Copyright 2013 Theo Fenraven
This content could include material intended only for adults. Read carefully, my friends.
Of course I had a hidden agenda. Would I have asked him out otherwise? But the game must be played, and he was, apparently, a master. Either that, or he really didn’t like me much and was resisting my obvious charms.
I picked up sushi from the best place in WeHo and took it over to the bookstore just before six. It was that time of year when darkness fell early and streetlights were already shining. Ren was talking to a young dark-haired woman behind the counter, and when I appeared, he noticed, nodded, and resumed his conversation. I held back, waiting until he joined me.
“Viv is taking over for the evening,” he said. “Follow me.”
I trailed after him as he wound through the store toward the back. Through a door was a small space that appeared to be used for storage and, past a second door was an apartment, nicely furnished with antiques, comfortable furniture, and on the floor, what looked like expensive Persian rugs.
“I live here,” Ren said. “There’s also a bedroom, full bath, and generously appointed kitchen.” He gave me a quick look. “There’s a patio out back, if you’d prefer eating there.”
“Sounds good. Lead the way.”
It was a nice space, privacy-fenced on all sides. Beyond the patio was a healthy strip of lawn. He waved me into a cushioned chair and turned on some low lighting via a switch on the wall. It was like an oasis in the middle of the city. Traffic noise was muffled, and overhead, a nearly-full moon played hide and seek with scudding clouds. Light pollution was too bad to see any stars.
I unpacked my bags and spread stuff out on the table. There was sushi, salad, and a couple of cold beers, because what’s sushi without beer? Saki might have been better, but I hadn’t wanted to deal with its optimum temperature requirement.
He sat down across from me, and we divvied up the portions and started to eat. Chopsticks were included, and we both used them well. I watched him eat, something he did with elegance and deliberation. I looked at his eyes, at his mouth, at his lips and hands and fingers, and felt an almost overwhelming desire to touch him.
“You got this from the place down the street?” When I nodded, he said, “Best in town. Thanks.”
“You’re welcome.” I twisted the top off the beer and gulped half of it in one long swallow. It burned my throat in the best way possible going down. “So tell me about yourself.”
He raised one elegant eyebrow in my direction. “The bookstore used to belong to my folks. They ran it for fifty years, and then turned it over to me and retired to Florida.”
“Is this what you want to do with the rest of your life?”
Shrugging, he speared a Makizushi roll and popped it in his mouth. He spoke while chewing, which I found strangely sexy. “It’s what I do. I was raised to it and always knew I’d take over for them. It’s an okay living, and I like the quiet.” He drank some beer. “Do you like what you do?”
“Very much. I really don’t know what I’d do if I wasn’t an actor.”
Small talk. Necessary, but often such a waste of time. We could be exchanging bits of information in bed, after we’d fucked. Think I was too impatient? I’d wanted him since I met him three weeks ago. That’s a lifetime in some third world countries.
I finished eating, killed the beer, and wiped my fingers on a napkin, tossing it on the table and leaning back, arms crossed. He’d taken his time and was still picking at his salad. Oil from the dressing made his lips shiny; I wanted to lick it off.
“You’re staring,” he said.
“You’re beautiful,” I responded.
Even in the dim light, I saw the color rise in his cheeks. “Are you always so aggressive?”
I laughed. “Actually, no. I usually don’t have to be.”
He pressed his lips together. “Yeah, I figured. Guy who looks like you and famous besides… you never have to work hard to get laid.”
“You think that’s all I want from you?”
“Isn’t it?” He wiped his lips with a napkin, eyeing me as he finished his beer. “Tell me I’m wrong.”
I don’t like lying, so I side-stepped the question. “What are you looking for?”
“Something other than what you have to offer.”
The light dawned. “Oh… you want a relationship. Love, romance, that shit.”
He nodded slowly. “Orgasms are easy. I aspire to something more, something that will make me a better person and enrich my life.”
“Thanks for the sushi. You know the way out.”
I didn’t move. “You’re assuming a fuck of a lot, aren’t you?”
“I don’t think so.” He stared at me from across the table, playing with his fork. “You’re not out, you’re rarely photographed with men who are not friends or business partners.”
“The people that matter to me know. Otherwise, it’s no one’s business but my own.” I felt strongly about this, and my voice was firm.
“I get that, but because of your celebrity, you’re followed day and night and can’t take the chance of being seen with anyone who may be a lover. That is not conducive to romance or even simple affection. Therefore, I figure you’re into quickie blowjobs and fast fucks in dark corners.”
“Got it all figured out, don’t you?”
“I’ll say it again. Am I wrong?”
He wasn’t totally wrong, but I was loathe to admit it. “Maybe I’m celibate.”
That made him smile. “You can barely keep your hands off me. I see it in your eyes. You’re not celibate.”
Was I that goddamned transparent? Shit. I sighed, stood, and gathered up the remnants of our meal, packing it up in the bags the food had come in. “I enjoyed meeting you, Ren. Thanks for having dinner with me.”
He got to his feet. “Likewise.”
Something in his voice made me pause and glance at him. For just an instant, I thought I saw an expression of regret on his face, but then he was leading me back into the shop and seeing me to the door.
“Thanks for dinner, Will.”
I felt I should say something profound, funny, or even poetic, but the moment passed, and I just nodded and left.
Chapter 4 on Monday! Have a great weekend.