In the Darkness
The dank air thickened around Devon when he walked into the bar with his colleagues. He breathed in the smoke-filled air and craved a cigarette though he had never smoked one before. Sitting down at a table, he stretched out his limbs with his long legs sprawling beneath it. Devon sighed cheerfully and sleepily looked at the four other men he sat with who chatted cheerfully amongst themselves. He listened to the sounds of their soft voices, not allowing his mind to decipher the words. His arms felt heavy against the table, and the fifth man in the group, Sam, set a beer down in front of him.
If Devon drank it, he would only feel more tired, but if he didn’t, the other men would consider him a pussy. He was already thin and wiry, and they didn’t see the way he wandered into the darkest areas of the sewer system out of simple curiosity, so they never knew his bravery. So Devon drank.
The dull lights overhead flickered, but it didn’t hinder conversation.
“Zach’s here again,” Sam observed.
Devon’s amber eyes drifted over to Zach sitting at the bar. His cheeks burned and his heart increased its pace. The man’s broad shoulders blocked Devon’s view of his face, but he knew the expression well. When Zach sat at the bar, his expression was always hard and weathered. Devon would describe it as numb. A frown sat in the man’s black beard. There were streaks of white in his sideburns, but not much else aside from a few stray stands. Devon stood taller than Zach – once he stood beside him in a town meeting – but the older man was much thicker built. Devon thought if he charged him, it would be like hitting a brick wall, but if the scenario was reversed and Zach charged him, Devon would snap like the twig he was.
He left the man alone like most did, but he relished in the stories about him. He always eagerly listened, and he hoped no one noticed the heat rising in his cheeks or the way his lips grew dry. He never met anyone who thought the stories were romantic like he did – most told them as jokes or to shock someone – but everyone heard them. Stories about him being a beat cop above ground and chasing down bad guys. Stories about Zach helping to restore order after they all moved underground. Stories about Zach and his partner – a love affair that never ended even though they were separated after the migration underground. Those were the stories Devon liked best, and he tried to imagine what sort of man Zach’s partner was and what sort of man made Zach fall in love with him.
Devon would sit with the seediest people just to hear a story about Zach. He never heard the man tell them himself, and he doubted there were any new stories about Zach from the population. Aside from standing next to him in town meetings – with an accidental brush of the shoulder and a quick apology – Devon had never worked up the nerve to interact with him.
Devon pulled his eyes away from the man. He thought of one he didn’t know. He took a swig of his beer – tried not to flinch at the thick, bitter taste – and took a deep breath. “Why does he sit here every night?” Devon asked.
His colleagues looked startled and exchanged glances. An older man – the one with stark white hair and the phlegmy cough – said, “He’s waiting for someone to volunteer.”
“So he can put his dick up their ass?” Sam laughed.
Three of the man laughed with him, and Devon smiled weakly until he saw the white haired man, Max, frown. “No,” he said, his brows knitting. “No, he’s looking for someone to take him through the sewers’ tunnels.”
That brought silence to the table. The six men all worked in the sewers, and there was a general fear of getting lost within them. Usually one worker would go permanently missing every month, and some wandered in the darkness of days, only to have gone mad by the time someone found them again. “What?” Sam asked.
“Of course you wouldn’t have heard,” the Max said. “He probably thought you would be too afraid.” It wasn’t an accusation, it was a fact. And neither Sam nor any of the men denied it. Max continued, “He asks people he believes are either up for or interested in the job to take him though the tunnels. He believes they will lead him to another town to find his partner.”
Devon’s eyes shot back to Zach. He could hear his heart pounding in his chest. Zach never gave up on finding his partner. This was news to Devon.
“I found him once,” Max said, absently fluffing his white hair, “around the first time they tried to retire me. I was working on a leaking pipe near the edge of our territory – you know, where the lights fade and if you walk too far into the darkness, you can hear the murmurs – and Zach scared the demons out of me when he stumbled out of the darkness. When he saw me he cursed and then apologized in the awkward, stiff way he does. He tossed a burned out torch into the water, and then he turned his attention to me again. He said, ‘How well do you know these sewers?’
“And I said, ‘Enough to draw you a map of what I know.’ And the two of us went to the bar and I drew him a map in exchange for a drink. This was before all the reproduction policies, so he didn’t have the same stigma as he does now. I told him if I was younger I’d travel with him, so long as he didn’t stick me with the old one-eye, and I regret not going now.”
“You’d go with that queer?” Sam asked.
Devon’s thoughts drifted to the reproduction policies. The low morale kept the population low and those in charge believed the town needed more children so the human race could continue surviving. Heterosexuality wasn’t enforced, per se, but it was strongly suggested by a system that assigned a man and a woman of a certain age together to reproduce based on family trees and skills. You didn’t have to form a romantic attachment to the person, but reproduction was pretty much required. It made Devon uncomfortable. He would need a very special woman to help him stay excited.
To help keep the population for the reproduction policies rather than against, there were campaigns against homosexuality. People who were open about it – like Zach – were generally blackballed. It got to the point where Zach was the only one who stuck to his guns and rejected the policy when it came his way. Devon couldn’t remember who was out before the policy, he only remembered Zach talking his way out of being arrested. Devon had been with his mom at a town meeting when it happened, and Devon fell hard for the man then and there.
“In a heartbeat,” the old man replied, “though I don’t think my heart would beat for long after that. I wonder if it’s hopeless, but now that I look back on my life, the adventure would have been worth the risk.”
“Why does he need someone to go with him?” Devon asked.
“I suppose he hopes for a guide of sorts. I get the impression his sense of direction isn’t much to write home about, and based on the stories he tells, his partner had more in the brains department than him. Or maybe he’s just afraid of being alone in the dark like the rest of us. But I suspect if it was possible to get to other cities, we’d’ve seen other people by now.”
“It’s just too god damn dark,” Sam said, his tone serious. “We can’t trust the portable lights for long, and torches burn out. You’d have to bring a lot of wood with you on a journey like that. Maybe he’s hoping for a pack mule.”
“Maybe he just doesn’t want to be alone,” another man in their party said.
A third man chimed in, “I would have hated being separated from my wife when it all happened. We were just lucky we were together, I suppose.”
The six men sat together, thinking for a moment about their families. Devon thought of his mother and father. His father died shortly after everyone moved underground, and his mother died a year or so back during a cave-in. He tried to remember the last time anyone hugged him – the last time anyone touched him. He thought about the way his mother’s wiry arms felt around him, the way her long fingers would knit through his red hair to tousle it or smooth it out.
Everyone he knew lost someone. It was just a way of life down here. There were cave-ins, the oxygen was thin, and people in the sewers just went missing. However, being separated from someone, that felt different. They were likely alive, but untouchable with no way of contacting them. The men at the table discussed this briefly. They talked about siblings, parents, and relatives the migration separated them from. How they hoped they were still alive, living in their own community, and that is how they thought of them. They talked about what they were probably doing without them. Reading by the fireplace. Baking desserts for children. Patching old clothes. Happy memories.
Devon looked at Zach again. The man’s posture softened, his ear gently turned towards them. Devon’s fingers wiped the condensation off his beer glass. He could see a gentle smile on Zach’s stiff face. Devon wondered if Zach thought about his partner.
“What do you think is in the darkness?” Devon interrupted. “Do you think it connects to the other towns?”
Four of the men shrugged and then looked back to Max. He said, “I suppose if we were all connected, they would have lit the way.”
“I wish our communications had worked as planned,” Sam said. “It would have been nice to at least keep in touch. I can’t believe they didn’t put a technician in each town. Who’s supposed to fix this technology when it fails? None of us understand it.”
Devon rubbed his face. He told himself to get off of his chair and tell Zach he wanted to go with him. He wanted to get away from the homophobia and the monotony. The darkness never scared him. It was a warm blanket that tucked him in – a blanket that could go on for miles and keep him warm for days.
He took another drink. If he went to Zach he would never hear the end of it from the other men there. The old man, he’d understand him, but he still would never have a place with them. Though, he thought, he never really felt like he had a place with them in the first place. He would try to ogle women, but he’d be busy thinking about the black hairs curling across Zach’s arms, and he wondered what it would be like for those arms to coil around him.
He kissed a girl once. The men asked him about it. He wanted to tell them it was nothing to write home about, but he said it was great – he used the cliché phrase that it was like flying. And he wondered what kissing Zach would feel like. He’d never flown before.
Maybe throwing this life away wouldn’t be so bad.
With another swig of his beer, Devon stood up. That’s when the siren ran through town. “I always forget about the brown outs,” Sam muttered as he stood up as well. “I guess this region’s going black for a while.”
“I better get home anyway,” another man said.
Devon tried to position himself near Zach as the population in the bar slowly piled out. They’d have a good half hour of light in the area, but it was to give time to get people home and comfortably in bed. Even Devon admitted it wasn’t nice stumbling around in the dark trying to get ready or trying to aim urine into the toilet bowl.
Devon’s arm brushed against Zach’s shoulder. The man’s dark green eyes dropped onto Devon, and Devon felt heat rush to his face. Zach smiled, showing a few teeth, and Devon’s limbs stiffened and moved stiffly like a toy soldier’s with limited joints. “I, uh,” Devon said.
Zach simply stared at him while he continued to walk.
Devon decided his tongue must have inflated twice its size, and he hoped it would eventually choke him so he would suffocate and die instead of making such an ass of himself in front of Zach.
“Hey, Devon, don’t tell me you’re a faggot too!” Sam said, suddenly realizing Devon’s awkward interaction with Zach.
“Screw off!” Devon shouted. “I wanted to volunteer to go with him through the sewers.”
All seven men – the five from Devon’s party, Devon and Zach – all stopped walking. “What?” Sam asked.
Devon took a deep breath before spilling out, “I was thinking about what you guys were saying, and I’m interested. I don’t really have anything keeping me here and I’ve always been curious about where the tunnels lead beyond the light.”
Max laughed and said, “Looks like the twig’s got a set of steel balls on him.”
Sam said, “Looks like he likes sucking-”
“That is really none of your business, is it?” Zach asked. Devon found his voice silky smooth, as if he just made a friendly observation rather than a firm objection.
Sam spit on the ground and walked away. Three followed him, but Max approached Devon, rising onto his tiptoes to tousle Devon’s red hair. “Good luck boy,” he said. “Your parents would be proud.”
The heat spread through Devon’s face right to the tips of his ears. “I’m not so sure, but,” he tried to smile, “but thank you for saying that.”
The man gave Devon’s arm a squeeze before walking away.
Devon shifted his weight from one foot to the other. Zach said, “My house is out of the brown out zone. It’ll be on for another few hours. Do you want to come over so we can discuss this?”
“Yes, okay,” Devon said. It meant the electricity in his zone would probably be back on by the time he and Zach were done discussing things. He added, “Thank you.”
“I’ll make you a cup of coffee,” Zach said. He pointed in a direction, “This way.”
Devon found the silence between them crippling. He didn’t know what to say, and Zach kept silent. He wore a smile and Devon felt as if everyone pressed their eyes to the windows to watch them walk by. He was even a bit frustrated. Everyone would think Devon went to him for sex, and he probably wouldn’t even get a polite kiss. Devon wondered why he had to chase after the only gay man in town that was in a relationship. He supposed it was because he was the only openly gay man in town.
“It’s here,” Zach said.
He unlocked the door to the apartment complex, and they walked up the stairs together. Zach’s complex was like the others – quickly and solidly built without any real detailing or accessories. The walls were bare and off-white. The stairs were plain cement with plain iron railings. Their town and the contents inside of it were mass produced, sturdy, and simple and, even though he hadn’t seen them, Devon knew the other towns would be the same.
Before either of them was out of breath, Zach opened the door to his apartment. Devon felt like he walked into a library. The apartment reeked of musty old books. He wondered if Zach only brought books with him – books and maybe his worn leather jacket that he always wore. Devon was jealous of it. There was always a dank chill underground.
“Did you want coffee?” Zach asked.
Devon nodded. He wanted something he could fidget with in the silence, and a cup in his hand would be perfect. “Thank you.”
Zach grinned, and he waved Devon into the small kitchen. It was physically the exact same as his own kitchen, minus a picture Devon’s mother had hung in his before she passed away. Even the table and chairs looked the same, though Devon’s mother had also put a rug beneath his. Devon wondered if he left, who would he leave his things to?
Devon took a seat at the table, and after Zach started the pot, he leaned on the counter. “So do you actually want to help me, or do you just want to get laid?”
Devon wondered if it would be rude to ask for both. “I do want to help you,” Devon said. “I’ve always wondered where the tunnels lead.”
Zach’s dark green eyes brightened in interest as he asked, “They don’t just end, do they?” He snapped his fingers and said, “I knew it!”
“I’m not sure if they lead anywhere,” Devon said. “I’ve never gotten very far; I never could think of a reason to explore, but after I heard your story, I knew it was the right choice.”
Zach said, “I remember you now. You actually volunteered for sewer work, didn’t you? As soon as you were old enough. I remember the gossip – no one really volunteers for sewer work unless they’re desperate for money.”
Devon nodded. “Mom was not impressed, but I like being in the dark.”
Zach laughed. “Sure, kid. You don’t need to act manlier to me.”
“No, I’m serious,” Devon said. “I’m comfortable in it. I mean, it’s a bitch to get around in, but I don’t mind it one bit.”
Zach scratched his beard and eyed Devon up. Disbelief hung clearly in his eyes. “All right, well, I had thought of asking you this when I first heard about it, but you were so young, I decided to hold off. Maybe you blended into the crowd, and then I forgot, I guess.”
“Until I reminded you,” Devon said with a shy smile.
“Until you reminded me,” Zach agreed, returning the smile. His face turned serious again as he asked, “Do you mind if we talk a little bit? I want to make sure you know what you’re getting into. It’s Devon, right?”
With a nod, Devon asked, “What do you want to know?”
Devon told Zach about how his parents passed away and his limited ties to this town. He said he was ready to face death, but he would fight for life. After Zach poured Devon a cup of coffee, he laid various maps across the kitchen table. Devon recognized Max’s printing on one of them, and Zach plotted out the areas he explored. Some of the tunnels connected to each other, but a lot of the ends were left open. Devon extended a few of the tunnels that he explored himself. Zach drew an arrow on the map Devon marked down the new information on and said that was the direction his partner’s town would be in.
They briefly discussed a game plan – what to bring to have constant light. Batteries were rationed, and even though both men had kept some instead of using them, it wouldn’t be safe to depend only on them. They could use torches, but they would have to be leery and careful in case there were any gas leaks.
The conversation quickly devolved into a casual one. Devon told Zach his only memories of being aboveground. He remembered thinking the grass was too sharp in his hands, but soft on his bare feet. He remembered the warmth of the sun, the blanket of stars, the dew on the morning plants. He remembered the siren that cried through the air that forced them all underground.
“Do you miss it?” Zach asked.
“I think I was too young to really miss it,” Devon replied. “They’re just like dreams now. I can close my eyes and go back to it, but it’s not real – at least, not anymore – and I accept that.”
Zach nodded. “That’s a good way to look at it.”
“What about you?” Devon asked.
Zach smiled softly. “I miss what I had above ground. I feel like the transition would have been easier if we stayed together.”
Devon nodded, unsure of what to say. He knew he couldn’t say he was jealous of Zach’s affections for this mysterious partner. He shouldn’t say he wished someone cared so much about him. Devon settled for, “He’s lucky to have you.”
“I’m the lucky one,” Zach replied, stretching. “But I’d rather not talk about him right now. The power is going off in my district soon. Maybe you should head home and we’ll meet tomorrow to tie up any loose ends and pack. Is there anything else you wanted to discuss before you left?”
Devon blushed again. He knew if didn’t say something, he would regret it all night. He worried about the repercussions quickly, but he decided Zach seemed pretty open and understanding. Maybe he would just laugh it off and politely turn him down.
“Do you actually have men come to you just to have sex?”
Zach laughed, and Devon couldn’t help but smile in response. “How long have you been waiting to ask me that?”
“Years,” Devon said.
Zach laughed again. It was a big bold laugh – one that made Devon chuckle as well. Zach said, “Yeah, yeah I do. But I won’t tell you who. I don’t kiss and tell, you know.”
Devon nodded. “I wouldn’t ask.”
The two stayed silent, staring at each other. Zach sighed. “Are you wondering how I can sleep with another man while still being on a quest for my partner?”
“Yes,” Devon meekly replied.
Zach’s eyes lowered. “I don’t want this to undermine the seriousness of our relationship, but we decided we could fool around with other people. The rule was we could do what we want so long as we would always come home to each other at night, no matter what. And to be safe, of course. There were just some things he liked that I didn’t, and some things that I liked and he didn’t. Neither of us ever intended to get tied down to each other, but we had a talk and agreed that we couldn’t bear to be without the other. So we were together, we were partners, we loved each other, but we fooled around a bit on the side to overcome any restlessness and work out any frustrations. Sometimes it’s hard being with the same person day in and day out, and I guess that’s how we made things work.”
Devon nodded, but he couldn’t suppress the fluttering in his chest. This all meant he had a chance with Zach, albeit it a temporary one. He wouldn’t be stepping on any mysterious toes, and maybe he’d feel like Zach loved him. That’s what making love was for, right? Because he certainly didn’t know.
Zach said started, “Are you-”
Devon’s nodding cut him off.
Zach smiled, and Devon tried to ignore that it was a bit weak. “Did you want sex from me as well then?” Zach asked. “As compensation for helping me out?”
“No, no,” Devon said, raising his hands apologetically. “I didn’t mean – I mean.” He took a deep breath and tried to compose his words. Zach raised an eyebrow, but he waited without a word. Devon continued, “I do want to sleep with you, but that’s not why I want to help you. I mean, if you don’t want to sleep with me, that’s fine. But I just thought, you know, if there’s a chance I die out there…” his voice trailed off. “You’re the only person I know who is openly gay. And it’s not just that, you’re handsome and I admire your dedication to your partner – and all the stories I’ve heard about you being brave and strong. You’re just perfect.”
Zach laughed. “I am hardly perfect.”
Devon frowned. “Well, you’re perfect for me,” he said. Zach’s green eyes stared straight into Devon. Devon’s shoulders tensed and he felt himself hunching over self-consciously. He stared at the wooden table and said, “I guess I just want to feel what it’s like to be loved.”
“Love’s more than sex,” Zach said.
“I know that,” Devon said. “But I also know sex is the only kind of love I could get from you.”
Zach exhaled. Devon’s body stayed tense while waiting for an answer. The siren went off to give the half-hour warning. He would have to leave soon before the district went dark. His eyes rose cautiously to see Zach still staring at him. Zach rolled his eyes and said, “All right. It’s too late for you to walk home anyway.”
Devon held in whatever noise of excitement almost spilled from his mouth, though the smile growing on his face threatened to let it out. He feared Zach would change his mind if he came across as too effeminate or eager. He knew he already sounded desperate, but he would accept pity sex if it meant sex with Zach.
“But let’s get you cleaned up first,” Zach said, standing up. “There’s dirt under your nails and you smell like the sewers. If I’m going to be rubbing up against you, I’d like you to smell nice, at least.”
“All right, of course,” Devon said, nodding again. He began to feel like one of those toys where their heads wouldn’t sit still once you tapped them. Where had his gone, anyway?
“The bathroom’s in there,” Zach said, pointing. He didn’t need to; Devon’s was in the same place. “Just get started. I’m going to get some candles in case the power gets shut off before you’re done.”
Devon stood up and articulately replied, “Are we, uh, you know, in the shower?”
Zach grinned at Devon. “Why don’t you go find out?”
Devon smiled in response and hurried into the bathroom. He tripped over a bathmat he didn’t have, and (after cursing) he stripped out of his clothes and turned on the shower. It took a minute for the water to kick out of the showerhead, and he knew once the power went out, the water would be cold. He stepped into the warm water, lathered some shampoo into his hair, and he began picking the crud out from underneath his nails.
Devon almost slipped when Zach said, “Use the soap on your body too.”
He saw a shadow on the other side of the shower curtain, and he soaped up his body, self-consciously smelling his skin as he did so. He could only smell the strong soap, but it’d been years since the smell of the sewers stood out to him. He slouched as he scrubbed his skin; he wasn’t bold enough to ask for Zach’s help.
Dirty water curled down the drain, and Devon balanced on one foot while he scrubbed the soles of his feet. He heard some people really liked feet, though he never saw the appeal. His second toe was longer than his big toe, and he doubted anyone would find that sexy. He also realized he needed to trim his nails, but he decided now was not the time for it.
“How are you doing in there?” Zach asked.
“I’m alive,” Devon said. He wanted to add “and lonely” but held his tongue. He did not want to screw things up between them.
Zach stuffed his head into the shower and grabbed Devon’s freckled arm. He pressed it against his nose and smelt it. “Maybe soak a bit longer,” he said. He grabbed Devon’s other hand to examine his nails. “These look good though. I’ll be waiting outside. I just want to stay with the candles in case the power’s shut off before you get out.”
“Okay,” Devon simply replied.
He continued scrubbing and feeling his sexual frustration building. He wanted Zach’s fingers to be tracing along his skin instead of just his soap. And part of him couldn’t help but fear that Zach still wasn’t going to sleep with him. Maybe the man was just putting it off for as long as he could. Maybe when he stepped out of the shower Zach would be pretending to sleep.
The lights went out and the city’s constant hum faded, but the darkness didn’t settle in. He could see a flickering light on the other side of the shower curtain along with a shadow. “You’d better get out now,” Zach said. “I’d hate for you to be stumbling around in the shower in the dark.”
“I’m fine,” Devon said, waiting as his eyes adjusted to the darkness. “I’ll scrub for a bit longer.”
“Nope,” Zach said. “Come on out.”
“Let me rinse off the soap at least,” Devon said. “I don’t want to get itchy later.”
Zach sighed and Devon washed off in the cooling water. He shut off the tap and pulled the curtain away. When Devon stepped out of the shower, Zach wrapped a towel around him with a hug. A shiver went through Devon as Zach kissed his neck. “You certainly smell better,” Zach’s voice was a low purr.
Devon stiffened against Zach, unsure of how to reply. His penis offered to introduce itself to Zach’s stomach, and Devon blushed furiously. Zach smiled at him in the darkness, and he tiled Devon’s chin downwards. He pressed his lips against Devon’s to kiss him gently. Devon tried to breathe him in.
When Zach pulled away, Devon said, “Hold on, I can do better than that.”
He cupped Zach’s bearded cheeks in his hands and kissed Zach again. He felt the man’s body curve against his own and he wondered if Zach felt the same wave of heat through him. Zach’s hands crept across Devon’s back, keeping them close together. Devon decided he would happily just kiss all night if Zach refused sex. Zach broke the kiss and murmured, “I thought you might prefer the bedroom for your first time.”
“Sure,” Devon said, trying to keep his voice steady. “Whatever you think. I’m easy.”
“Clearly,” Zach replied with a grin.
He blew out one candle and took another one in his hand. Devon held the towel around him as Zach showed him into a small bedroom. In the darkness, Zach’s bedroom looked different than his own. The bed was much larger and the blanket looked thicker. And where a small desk was wedged into the corner of Devon’s room, a bunch of weights was piled in Zach’s. Zach rested the candle on the nightstand and began to undress. “Take a seat on the bed,” Zach said. “You can toss the towel on the floor, or keep it on if you’re more comfortable.”
“It’ll be a while before I’ll feel comfortable,” Devon replied sheepishly.
Nonetheless, he took off the towel and stretched out on the bed. Somehow he expected things to be more passionate and less formal. Zach undressed casually in front of him. Shadows curled across the man’s body and Devon tried not to stare. But his eyes crawled across Zach’s muscles and body hair, and he wondered what they would feel like in his hands. He peeked at Zach’s cock; it was large and thick even though it was flaccid. Devon tried not to feel self-conscious about his own.
Zach crawled into bed, but began kissing Devon’s stomach and running his hands up Devon’s thighs. “How many freckles do you have?” Zach asked.
“I tried to count them when I was young,” Devon said, “but I always lost count. My mom told me that one day I’d have so many, my skin would just turn to the freckles’ colour. It took me years to realize that wouldn’t happen. I lost a lot of sleep.”
Zach laughed his same loud laugh, and Devon couldn’t help but join in. He hoped the neighbours couldn’t hear them, if only so they wouldn’t feel uncomfortable.
Hovering over Devon, Zach kissed him, pulling the youth’s body against him. The man’s much thicker cock pressed into him, and Devon rubbed against him when Zach started to kiss him deeper. Zach’s body weighed onto him more, and Devon rubbed the muscles in Zach’s back, running one hand up his neck to keep Zach’s lips against his own. Zach’s hands squeezed Devon’s ass as he pulled away.
Zach rubbed Devon’s pelvis as he searched the nightstand’s drawer. He pulled out a condom and lube. He winked at Devon and said, “Just to make sure you’re comfortable.”
Devon nodded. Zach put some lube onto his hand and gently jerked off the base of Devon’s erection. Devon exhaled and relaxed against the bed. He stared at the ceiling as Zach continued. In the darkness, the ceiling seemed endless. He shivered when Zach’s finger outlined the ridge underneath the tip of his cock, and his toes curled when Zach’s tongue flicked against it.
Zach’s lips pressed against the head of his cock, and he started to jerk Devon off quicker. He looked Devon directly in the eye and said, “Tell me if you’re going to come. I don’t want you to come too soon, and I’d rather not get it in my mouth. It’s nothing personal.”
Devon nodded. “I’ll tell you,” he said, trying not to raise his hips upwards.
Zach smiled. He rubbed Devon’s hip with his free hand before kissing the inside of his thigh. When Devon squirmed impatiently, Zach began sucking on the head of his cock. Devon kept his hands on Zach’s back and tried not to moan. Zach’s tongue swirled around the head of his cock as his lips worked his shaft.
Gasping, Devon’s body tightened. He could barely believe he was getting a blowjob. He tried to memorize every detail so he could jerk off afterwards. Zach’s tongue teased the underside of his shaft before swirling the head of his cock again. Zach stopped jerking him off to squeeze his ass with both hands. Devon spread his legs, and he groaned when Zach pressed a slick finger against his asshole.
Zach took half of Devon’s cock directly into his mouth, and as he slowly started to suck up his shaft, he started gently pressing the finger into Devon’s ass. Devon squirmed and tried to keep his breaths steady. He rubbed Zach’s back to keep his hands busy. Zach flicked his tongue against the head of his cock again. Devon gritted his teeth when Zach took three-quarters of Devon’s cock into his mouth and started to suck upwards again. His finger pumped slowly in and out of Devon’s hole.
Excitement rippled through Devon’s body. Part of him wanted to let his load go and experience his orgasm, but he didn’t want to destroy his relationship with Zach. And he had a feeling that would. “Stop,” Devon gasped, even though he pressed down on Zach’s back. “I’ll come.”
Zach pulled his finger out of Devon’s ass and took his mouth off of his cock. He kissed Devon’s thigh again, and Devon watched his own chest rise and fall. He wished he had more hair on his chest, like the kind of hair that covered Zach’s body. Zach kissed Devon’s chest and placed his hands on Devon’s hips.
Zach watched Devon and said, “Would you rather top or bottom? Pitch or catch?”
Devon’s mind whirled. What if he got nervous and went soft while trying to screw Zach? Certainly he wanted to pound into his ass, but if he came too soon or let anxiety chase his erection away, he would look rather foolish. Besides, he definitely liked the feeling of Zach’s finger teasing his ass. Zach’s cock was big, but he decided that just meant it would feel better – in theory, anyway.
“Catch,” Devon said.
Zach grinned. “Turn over,” he replied.
Devon complied. He wondered if he should offer Zach a hand job. He wouldn’t have been against stroking the other man’s cock, but Zach seemed to have a plan, and he didn’t want to disrupt it. So Devon kneeled on the bed, his ass facing Zach, his hands on the headboard to keep himself comfortable and relaxed.
Zach put more lubricant onto his fingers before sliding one into Devon’s ass. Devon let out the breath he was holding and gently pressed back against Zach’s gentle rhythm. Zach’s free hand ran up the side of Devon’s chest, and he kissed Devon’s back as he pumped his finger faster, working the edges to spread the opening. His breaths quickening, Devon’s erection let out an ache, but Devon told himself not to touch it. Zach pressed another finger into Devon’s ass, and Devon let out a weak moan.
Zach chuckled and kissed Devon’s back again. “Keep that up,” he murmured. “I like it, it’s cute.”
Devon frowned. He didn’t want to be cute. He wanted to be sexy and handsome. He told himself not to moan again.
But he gasped when Zach’s started pumping harder and hitting deeper, and he heard Zach jerking himself off behind him. “Help me out,” Zach said. “Give me another moan.”
When Devon didn’t make a noise, Zach pulled his fingers nearly out of Devon’s ass only to slam them in again. Devon moaned and shuddered involuntarily. He felt a flicker of pain that quickly passed. He turned his head to see Zach fisting his own cock – now suited in a condom – and he tried to picture it slamming into his ass.
Zach pulled his fingers out of Devon and asked, “Are you ready?”
“Yes,” Devon said, feeling his body tense in anticipation.
Devon tightened his grip on the headboard when Zach pressed the head of his cock against his asshole. “Tell me if you need me to stop or slow down,” Zach murmured, his hands running up his freckled chest.
Devon nodded, and then added, “I will,” just in case Zach hadn’t seen his head move.
He didn’t want to seem weak or inexperienced – despite his admittance of it – and he had little intention of telling Zach to stop. He could grit his teeth through pain, squeeze his eyes shut, bite his tongue or the inside of his cheek – whatever it took to make him seem like a suitable partner for Zach, if only temporarily.
So he sucked in a gasp when Zach pressed into him. He told himself the pain wouldn’t last, and soon it would feel like Zach loved him. Zach pumped slowly into Devon, lingering when Devon’s ass tightened around his cock, and pressing forward only when Devon’s body relaxed. Devon’s knuckles went white from gripping the headboard. He focussed on the feeling of Zach’s fingers teasing his body, and his breaths came out short. Zach’s cock throbbed inside of him, sending another wave of pain through him with every forward thrust.
Zach let out a grunt and gripped Devon’s hips firmly. Devon spread his legs further apart and leaned into Zach’s quickening thrusts. “God, you’re tight,” Zach said, his voice almost a purr. He thrusted again and asked, “You sure this doesn’t hurt?”
With a quiver in his voice, Devon replied, “Just fine.”
Nonetheless, Zach pulled out of Devon. Devon’s body relaxed, and he felt limp. Zach put more lube on his fingers and pressed two back into Devon’s ass, working the opening again. Devon bit his bottom lip with a smile, relishing in the feeling. When Zach pressed a third finger in, Devon’s cock began to throb, slowly perking back into an erection. Devon hadn’t noticed it faded during the pain.
Zach squeezed Devon’s testicles as he started to pump his fingers faster in and out of Devon. Devon’s body arched and he bucked back against Zach’s fingers. Zach put more lube on his cock and said, “All right, let’s try this again. Are you ready?”
“Yes,” Devon simply replied.
“You tell me when it hurts this time, okay?” Zach asked.
Devon said, “Okay,” and his toes curled as Zach’s fingers made another quick movement inside of him.
Zach pulled his fingers out of Devon’s ass and quickly slid his cock into it. Devon gritted his teeth as Zach started pumping into him again. Devon exhaled. With every shallow thrust, it felt better. Zach’s cock stopped feeling like a painful invader and started to feel like a friendly visitor – a large friendly visitor. Zach must have felt the difference as he started pumping deeper into Devon. Devon let out a moan and Zach kissed his back, his soft beard lingering against it.
Devon pressed back against Zach to try to speed up the rhythm, but Zach grabbed Devon’s hips to keep the pace in his control. He slowly pumped deeper and deeper, and Devon squirmed against his grasp, desperate to slam back against Zach. Devon’s cock ached impatiently, but Devon bit his bottom lip, determined not to pleasure himself yet. He wanted to last as long as he could and keep up with Zach.
Zach nearly pulled out of Devon before pumping back into him quicker. Both men started panting, and Zach kissed Devon’s back despite the sweat on it. He pulled Devon’s hips against him as he ventured deeper again, and a quick surge of electric pleasure surged through Devon. He moaned and his body shuddered, his toes curling against the sheets. “There’s the spot,” Zach murmured. Devon could feel the man’s smile against his back.
Zach pulled back slightly to thrust into the area again, and Devon couldn’t help but shiver and moan again. Zach repeated the process over and over, slowly moving faster and faster. Devon couldn’t control his moans and he squeezed his eyes shut. He couldn’t focus on anything else. Zach started grunting and gasping, his hips moving faster as he thrusted rougher into Devon. He finally let himself pass the spot to hit deeper into him. Devon groaned and continued trying to press back against Zach as he started to spill onto the sheets.
Zach kept up his quick pace as Devon’s body shuddered with his orgasm, though he moaned just as loudly as before. Zach kept pumping into Devon, releasing his hips and leaning over to hug him against him. He kissed Devon’s shoulder blades between gasps and his thrusts grew slower. Devon paid attention to the way Zach’s breath crawled across his body and the way his voice changed as he grew closer to his orgasm.
Zach came with a grunt. He held Devon against him for a moment before releasing him and dropping on the bed beside him. Devon turned over – wincing from a dull pain.
“Good?” Zach breathlessly asked, rubbing his own chest.
“Great,” Devon said with a sleepy smile. He felt his heart pounding in his chest.
Zach grinned and put an arm around Devon to hold him close. Devon stroked Zach’s chest, sliding down on the bed to nuzzle into his neck. He breathed Zach in as the man absently rubbed his shoulder. Devon’s eyes rose to watch Zach’s. Zach just stared into the darkness. Devon tried not to feel alienated, and he held back the question of whether or not Zach thought of his partner. Of course he thought of his partner. In his mind, He was probably “coming home” to him right now. But Devon also held back another question. He didn’t ask if he was ready to face the darkness with him – a stranger he just met. But Zach already helped Devon. Confidence brimmed inside of him even though he knew this intimate exchange was only temporary.
Devon didn’t ask because he felt ready. Even if Zach was unsure, Devon was certain they were doing the right thing. And he would do everything he could to guide Zach through the darkness to his partner on the other side.