Even Those Rules Given Down by the Gods
Without seeming to, discretely, and from across the crowded dance club, he watched Jonny with his too-soft-for-his-taste-anyway brunette. Had been for awhile. Watching as he trailed his fingertips down along her throat causing her to move into his touch, watching as he gripped his fingers back up through her hair causing her to close her eyes and murmur words only Jonny could hear, watching as he smiled far too close to her willing mouth, eyes fixed only on each other. But no kissing, nothing else, not here anyway. All that would come later. Later when they were alone. Fuck. Alone.
Jonny, finally catching him watching, gave him a languid smile, a lazy left-handed wave, both of which he acknowledged with a slight nod of his head. Couldn’t do anything else really then watch them leave together, wouldn’t do anything at all to keep him from walking away with her. Ignoring the people clustered around him, turning back toward the bar, in answer to the bartender’s question of, ‘The same?” he shook his head. “Not on the rocks this time, Terry. Jameson straight, thanks.” Glass in hand, taking a much needed swallow, he turned and scanning the still crowded club, no longer passively watching life go on around him, turning his thoughts instead to the thrill of the hunt, Evan was determined that he wouldn’t, as he had for far too many nights already, spend another night alone.
Warm between the million thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets, he stretched idly if with purpose, focusing on making each muscle group taut with that kind of tremor-runs-through-him intensity that always caused him to sigh, before finally relaxing back down into the almost-too-soft bed so that he could more comfortably watch her dress. Early morning light, made mellower still by the translucent shade covering the 20th floor hotel window, drifted over her, painting her light brown skin with a rosy-pink glow as she slowly pulled on her laced-edged Victoria Secrets. First her black ‘Body by Victoria’ panties, next her equally black ‘Very Sexy’ push-up bra, taking her time. The slight flash-smile that danced over her lips just before lowering her eyes, told him that she was pleased with the way he was watching her. And knowing that pleased him.
Once done, when her one-size-too-small t-shirt, her low-ride skinny jeans, and her surprising practical Converse shoes were once more where they belonged, she slowly, meaningfully walked the short distance that separated them. Kneeling beside the bed, the need for one last touch evident in her eyes, she stroked red nail-polished fingertips through his gone-wild hair and cooed. “Uh mm, I just wanna to, you know, thank you for last night, well, for this morning really. I had a great time, an aMAzing time. The concert was amazing. You were amazing. And I…I just, I don’t know, I just wanted you to know that I had a really great time.” “Hey,” Jonny soothed, “I did too, honest.” She lowered her eyes again so, with fingertips gently held under her chin, he brought her eyes back to his. “I did. I had a great time, too.”
“Yes, really. An a…MAY…zing time. Really.”
“Well then, I’m…glad. Really. And listen, thanks again for the lipstick. I never would’ve bought such an incredible shade for myself. I love it! I just hope it looks half as good on me as it does on you, ya'know? And, seriously, I will treasure it forever.”
“Just remember, Sutan told me that this stuff kind of goes bad after like maybe a year. So, you might--”
“How about, after a year, I make it into my very own lucky charm, my talisman; my…whatever ya call it, to be taken with me wherever I go. Always.” And clasping her hands together around the little black MAC lipstick tube held close under her chin, she pretended to swoon.
“Sounds good,” he chuckled, and pulling her into him, giving her a tender good-bye kiss, Jonny then let her go. Lying back in the pillows, knowing that this part could get a little messy sometimes, he was relieved when she stood to leave. “Please, no twitter, no Face--”
“I know, don’t worry, you don’t have to worry; I won’t tell a soul. Promise. No pics anyway, right? so, who’d believe me? And anyway, I’d never betray you. Well, I guess I’ll uhm…I should just let myself out?”
“Again, sounds good,” he sighed.” Then, pulling the seriously soft sheet under his chin, yawning while watching as she walked away from him, when finally at the door, he blew her one last kiss. Sara, with a slight nod of her head, softly closed the door behind her. Relieved on hearing it safely click locked, finally able to relax knowing that it would be at least a couple of more hours before his wake-up call, softly moaning as he scrunched even further into the fat down pillows, tugging the sheet even higher over himself, Jonny determined to sleep.
His last thoughts were of wondering why was it that these freakin’ hotel sheets were always so much nicer than the ones he could get at home, of wondering how difficult could it be to find someone who could get him some all for his very own, of wondering if maybe Evan wouldn’t agree that they were, softness-wise, beyond even that of the clouds. Or…whatever. Ahhh, Evan. Shit shit! Evan.
Tensing a little in his downy cocoon, so slight a reaction, so common an occurrence, that he barely even noticed anymore, he finally allowed himself to wondered just who’d been the lucky fuck Evan had brought back to his room with him last night. Because hadn’t there been like a zillion after-party club boys for him to literally take his pick of? Or…or was it even possible that he could’ve maybe gone back to his room alone?
The very idea caused Jonny’s actual last thought to be more of a disgruntled who-the-fuck’s-kidding-who? snort at wondering just where, in his over-tired brain, he’d manage to dig up such a stupid, unbelievable idea. The product, obviously, of nothing more than wishful thinking. Something he was going to have to take control of or, better yet, get rid of completely, if he was going to make it through the rest of this cross-country, multi-month tour without making too much of complete ass of himself. Which would be good .Partial ass…expected. Complete ass…fired. One last deep breath, and Jonny slept.
Backed into a dark corner, head down, shoulders tense, eyes hair-shielded yet focused, Jonny watched Evan strut. Earlier, paying even more attention to him on stage than was usual, kissing him twice, humping him a little too long, grabbing hard onto his hair more times than he could even recall and now, all during the after-party being seriously predatory, Evan was definitely getting himself laid and, man, by the look of them, he could have anyone in this freakin’ hotel bar he wanted. Anyone! Not surprising, no way surprising, so used to it by now because, wasn’t it always the same? Evan did whatever he wanted to him on stage and then pretty much ignored him, flirting-it-up with, chatting-it-up with, actually rubbing--it-up against, everyone else at every after-party always. Everyone else except him and that just wasn’t cool. Singling him out for blatant disinterest just wasn’t cool.
And because why? Oh yeah, how could he ever forget why. Because, wasn’t it all about the boundaries, all about the FREAKING rules Evan had issued at the very beginning of this little adventure of theirs in order to ‘keep things cool?” Always always about the fucking difference between on-stage and off, between ‘For Their Entertainment” and real life, riiiiight? Fuck yeah, right. But know what? Fuck that. Soooo…fuck that. All up in his business every night, night after night after freaking night, but whenever in a room full of glittery beautiful men…wait-what?...whenever in a room full of even semi-pretty men, Evan could not be bothered to notice he was alive. Could not EVEN be bothered. Well, guess what? He was alive so fuck that. Draining the last of his 3rd - or was it his 4th? - whisky, Jonny made his way to the safety of Monte. “In case anyone should ask, I’m heading out.” And he turned to leave.
Turning back, he sighed, “Man, I don’t know, alright? I’ve got like a headache or…or something coming on. I don’t know. Maybe, okay maybe I have had little too much to drink…do not smirk at me, Monte, just ya’know don’t. It’s maybe too many people, maybe… maybe too much noise, maybe too much whathefuckever. Take your pick, alright?” Then, flashing Monte a quick smile, turning one last time, with his eyes focused ahead and hearing no further interruptions, he did his own kind of strut straight out of the room.
Evan found him punching at the elevator button. “You okay? Why you leaving? Monte was all worried about--”
“I’m just tired, Evan, alright with you?” Fortunately, the elevator doors opened then, allowing him a near quick-escape. “Look, sorry,” and briefly holding the door, he said, “I‘m tired, ‘k? I just need some sleep. Have fun. Know ya will. Maybe I’ll--”
“Look,” Evan said, grabbing at the closing door, concern clear on his face, “since we have tomorrow off, why--”
“No…no, I’ve got something I need to do. Sorry.” And stepping toward Evan quick and hard causing him to let go of the door, he then moved to the back of the elevator, back up against the wall, feeling a weird sense of satisfaction at the confusion that flashed over Evan’s face just before the elevator doors closed. Knowing for fact that Evan sure-as-shit wasn’t the only one who didn’t know what the hell was going on with them. Except, that was a lie because he did know. Being honest with himself, he really did know just what the hell was going on. But knowing ‘the what’ not only didn’t help matters any, knowing ‘the what’ only made everything just that much more fucked.
Tomorrow. Tomorrow he’d take care of his own business and then, pressure off at least for awhile, everything could go back to normal. Scrubbing his fingers through his hair, closing his tired eyes, Jonny let the elevator do its job, taking him up and away, far away, from Evan and all the pretty party-boys below.
Pocketing the address, for the moment still more without than within, more a part of the late afternoon’s warmth outside than a part of the unfamiliar bar’s cool interior, he hesitated at the door, a little unsure. Finally, resolved to do what he’d come to do, what he should have done a long time ago, he walked through the doorway immediately savoring, immediately being comforted by, that very same cool darkness that only seconds before had caused him to hesitate. Allowing his eyes to adjust, finding then heading straight for the bar which, since it was still early yet, had only a few patrons seated along its polished wood surface, taking a seat along with the others, ordering a whisky, Jonny casually surveyed the small, well-maintained club. And after an hour of unobserved observation, he was relieved to have found just who he had been looking for.
Draining the last of his 2nd whisky, not a night for getting drunk, leaving the safety of his bar stool, and circumventing the dance floor, side-glancing at the few wrapped-around-each-other couples slow-dancing, when finally arriving at his destination, catching the eye of the one he wanted, he held out his hand, and said, “Dance?” And he stopped holding his breath, started breathing easily again, when the young man stood and, reaching out to take Jonny’s hand, a soft sweet knowing smile drifted across his lips. He knew that in this young man’s smile he’d found the answer to an only half-formed question weighing on his mind. Already, in the space of only a few seconds, his half-formed question was asked and answered. All done with only the exchange of one question and one soft smile. Sweet.
Shivering. Jaxon’s lean body was shivering, near pulsing with pleasure, arching away from Jonny and toward the headboard, his stomach just touching its elegant black wood, his elbows planted firm on its flat-topped surface, arms, palms pressed flat against the wall above, fingers spread wide, clenching, unclenching, scratching at the pale beige wallpaper, his head thrown back.
Jonny’s two lube-slicked fingers, still warm from flexing, curling inside the softness of Jaxon’s body, then moved up, up along his taut, flushed back, then moved down smoothing over, around his slim right hip, finally dragged upward, across his sweat covered chest until finally, reaching his left shoulder, gripping him, Jonny secured Jaxon back against himself.
Moaning his frustration at the sudden emptiness, Jaxon squirmed his hips thrusting back, in desire, in annoyance, insistent, begging, pleading with Jonny to fuck him. “Come on come on please please just…” The silken threads of Jaxon’s murmured lust wove around Jonny’s ears. Jaxon’s urgency finding, hitting its mark right where it should, at the base of Jonny’s cock.
Nuzzling Jaxon’s neck, mouthing his throat, licking up along his jaw to his half-opened mouth, Jonny whispered, “now,” growled, “now,” and pushed. Bearing down on him, opening up to him, allowing him inside, Jaxon was, for a moment, perfectly still. No longer shivering, no longer pulsing, he was completely owned, completely taken, as “ yes,” breathed, hummed from somewhere deep inside him
Minutes passed, seeming hours, eons of time spent fucking before Jonny, his face buried in Jaxon’s hair, watched as flashes of soft black specked with yellow danced behind his squeezed shut eyes, the power and swell of his orgasm overtaking him, claiming him. The motion of Jaxon’s hand on his own cock brought Jonny back to his senses; the sounds of Jaxon’s mewing as he came centering him. And then quiet. Dropping down to the bed with the covers pulled high over them, wrapped in each other’s arms, Jaxon asked, “I can stay?” “Yeah, you can stay,” Jonny smiled. Sleep, and a blissful kind of contentment, soon found them both. At least for awhile.
Stepping out of the elevator, glancing around, Evan soon found his way to Jonny’s room because enough was enough. Turned off cell, emergency-only hold on his room phone, no communication of any kind for their entire day and night off, he hadn’t even bothered to join the rest of the band for the complimentary breakfast downstairs. And, as if all of that weren’t enough, there was also a prominently displayed Do Not Disturb sign in his room’s keyless entry slot. None of this was adding up to how Jonny had been playing the game, his silence going against the understanding that had been established between them. What all that did add up to, in his mind anyway, was something he needed to deal with. And, seriously, that was all any of this was about, him being simply and reasonably concerned; him being The Good Boss by looking out for one of his band members. It was all and only about him just keeping Jonny’s best interests at heart.
Such were his justifications, his reasons, why it wasn’t weird that he now found himself standing in front of Room 502, even if realizing, when he allowed himself to look objectively at the situation, that maybe his justifications, his reasons why, were just a little weak. Maybe not. But…maybe.
So he hesitated. His hand raised to knock, he needed just a little more self-convincing, finally realizing that it actually wasn’t like Jonny to completely take himself off the grid; to totally hide himself away for 30 plus hours. Consequently, Evan simply had no other choice then to intrude on his time. But when suddenly he heard the slam of something or someone up against the other side of the door, a sound loud enough to cause him to step back, to cause his adrenalin to ramp, his heart to race, he fought his instinct and instead stepped forward. And he listened for more, for other sounds, for some kind of conformation of what was going on inside Jonny’s room. What he heard were voices, the sound of people chuckling? then silence. Silence on their side. Silence on his.
So that was it! Jonny did have a woman with him, he had gotten his skinny ass laid. That was all and they were just saying their good-byes.Or whatever. This realization not only explained everything, it made him feel a little intrusive, a little over-protective, and maybe just a little jealous. Which not unreasonably made him feel a little stupid. So why was he still standing there, eyes fixed on the brass 502 mounted on the hotel room door? And more importantly why was he still listening?
Knowing he should leave and quick,so turning, looking back down the long hallway getting his bearings, in that moment he heard the door’s interior lock being undone. With very few options available to him, Evan took quick cover in the vending machine room conveniently located directly across the now seemingly endless hallway from Jonny’s room. The vending machine room’s half-opened door allowed him a way to hide if he wanted, which he definitely did, and its small wire-reinforced window allowed him a way to watch if he wanted, which he was pretty sure he didn’t. But who knew? Always good to have options. And anyway, soon Jonny’s mysterious woman would be gone; soon he could go back to his room unobserved, and soon he could put this whole silly episode behind him. No one any the wiser. Ducking his head, closing his eyes, caught between the door and a wall that slightly vibrated with the vending machines humming, he leaned forward and he listened.
Jonny’s voice soon found him, drifting diagonally across the Persian-esque carpet and around the vending machine room door, directly into his ear. Unfiltered. “Jaxon, don’t please, I--”
”I know,I know. You had a great time, a wonderful time, I was fantastic. You will never ever for--”
“Stop.” And he did, Jonny’s mysterious man stopped and Evan, grateful at having kept his options open, peeked through the little window, feeling compelled to see what was going on. Because whatthefuck? What! The! Fuck!. From his immediate vantage point, he could only see Jonny, facing down the hallway, wrapped around his doorjamb, straddling it as if humping it, half in, half out of his room, using his body to keep the door from shutting and locking him out. “You understand. You told me you under--”
“Yeah, I do. Of course I do.” Evan shifted as little as possible so he could see him, a small, sweet-faced, shaggy haired redhead who was just out of Jonny’s reach and who was quietly moving first one way then another, slow-dancing in the middle of one of the Ritz Carlton’s elegant hallways, dealing with his nervousness as best he could. “Man makes you crazy, so you find your own way of dealing with it. Makes sense. Straight man can’t have the gay man of his dreams so, he trolls for other gay men. Surprising how much sense that makes. Ya’know?”
“Of course it makes sense. Absolutely it makes sense. But see? you need to understand something too.”
“Wait, don’t. I…What I don’t understand is how this all got so messed up.”
“You don’t? Like what, this has never happened to you before now? “Of course you understand. No? Then let me explain. It’s Time…For Me…To Leave, Jonny, and surprise, surprise, I really don’t want. I don’t! FUCK!” Head thrown back, looking at the ceiling, he sighed, “So, let me talk ‘cause you need to understand something, k? That while you may have gotten away with this tactic this time, maybe have also in the past, next time you might not…if by ‘might not’ I mean WON’T be so fortunate. Next time, if I were you, I wouldn’t count on being so fortunate.”
“Do not even interrupt me, man, I am talking here. Because while I don’t know who sent you to ‘Charlie’s Bar’, whoever did took good care of you by getting you to us, okay? Probably the only safe club for you in the entire city, I kid you not. So, if your Bossman’s driving you crazy, you gotta deal with that, but not externally by fucking club boys who will undoubtedly get all hung-up on you, and yeah, you heard me right, so sue me. Plus you do realize, right? that eventually one of us is gonna talk…blab…blab. Instead, what you gotta do is deal with situation internally--”
“--by dealing with him directly."
“You don’t understand.”
“Don’t I? I read the freakin’ media, Jonny. And anyway, I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, what worth having in life really is? blah…blah. But you have got to make him understand because this,” – indicating with a graceful swoop of his arm, a elegant wave of his hand, what ‘this’ really was, one-night hook-ups with anonymous men in anonymous hotels -- “shit is not going to work for you for very much longer, if by ‘very much’ I mean ANY longer. And then where you gonna be? Up shit’s creek without a paddle is where you’re gonna be and that’s just not cool. No, not cool at all.” Then silence. His words stopped even if his dancing hadn’t, twisting and turning, right then left, back then forth. The boy just kept on dancing, a slow rhythmic bundle of nerves right on the edge.
“Look, Jaxon, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be sorry, I knew, I knew. Oh man, how I knew.”
“Please, just come back.” And Jonny stretched out his arm, held out his hand, asking.
“Nah.” He stopped dancing then. “I don’t want you to get hurt, see?” His head was slightly cocked, his eyes riveted on Jonny’s. “I don’t want you to get hurt, understand?"
“No.” Pouting, he glanced around. “We’re already pushing the fates waaay to much.”
“Jaxon, wait, don’t…don’t move, I’ll be right back.” And for a second Jonny disappeared back into the semi-darkness of his room, returning almost immediately with a backpack to prop open the door, but as quick as he was, he wasn’t quick enough, already too late. Jaxon was running, bolting really, toward the stairwell’s Exit door. In fact, was already near it…at it...opening it. Gone.
Evan heard the door bang shut, heard Jonny yell, “NO, don’t.” But he was gone. By the time Jonny got to the Exit door, Jaxon was gone. Evan would have known even if he hadn’t positioned himself so he could see because he was able to feel Jonny’s anger and frustration when he slammed his fist against that metal door, was able to hear his pain and confusion when he quietly cursed, “Jaxon, fuck…no.” Evan stopped looking then. He leaned back against his slightly vibrating wall instead, understanding that he’d already seen, had definitely heard far more than he ever should have. Silently pleading with Jonny to go back into his room and stay there, Evan waited.
When he saw him next, he did disappear into his room, leaving the backpack in place, and was just as quickly back out of it, walking straight toward him, ice bucket in hand, mumbling, “I don’t give a shit how early it is, I need a drink.” Evan suddenly realized that where there was an ice-machine, there were vending machines and where there were vending machines, at least in this scenario, there was him. Busted! So busted and with no way out.
Taking a deep breath, stepping out from behind the vending machine room’s door, the big reveal, just as Jonny was near him, just as Jonny saw him, wild dark anger in his eyes, eyes no longer chocolate brown but coal-dust black, he barely registered it as the ice bucket ricocheted off his chest, clattering to the floor. Even as he was fully aware of Jonny’s snarled, “Fuck you.”
Jonny bolted then. He became Jaxon running, while Evan become him chasing except he succeeded where Jonny had failed, caught up with him at his door, wrapping his arms around him, nearly lifting him off the carpet. But Jonny was strong, especially when pissed, embarrassed, confused, hurt. Determined, Jonny struggled free, trying to push him away, still snarling, still dark-eyed, still fighting, fighting to get his door shut, but no luck, no use. They both ended up inside the room because instead, he pushed Jonny hard back toward the bed and stepping in behind him, locked the door from the inside.
“Get…thefuck OUT.” Jonny stood, legs apart, window-silhouetted, across the room from him, visibly trembling. “I said--”
“I heard you, Jonny.” Quiet, so quiet, he kept his voice so quiet. Leaning back against the door, eyes closed, he tried to calm his thoughts.
“Then, why the hell are you--?”
“Is it true? What he said?” Pushing off from the door, fixing Jonny’s eyes with his. Going straight for it, nothing to lose now, Evan asked again, “Is what he said true, Jonny?”
Jonny swayed, leaning a little as if into an oncoming wind, slightly stunned. He turned to face the window, arms pulled into his sides, his legs, his feet planted, head bowed. A sigh then, “Shit,” as his only answer.
“Jonny?” Moving just a step or two closer, aware, focused, knowing that at any moment, Jonny could…what? Dissolve? Lash out? Fling himself against the window? Jonny could do what? “Talk to me.”
Time went still until finally, turning to face him, slowly, almost as if in water, with heavy limbs and a resigned walk, Jonny came toward him, eyes unfocused, too calm, too reconciled, too something Evan didn’t understand. And at last in front of him, at last looking up at him, Jonny said, “Yes. Truth. What matter?”
He was startled. “It matters.”
“How? How does it matter, Evan?” Calm, so calm, Jonny’s words were too fucking calm. “Rules are rules, right? Made not to be broken, right? They are set in stone, handed down by the fucking gods. To be obeyed. So listen, I’ll just leave because he’s right, I can’t keep doing this."
“No, no no, you’re not. You aren’t leaving” He wanted to touch him but wasn’t sure if he should.
Jonny’s gaze drifted across the carpet, around the room. ”Shouldn’t be too hard to find another…to find someone…” his words fading away.
“Listen to me.” Taking Jonny’s face in his hands, smoothing his thumbs up along his throat, pushing his chin up, his mouth up toward his own, Evan said, “You are not leaving; I’m not replacing you, like I even could.”
“They’ll get used to someone else, soon enough, you’ll see. So will you. Won’t take very long to find…to find someone else.”
“The fuck they will and not the point because I won’t. I don’t want anyone else. I want you. I don’t need anyone else, Jonny. I need you. Understand? Understand me. Please.” Watching him, Evan witnessed it as the slow sweet spread of realization came over him, knowing that Jonny’s lust, his passion, his need for him, was mutual.
Evan watched as Jonny finally understood that rules, even those set in stone, even when originally insisted upon for all the right reasons, when no longer necessary to protect an easily damaged heart, to divert a constantly aching need, could be broken.
Jonny finally understood that rules, even those given down by the gods, even when agreed upon to maintain the needed distance between them, when no longer necessary to create a false illusion to satisfy a skeptical world, should be rewritten.
“Hear me, when I tell you, Jonny, I’m not letting you go anywhere.”
The slow sweet smile that spread across Jonny’s face told Evan that he had finally understood that rules set in stone actually can be broken. That even the gods can be persuaded to change their minds given the right reason.