date,” he pointed out. “You have a dirty mind, Perry.”
He flushed dark red, glad for the darkness outside the car that was hiding his embarrassment. “But I might like being what you assumed later on,” Luke added, teasingly.
The insurance agent didn’t speak, because he was caught between embarrassment and arousal. Not a good place to be, he was finding. Fortunately for him, they had finally arrived at their destination. He turned into the parking lot of the restaurant with a feeling of acute relief. He wanted out of this car and away from Luke as quickly as he possibly could. He fumbled with his seat belt, cursing his suddenly awkward fingers. Then he was flinging open the door and getting out, feeling the evening breezed cooling his hot cheeks.
Luke got out of the passenger side much more slowly, looking at the disconcerted Perry over the roof. He folded his arms atop it as a grin spread over his mouth. “You doing okay, Perry?” he asked impishly.
The older man took a deep breath. “I’m fine,” he retorted rather sharply.
Luke’s grin widened. “That’s great. We should go inside now,” he nodded at the restaurant.
Perry collected himself and walked beside Luke as they moved toward the door leading into the restaurant. He was entirely too conscious of the younger man’s closeness. It made him feel breathless and rather light-headed. The few girls he’d dated (and the even fewer that he’d actually slept with) had never made him feel this way. Desire, attraction, lust…this was the first time he’d felt any of those things strongly. It rather threw him off, as he had on idea how to deal with these emotions.
Luke liked seeing Perry get all flustered. It was, in his opinion, both cute and quite charming when the older man got all red in the face and looked horribly nervous. He found himself charmed by the insurance agent, and he wanted to know more about Perry. Everything, actually .What the man’s favorite color was, his favorite food, which side of the bed he liked to sleep on…hmm, that last one was a question he felt it imperative to find out the answer to. And as soon as humanly possible, too.
Journal Entry 4:
My first date ever as an openly gay man. A milestone, and one I wasn’t sure that I was ready for. Luke was…not like anyone that I’d ever known before. Good-looking, young, exciting, intelligent…and someone who seemed absolutely delighted by me. This was something that completely baffled me. Dull might be one word that I’d use to describe myself. Boring might be another. Not charming or interesting or cute, all things he’d claimed that I was. I didn’t understand him – but I don’t really even now, not totally. His fascination with me is quite perplexing. Something he laughs about every time that I mention this fact to him. Which only baffles me more. Sigh. I suppose, in the end, it’s enough that he does like me even if I don’t understand his reasons for doing so.
“I want to hear all about you,” Luke said.
Perry looked up from his food. The younger man had folded his arms on the edge of the table and seemed to be studying him curiously. Perry wondered what those keen eyes actually saw. “Me?” he asked in puzzlement.
Luke pretended to look around elaborately. “No, I want to know all about that guy over there,” he said, nodding at an older man sitting on their left. ‘He looks like an interesting stranger. Of course I mean you.”
“Oh,” Perry fiddled with his fork rather nervously. “I’m afraid that you know a lot about me already. I’m not very interesting, I’m afraid.”
Luke snorted genially. “Underestimating yourself again,” he said, shaking his head. “A bad habit of yours, I see. Tell whatever you can and let me decide if it’s interesting or not.”
“Err, I don’t really know what to say,” Perry began.
“Well, tell me what your favorite color is. That’s something simple,” Luke pointed out.
“Umm…I guess it would be green,” the insurance agent said after a moment’s thought.
“See? That’s a good start. Mine’s blue. Sapphire blue, actually. I look pretty good in that particular color. I have a silk shirt that shade. Maybe I’ll wear it for you sometime.”
Perry blinked as an image of Luke in a sapphire-blue silk shirt raced through his head. He gulped, his mouth suddenly rather dry. He sipped at his glass of water hurriedly as Luke’s dark eyes narrowed a little. He was watching the older man’s face intently, and he could see that something about his comment had disconcerted Perry. He hid a grin as he took a bite of his own food. It was fun to kind of gently tease his date. Luke had the feeling that no one had ever done this to Perry before, had never showed the other man how to have fun or relax. That was sad. He’d have to take the task onto his own shoulders from now on.
When he was done chewing, he spoke again. “How about your favorite food? Mine’s spaghetti with mushrooms.”
“Steak,” Perry said, clearing his throat a little. “Which is a good thing, since I can easily make a steak on my own with very little prep needed.”
“Don’t have much time for cooking?” Luke asked.
“Oh, I do now. But when I was taking care of my father, I seldom had time to toil over an elaborate dinner. And the poor man couldn’t eat solid food, so I was only cooking for myself anyway. So I got used to cooking things that are quick and easy, and I’ve continued to do that now because its what I’m used to.”
Luke laughed. “You see how easy this is? Now tell me what kind of movies you like to watch.”
Perry found himself relaxing a bit. “I prefer dramas and English movies,” he remarked. “Although my favorites are old movies. Anything made before 1940.”
“Actually, I can understand that,” Luke said. “Most movies nowadays aren’t as good as most old movies were. The writing was much better, for one thing.”
Perry nodded. "Yes. Hollywood actually hired real writers back then to pen scripts for their films. I believe they frequent zoos for their writers now,” he added.
Luke looked puzzled. “Zoos?”
Perry’s lips lifted in a small smile. “Specifically, the chimpanzee cage,” he explained.
The younger man looked startled, then he laughed. “Oh my God, Perry, you made a joke!” he chortled when he could speak again. “And a pretty good one, too. I’m impressed.”
“Thank you,” Perry felt a warm glow in the pit of his stomach at the approving, delighted look that Luke turned on him.
“See? I knew it would be great fun hanging around you. That’s why I was so glad that you said ‘yes’ when I asked you out. I wasn’t sure that you would.”
Perry’s brow wrinkled a little. “Why not?”
Luke grinned. “Because of the way I looked, partly. Those clothes you like so much,” he added. “I thought for sure that you’d be put off by a guy with piercings and tattoos wearing make-up.”
“Oh, I see. Well, I was a little surprised by your appearance, I’ll admit. I’d never had a client before that looked quite like you. But I wasn’t put off by it. More fascinated than anything else.”
Luke cocked his head a bit. “So you’re fascinated by me? Oo, I like that. I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone be fascinated by me before.”
Perry felt his cheeks heat. He looked down at his food again so he wouldn’t have to look into those twinkling dark eyes anymore. He heard a chuckle above his bowed head. “You can be fascinated all you want, Perry. As long as you agree to go out with me again soon.”
He glanced up in surprise. “You want me to go out with you again?” he asked in startlement.
The younger man shook his head. “Geez. Why do you seem so surprised?”
“Well…” Perry shrugged helplessly. “I’m not exactly exciting. Not like you are,” he went on, waving a hand at Luke.
A snort. “And what makes you think that I want to date somebody who’s just like me? That would be narcissism, wouldn’t it? And pretty boring too,” Luke said in exasperation.
“I never thought about it that way,” Perry said slowly.
“Well, that’s one of the reasons that I want to go out with you. You’re interesting to me because you’re so different than I am. I want to find out everything about you. How you think, what you feel, everything you like and dislike. I’m as curious as a cat about you.”
“Oh, come on,” Luke waved a hand at him in turn. “Don’t tell me that you’re not curious about me. Don’t you want to know what makes me tick?”
Actually, he did. Very much so. He wanted to understand why someone like Luke Yamagura wanted to go out with someone like HIM. Seeing his expression, the younger man grinned. “See, told you. It’s way more interesting to date a person you don’t quite understand. Getting to know them is half the fun.”
“I suppose that you’re right. And if you really want to go out with me again…I’d like to go on another date with you,” Perry said quietly.
Luke beamed at him. “Great! I’d take you dancing, but I think that’d be a little much for you right now. We’ll ease you into that kind of stuff. How about a movie? I know this art house place that shows the oldies. I think they’re playing Dark Victory right now. Bette Davis tragically dying…you can’t beat angst, right?”
Perry felt relief that Luke intended to take him somewhere that’s he’d actually enjoy. “That sounds wonderful,” he remarked.
“Okay. Tomorrow night? I’ll buy the popcorn,” Luke added, “But we’ll go halfsies on everything else.”
“So do you like the food?” Luke asked next.
“Yes, it’s very good. I’ve never been to a French restaurant before. Do you come here often?”
“Heck, no. I can’t afford this place all the time,” Luke commented ruefully. “But I brought my parents here to celebrate their last anniversary. They’ve been married for twenty-five years now, which I think is an accomplishment in this day and age.”
“It is,” Perry agreed. “My parents were married for almost thirty when my mother died. But I think that their work was what kept them together.”
”They were Biologists. They studied the mating habits and flight patterns of certain species of raptors. Mainly hawks and falcons. We moved a lot when I was a child because of their work. We seldom stayed in one place for more than a year or two.”
“That must have been hard on you,” Luke remarked sympathetically. “You wouldn’t have had time to make any friends, and if you ever did you’d lose them again when you moved.”
“That’s true,” Perry said glumly. “I can’t count the number of times that I ended up at new schools with new kids. I finally gave up on trying to make friends altogether.”
“That sucks. You must have had a pretty lonely childhood. Did you have any brothers or sisters?”
“No, I’m an only child too, like you,” Perry replied.
“Christ. So not even siblings to play with. I’m starting to feel sorry for you, Perry. I’m starting to think that I need to pamper you a lot to make up for your life so far.”
The insurance agent looked startled. “I…err…” he began uncertainly.
Luke grinned, showing off his white teeth. “Hey, no need to thank me. It’ll be my pleasure,” he remarked with dancing eyes.
Perry didn’t know how to reply to this, so he didn’t try. They finished eating without saying much to each other, but it was a surprisingly companionable silence. And he found himself enjoying the date far more than he would have thought, and also looking forward to the movie tomorrow night as well.
After they’d eaten, they returned to his office. Luke glanced at him as he drove. “Did you have a good time tonight?” he asked, sounding like he might be a little worried about Perry’s response.
The older man looked at him briefly, startled. “Yes, I did,” he admitted.
Luke visibly relaxed in the passenger’s seat. “Good.”
Perry was silent for a moment, then he asked: “Did you think that I might not? Have a good time, I mean?”
“Well, I wasn’t totally sure. And when you meet someone you really like you want it to go well.”
Perry blinked, then found himself smiling a little. “It did. I enjoyed myself tonight,” he said softly.
“Awesome. Here we are,” Luke said rather mournfully, as Perry turned into the parking lot of the insurance agency.
Perry stopped the car and turned to look at him. “Thank you for dinner,” he said. “What time did you want to meet me here tomorrow night?”
“Six-thirty,” Luke replied promptly. “But our date isn’t done yet, you know/”
“It isn’t?” Perry said, a little puzzled.
“That’s right. There’s one more part of it,” Luke said. Then he leaned forward, and before an astonished Perry could react, he kissed the older man full on the lips.
Journal Entry 5:
My first kiss with another man. How strange and wonderful! This felt so right to me. I’d had a few awkward kisses with the women I’d dated in college, but I’d never responded with a quarter of the passion and intensity that I felt when Luke kissed me. Kissing him…was like coming home for me.
Perry found himself moaning into Luke’s mouth. The younger man’s lips gently moved over his, taking his breath away. His hands lifted, cradling the back of Luke’s head to hold him in place. He heard an approving sound against his lips, and then a tongue gently slithered between them and coiled into his mouth with deft skill. He gasped as it stroked over his tongue lightly, then flicked away to explore the inner recesses. He opened his mouth even further to give it better access, and tentatively moved his own tongue to tangle with Luke’s. Long-fingered hands insinuated themselves under his suit jacket and began to caress his torso over the fabric of his shirt, making him moan again. Especially when fingertips found the mound of his left nipple and gently rubbed over it.
When their mouths finally parted, he looked at Luke with dazed eyes. The younger man smiled, lifting a hand to touch his kiss-swollen bottom lip tenderly. “Now that was the way to end a date,” he said in satisfaction. “Don’t you agree, Perry?”
He nodded, still not quite able to speak properly. Luke’s dark eyes gleamed. “I’ll see you tomorrow night, same bat place, same bat channel,” he said, which made Perry give him a puzzled look.
He grinned. “See ya later, alligator,” he murmured, before he got out of Perry’s car and walked toward his bike. He turned briefly to wave to the insurance agent before he unpacked his leathers and slipped into them, putting his helmet on his head with a final grin for the watching man in the car. Then he straddled his bike, lifted a hand to Perry, and drove away with a screech of tires. Perry sat and watched him go, then started up his engine again and drove slowly home. He thought about the date the whole way, musing that it had been very nice. He’d really enjoyed himself, especially that last kiss.
He pulled up in front of his house and went inside. He heard a meow as he went inside, and a lithe black figure trotted down the hallway to wind around his ankles in greeting. Perry squatted down to pet his cat. “Hi, Isabella. I’m back,” he told her, scratching under her chin. “I had a really good date.”
His pet wasn’t the least bit interested in human concerns. All she wanted was her food and a good petting. She mewled demandingly, and Perry smiled slightly as he picked her up in his arms and took her into the kitchen to fill her bowl with kibble. She nestled there, purring, as he pulled out the bag of cat food one-handed and tipped it into her bowl. He set Isabella down so that she could eat it, and the cat happily crunched away as he stepped to the fridge to pour himself a glass of water.
He leaned back against the cupboard as he sipped at it. Perry found it hard to believe that he had not only had a nice date with a sexy younger man, but that he had another one scheduled for tomorrow night as well. It baffled him that someone like Luke Yamagura actually liked HIM. Not that he was complaining in any way. For whatever odd reason, Luke did like him. Perry decided not to question it, to just go with the flow and enjoy himself for however long it lasted.
Luke was riding a high as he entered his own apartment. He felt like dancing as he threw himself down on his couch and stretched his long legs out in front of him. Mmm, he’d had fun tonight! Perry was so interesting, whether he knew it or not. He had a good but quiet sense of humor, he was quite intelligent and observant…and his mouth tasted really sweet. Luke grinned at this last thought, licking at his lips a little to capture that elusive taste. He’d loved kissing Perry, and he intended to do so again very soon.
He thought about what Perry had said about his appearance. How many people would think that way, especially someone who looked and acted so conservative? He knew how lucky he was to have met someone who preferred him just as he was - tattoos, piercings, hair gel and all. He intended to cherish someone as special as Perry Jennings. Luke Yamagura knew when he had it good, and he’d never take that for granted.
Perry found himself feeling rather out-of-it at work the next day. He kept stopping whatever he was doing as visions of Luke would go through his head, or his brain reminded him of what that goodnight kiss had felt like. It was fortunate for him that he was so efficient, or he might not have gotten any work done at all. His assistant Debbie gave him some odd looks as the day passed by, clearly wondering what was going on with her boss.
His phone rang at two-thirty. He picked it up, saying: “This is Perry Jennings. How may I help you?”
“Well, let me count the ways…” A laughing voice replied.
“Luke?” he said, surprised.
“That’s right. I just called to hear your voice, although if you want to pretend that I’m calling about my policy I don’t mind.”
He felt a spurt of warmth go through him when Luke said that he’d called just to hear his voice. “It’s all right. I don’t have any clients at the moment. I was just going over some policies, but I can do that later,” he replied.
“Okay. So what are you going to wear tonight? I’ll be dressed normally, since you like that look so much,” Luke teased him gently.
He felt his cheeks heat a little. “Well, I was just going to wait around until you came, so I’d be wearing the suit I am right now,” Perry replied.
“Hmm. I’d really like to see you in something besides a suit, though. Don’t get me wrong, I like the look of you in a suit. But don’t you have anything more casual?” Luke asked hopefully.
He blinked. “Err…yes, I do. I suppose I could go home and change before I come back here.”
“Great! I can’t wait to see you. Also, do you like popcorn or candy or what? What kind of snacks do you like, I mean. We have to smuggle some into the theater,” he explained.
“Oh. Well, I do enjoy caramel corn, although not regular popcorn,” Perry said hesitantly.
“Gotcha. I’ll snag us some drinks and candy and a box of caramel corn before we go to the theater.”
“Shouldn’t we…buy those things at the theater?” Perry asked, his forehead creasing a little.
“God, no! Do you know how expensive theater snacks are? That’s where they really get you, with three dollar bags of popcorn, two dollar sodas, and five dollar boxes of candy. Stuff might as well be made out of solid gold. Don’t worry about it, Perry. We won’t be breaking the law, smuggling snacks into the theater.”
He still felt a bit worried about the whole thing, and heard a chuckle over the phone. “Be a rebel, Perry. You can do it,” Luke said, his voice full of amusement.
He cleared his throat. “Yes, of course,” he said, which brought open-throated laughter down the phone line.
“You are too cute, you know that?” Luke remarked. “Anyway, I’ll see you in a few hours.”
“All right,” he said warmly.
Luke said goodbye and hung up, and Perry set the headset down in its cradle. While the day seemed to have been dragging already, now he just wanted it to be done so that he could go out with Luke again.
Perry hurried home after work and changed his clothes. He put on a nice shirt, a pair of crisp tan slacks, and a dinner jacket. He knew that these clothes were almost as formal as a suit, but he didn’t have any really casual clothing. Not that he’d wear out on a date, anyway. He brushes his hair neatly and splashed on just a touch of cologne, looking at his own face in the mirror above his dresser. It was a little square, with a somewhat thin mouth and a pair of deep-set hazel-grey eyes. His dark hair was cut short, but sometimes it still fell over his forehead and tried to get in his eyes. He looked hard, trying to see just what there was about him to attract someone like Luke. But he simply couldn’t see it. Finally he shrugged and left the house to return to his office and meet Luke.
He found the other man already sitting on his bike waiting for Perry to arrive. Luke raised a hand as his car turned into the parking lot. The biker was dressed more like he had been when he’d first come in to get insurance from Perry. His long black coat swirled around his legs as he stepped toward the car. “Hey, Perry, you look good,” he said admiringly, looking the insurance agent over. There was a hot look in his eyes that rather took Perry’s breath away.
“Thank you. You do too,” he replied truthfully, looking at the newly reinstated piercings, the gelled, spiky hair, and the long black coat. The only difference was the sapphire-colored silk shirt that Luke was wearing under a black vest, the shirt he’d talked about yesterday at dinner. It really did look very good on him, Perry thought as he looked the younger man over in turn.
Luke spread his hands, showing himself off uninhibitedly. “Glad you like it,” he said merrily. “This coat has some deep pockets sewn into the insides,” he pulled the coat apart, demonstrating. “And that’s where I stowed our snacks, like a squirrel,” he reached in and pulled out a bottle of soda to show to Perry.
Perry’s brows lifted a little, which made Luke grin. “Anyway, let’s get this show on the road. We don’t want to be late for the movie.”
He came over and got into the passenger side of Perry‘s car, then gave the insurance agent directions to the theater. They talked a little as he drove, but when silence fell in the car it was a comfortable one. Finally they arrived, and Perry parked in the lot next to the theater building. He got out, and Luke hopped out of the other side. “Bette Davis, here we come,” he crowed as he came around to gather up Perry and take him to the front of the theater to buy tickets for the movie.
The inside of the theater had been restored to its original glory, and was all reds and golds. Long velvet curtains swathed the walls, and gold cords held them up off the floor. The seats were plushy, and Luke bounced rather gleefully on his as they sat down. There weren’t many people in the place; only a handful of other customers were scattered around the theater. Perry was glad about that. He didn’t really like being in crowded spaces. Luke stretched out and casually flopped an arm along the back of both his seat and Perry’s. His fingers stroked over the back of Perry’s jacket, making him catch his breath.
Luke’s nearness was having a bad effect on Perry. He was far too aware of that long, leanly muscular body separated from his by only the armrests of their chairs. Luke’s fingers were sketching over his upper back and lightly caressing the back of his neck. He shuddered slightly, feeling the press of his erection against the front of his slacks. Luke leaned over a little and blew hot breath into his ear as he breathed: “Don’t you love this theater, Perry? It’s a historical landmark.”
He croaked an affirmative reply, his whole body feeling hot and too tight. “You know,” Luke mused, “You should get an earring. I can recommend a guy who’ll do it safely and cleanly, I promise.”
“I…I c-can’t wear an earring to work,” Perry stuttered, totally distracted by the fact that Luke’s fingers were now under the collar of his coat and shirt and were wriggling around on his bare skin.
“I suppose you’re right,” Luke sighed. “And you’d have to keep it in for six weeks while the hole healed. Too bad. You’d be really sexy with an earring.”
Perry shot him a baffled look, which made him grin. But just then the lights dimmed, and he turned his attention (mostly) to the screen. His fingers continued their quest, however, which made it hard for Perry to concentrate on the movie. He sucked in a breath as fingertips caressed delicately over the rim of his right ear, then ran under his jaw lightly before diving down the front of his shirt. He would have protested, but he couldn’t seem to. Luke appeared to be watching the movie, and not paying any attention to what his fingers were doing at all. But Perry suspected that that was all show; that Luke was totally aware of the way he was oh-so-pleasantly molesting his date. His skin felt hyper-sensitive, and each caress left trails of fire over it.
All in all, he couldn’t really have said what went on in the movie. Fortunately he’d already seen Dark Victory before, so it didn’t really matter. But he was definitely hot and bothered by the time that the end credits rolled and the curtains slid slowly down to cover the screen. Luke sighed and removed his fingers at last, turning to look at Perry. “So did you enjoy the…movie?” he asked with a sly gleam in his dark eyes.
Perry gave him the LOOK such an impish question deserved. “It was fine,” he said, wondering just how he was going to stand up. He had a real problem going on at his crotch that he would be too embarrassed to show the few other patrons in the theater.
“Good. Come on, let's get going,” Luke stood up and held out a hand to help him up.
Perry felt himself turning dark red. “I can’t,” he gasped.
Luke lifted the brow that had the silver ring through it. “Why not?” he asked, cocking his head.
Perry wanted to sink through the floor. “Because…I…” he squirmed in his seat, unable to articulate what his problem was.
Luke grinned dazzlingly, his black eyes gleaming evilly. Perry realized that the younger man knew exactly what his problem was, and was tormenting him deliberately. He glared up at his date, who shrugged and winked at him. “We’ll wait a few minutes,” he said cheerfully.
While he was grateful for this consideration, Perry also had the great urge to stomp on Luke’s foot with his shoe. But since the younger man was wearing motorcycle boots, that would be a useless endeavor. He settled for glowering, which only seemed to amuse Luke even more. He lounged against his seat, totally relaxed, smiling down at Perry. And somehow his ire abated, draining away. He just couldn’t stay angry at Luke for any length of time, no matter how much he teased him.
Journal Entry 6:
Luke was such a new and strange element in my life that it took me some time to get used to him. He took me to places I’d never been before, and he made my life far more interesting and diverting. I worried a good deal in those first days of our relationship. Was I boring him? Would he go off and find someone more exciting? It took me awhile to understand that he simply enjoyed playing the role of initiator…in more ways than one. But I can’t complain, because I have the distinct feeling that while I’m around Luke, I myself will never be bored again…
They left the theater together, Luke sighing happily. “Wow, that was depressing, wasn’t it?” he asked happily.
Perry’s brows shot up. “You like the fact that she died at the end of the movie?” he said incredulously.
Luke chuckled. “Yeah. Sometimes it’s good to watch the depressing stuff, because then you appreciate what you have in life more.” He slung his arm around Perry’s waist, taking the other man by surprise. Leaning down, he breathed lightly into Perry’s ear, making him shiver. “For example, I’m thinking right now that I’m amazingly lucky because I’m here with you.”
Perry felt his insides turn to mush at these playful yet obviously sincere words. He looked up into Luke’s eyes, and the younger man smiled lazily down at him. “What should we do now?” he asked.
Perry blinked. “Umm...don’t you want to go home?” he asked.
Luke shook his head. “The night is young, and so are we!” he declared with an expansive wave of his free hand. “And before you say anything,” he added, pointing a finger at Perry, “I know that you’re older than I am. But only by five years, so you’re not decrepit. You’re still young enough to have some fun.”
“All right,” Perry conceded. “So what should we do?”
“Hmm,” Luke tapped at his full lower lip, greatly distracting Perry because this motion made his eyes fasten on that same lip. His breath faltered as he remembered that kiss yesterday. “Maybe we should go to an arcade,” Luke commented, making his mind return to reality as he looked startled.
“An arcade?” he repeated.
Luke nodded cheerfully. “Sure, why not? I get the feeling that you’ve never been to one – I’d like to show you something new. Besides, I swear you’ll enjoy yourself. So how about it?”
Perry was just glad that Luke wanted to spend more time with him; he would have agreed to go just about anywhere with Luke if it meant he could do that. Her nodded. “All right,” he said. “We’ll go to an arcade.”
Luke laughed and hugged him. “You’re such a good sport, Perry,” he said, and then he kissed the older man gently on the lips.
Perry should have protested; they were still standing out in public, even though it was dark outside. But he simply didn’t care. Luke’s mouth on his made him forget everything else. He moaned and wound his arms around the taller man’s neck, clinging to Luke for dear life as that sensual mouth moved sweetly over his. He opened his mouth as a tongue insinuated itself into it, curling around inside until he felt dizzy with excitement. He pressed himself to Luke’s more slender form, his insides trembling. Luke’s dark eyes were full of a burning light that made him feel like his bones were melting.
Finally Luke pulled away, looking regretful. He took in several deep breaths for his oxygen-starved lungs as he smiled lazily down at Perry. “Mmm, you taste nice,” he said, and Perry shivered a bit at his tone and the look in his eyes.
“Let’s go to the arcade now, before I forget myself and do something naughty to you in the backseat of your car,” Luke said half-teasingly.
Perry shuddered, but at the same time while he wanted to be with Luke he didn’t want anything that they might do to happen in the backseat of his car out in public. He sighed, fishing out his car keys, while Luke continued to smile at him. He fumbled with them, because his fingers didn’t seem to be working quite right. But he finally got them out, and they proceeded to his car. Luke walked with a swift, bouncy stride, clearly in a very good mood. It made Perry smile a little as he opened the door with his keys and unlocked the passenger’s side so that Luke could slide into the car.
He got directions from Luke to the nearest arcade. The younger man was right; his parents had never taken him to an arcade before. In point of fact, he’d seldom gone to any child-oriented places. They’d mostly treated him as though he were a miniature adult, which had suited him. Many parents seemed to treat their children as though they were idiots, rather than just little people with less life experience. Still, it would be interesting to see a place where kids often went to congregate. New experiences were nice – especially if he could have them with Luke.
The arcade that they went to was big, noisy, and bright; Perry found himself squinting a little as Luke led him inside. Teenagers and younger kids were everywhere, and the few adults that he saw were mostly chaperones. Luke took his arm and led him over to a game that was a large raised square on the floor in front of a big screen. There were arrows and footprints on the square. He stared down at it, completely puzzled. Luke grinned at him. “This is a game created by the Japanese,” he called over the loud music and the sounds of the video games, “So I’m glad that I’m good at it. Otherwise I’d feel that I was failing at my heritage.”
“What is it?” Perry asked, still staring at the square.
“Dance Dance Revolution. You put your quarters in here,” he dug the money out of his pocket and put the quarters into the slot, “And then you push this button…” he tapped a big red button under the large screen, “And it starts. Then you hop up on here…” he stepped up onto the square, “And you have to follow what it shows on the screen,” he waved at the big screen, which had lit up with a picture of a big-eyed Japanese cartoon character. “It’s sort of like playing a Simon game except instead of hitting the buttons you step on the right places on the floor. Oh, don’t tell me; let me guess…you never played Simon before either, have you?”
Perry shrugged rather sheepishly, making Luke laugh. “Never mind. Let me show off for you.”
He turned back to the screen and began a peculiar step dance with his eyes riveted on the screen. He seemed to know where every arrows and footprint was on the square, and he was decidedly graceful. Perry’s eyes were riveted to his lithe, tall form as his narrow hips moved as though he had no joints. His arms swung at his sides easily, and he laughed as he started to work himself up into a sweat. “So what do you think?!” he called rather breathlessly, “Do you want to try it next, Perry?”
“Not really,” he replied ruefully. “I’m afraid that I wouldn’t be even a quarter as good at it as you obviously are.”
“Hey, it’s fun!” Luke pointed out as he executed a complicated step with ease.
“If you say so,” Perry replied doubtfully, which made Luke chuckle breathlessly.
A group of people had gathered around to watch Luke, and some were cheering or catcalling. He ignored them all with equanimity, but Perry found himself wishing that he were somewhere else. He was starting to get a headache from all the loud sounds, and he also felt rather claustrophobic, hemmed in by all of these watchers. Someone jostled him, nearly pitching him forward into Luke’s back. He gritted his teeth and tried to be stoic, because Luke was clearly enjoying himself. Perry didn’t want to take away from that enjoyment by complaining.
The music and the pictures of the game seemed to be reaching some kind of crescendo. Perry had no idea how Luke was keeping up anymore. His spiky hair was wilting atop his head from sweat, and his skin was filmed with it as well. His skin was a little blotchy in places as he turned red from his exertions. Staring at him, Perry gasped a little as he realized with sudden acuity that this was how Luke would look when he was having sex. His legs suddenly felt a little weak, and it was a wonder that he didn’t just turn into a pile of goo on the floor right then and there. Of course, there was one part of him that wasn’t soft or gooey…He moved a little, uncomfortably, hoping that no one in the crowd caught sight of the erection he was now sporting. It would be truly embarrassing to have a teenager (or an even younger child) realize that he had a woodie. They’d probably think he was some kind of pedophile perv, trolling the arcade to pick up underage victims. Dear God, what a thought…
Luke yelled in triumph as the words ‘You Won!’ appeared on the screen in front of him. He threw up his hands, to loud cheers from the watching crowd. He turned around to grin at Perry. “Am I the best, or what?!” he yelled.
Well, he could agree with that. In spite of his discomfort, embarrassment, and claustrophobia, he found himself smiling in return. Luke jumped down off the square and stepped toward him. “Sure you don’t want to give it a try?" He asked, his eyes sparkling.
Perry shook his head primly. "No, thank you,” he replied. Luke grinned.
“Your loss,” he replied. “Come on, let’s go do something else.”
He extracted them from the crowd, much to Perry’s relief. “I need something to drink,” he remarked, fishing out one of the bottles from within his coat. “I used up a lot of fluids. Do you want one?”
Perry accepted a bottle of water and sipped at it as they wandered together down the arcade. Luke grabbed his arm. “Hey, you have to play this!” he cried, dragging Perry over to a large wooden game that resembled a pinball machine, except there were no electronic parts that he could see. Just large round holes in the top surface. “What is it?” he asked in puzzlement.
“Whack-a-Mole!” Luke explained as he fished out some more quarters to put in the game. “You beat the moles with this,” he snatched up what looked like a hammer on a string and displayed it to Perry, “And if you hit enough of them you get tickets for prizes.”
“Err…” Perry wasn’t sure what to make of this explanation, but Luke gestured to the game. “Watch,” he said, and proceeded to play Whack-a-Mole.
Perry did just that, seeing that furry puppet-like creatures meant to look like moles were popping up randomly out of the holes. Luke unerringly whacked a half-dozen, sending them back down into their holes. He was both fascinated and baffled by the game, which seemed altogether pointless yet at the same time rather interesting. When he was done, Luke collected his tickets and handed the hammer-thing to Perry. “Now you try it,” he said encouragingly.
So he did, albeit somewhat reluctantly. But his reflexes and hand-eye coordination weren’t as good as Luke’s, and he was a dismal failure at playing Whack-a-Mole. He looked at Luke, who patted him on the shoulder comfortingly. “Hey, you tried,” he said soothingly. “You just need practice, is all. Here, let me play again. I’ll win you something.”
Perry was skeptical that any amount of practice would make him better at Whack-a-Mole, and was pleased to give the hammer-thing back to Luke so that he could enthusiastically bash moles with it. But it was rather exciting watching Luke do it, and when he triumphantly carried the tickets up to the counter to redeem them he had enough to get Perry something from the higher-end rewards section. He chose a stuffed cat wearing a t-shirt that read ‘you are purr-fect’ on it, and handed this to a bemused Perry. “There you go,” he said. “My sentiments exactly.”
Perry stared down at the fluffy cat, feeling a prickle in the backs of his eyes. It wasn’t just that Luke had won this specifically for him; it was the fact that this was the first gift that anyone had given him in a long time. “Thank you,” he said in a rather choked voice.
Luke’s arm draped across his shoulders. “Do you like it?” he breathed into Perry’s ear.
He nodded his head mutely. “I’m glad,” Luke said. “Now come on, I can tell that you’re getting tired. I don’t want to have to go to work tomorrow morning all tired out. Well, not from playing around in an arcade, anyway,” he added in an insinuating voice. “There’s a few things I can think of that we could do that would tire you out that I wouldn’t mind.”
Perry felt his breath catch. He clutched the stuffed cat as Luke led him out of the arcade, feeling grateful to leave the noise and the bright lights behind them. They approached his car, Luke yawning and stretching like a big cat. “It was a pretty fun evening,” he remarked. “Did you enjoy yourself?”
“Yes, I did,” Perry replied, and that wasn’t just him being polite. While the arcade had been somewhat overwhelming, being with Luke had made up for that fact. He put the cat in the backseat for now, intending to take it out when he got home and put it on his dresser where he could look at it as he got ready for bed each night.
“Cool. Do you want to go out with me again tomorrow night?” Luke asked him hopefully.
“I’d love to,” Perry said quietly.
“Awesome. Where should we go?”
Perry considered this as he started the car. “I don’t know,” he said doubtfully.
“Is there anywhere that you want to go specifically?" Luke asked him.
“Not really. Although actually…” Perry hesitated.
“What?” Luke looked questioningly over at him.
“I was wondering if you’d like to come over to my house tomorrow night for dinner,” Perry said.
Luke blinked. “Sure, I’d love to. But are you sure that you want to cook after working? We could just go out to dinner again.”
“It’s fine, if you don’t mind something simple like steak,” Perry replied.
“Ah, your favorite food,” Luke said with a twinkle in his eyes. “Okay. I’ll bring dessert and a movie, maybe a board game or something too. We have to find a way to entertain ourselves,” he teased.
Perry gulped as it suddenly occurred to him what he’d just done. He’d invited a man he found incredibly attractive over to his house! His fingers went slippery on the steering wheel as he broke out in a cold sweat. What if…? Would Luke want to…? And did he want Luke to want to? Well, yes he did. Underneath all of his sudden panic was the knowledge that he wanted Luke Yamagura just as much as Luke seemed to want him. With that thought in mind, he tried to take deep breaths and relax. It worked after a moment, as Luke glanced at him sideways.
“Are you all right, Perry?” he asked quietly.
“Yes," he replied truthfully.
“Oookkaayy. You just seemed a little…I don’t know…tense there for a moment,” Luke said doubtfully.
He sighed. “Honestly, it’s because I realized that you’re coming over to my house tomorrow,” he said carefully. “I just started wondering whether…err…we’d…”
“Have sex,” Luke said bluntly, making him look uncomfortable.
“Well, I hope so,” Luke replied. “But if you don’t want to, I’m not going to push it. I’ll leave it up to you when and where we finally do the deed. I’m prepared to be patient,” he said with a smile for Perry.
Oh, God, his heart was hammering in his chest. Luke was so kind. To look at him, you wouldn’t expect it – he looked rather like a street thug with all of his piercings and the black leather. But all of that was just the outer part of him, the face that he showed to the world. The inner Luke was like a little boy, bouncing through life with joy and verve. He had infected Perry with some of that energy, and he felt more alive than he ever had before this. He took a deep breath, and plunged in. “We can,” he croaked.
He struggled to speak more loudly. “We can,” he repeated. “Uh, do the act,” he went on.
Luke stared at him, then he threw back his head and began to laugh vibrantly. "I’m sorry,” he said as he wiped at his eyes, “But… ‘Do the act’? Good lord, Perry, are you a grandma? Can’t you say S-E-X?”
His face flamed a bit. “I can’t help it,” he began stiffly.
Luke reached out and patted his arm. “I know you can’t, I’m just teasing you. And I’m really happy that you want to ‘do the act’ with me,” he added, his eyes gleaming. “So I’ll bring a few more things over to your house tomorrow night besides a movie and dessert. Important things,” he said, lowering his voice to a dramatic half-whisper.
Perry glanced briefly at him questioningly. “Important things?”
Luke chuckled. “Yep. And I’m not explaining that, I want it to be a surprise,” he said, his voice quavering with pent-up laughter.
Perry sighed. He could see that Luke was still teasing him, but since that seemed to be his natural inclination he decided not to make a fuss about it. “Very well,” he said.
Luke snickered. But he said nothing else until they arrived at the insurance agency. Then he hopped out of the car and came around to collect a goodnight kiss from Perry. He pulled back and reached up to stroke his thumb over the older man’s cheek as he smiled down at Perry. “I’ll see you tomorrow night,” he said.
“Yes,” Perry felt his stomach lurching at the very thought, but looking up into Luke’s smiling eyes reassured him. He watched as Luke walked away toward his bike, feeling strange and nervous and a little crazed. Just how WAS he going to get through tomorrow, knowing what was going to happen? How did normal people do this? Ah well. Tomorrow evening was just twenty-four hours…and an eternity…away.
Journal Entry 7:
That first night….was like nothing that had ever happened to me before. Wonderful but strange. It opened whole new worlds for me. Luke laughs and says that it was the same for him, which I don’t understand at all…
Perry opened his front door, finding Luke standing there with a smile on his face. “Good evening, Luke,” he said, trying not to let his nervousness show.
The younger man smiled at him. “Hi, Perry. Can I come in?”
“Of course,” Perry stepped back and let Luke walk into his front hall. He was acutely conscious of just how close the other man was to him, especially considering what was going to happen tonight. He closed the door and led the way down the hall and into his living room.
“Nice place,” Luke remarked. “Oo, look at the kitty!” he exclaimed, seeing Isabella sleeping on the couch. He stepped over and leaned down to run one of his long fingers over her head. The cat blinked sleepily up at him, yawning. Perry felt his stomach tighten as he watched Luke stroke his pet. He wanted to be petted in the same way by those dexterous fingers. “What a sweetie,” Luke crooned.
Perry felt his erection straining against the front of his trousers. He tried to control himself, to get his body to stand down a bit. But it didn’t work very well. Luke straightened up with a last gentle caress of Isabella’s head. His dark eyes met Perry’s, and whatever he saw in them made his own begin to gleam wickedly. “Perry,” he said, his voice as caressing as his fingers had been a moment ago.
He swallowed. Luke rounded the couch like a panther stalking a particularly tender and juicy bit of prey. He was struggling to breathe now, and when Luke reached out to pull him in he didn’t struggle at all. He opened his mouth, and Luke’s sensual lips closed over his. A long-fingered hand cupped the back of his head tenderly, and Perry sighed into the kiss and surrendered himself to it without a qualm.
He was panting and glazed-eyed when Luke finally lifted his head. A tongue traced his kiss-swollen lower lip lightly. “I know I came over here to eat…dinner,” Luke husked, “But I’m not hungry for food. I want you, Perry, right now.”
Dear God. His heart was pounding in his chest as he looked up into Luke’s hungry eyes. “Let’s…go into the bedroom,” he said hoarsely, and a small, triumphant smile slid over Luke’s lips.
“You got it, baby,” he said softly. “Lead me to it,” he added, taking Perry’s hand.
He led the way to his bedroom, the butterflies in his stomach fluttering wildly now. Once they were inside, Luke made a small sound and reached out to pull him in for another devouring kiss. He lost himself in it, his tongue twining with Luke’s sensually.
Long fingers made short work of the buttons on his shirt, and when they finally separated again Perry gasped when he realized that it was now gapping open at the front. He blushed a little as Luke’s eyes greedily devoured his naked torso. Those wonderful, graceful fingers came to rest on his skin, and he gasped. “I like this,” Luke purred. “I love men with body hair – I don’t have much,” he said ruefully as his fingertips brushed over the swirls of dark hair that surrounded Perry’s now-erect nipples. Then he pinched at the rucked nubs themselves, making Perry’s back arch and a small sound of desire leave his throat. No one had ever played with his nipples before, and he was discovering that they were extremely sensitive.
“Uh,” he said, and Luke’s smile widened and became somewhat shark-like. He pushed the loosened shirt off of Perry’s shoulders entirely, letting it flutter to the floor. His hands made loving circles down the older man’s torso, taking his own sweet time as he discovered new terrain. Perry just stood there helplessly, loving each touch more than the least one.
“You’re a gay virgin, right?” Luke asked him as his hands smoothed over Perry’s trembling stomach.
He nodded, blushing again. Luke smiled reassuringly at him. “That’s okay, honey,” Luke soothed, his fingers making forays under the waistband of the trousers. “Don’t be scared. This time, I’m going to let you do me.”
Perry blinked. “You mean…?” he began, startled.
Luke nodded, still smiling. “I like it both ways,” he explained as his fingers took care of the snap at the front of the trousers and began to pull down the zipper. “And I can’t wait to feel you inside of me.”
Perry shivered, his cock straining as Luke’s fingers brushed over it. Luke swooped down to kiss his neck, even as he pushed the trousers down, taking the underwear beneath with them in a deft maneuver. Perry gasped as his erection saw the light of day, quivering and twitching in the air as Luke’s tongue licked at his collarbone sensually. The long fingers gripped his cock, stroking it lightly. Luke’s lips brushed against his. “Perry, you feel good,” he growled, and he moaned and rocked his hips.
Suddenly he had a strange urge. “Peregrine,” he said.
Luke blinked. “What?” he said.
“My name is…Peregrine. I just use Perry for short. My parents named me after the falcon,” he told Luke gravely. “I’d like it…if you used it.”
Luke considered this, and then he smiled. “Peregrine. I like it. It’s awesome. You’re my little falcon,” he said, just before he kissed Perry hungrily again.
Hands found his ass and squeezed the cheeks, and he gasped into Luke’s mouth. Then Luke slid away from his mouth to begin to kiss other parts of him. His legs trembled as the tall man knelt down in front of him so that he could lick and kiss every part of the soft pale skin that he could reach. Perry’s fingers spasmed, then flew down to clutch at Luke’s gelled hair as a warm mouth settled onto his straining cock tenderly. Oh, God! He’d had a couple of blow jobs before, but never one that felt this good or was this expert. Luke’s tongue…oh, shit, what was that? Something hard and warm was rubbing over the sensitive skin of his cock, and when he groaned and looked down Luke paused to flash the tongue stud that he’d only felt in his mouth before this, not on any other part of him. Then Luke went back to blowing his…mind, making Perry cry out as he pushed himself further into that warm, tight cavern over and over again.
Luke’s dark eyes met his just before the younger man’s long fingers closed over his balls and lightly squeezed. Perry nearly screamed as he came into Luke’s mouth, emptying himself in a rush. Then his legs gave way, and Luke eased him down onto the soft surface of his bed as he panted wildly for breath. Luke looked like a smug cat as he licked his lips.
“Delicious," he said.
Perry turned red. “I’m sorry…” he said apologetically.
Luke looked surprised. “For what?”
“For..Coming so fast. I didn’t mean to,” he explained.
Luke laughed. “Peregrine, how long has it been for you? Awhile, huh? You needed to get that first one out. I’m sure you’ll have plenty for me later,” he added with a grin.
Before Perry could reply, Luke stood up gracefully and began to remove his clothes. Perry watched breathlessly as first the coat was discarded, then the t-shirt; the chest revealed was smooth and nearly hairless, with dark nipples that had silver rings through them. A belly button stud flashed as Luke’s fingers took care of the laces at the front of his pants, then he slid them down casually. Perry made a faint sound as Luke stepped out of the pants, revealing two things – one, that he was going commando under the pants; and two, that his cock was a long spike rising from a closely-shaved patch of pubic hair. To Perry, Luke was just beautiful.
“Mmm, freedom,” Luke said happily, stepping toward him. He pushed Perry down on the bed and lay down on top of him, letting their skin slide together sensually. He kissed Perry’s lips lightly, then licked at the tip of his nose to make his eyes cross. “You’re so cute,” he said as his cock rubbed over Perry’s stomach.
Perry couldn’t have replied to this if he’d wanted to. Luke chuckled and began to suck at his neck, low down so that the hickey wouldn’t show over the collar of his suit. Perry moaned and clutched at Luke’s bare back, running his hands down it rather frantically.
Luke began to slide backward, tasting his skin with relish. Perry could barely think, but he did manage to glide his hands down Luke’s bare chest, his fingers making the silver nipple rings move. Luke made a small sound of pleasure, even as he lapped at Perry’s stomach to make it jump and quiver. Watching Luke’s spiked head move down toward his groin, Perry felt himself reviving. Especially when hot breath blew over his burgeoning cock. Hands pushed his legs up toward his chest. Luke kissed his thigh, making circles with his tongue. “Luke,” he moaned.
Then he let loose a shocked shriek, his eyes wide. “Luke!” he wailed as a tongue oozed over his asshole and began to lick at it strongly. “Oh, God, what are you doing!!”
“Rimming you,” Luke said muffledly. “Eating your sweet ass.”
“But…but…” he moaned, then forgot how to speak. This felt so very, very good!
“Yeah, butt. Mmm,” Luke said, then went back to torturing him so pleasurably that Perry felt like he could lose it again at any moment.
Perry shuddered as Luke finally sat up. “Ahh, baby, you’re so sweet. I’ve gotta do this before I go crazy,” he moved away to grab his coat and produce a condom and some lube. Perry started to sit up, but was then pushed back as Luke straddled his body and smiled down at him. “I’m going to ride you like a wild pony, Peregrine,” he purred lasciviously.
Perry moaned as Luke deftly tore the silver foil packet and retrieved a condom from within. He reached behind his back to begin putting it on Perry’s now rigid cock, not even looking. His dark eyes never looked away from Perry’s as he smoothed the latex over the twitching rod. His smile was lush and wicked as he opened the tube of lube and squirted some on his fingers. It got smoothed over the condom, then Luke lifted himself a bit and inserted a finger into himself as Perry watched. He moaned at the sensation, fingering his own hole to get himself ready for taking Perry’s cock. He looked so sexy and amazing that Perry was mesmerized. Luke was so beautiful, so astonishing. He could have looked at him forever.
But that wasn’t going to happen, since Luke got impatient with just his fingers and moved backward to find something more substantial to insert in himself instead. He settled over Perry’s hips, his hand guiding the older man’s cock to its intended destination. “Ah,” he gasped as contact was made. “Yeah,” he hissed as he jinked his hips and began to settle down backward.
Perry cried out as he was taken into tight heat. This was SO much better than the few times that he’d been with women! Luke wrapped around him snuggly, it was beyond good and into some other adjective entirely. Luke’s head tilted back as his ass met Perry’s groin. “Feels great,” he gasped. “You fill me up so good, baby.”
Perry groaned, his hands clutching at narrow hips desperately. “Luke…” he whimpered.
“Yeah. Let’s get this show on the road,” Luke wriggled, then began to bounce on him. He set his long-fingered hands on Perry’s chest, rocking himself as Perry gurgled under him. He moved from side-to-side, then squeezed his internal muscles to make Perry feel even better. A choked cry was his reward, and Luke grinned as he moved even faster. He loved having Perry inside of him, and he loved watching the other man’s face twist with pleasure as he fought to even breathe. He reached back to stroke Perry’s balls in time with his movements, taking himself in hand at the same time. ‘Look, Ma, no hands!’ he thought gleefully as he jerked himself off and caressed Perry’s balls at the same time, while still maintaining his spanking pace atop his new lover.
Perry was losing it. Luke was doing terrible things to him, wonderful, terrible things. He felt like he was being squeezed in a velvet glove, a hot velvet glove that caressed every inch of him. Luke’s long body was shiny with sweat as he arched over Perry, and his hand was jerking spasmodically at his own cock. It was such an erotic sight that Perry couldn’t take it anymore. He cried out hoarsely, bucking upward as he came again. Dimly he heard Luke cry out as well, and the muscles cradling him began to twitch and convulse around him. Perry shuddered, lost in pleasure. Luke slumped over him, his head hanging. Panting filled the room, and Perry just lay there feeling dead but so wonderful that he decided that he didn’t mind being that way.
“Peregrine, that was fucking awesome,” Luke growled after a moment. “And maybe later,” he added as he slid away from Perry at last, “We can do it the other way too. If you want, that is,” he added as he snuggled up to Perry and took him in his arms.
Perry’s sex-addled mind realized after a moment that Luke was talking about taking him. He thought about that, and decided that it was fine. He wanted to know what it felt like on the other end. He turned in Luke’s arms and looked him in the eyes. “That would be fine,” he said.
Luke smiled and bussed his nose. “Great, baby,” he said. “But for now…” he added. “Could we get some food in us? I’m starving.”
Perry found himself laughing. “All right,” he said. “Let’s go eat…food.”
Journal Entry 8:
So strange, this feeling. Is this what love is? This glad, hot, exciting, thing that makes my breath catch and my heart race? That makes me smile every time that I see Luke’s face? That turns my thoughts to him every five minutes during the day? Do you know, I asked Luke about it one day recently. He laughed so hard that I got rather mad. But then he kissed me and held me close, and he said into my ear: “Perry, either you’re totally in love with me, or you have some kind of severe health problem.” Then he laughed some more. I should have stayed angry, I guess, but I couldn’t help but smile instead. Because I am in love with him, you see, and I don’t think that I could stay angry at him unless he lopped off one of my limbs…
Perry arched his back and moaned desperately. This sensation – having Luke buried inside of him – was so strange, but so very, very good! The younger man was leaning over him, raining kisses onto his skin as he continued to drive into Perry with long, smooth, forceful strokes. And each one seemed to hit that place inside of him that made his cock twitch and stream fluids all over his skin, and made bolts of lightning dance over his skin. “You’re so tight, Peregrine,” Luke purred into his ear. “I love being in you.”
He spasmed at these words, clutching at Luke’s long back desperately. “Ahh,” he gasped, unable to speak coherently anymore.
Luke kissed his ear, then nipped at the lobe. “Do you want to come?” he asked rather breathlessly, never stopping his narrow hips as he spoke.
A whimper was his only reply, but it was enough to tell him that the answer to this question was “yes! Dear God, yes!!!” He grinned maniacally, lowering himself a little bit so that the skin of his abdomen was rubbing relentlessly against the cock trapped between them. Perry cried out, writhing beneath him; and then he stiffened and bucked as he came without even having to touch himself. Luke felt the muscles gripping him tighten and convulse, and groaned as he buried his face in Perry’s shoulder and pushed into his body hard. He shuddered as he came, milked boy those lovely velvety muscles. Then he was still, and Perry was a limp mass under him.
Luke lifted his head and looked down at Perry’s sweat-sheened face. He smiled tiredly, then bent down and began to kiss his lover’s face tenderly. “Mmm, Peregrine,” he murmured. “That was so nice. Did you like it?”
Perry’s eyes flickered open, and it took a moment for understanding to return to them. Then he nodded slightly, and croaked: “Yes,” in a hoarse voice.
Luke looked satisfied. “Great. Because I loved doing it to you. But I also loved you doing it to me. So do you think we might switch off from now on? Alternate? Would that be good?”
Perry collected himself. “Yes,” he said. “I’d like that.”
“Awesome,” Luke purred, then kissed him hungrily to seal the deal.
Perry felt rather odd the next day. In mind and body both. His…erm…LOWER SECTION…had a dull ache in it, and he was aware that he was moving a bit slowly and stiffly. The receptionist asked him if he was okay, which made him turn a bit red and stutter out a lie about pulling a muscle in his leg. From the odd look that she’d given him, he doubted that she’d bought that story. He retreated to his office to hide, sitting behind his desk with his hands over his face. Good Lord, that had been embarrassing! He’d never thought about the day after of a gay sexual encounter before this – because he’d never needed to. But now…
Now, he had Luke. Suddenly he decided that he didn’t care if he looked like an idiot in front of everybody around him. He smiled, picking up some paperwork off his desk and starting his day. And he managed not to think about Luke more than…well, maybe every five minutes or so. Which he thought was a good average, considering the fact that certain parts lower down were constantly reminding him of the fact that he’d had sex with Luke Yamagura last night…
At noon, his phone rang. He picked it up and heard a familiar laughing voice on the other end. “Hey, sweetheart. How’s things?” Luke asked cheerfully.
“Good,” he replied, meaning it. Despite his bodily discomfort, he felt great.
“Cool. Listen, do you want to go out to lunch with me? I’ll drive over there and we can go grab something to eat together. Sound good?”
“Yes,” he replied, and it did. Very much so.
“Okay. I’m right outside,” Luke told him humorously.
He blinked. “You’re…outside?”
“Yep. I called you on my cell once I got here.”
He found himself laughing a little. “You’re crazy,” he told Luke.
“You betcha. Crazy about you, Peregrine. Come on out, and let’s go get some grub.”
“All right,” he hung up the phone and stood up, groaning because he’d forgotten to move slowly. He hobbled out into the outer office and told Debbie that he was going to lunch. She eyed him sideways, then looked outside and saw the handsome young biker leaning against his sleek racing machine, and understanding entered her eyes. “Have a good time, Perry,” she told him with only a slight amount of amusement in her voice.
“Thank you,” he managed to say stiffly, shuffling out of the office with as close to a normal walk approximation as he could manage. He had to preserve SOME of his dignity, after all, thought obviously not much.
Luke grinned when he saw Perry walk out in his automaton gait. He glowered, which made the younger man’s grin widen. “Hi, Peregrine. Did you hurt yourself?”
He snarled: “No. For some odd reason, my backside hurts.”
Luke snorted, then gave into his laughter. "Backside!” he cried merrily. “God, you’re hilarious, Peregrine! So you have an ache in your ass, that’s what you’re saying? From having something up there?” his dark eyes were twinkling.
Perry looked around wildly. “Luke!” he hissed in horror.
Luke grinned wickedly. “What? It’s the truth, after all. Besides, there’s nobody else out here to hear me anyway,” he added, looking around himself.
Perry sighed. “That’s not the point,” he groused.
Luke chuckled and stepped forward. Before Perry could stop him, he put his arms around Perry and kissed him thoroughly. He was tousled and bemused when he was finally released, and had forgotten his ire completely. “Listen, Peregrine, you’re a gay man,” Luke told him simply. “There’s no reason to hide that fact, and I don’t see why gay people can’t show some displays of affection out in public if straight couples can. It’s not like we’re going to hump each other in the parking lot. A kiss never hurt anybody. And you liked it, admit it,” he said coaxingly.
Luke had a point, and he HAD liked it. Very much. He sighed. “Very well,” he said, which made Luke laugh again.
“Baby, you’re adorable. Come on, let’s go eat,” he slung a long arm over Perry’s shoulders, and they both headed for his car together.
That week was the most pleasant of Perry’s entire life. Luke came to get him every day at lunch, and they ate together at various little restaurants and cafes. Luke had pulled a restaurant guide off the internet, and they tried a new place every day. Each evening, Luke was waiting for him when he got off of work. They sometimes went out on the town, but most often they went to his house and made love for half the night. While he was getting a bit tired from lack of sleep, he was so happy that he didn’t mind that fact a bit. Even Isabella had taken to his new boyfriend, and would come and crawl into Luke’s lap whenever he sat on the couch. Her purring was so loud as he petted her that you could hear it all through the house.
On Saturday, Luke had another race so Perry didn’t see him except in the morning. Luke kissed him goodbye and left him to sleep in, to try to catch up on his shut-eye after the long but great week. He only woke up at about ten-thirty or so, to find Isabella crouched atop him meowing because she wanted her breakfast and some company. He petted her absently as he sat up, running a hand through his tousled hair and yawning. Time for coffee and maybe some scrambled eggs and toast. He climbed out of bed, feeling pleasantly achy but not in active pain like he had been for the first few days. His body had finally become accustomed to having sex with Luke, for which he was desperately glad. Having his clients and Debbie eye him every time he had to walk had been pretty embarrassing.
He shuffled into the kitchen with Isabella at his heels, her tail waving in the air as she anticipated food. He opened a cup of a fancy type of cat food that she really liked, then set it down on the floor for her to consume. The cat went to it, and Perry started the coffee maker and attended to his own breakfast.
He was sitting at the kitchen table, finishing his scrambled eggs and reading the paper, when his phone rang. He went to pick it up, and heard a woman’s voice on the other end: “Mr. Perry Jennings?”
“I’m calling from Mercy Hospital about Luke Yamagura,” she replied.
He felt a wave of terror streak through him. “Is he all right?!” he cried, hearing his voice go shrill but not caring.
“Not entirely. He was in an accident and was thrown from his bike. He doesn’t have any serious injuries,” she added hastily as he made a small, animal sound of terror in the back of his throat, “But he did break his right leg pretty badly. He asked me to call you and have you come pick him up when he’s discharged. The doctor is just putting the cast on him now, that’s why he didn’t call you himself. And he told me to tell you not to spazz, that he’ll be okay,” she went on with a faint hint of amusement in her voice.
He tried to take deep breaths. “Okay. I’ll be there as soon as I can,” he told her as levelly as he could.
“No rush. He’ll be here for a bit longer while the cast is fitted,” the woman told him.
Perry thanked her and hung up, putting a hand to his chest as he felt how hard his heart was beating. Dear God! He’d been so terrified when she’d told him she was calling from a hospital – he’d been sure that Luke was dead. Several tears leaked from his eyes as reaction set in. He was trembling hard. What would he have done? If he had been…? He stumbled out of the kitchen and went to get dressed, trying to pull himself together. If he kept on like this he wouldn’t even be fit to drive.
Somehow he made it to the hospital, and he practically ran into the waiting area for the emergency room. The kindly nurse at the desk, who turned out to be the same woman who’d called him, directed him to the cubicle where Luke was sitting on a bed with his leg stretched out in front of him, a bulky cast covering it nearly up to his thigh. He smiled sheepishly at Perry. “Hey, sweetheart, sorry about this,” he said apologetically. “I took a spill and landed wrong. My mom is going to kill me,” he added ruefully. “Are you okay?” he asked, directing a keen look at Perry.
“Yes,” he replied, meaning it now. Seeing that Luke wasn’t at death’s door helped to reassure him, although the younger man was sporting some cuts and bruises along with his broken leg.
“Cool. I gotta get some crutches and pain killers, and then we can get the heck out of here,” Luke told him. “Although I don’t know how I’m going to take care of myself, alone in my apartment with a broken leg…” he added sorrowfully.
Perry said quickly: “You’ll be living at my house while your leg gets better, Luke.”
The biker beamed at him. “That’s my Peregrine! I knew I could count on you to be my Florence Nightingale. Besides, I’ll be sure to repay you for your kindness,” he added with a gleam in his eyes that did not bode well for Perry.
Journal Entry 9:
Luke has changed my life forever. With so many little things - his eyes, his smile, his kindness - but especially with the way he loves me...I have never been happier, and I want him to know that. I'm going to tell him that every day, in fact. I want him to know that I treasure him, and that I always will. Well, since he happens to be reading over my shoulder as I write this, I guess he already does...I have to stop writing now, in fact, because Luke says that he has something to show me. He says its something powerful and sleek, and I have the sneaking suspicion that he's not talking about his new racing bike...
Perry carried a plateful of sandwiches into his living room, where Luke was sitting on the couch with his cast up on the coffee table. His boyfriend looked up with a smile for him. “God, Peregrine, you are the best,” he remarked as the insurance agent brought the plate over to hand it to him. “But you didn’t have to do this. I could have done it.”
Perry shook his head. “No, you couldn’t,” he replied firmly as Luke took the plate and set it on his lap. “If you tried to balance on your crutches on only one leg, you might fall down and hurt yourself some more if your hands were both busy. I don’t mind doing things for you; in fact, I like it,” he added as he sat down next to Luke. “I’d gotten used to taking care of someone, and being able to do so again is rather…comforting.”
Luke slung an arm over his shoulder. “Okay, but only until my leg gets better,” he told Perry, nuzzling his nose into the hair at his boyfriend’s temple. “I don’t expect you to be my slave for life or anything. Well, except for my sex slave,” he went on with an exaggerated leer.
He laughed a bit, shaking his head. “Luke, you’re so amazing,” he said slowly. “I’m still not sure why someone like you is dating someone like me,” he said with a grimace.
Luke scowled at him. “Don’t be putting yourself down again, Peregrine,” he remarked sternly. “Because I won’t have it. You’re an awesome guy. Sexy, smart, interesting, and fun. Not to mention great in bed,” he added with a wicked gleam in his dark eyes. “What more could any guy ask for? Not me, for one.” His hand stroked over Perry’s shoulder, squeezing it lightly.
He tried to relax and accept Luke’s praise, because he knew by now that Luke Yamagura was not the type of person to lie – even to make someone he liked feel better about themselves. He smiled as his cat jumped up onto the couch and made herself at home on both of their laps. Her purring was loud as Luke used his free hand to stroke her as well. “Ah, a whole day just hanging out and watching TV together,” Luke enthused. “That’s my idea of nirvana.”
Later, in bed, Perry straddled Luke’s long body and rode him in a slow, rhythmic way that was making his lover groan under him. Luke’s hands cradled his hips, caressing the pale skin tenderly. “Mm, better than pain killers,” he husked as Perry rose and fell atop of him. “You’re making me feel…uhh…tons better, Peregrine.”
He was pleased to hear that, although it might have meant even more if he’d been totally coherent. But by now he was losing himself, as pleasure rose up in him like a whale from the depths of the ocean. He shuddered and threw his head back, his hands splaying over Luke’s lower chest. He moaned out his boyfriend’s name, and heard an answering cry from underneath him. Then one of Luke’s long-fingered hands closed over his cock and stroked it, and he came with a heaving spasm as those talented fingers milked him. When he slumped over Luke afterward, panting for breath, he felt amazingly content and sated. He looked with lidded eyes down at his lover, who smiled rather hazedly up at him. “God, you tired me out,” Luke said with a yawn.
Perry felt some remorse at these words, but Luke merely patted his bare hip. “I’m saying that’s a good thing, baby,” he murmured drowsily. “My leg won’t be keeping me up tonight.”
He relaxed with a sigh of relief, then dismounted so that he could clean both of them up and get Luke under the covers on the bed. The younger man’s eyes were already closing, and he was lightly snoring by the time that Perry climbed into bed with him and turned on his side. In the dim light of the bedroom he just lay there and looked at his lover’s handsome face for awhile, trying to memorize each feature. He reached out to run his hand down Luke’s bare chest under the blanket, intensely happy to have him there. To think that he could have lost him today…he shuddered at the very thought, and curled up along Luke’s side. He put a hand over his lover’s chest as though to hug Luke to him while he slept, not wanting to ever let go.
Perry walked into the house, calling out: “Luke?”
“Still in here, baby; I can’t really go too many places right now,” that laughing voice called out to him. He walked into the living room to find Luke sitting on the couch with his computer on his lap. His crutches lay right next to him, and he was getting good at maneuvering around on them. He could go to the bathroom by himself, and feed himself as well. This was good, since Perry had to go to work every day and leave Luke on his own. He worried sometimes, and would often call home on his lunch break to see how Luke was doing. His lover laughed and gently teased him whenever he did this, saying that Perry worried too much but that he found this trait utterly cute. Just like so much else about Perry. While he was still often baffled by Luke’s reactions to him, he had decided to just give up trying to analyze it and just enjoy being with his boyfriend.
“Hey, how was work?” Luke asked him with a smile.
“Busy. I brought us some take-out for dinner,” Perry told him, displaying the white bags he was carrying. “I’m a little too tired to cook, and since you still can’t stand up for any length of time…”
“You rock, babe,” Luke told him. “That sounds awesome. What are we having?”
“Thai,” Perry replied. “I thought we could try a change of pace.”
“Hmm, a little bit spicy. Just like I like my…meat,” Luke said, leering at him cheerfully.
Perry could feel a bit of heat creeping into his cheeks, although he was trying to learn not to blush around Luke. Not very successfully, as yet. But he vowed to keep trying…
Perry took the food into the kitchen to put it on plates and to get them utensils to eat it with. When he carried the plates out to the living room and sat down next to Luke, his boyfriend had closed his lap top and set it aside. He took the plate that Perry handed him with a smile and a word of thanks. “You know,” he remarked after a bit of silence while they concentrated on their food, “I’ve really enjoyed living here with you, Peregrine. And not just the personal service, either,” he went on with a double meaning in his voice. “I just like hanging out with you…although being waited on hand-and-foot is good, too. Its gonna suck when I have to move back into my own place. I’ll miss you.”
Perry felt a jolt run through him at this reminder that one day Luke’s leg would be better and he’d be leaving. Something akin to panic raced through him. He didn’t want Luke to go! He’d already gotten used to sleeping in the same bed with someone, to having someone to talk to every evening, to sharing time with someone that he’d grown to…love. Yes, love. He loved Luke Yamagura! This realization only made the panic deepen, and his voice trembled a little as he said quietly: “I’ll miss you, too, Luke. But…”
“What?” Luke shot him a concerned sideways glance. “What is it, Peregrine?”
He hesitated, biting at his lower lip a little. “You could…stay,” he said. “Umm, when your leg is better, I mean,” he went on hurriedly. “But if you don’t want to I’ll understand…it's no big deal…really…” he was babbling and he knew it, but he just couldn’t seem to help himself.
Luke reached out and grabbed his hand. “Peregrine! Are you asking me to move in with you?” he said, as Perry’s eyes fastened on him.
“I…yes…” he nearly whispered. He looked down at his own lap, afraid to gaze into Luke’s eyes anymore lest he see rejection there.
“Wow. This is…” Luke paused, then went on in a voice that had gone completely enthusiastic and excited: “Awesome! The best! Of course I’ll move in with you!”
Perry’s eyes shot up to meet his, and he searched Luke’s face. But his expression matched his words. His lover grinned and leaned over so that his mouth was close to Perry’s. “I thought you’d never ask,” he said softly. “But I hoped…because I cannot wait to shack up with the greatest guy I’ve ever met. There’s no one else quite like him, and I’m hoping that I get to spend a long, long time with him.” His fingers cupped Perry’s chin as he gazed deep into his lover’s eyes. “Because I have fallen head-over-heels in love with him,” Luke added. “And I don’t think that I can do without him anymore.”
He couldn’t breathe! His heart was racing in his chest, and sweat was breaking out on his skin. Either he was incredibly happy or he was having a major panic attack. Perry found himself thinking that it might be the former, although the latter was a possibility too. Luke was waiting patiently for him to respond, so somehow he managed: “I-I love you too, Luke,” he croaked.
Happiness blazed in the dark eyes. “That’s all I can ask for,” Luke replied. “And all I need, too. Does this mean,” He stopped significantly, “That I can get better rates on my insurance?”
Perry found his lips moving up into a tremulous smile. “I don’t think so,” he replied, “Since you crashed your bike only a month after you go the policy on it.”
Luke sighed but shrugged. “Oh, well,” he said, just before he claimed Perry’s lips in a long kiss. “For once I’m really happy that I had to get insurance, even if my premiums do go up!”