I doubt he realises I’ve noticed him. If he did, he’d probably stop, turn, and maybe smile. Maybe he’d look past me, not recognising my face at all. Surely, he can’t realise we’re both here in the same place once again.
It’s early for a Tuesday, too early to be drinking, but I’m too tired to go and explore the city. Being jet lagged is horrible, but at least this time we have some days off before we have to perform again. Next time the head-liner offers to take us on his private jet, I think I’ll decline and stick with the bus. Fancy leather seats and expensive champagne are no cure for a decent night’s rest. When we started out, I remember complaining sleep could not be had in a seven-by-two foot bunk on board a tour bus, but these days, I can sleep anywhere. Anywhere, except on stage.
But here I am in the hotel bar, and there is he. Only in my most private fantasies have I dreamed of a moment like this; but, I have indeed dreamed.
He stills, faces me, and then with that overwhelming confidence which always took my breath away, reaches out and fingers my now stark white fringe.
“Hey there, rock star. Looks good on you.”
“Thanks, I bought a Fano Standard SP-six to go with it.”
“Cocky bastard,” Hrishi replies with a grin, “then again, you always were.”
Without asking, I slide into the seat next to Hrishi, and as soon as I’ve ordered my drink, he steals it before the glass touches the bar. Bourbon on his lips looks good. He notices me staring and leans forward, bracing his hand on my knee, and kisses me. Underneath the alcohol, he still tastes just like he did six years ago when we were teenagers: spicy, sweet, savoury, and delicious. I want to find the source of that flavour and lap it up until none remains.
“How come you’re here?” I ask gently as our lips part.
“’Cause only rich white boys are allowed to get famous and travel the world?”
“You were always terrible at taking a joke, Marty.” Hrishi sips his own drink with a gleeful smile. “Applied to Caltech, got in, got headhunted by a firm in Silicon Valley.”
“You still spending your free time illegally interrupting visual systems?”
“Ha!” Hrishi laughs dryly. “Actually, I design the stuff which stops that from happening.”
“Yeah, and for tanks of all things. I ended up in the defence sector, though I’m still not sure how.” He looks at me levelly across the bar. “And you went and got famous.”
“We’re not that famous,” I mutter.
“Oh yeah, because three hundred thousand Twitter followers isn’t famous.” He jabs me in the shoulder; he’s still surprisingly strong. “It’s not like I forgot all about you after we left college, Marty.”
Six years ago and half a world away seems like forever. I try to remember the last conversation Hrishi and I ever had, and I hate that I can’t. We didn’t know the last time was going to be The Last Timeuntil afterwards. Leon, Jerome, Aaron, and I sat in my room addressing envelopes long into the night, and sent our demo CD to every radio programmer and DJ we could find. Leon emailed every label we hoped might be interested, and we played every gig we could get. After a show, a man walked up to us, confirmed who we were, and the text Hrishi sent me went unanswered as we were told a breakfast show radio personality found our CD in a pile, played it for four and half million listeners, and a flood of emails arrived. After that, my life looked really different.
“I swear that song was on the radio every time I turned it on for months.” Hrishi smiles warmly. “You guys were suddenly everywhere.”
“You were, you mean.” I remind him gently. ‘Black Eyed Boy’ had turned into the hit everyone hoped it would be and that was enough to get us hitched as an opening act for a big tour all-round the country. We piggybacked for a while, sleeping in the world’s cheapest tour bus, before the universe brought fate and circumstance together with an offer to go to the States. We all bought our own tickets for economy class, and prayed none of our instruments got damaged or lost, on the promise there would be gigs waiting for us. And we’d not been disappointed.
“You never told anyone about me.” It’s not a question, and Hrishi takes my hand holding it in his lap, his skin smooth and warm against my guitar-induced callouses. “I read that article in the Telegraph about your rise to fame. They asked about the song, but you never said anything.”
“Ain’t for anyone else to know.” I take a deep breath. “It’s not like it’s a secret, my being gay, but we’re not a band who shares everything about our private lives. And anyway, people would always rather talk about Leon. It’s his band.”
“They’re your songs,” Hrishi reminds me gently. “You’re amazing.”
“Thank you.” Being near him is doing strange and painful things to my chest, familiar and glorious things to my crotch. I reach out and stroke his cheek and finger his hair. “You cut your hair.”
“How observant,” he replies sardonically.
“I never realised it was curly.” I rub the soft ringlets between my fingers, and Hrishi moves into my touch, just a little.
“I didn’t either, until after I had it all lopped off. Now I can’t do anything with it.”
“So much for your sleek sophisticated look,” I tease gently.
The man who would not look out of place with a pocket-protector and an abacus in one hand glares at me.
“And you spend how long, exactly, getting that look together?”
I glance down at my clothes, straight leg black jeans, blue smoke patterned shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and grin. My tastes really haven’t changed since college.
“They’re just clothes.” I shrug. “Our stylist hates me just a little bit.”
“Well, that can’t be true.” Hrishi runs a bold finger down the front of my shirt pressing each button against my skin before moving south. I shiver under his touch, and he can feel it. “You must be pretty easy to dress.” He glances me up and down, his eyes hot. “I remember you being pretty easy to undress.”
I arch an eyebrow at him, but I don’t trust myself to speak. I’m going to say something really stupid in a moment if Hrishi doesn’t stop me. He hooks his forefinger into the lowest gap between my shirt buttons, and the moment his skin touches mine, my cock lurches uncomfortably in my jeans.
“You got a room in this swanky hotel, rock star?”
“Do you reckon the bed is as comfortable as yours used to be?”
It takes us all of ten seconds to abandon our drinks and get to the elevator. I have a suite on the tenth floor, but the moment the doors swish closed, I have my hands in Hrishi’s curly hair, with my lips pressing against his. He opens up to my tongue and I pull him up against me, my arms linking round the small of his back as I invade his mouth. Hrishi groans, his fingers digging into my shoulders, one leg already wrapping around my hip. Neither of us notices the ping of the doors sliding open until there is a voice.
“Babe! Elevator’s here! Oh…!”
We break apart guiltily, Hrishi’s hand still in my shirt, his warm palm pressed against my abdomen. A couple of tourists are gaping at us, and as Hrishi apologises, I simply blush and drag him along towards my room. Once inside, Hrishi wriggles out of my grasp and stares slack-jawed at the lush interior of the suite.
“Fuck, I forget there are people who live like this….”
“I don’t live like this,” I grumble gently, “this is just for when we get lucky on the road.”
“You sleep in a van the rest of the time?”
“Hey, don’t be hating on our bus.” I grin at the look of shock on his face. “It’s a damn sight nicer than the one we started out with. This one actually has a bedroom for each of us.”
“Well, if by ‘bedroom’ you count a closet big enough for a single mattress… but we have doors. It’s privacy at least.” In the beginning, we used to draw straws to see who got the only bedroom on the bus; the rest of us had to settle in the bunks and make do. The arrangement only lasted as long as it took for the guys to start bringing dates back after shows. After that, it was almost never my turn to sleep in an actual bed unless we got lucky and were allowed to sleep in a hotel.
“I’m gonna bet this is much better.” Hrishi stands at the foot of the bed with his hands on his belt, and his dark eyes tell me everything I need to know. “Get over here, rock star.”
His kiss is hot and hard, full of teeth and tongue, and everything I’ve ever wanted. Hrishi yanks my shirt the rest of the way open, pushes it back over my shoulders pinning my arms by my sides, and runs his finger across my chest before abandoning my mouth. I inhale between my teeth as he licks a path down my throat and nips at my pec, before pressing his tongue hard against my nipple. Some things never change, and the action short-cuts directly to my groin. I whine in need; I haven’t made that noise in years.
“Got you going now, haven’t I, rock star?” Hrishi gloats against my skin. The sound of his fly opening is incredibly loud. “So, does singing to stadiums make you tired, or are you still good with your tongue?”
I don’t need any further encouragement and drop to my knees, not bothering to free my arms before I take him in my mouth. I run my tongue along his shaft then pull back, keeping the glans pinned with my lips, and flick my tongue over the slit until he growls in pleasure. I swallow him until I can’t breathe, and with the head of his cock lodged in my throat, nuzzle the smooth skin below his navel. Hrishi curls over my head, his whole body tense, gripping the back of my neck as he comes with a snarl.
“Fuck….” He staggers back, panting. “I’d very nearly forgotten how fucking good you are at that.”
“You taste amazing.” I take him in: the rise and fall of his chest, his hands shaking as he sinks onto my bed, the wide-eyed expression of lust and desire. “You’re so fucking beautiful, Hrishi.”
He’s still not good at being given compliments, apparently. I stand, shrugging out of my shirt, showing off the effects of many hours spent at the gym trying to undo the terrible diet we all scoff on the road. I lean over him on the bed nuzzling at his hair and the join of his neck and shoulder.
“Your skin is so fucking smooth… and you smell wonderful. I’ve always loved the way you look.”
“Is that right?”
“Mmm-hmm.” I don’t give him any warning between nuzzling at his soft skin with my lips before my teeth sink in. His neck is smooth and warm, and I suck at his skin; pulling up a deep bruise as quickly and as fiercely as I can.
“Dammit, Marty!” Hrishi looks pissed. “What are they going to say at the office tomorrow?”
“I don’t care, wear a scarf.” I grin licking my lips, but Hrishi sits up and suddenly has me flat on my back, his fists pinning my wrists to the bed. I groan.
“Are you sure you wanna go down this road again, Marty?” His voice is low and rough in my ear, his breath superheated against my jaw and cheek. “Or did you get used to pretty boys who would do whatever you wanted?”
“No….” I manage between clenched teeth. Hrishi has my fly open, his deft slender fingers cupping under my balls, palming my already slick erection.
“What is it you want, rock star?”
“C’mon Marty, you can do better than that.” Hrishi laps my throat making my Adam’s apple jump. He squeezes me tightly. “I see you never went back to wearing underwear. Still hoping I’ll jump you backstage, is that it?”
It is, but I don’t tell him so. I’ve fantasised about this, the possibility of this, off and on for the last six years.
“Please...” I groan.
I’m shaking, my breath uneven.
“Please let me fuck you. I want you so badly. Ahhh!” I gasp as Hrishi uses his thumb to press against my taint before his weight settles over me. My erection pushes excitedly towards his entrance.
“Good boy,” he practically purrs in my ear before sticking his tongue down my throat.
We kiss hurriedly, like we might be making up for lost time, and somehow manage to get entirely naked without letting go of each other. Hrishi is the one who gets a condom from my bag, tucked into my bathroom gear, hardly within easy reach. I haven’t had sex in longer than I like to remember, but he doesn’t say anything, simply tears open the foil packet and places a kiss on the tip before rolling the latex over my cock. He smears lube along my length with both hands, and I reach for him.
I growl in frustration, but Hrishi grins. Glowing with joy and confidence, he wraps his slender fingers around the base of my erection, and I can’t tear my eyes away as he slides himself onto me in one long smooth motion. When his balls rest against my abdomen, his eyes flick up to meet mine, and I really hope I’m not imagining the adoration I see in them. I have missed him. Hrishi pins my shoulders down on the mattress and dictates our pace, fucking himself on my shaft as I whimper underneath him. I want to slam my hips into him over and over until I can’t remember my own name, but I’m a slave to his will as he brings us both closer to the brink of pleasure by slow and tantalizing inches.
“Hrishi… please…!” I’m panting, my heart as loud as Jerome’s drums in my ears.
“Beg for it,” he snarls, leaning over me. His curly hair falls in our eyes, we’re both dripping sweat, and Hrishi’s lips are damp and open. I crane my neck to kiss him and am rewarded with the delicious heat of his lips as he thrusts himself back onto me again.
“Please,” I gasp the moment our kisses breaks, “please, let me come. I want to come inside you so much… pleasepleaseplease….”
Hrishi grins in triumph at my litany of wantonness. I don’t care if I sound like a slut, because it’s Hrishi, and I’ve never had any self-control where the slender dark-skinned boy is concerned. Right now, I need him more than I need to breathe. Hrishi sits up, plunging my cock deep into his tight body and releases my shoulders to wrap fingers around his own dick. The sight of him jerking off above me makes my toes curl in pleasure.
“Wait,” he commands, “wait.” His voice is ragged, his breathing uneven and catching in his chest as his fist become a blur. I shift my hips, knowing I’ve reached his prostate when his eyes snap open with a strangled cry. He snarls, his cum hot on my skin as he spurts over my chest and abs, and his slick tunnel spasms and clenches around me. “Come, now.”
I grab his hips, tight enough to leave marks in his skin, and slam up into him just once as my balls empty themselves within the confines of his body. As soon as I’ve finished, he collapses onto top of me and we lie there, sticky and panting, until he pulls away from me with a groan.
“That was fabulous.” Hrishi kisses me, and our gentle lips give way to slow but questing tongues; I still can’t get enough of him, and apparently, I’m not the only one. “Do we have anywhere we’re supposed to be?”
“Not until tomorrow.” I grin happily at his description of us together, as though we share our schedules, as though no time has passed at all.
“Good. I’m going to go use your shower. You just lie there and look pretty.”
“Mmm hmm….” I very much doubt that my knees could support me anyway. I watch him pad softly away with much more grace than anyone in his position should have and discard the condom into the trash. A moment later, Hrishi appears back around the doorway with a grin.
“I missed you too, Marty.”
“That’s an excellent shower.”
Hrishi’s weight settles over the back of my thighs, and I shiver as his hair drips on my lower back. He sighs in a deeply satisfied manner.
“Gods, I always thought you had the most fantastic arse.” Hrishi massages my butt firmly, shifts his hips, and suddenly all I can think about is the soft warmth of his balls and the weight of his soft cock resting in the cleft between my buttocks. He kisses my shoulder softly, too softly, and then his teeth sink into my skin for a moment. I’m hard once more and pressing into the mattress. “I see your work ethic has improved.”
“I still can’t code to save my damn life,” I mutter.
“Well I never wrote a number one hit single either….”
The moment he stops speaking, I know he’s started reading over my shoulder, and I’m embarrassed. It’s like being back in my bedroom again, ashamed of the scribbles in my journal. As soon as I move to close the page, Hrishi’s fingers grip my own, hard, and I let him read the words that began to pour out of me the moment he stepped into the hotel shower.
“Your handwriting is still appalling,” he says eventually.
“Yeah, I know.”
“Wearing cross hairs on my heart? Does that mean what I think it means?” When I don’t answer him, Hrishi ducks his head and bites my left tricep. “Marty!”
I roll over without knocking him off the bed and stare up at the young man straddling my hips. He’s different from how we were at college, but so am I; if the last hour has taught me anything, it’s that the truly important stuff never changes.
“You ever think about college?”
“Yes.” Hrishi smiles softly. “Remember when you had blue hair to go with that blue guitar?”
“The Gibson. I told a reporter once it was my favourite one, then I couldn’t tell him why.” I weave my fingers with Hrishi’s on the mattress beside us. He leans down to kiss me.
“You mean you didn’t want to share the fact you love it so much because your boyfriend made you come all over the damn thing?”
“Hrishi… we weren’t ever boyfriends.”
He bites his lip his dark eyes thoughtful.
“No, we weren’t.” There is a pause during which I count my heartbeats, and the echo of his pulse where our skin touches. “D’you suppose that was a mistake?”
I shake my head. In a flash, I remember Aaron’s first serious girlfriend; how in love they were and then how sour and bitter everything got so quickly when it went wrong. About three weeks after they’d broken up, Aaron came and found me backstage and admitted he’d taken her for granted. I would have hated for that to happen to us.
“It wasn’t for us, I suppose.”
“Not then,” Hrishi replies, and I’m unsure if it was a question or not. “We had a lot of great sex though.”
“You were my first.”
“Marty….” Hrishi looks uncertain, a soft flush colouring his cheeks, and I run my fingers up the back of his neck; I miss his long hair, but the curls look great too, and they’re still silky soft. “I lied to you before.”
Hrishi ducks right down and buries his face in my clavicle. I love the warmth of him along my front.
“You were my first too.”
Stunned, I say nothing, and it’s almost a shock to realise I’m laughing. Hrishi sits up and frowns at me. I catch him in my arms, hug him tight until I can barely breathe, and then we’re kissing all over again, wet and open. I can taste his smile.
“I never found anyone who made me feel like you do,” I say eventually after we both part for oxygen.
“Let me guess.” Hrishi puts his head on one side with a small frown. “People think the big strong rock star wants to feel all powerful and in control in bed as well as on stage?” I gape at him, shocked. He’s stolen the words from my mind. “Apparently, skinny little Indian guys are supposed to be good bottoms and just get fucked.”
“So not your style,” I chuckle.
I’m not jealous, it’s been six years after all, but part of me is pleased and proud there hasn’t been anyone else filling my rather specific role for him. Hrishi runs his fingers down my chest, my abdomen still showing the evidence of our earlier coupling.
“Hrishi….” My voice is a warning, but I do as he says. The weight of his cock against my arse makes me shiver, and not in a bad way. He laughs gently, makes a pleased sounding noise as he kneads my butt, then his teeth sink down into one cheek making me snarl and gnash my teeth. He slaps my arse gently as he sits up.
“What the fuck, Hrishi?”
“Property of.” I twist to meet his eyes, and he’s smiling, but serious. “This is mine now too.”
“I’ve never….” The sentence just hangs there, unfinished.
“I know. I’m gonna be your first for that too. But, maybe not today.” Hrishi flops down on the bed next to me. “I’m fucking exhausted.”
“Or exhausted from fucking?” I pull him into my arms and nuzzle his silky hair.
“Shut up and play me your damn song, rock star.”
I fumble around next to the bed for my travel guitar. I still take the Baby Taylor as hand luggage on every flight, and by the time I’ve got it settled, Hrishi is using my crotch as a pillow. His mouth so close to my cock is instantly suggestive. I smooth my hand down his spine and he wraps himself around me firmly with a purr. I strike the first notes on my guitar and sing for him a song which is only half started.
There’s a lot left to say. I don’t know where Hrishi lives, and honestly, I’m not even sure where I live when I’m not on the road. Leon bought a house in the California high desert and we spend time there writing and recording, but it’s not home. I haven’t told him that my parents haven’t spoken to me in the five years since I told them I was gay, or that the last half a year I spent at college with him means more to me than being famous or singing for thousands of people. There hasn’t been time to share the stories of the road, or the songs I’ve written and sold to other people because I can’t sing them myself, because all of them are about him.
There hasn’t been time yet. But, lying on the hotel bed with Hrishi snuggled up against my side, while I sing him a love song, I know there will be.
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