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    Salander
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

You Complete Me - 7. Chapter 7 - The After

CW: Sexual situations, though not as a spicy as last time.

Shiv lounged on her stomach across Arnie’s perpetually unmade daybed, idly flicking through the pages of a textbook. It was a Saturday and she was actually doing homework. Nic still hadn’t figured out how Glendale High managed to be infamous for its partying while simultaneously maintaining some of the highest test scores in the state.

“So,” Shiv said, pretending to be casual, “are you ever going to tell me what happened between you and Vince?”

Nic just managed to keep himself from shrugging. Doing so would get him a sharp reprimand at best from Arnie, who was silently working on Nic’s wasp tattoo behind him. “There’s not really much to tell.”

“He said you just dumped him out of nowhere. Over text.”

“Well, if he’s already told you everything, why are you asking me about it?” The needle had paused briefly over his skin, signaling to Nic that Arnie had tuned into the topic. “We weren’t dating, anyway.” The needle resumed.

“He couldn’t tell me why, though,” she whined. “I thought you two got along great.”

Nic had called things off with Vince yesterday after thinking over “that thing” with Jake. Nic had hooked up with three different people over the course of two weeks, and it was getting messy even for him. Vince bored him, Arnie was his friend, and Jake…well, Nic wasn’t expecting a repeat performance after the jock ran for the hills. Still, Vince was getting increasingly handsy and Nic didn’t like the idea of sharing a P.E. period with him and a violent homophobe. He wanted to go back to laying low.

Shiv – or Arnie – needn’t know that much about his sex life, though. He loved her, but she could be judgmental and Nic had had enough of that this week. “Can’t I just get bored of someone without it having to mean anything?”

She glanced over Nic’s shoulder, and he knew that her and Arnie were sharing one of their conspiratorial looks. Since Arnie found a steady boyfriend and Nic moved into town, he spent far more time with Shiv than Arnie did, but the two were still long-time best friends. This was one of those times that their bond was evident.

When her grey eyes returned to him, she appeared unconvinced. “Other people get bored, Nic,” she told him patiently. “You don’t turn down easy sex unless you’ve found better. I’m just wondering who the new guy is.”

“Shiv,” Arnie said warningly.

Nic knew she wasn’t trying to be nasty, just blunt in the way she was known for. But it hit a little too close to home. Amos’s drunken words from the other night came back to him, along with the anger they had elicited from him. He liked to have fun like any other teenager – why did everyone seem to take issue with that? He felt a tingle in his skin that had little to do with the dull sting of the tattoo gun. “You can be a real cunt sometimes, Shiv.”

“Maybe that’s why you hang out with me,” she returned sweetly. She heard the real anger in his words and didn’t take the bait, but her body had gone very still, as if preparing for a fight. Her lack of a reaction pissed Nic off even more, and he meanly hoped Arnie hadn’t changed the sheets since they fucked on them.

That knot of hurt and impulsivity in Nic’s stomach was making him dangerously close to revealing their little secret just to get a rise out of her, but Arnie chose that moment to intervene. Perhaps he felt Nic’s muscles tightening, or he knew him just that well. “Who dumps someone for no reason unless there’s a better alternative?” he posited conversationally, as if he were oblivious to the sudden tension. “Seems pretty normal to me.”

Nic relaxed a little. Yes, there was nothing wrong with liking companionship. Arnie got it. Confirming Nic’s suspicions that Arnie knew he was about to snap, he felt gloved fingers massage some tension out of his neck. He closed his eyes for a moment. Deep breaths, Nic. Unlike panic, anger was a lot easier to talk it down: it was dissolving as quickly as it had flared up.

Shiv also seemed relieved that they weren’t about to start screaming at each other. They’d had their tiffs, but their friendship had been much easier than Nic and Arnie’s. “That’s all I’m saying. If there’s a new guy, I need to know if he’s worthy – I’m a protective big sis. Same for Arnie.”

“One: I’m not a sis. Two: brothers don’t do the things we’ve done, and three: Hook, stop laughing.”

“Sorry.” Nic cleared his throat. “You don’t need to be so concerned about my love life.”

“No one else’s is as…exciting,” Shiv whined. “Arnie and Harry are being all gross and in love and now it’s your turn.” The couple in question had been steady for months, and though they were in an open relationship, Arnie’s other flings were infrequent. Shiv was woefully single, but she had only her high standards to blame. Nic was the only one of their little group that consistently saw a lot of indiscriminate action.

Nic sighed. “Speaking hypothetically – if told you who it was, you wouldn’t believe me.”

“Is it a girl?”

Arnie, who had chosen a very poor time to take a quick smoke break, went into a loud coughing/laughing fit. “Ha, ha,” Nic said sarcastically, over the hacking. “No, not a girl. And it was a one-off thing, so there’s no point in guessing.” Arnie sobered up rather abruptly at that.

Shiv looked like she strongly disagreed with Nic, but Arnie saved him again. “Let him be, Shiv. If they hook up again, maybe he can film it for you to judge for yourself.”

He still thought that this hypothetical person was probably himself, and Nic was sure he was basking in the hilarity of the inside joke they supposedly shared. Nic had every intention of keeping it that way.

Shiv seemed mildly intrigued with this idea until Nic reminded her that such a video would technically be child porn, and that effectively killed the topic. They moved onto less dangerous subjects as Arnie finished up his stylized wasp on the back of Nic’s shoulder. He had texted Nic the night before to set this up, just in time for Nic’s house arrest to come to a close. However, spending an hour or two shirtless with Arnie didn’t sound like a great start to their newly platonic friendship, so Nic had invited Shiv along last minute as a shield. Arnie had raised his eyebrow when they had arrived together, but otherwise took it in stride.

The gun stopped and Arnie straightened, giving his work a final wipe. “Done. Take a look and let me know what you think.”

Nic took the hand mirror Arnie offered him and walked over to full-length one on the opposite end of the room. Shiv eagerly followed him, and as the two admired the new tattoo, Nic felt Arnie’s eyes on him.

“It suits you perfectly,” said Shiv. “Small and angry.”

Arnie snickered. “He wouldn’t let me do a Chihuahua, so it was the next best thing.”

Nic sighed dramatically. “Why do I keep hanging out with you two?”

Arnie looked like he had the perfect, pearl-clutching response for that, but Nic shut him up with a look. He wisely bit his tongue and motioned for Nic to sit back down so he could bandage it up.

This was Nic’s third time being inked, but only two of them were by Arnie. The first one was a small, stick-and-poke puzzle piece on his ankle that was about as faint as his memory of getting it at a house party long ago. Upon seeing it, Arnie told Nic that he was lucky he didn’t get Hep B…right before offering to do Nic’s star tattoo in his basement. As an apprentice, Arnie wasn’t supposed to be taking clients, so he circumvented this by calling them “favors.” Since he was much closer to being a trained professional than the last guy, Nic took him up on it.

“What are you guys up to for the rest of the day?” Arnie asked once he’d finished and started putting his tools away.

Nic shrugged as Shiv said, “We’re going shopping.”

“We are?”

“Yeah, wanna come, Arnie?”

The tall goth shook his head. “Nah, Harry and I are meeting up for an early dinner.”

For a second, Nic felt a sort of pang. Not of jealousy, exactly, or at least not jealousy of Harry. Since the topic of dating was still fresh on his mind, he realized that wasn’t sure when had been the last time someone had taken him out for dinner. Just as he recognized where the feeling had come from, it went away.

“Tell him I said hi,” said Shiv. She turned to Nic, who was carefully putting his sweater back on. “Northpoint or the strip mall off Broughton?”

“Neither; I don’t have any money.” He’d recently sold some prints and was waiting on payment for them. After giving his mom his portion of the phone bill and splurging a bit on art supplies, Nic was pretty much tapped until then.

“Thrift store it is, then.”

Shiv wasn’t budging and she had driven, so Nic acquiesced. He didn’t really have anywhere else to be, anyway. “Alright. Thrift store.” He thanked Arnie and Shiv all but dragged him out of there.

Nic had more or less forgotten their brief tiff, so the drive across town was easy and uneventful. Shiv didn’t ask any more questions about his supposed mystery lover, so Nic didn’t have to think of new ways to evade her. He hadn’t fully processed what had happened earlier that week himself, but he now felt a twinge of regret for acting on Jake’s apparent fascination with him. Once Nic had clocked it, blowing him seemed like the next obvious course of action. Guys were rarely nice to him without expecting something in return. He was used to it.

It seemed that it was a much bigger deal for Jake, though. He clearly hadn’t done anything with guys before, and Nic realized shortly after that this might have disastrous repercussions. With Jake being a close friend of Luke’s and Luke being just about fed up with Nic’s antics, Nic was reasonably sure that neither of them would want his cousin to know about what had happened between them. Keeping secrets was second nature to Nic, but Jake didn’t seem the type. He hadn’t even shown up on the courtyard for lunch the next day. It was probably only a matter of time before Jake would want to confront him, and it had been on the back of Nic’s mind for days now.

Shiv haphazardly parallel parked, grumbling about American steering wheels being on the wrong side, and twenty minutes later they were rifling through clothes on adjacent aisles. Nic approved or rejected pieces she occasionally held up for him to judge as he silently flicked through some men’s shirts, lost in his thoughts. He liked things oversized, but almost everything was comically too big, too musty-smelling, or not of this decade. He was about to wander off to look at the antiques when Shiv let out a small exclamation.

“You’ve got to see this, Nicky!”

Nic glanced up to see what she was showing off, but Shiv was beckoning him to come around the aisle to see the entire item up close. He circled around, a genuine smile growing as he approached. “That would look amazing on you.”

It was a sexy black jumpsuit, with a deep V-neckline and a completely open back. He could envision Shiv arriving to a date in it, her ebony hair flowing down her back, maybe with a ruby-red lip even though she hated color even more than he did, and knew she’d have some lucky guy swooning. However, Shiv shook her head. “No, for you, dumbass.”

Nic cocked an eyebrow at her. “Funny. I think that’s the sort of thing you need tits for.”

“Nah, I think anyone with a supermodel-thin body could pull it off, and that ain’t me.” She held it against his chest. “Seriously, you could kick ass in this and still look cute. My dad wouldn’t let me out of the house in this.”

“And you think mine would?” Nic asked wryly, but he was looking at the garment with a bit of renewed interest. He’d been increasingly interested in the androgynous look over the past few years, even going as far as experimenting with makeup in private, but occasionally wearing eyeliner was about as far as he went in public. He’d certainly never tried full-on women’s clothing before; the idea seemed ludicrous – but he kind of liked it.

Sensing weakness, Shiv thrust the jumpsuit into his hands and started steering him towards the dressing room. “At least try it on.”

Nic was only slightly reluctant, and her enthusiasm was contagious. He shut himself into the one-stall fitting room and disrobed. It took him a moment to figure out how to get into it and he didn’t even bother with the tiny clasp at the neck, but it slid on like glove. He took a step back from the mirror, pulled his hair free from its tie and said, “Huh.”

It was made of a soft material that was stretchy and breathable; he could squat and kick with ease. It was subtly cinched at the waist, giving him the illusion of a slim hourglass, and the color and shape lengthened his frame, making it appear elegant. The legs were tapered at the ankle, slightly loose, but somehow hugged his ass just right; if he wasn’t wearing boxers it would be center stage. Shiv had been right about boobs not being necessary – though his chest was very exposed, the way the jumpsuit fit made him seem genderless, like some high-fashion runway model. Nic smoothed his hands down his sides and was pleasantly surprised to find pockets.

“Well?” Shiv called impatiently from outside the room.

I love it, Nic thought but didn’t say, not being one for dramatic statements. “I can’t figure out the clasp,” he said instead of answering, holding the jumpsuit up with one hand and unlocking the door with the other. Though it seemed like a very straightforward button and loop combo, it was unfamiliar and he couldn’t see what he was doing.

“Oh, shit! What did I tell you? And your ass! Jeez, I’m jealous.”

Nic felt his face grow hot but shrugged it off. “Keep it down - you’re going to get us kicked out of here.”

She waved off his concern and went around him to help with the clasp. Nic was a few inches taller than her, so she had to stand on tiptoe as Nic held his hair out of the way. Once it was safely secured, they both admired his reflection in the mirror. “You might be in danger of a nip-slip, but that’s no big deal. Is it even a nip-slip if you’re a guy?”

Nic shrugged again, noncommittally.

Shiv huffed. “Oh, don’t be all aloof. You know you look good.” She fussed with his hair for a moment as if trying to envision how she’d style it while Nic kept his eyes glued to his reflection, thinking the same thing. A smoky eye would be cool. And chunky black heels. Wait – why was he even thinking about these things? He’d never wear this.

“I wasn’t trying to slut-shame you earlier, you know,” Shiv said quietly, interrupting his thoughts. She strategically placed a lock of his hair in his face.

“I’m over it.” He tucked it back behind his ear.

“Yeah, yeah, I know. But it hurt you, so let me apologize. You’re just…very open about that stuff.”

Nic rolled his eyes. “That’s just a boomer way of calling me a slut, you know.”

“And there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you’re happy, but sometimes it’s very obvious that you’re not. So why do it?”

“I don’t know, I like dick. I thought we had that in common.”

“Yeah, but I usually don’t flinch when guys touch me. Just seems kind of contradictory—”

“Shiv,” he interrupted her gently, but they both saw him wince at his reflection, “I just like things on my terms, that's all. You can drop the big sister act now. Please.”

Shiv sighed. “It’s not an act.” Still, she changed the subject, to one he wasn’t exactly thrilled about either: “When was the last time you’ve been on a date?”

“A long time. I don’t date; where have you been?”

“That’s why you’re buying the jumpsuit.”

Nic found the price tag attached to one of the pockets: twenty dollars. He shook his head. “Told you – I’m broke.”

Shiv was undeterred. “It’s on me.”

“No.”

“Why?”

“What’s the point? I don’t have anywhere to be wearing something like this.”

“So find a place to be, or just save it for the right moment. I’m sure you’ll be the same size ten years from now, you piece of shit. Just humor me, Nicky.”

It only took a bit more badgering before Nic finally allowed her to buy it for him. He still fully believed that it was a waste of money, but at least it was Shiv’s money to waste. It would probably gather dust in the back of his closet, until those rare moments that Nic was home alone and felt like dressing up for a Prince Charming that would never arrive.

***

Jake had been constantly on the move for days now, only pausing to sleep – fitfully. He had worked a double at Flaming Amy’s that Saturday and immediately hung out with some friends afterwards to silence his mind with beer. They had dropped him off late that night; he’d stumbled to bed, woke up periodically to puke, and groggily went in to work another afternoon shift on Sunday. If his coworkers noticed he was in a bad state, they didn’t comment on it.

Some part of him knew that he was mourning. Mourning what exactly, he wasn’t sure of, and he didn’t want to pause long enough to figure it out. Once he’d returned home from work Sunday night, Jake realized that he was running out of distractions. He even tried managed to get some chemistry homework done in this bizarre manic state. He wanted to talk to Luke and be assured that he wasn’t overreacting, that having his entire world turned upside down was no big deal. But Luke made him think of Nic, who was responsible for said world-turning. Ellie had texted him a few times, but he didn’t even want her to know what was going on – not until he’d decided that something was going on, at least.

Finally, Jake remembered that he still had his quasi-relationship to fall back on. At the very least, Meg still represented normalcy. Before he could change his mind, he texted her: Come over?

If Meg was surprised to hear from Jake after a week of barely tolerating each other, she didn’t show it. She knew him well enough by now to interpret what he wanted from that simple two-word text, which he appreciated. She was there within an hour, fiery hair loose and bouncy the way Jake liked it, and in a short skirt to show off her long, toned legs. He barely gave her a chance to put her things down before he attacked her with a hunger he hadn’t possessed in months.

Clothes were shed in a trail to Jake’s bedroom, where he fucked her with a passion that was tinged with anger, an anger that Meg readily matched. They kissed with almost bruising force, her nails raked across his skin in a way that he was sure would leave marks tomorrow, and his thrusts occasionally elicited moans from her that were half-pain, half-pleasure. Internally, Jake was one step away from narrating every move he made. He consciously thought of how soft her breast felt in his hand, how good she felt around him. Towards the end, it dawned on him that he was trying to convince himself that he was having fun. He barely registered that Meg had climaxed twice before he even got his first one off, and when it finally happened, it was underwhelming. He gave an Oscar-worthy performance, though.

Jake slipped out of her and rolled over to lay next to her, panting. Her right limbs were entangled with his left and the sheets were sweaty and crumbled underneath them. Jake felt an inexplicable urge to offer a crisp high five, and the absurdity of the thought caused a snort of laughter that he unsuccessfully disguised as a cough.

Meg shifted next to him, wrapping herself around his arm. “What’s so funny?”

“Nothing.” She probably wouldn’t be amused if he tried to explain to her. They didn’t find many of the same things funny.

“You were an animal,” she giggled after a moment of silence.

“You weren’t so bad yourself.” As he slowly returned to earth, he felt cold and sticky, and considered getting up to take a shower. He almost cringed when he felt her hand glide along his abs. A week ago, the sex had been great. It had, hadn’t it? For some reason, he couldn’t remember.

Jake rolled over to face her more directly and took in her faint features in the darkness, features that he knew well and admired – the curve of the hips she tried in vain to diet away, her heart-shaped face, her small, pale hand wrapped in his large, olive-toned one. He looked at her and waited to feel a wash of conflicting emotions: affection for her, frustration over their stagnant relationship, maybe even guilt over what had happened with Nic in the locker room just days before, the incident that prompted all of this spiraling.

Absolutely nothing came. He kissed her on the forehead.

This may be considered a filler chapter, but things should pick up again in the next one.

Copyright © 2021 Salander; All Rights Reserved.
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This is my first time posting publicly, so I look forward to your feedback! 

Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Chapter Comments

Both Jake and Nic had to process their sex. What did it mean? Each went about it differently

Nic gathered friends who questioned him incisively and smartly.  Nic kept silent about who he had sex with. They knew him well. Shiv found him a skin tight dark adrogynous outfit which he loved. He is going to save it for a real date if he ever gets one. He wants one.

Nic doesn't yet know the depth of Jake's desires for him. I wonder how soon he will find out. Jake will be easy to read, I bet.

Jake threw himself at work and busy projects. He drank too much beer. He had hard, mean sex with Meg she was thrilled about and after a bad orgasm on his part he felt nothing for her. She did not turn him on.  The orgasm Nic gave him was awesome and beyond what Meg does for him. Now he was lost. I can see Jake become more fixed on Nic as the solution to his unease.

He will see Nic at school. Can Jake keep it together and find a way to talk to Nic and spend time alone with him? Jake is home alone for days. Will he invite Nic over? Will Nic accept?

I can see Jake letting Nic know he is mesmerized by him and he wants more time with him and more sex.  Nic can be in the driver's seat and could direct Jake who could be putty in his hands at least in the beginning. Jake is the best candidate to give Nic a date. Nic wearing that newly bought dress like outfit will shock Jake.

Edited by scrubber6620
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Are we slowly getting to the point after they have passionate thrilling sex that the title might fit both? They might complete each other.

Nic is damaged. Jake is fundamentally caring and supportive who could bolster Nic and be a rock for him if Nic could open up to him. Nic could show Jake new ways of enjoying his sexual nature and possibly be an inspiration for his more meaningful life. They could grow to deeply like each other and move beyond lust but the path will be new and rocky, I bet.

My fear is that a wrongly handled or surprised public disclosure (a vengeful Meg?) could derail all their efforts at connecting beyond passion. Lots of people will be shocked. What a tale we are going to read !

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Sometimes in a relationship, for whatever reason, a switch gets flipped and suddenly what there was isn't the same. That's what we read in this chapter and it was subtle. Jake's switch got flicked off with Meg. Nic, that's different, there's Jake, of course, and then there's this androgynous look which he's attracted to. You see, subtle, attraction to Jake, attraction to the androgynous. Really, I thought it was more than a filler, it was a hint and a lead into where things might go. It's exciting, full of possibilities.

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Nothing like a thought humping to clear one's mind. 😂😂

I'm so curious on what will be Jake's next step in his relationship with Nic. They seem to have started somewhere from the middle of things, but hey, who am I to judge a hot steamy shower mind-and-balls draining suck...

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7 hours ago, scrubber6620 said:

Are we slowly getting to the point after they have passionate thrilling sex that the title might fit both? They might complete each other.

Nic is damaged. Jake is fundamentally caring and supportive who could bolster Nic and be a rock for him if Nic could open up to him. Nic could show Jake new ways of enjoying his sexual nature and possibly be an inspiration for his more meaningful life. They could grow to deeply like each other and move beyond lust but the path will be new and rocky, I bet.

My fear is that a wrongly handled or surprised public disclosure (a vengeful Meg?) could derail all their efforts at connecting beyond passion. Lots of people will be shocked. What a tale we are going to read !

Honestly, the story title only came to me when I was about to post and realized it needed one. It was untitled for the year or so that I've been writing it. It fits, though: both guys have elements that the other needs, but there are a lot of obstacles between them. Personally, I think Nic has the most issues to work through, which makes him both a joy and frustrating to write. Jake is slowly coming to terms about his sexuality, but recognizing that it's more than sex is probably where they'll both falter. 

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6 hours ago, James K said:

Sometimes in a relationship, for whatever reason, a switch gets flipped and suddenly what there was isn't the same. That's what we read in this chapter and it was subtle. Jake's switch got flicked off with Meg. Nic, that's different, there's Jake, of course, and then there's this androgynous look which he's attracted to. You see, subtle, attraction to Jake, attraction to the androgynous. Really, I thought it was more than a filler, it was a hint and a lead into where things might go. It's exciting, full of possibilities.

That's a good analysis. For Jake, it seems that he was confusing contentment with happiness and that switch was all it took to knock everything out of alignment. 

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49 minutes ago, drsawzall said:

I'm struggling trying to find anything redeeming with these guys...

With Jake and Nic? Or Shiv and Arnie? 

If it's Meg, yeah, I agree, she kind of sucks. 

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12 hours ago, Salander said:

With Jake and Nic? Or Shiv and Arnie? 

If it's Meg, yeah, I agree, she kind of sucks. 

All of them, it's like they were born in a bed of miasma laced quicksand!

Gives new meaning to the phrase "Youth in Asia!" 

I like the story, obviously you have engaged me in the characters enough to comment!

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You said-----" Personally, I think Nic has the most issues to work through, which makes him both a joy and frustrating to write. Jake is slowly coming to terms about his sexuality, but recognizing that it's more than sex is probably where they'll both falter. "

Well, I am looking forward to them having great, honest mind blowing sex over and over and even taking risks when they get so excited with each other. To get to this plateau, they will have to experiment, talk honestly and listen to each other. Maybe Jake will get a tattoo !

I can see Jake want to be a healer and his goodness ( not naivete) might surprise and comfort Nic ( I hope). Nic has too much pain. He might learn to trust Jake who doesn't have a cruel bone in his body. I hope they do not falter. As you said--they can complete each other--A faltering relationship will be so painful to read about.

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