An Impossible Meeting

by Murakami Kasumi (村上かすみ)

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/53118.html)

It wasn’t the first time that Eric’s subconscious had a disagreement with his conscious mind, and it certainly wouldn’t be the last. He had to admit, his subconscious made a pretty convincing argument. There was no way he had just spilled his orange juice all over the attractive, rich-looking man completely by accident. His subconscious must have been the one calling the shots. Eric watched in abject horror as a drop of sticky juice dripped from the gentleman’s earlobe to fall onto his already-stained-beyond-repair, no doubt mercilessly expensive, dress shirt.

“Oh my God, I’m so sorry!” Eric felt his face flush in deep embarrassment, and mortification settled deep in his stomach.

“It’s fine,” the older dark-haired gentleman replied, in a low rumble that some part of Eric — the part that didn’t want to go crawl under a rock — recognized as devastatingly sexy. He had a faint accent; something Eric couldn’t place. He’d always had a weakness for accents.

Eric felt like his face was on fire and drops of sweat formed on his brow. “No!” he said, a bit more forcefully then he probably should have. “It’s totally my fault that your shirt’s ruined!”

“No, you tripped over my bag.” The older man chuckled. He looked down at the white McDonalds sack and the egg McMuffin trampled beneath their feet in the confusion. “If anything, it seems that I owe you breakfast.”

“But your shirt!” Eric protested before he was interrupted.

“I’ve got a spare,” the dark haired man assured him. “Come with me and I’ll get you breakfast,” he said. Before Eric could protest that it should the other way around, the handsome gentleman added with a devilish smirk, “but I better go get this shirt off first.” He turned towards the restroom and shot and heated look at Eric over his shoulder. “Don’t go anywhere, ok?”

As Eric watched him carry his bag, his jacket slung carelessly over it, he was amazed that anyone could look that hot covered in orange juice. He licked his suddenly too dry lips and realized that there was no way he was going anywhere until he got that breakfast.

********

“I’m Karl, by the way.”

“Hnn?” Eric responded. He’d just shoveled a huge bite of Belgian waffle and whipped cream into his mouth.

“My name,” the older man said as he leaned over the edge of the table. His coffee and bagel with lox were pushed off to the side, in favor of watching the young man across the table eat. “I’d realized that we hadn’t introduced ourselves yet.”

“Oh.” Eric blinked his wide eyes and swallowed his mouthful of waffle. “I’m Eric,” he said, while wiping a bit of cream and strawberry syrup from his bottom lip.

“Nice to meet you…Eric.” Karl drew out the last word slowly, as if carefully tasting the name.

Eric felt anticipation tingle along the back of his neck, but managed to croak out a half muttered “likewise” in response.

Karl took a tiny sip of his coffee, but showed no interest in eating his bagel. Even to a casual observer, that hungry look seemed plenty focused, just not on anything that one would call food. “So what brings you to this out of the way airport?” Karl asked, as he scratched at his temple, momentarily drawing Eric’s attention to a smattering of gray he hadn’t noticed before.

“When you come from an even more out of the way town…” Eric said, then sighed. “I’m from about seventy miles northwest of here.” He felt his cheeks heat as he admitted to being some country bumpkin to the uptown, upscale, urbanite god before him.

“I got here by bus,” he continued, “then with the storms and all my flight was canceled, so I’m stuck waiting it out.” Eric paused a moment to drain the last of his milk with a little sigh of satisfaction.

“So what about you?” he asked. Eric reassessed Karl’s expensive suit — watch, briefcase, hell, even his haircut looked expensive. “This doesn’t seem like one of your typical climes.”

Karl laughed, the sound washing over Eric, warm, liquid, and silky. “I can assure you I’ve been much stranger places before,” he replied, “but I was actually overseas and my flight was rerouted here because of the weather. I’m trying to get to Chicago.”

Eric nearly choked on a strawberry. “You’re going to Chicago too?” Eric asked, incredulous.

“I have some business there, a conference,” Karl explained. “I’ll bet you’re on the flight out of here in about eight hours, too?”

Eric shook his head. “This is just too weird,” he muttered.

“What’s taking you to Chicago?” Karl asked. He tilted his head forward and a little to the side.

Eric spun his empty milk glass between his hands. “I don’t suppose you’d buy that I was running away from home?”

A low chuckle from across the table ran through Eric’s body. “A bus, followed by a plane seems a little formal, and a little expensive, for a simple runaway.”

Eric sighed. “I suppose you’re right, even if it is sort of the truth.”

Karl just sat and waited, with an expectant look on his face; apparently he was used to getting exactly the information he wanted, Eric thought.

“Don’t get me wrong, I love my mom and my little sister to pieces, but…” Eric’s eyes brightened and he reached into his back pocket, pulling out a worn leather wallet, and flipped it open for Karl to look at.

Karl carefully took the wallet and nearly dropped it, before he managed to school his features back to a suitably blank expression. Eric still caught the look of shock in the older man’s deep gray eyes. It was a sweet picture, to be sure. Both mother and daughter were smiling widely, white teeth standing out against their matching chocolate complexions. His sister was missing an eyetooth and the adorable little girl had her hair tied up in two little puffs by baby pink ribbon. Karl looked up at the young man sitting across from him, no doubt considering his ghost pale skin and blue eyes that peeked out from under the jet-black fringe of his bangs.

“I’m adopted,” Eric said, quite used to surprised reactions.

Karl just stared at the picture, not taking his eyes off it for a moment, even when he began speaking. “And your father?” he asked, his voice carefully even.

Surprise flashed through Eric. No one had ever asked about his father from just looking at that picture before. Absent fathers weren’t uncommon these days, and Eric figured that most people just assumed. He lowered his eyes to the table, looking at the Formica pattern that slipped over the edge. “We lived in New York when I was younger, and Dad worked in the Second Tower…” Eric trailed off at Karl’s sharp inhalation, looking up just in time to catch a flash of pain in those eyes.

“After that,” Eric continued, changing the subject gently, “Mom and I moved down here to be with Mom’s aunt Jenna so she could help when Faith was born.” He poked at the remaining soggy piece of waffle that he had no intentions of eating. “Things are great at home with Mom and Faith and me, but I don’t really get along that well with Aunt Jenna. I was out of there as fast as I could get when I hit eighteen.”

Eric stressed his age a little, and hoped that it hadn’t been dropped too obviously into the conversation. Karl hadn’t asked his age when he’d been looking him up and down. He thought for a second about asking for Karl’s age, but decided that would seem awkward. The man was friggin’ hot, Eric rationalized to himself, gray streaks and laugh lines be damned.

Karl’s grey eyes, cloudy with trouble, didn’t look up from the photo at all. Eric was about to ask… something, he wasn’t sure what, when Karl finally responded. The polite, “I’m sorry for your loss,” seemed to speak about more then just his departed father.

It took a moment before Eric could think to respond and his vague appreciation came out as an awkward “thank you.”

“No more about me.” Eric finally broke the tension, clearing this throat. “I want to hear about you…” Eric smiled, suddenly feeling painfully inexperienced in such matters. He brushed the top of his tennis shoed foot carefully against the back Karl’s leg.

It was when Karl jumped back, in reflex it seemed, banging his knee against bottom of the table, that Eric suspected with a pout that this whole encounter might not turn out the way he had anticipated.

**********

It was about the time that Karl started deflecting any attempts to make suggestive comments, by discussing his travels around the world at length, that Eric gave up any hope of getting fucked over the back of a toilet in some remote airport bathroom. He was disappointed, yes, but not overly so. Karl was fascinating, funny, charming, hot as hell and, really, Eric wasn’t sure he was good enough for even a casual screw with a guy that great.

Eric didn’t really mind all that much. Maybe it was how easily Karl moved from one subject to the next — like he knew more then just a little about absolutely everything in the world — that made it okay. Maybe it was how he told such fascinating stories about travels that Eric could only dream about. Eric laughed hysterically as Karl told him about being drunk, lost, and missing his wallet at 3am in Prague. There was something about the way his words tumbled out so naturally, something about his storytelling made Eric feel like he could understand what that must be like.

Eric laughed and Karl laughed back so beautifully, laugh-lines prominent on his gorgeously handsome face. Eric was simply grateful to be in his presence, to soak in the attention that this remarkable and beautiful gentleman bestowed on him so generously. As much as Karl deflected questions about himself with fantastic stories and jokes, he often redirected to pry a little more information from Eric.

Questions about schooling, his family, favorite foods, Eric fielded them all with ease. Karl seemed particularly interested in the friend he was heading to stay with in Chicago, and his studies and favorite subjects in school. He smiled gently when Eric mentioned his bizarre math aptitude, and laughed at his obsession with salt and vinegar flavored potato chips. They found some at a little shop, along with sandwiches and soda, when they realized it was already after supper.

Karl had been wrapping up his Prague story, explaining how an overly voluptuous woman — who was either a prostitute or lawyer — figured out how to get him back to his hotel, when they finally announced that the plane would begin boarding.

“Well,” Eric had responded with a wistful smile, “I suppose this is it?”

“Guess so,” Karl responded, with the vaguest smirk lingering around the edges of his lips. Eric wondered a little about it, but didn’t dwell. “I do have to say it was a pleasure meeting you, Eric Franklin.”

He extended his hand and Eric had to hide his little huffed sigh of disappointment that what could have been a hot, semi-anonymous erotic encounter was ending with a handshake, instead of an couple of screaming orgasms. Eric took the offered hand with gusto, reminding himself that sometimes you just had to enjoy what you were given. “Likewise” He smiled back. Then they called for first class passengers and Eric watched as Karl gathered his things and turned to board the plane.

It took twenty more minutes after that before the economy passengers were allowed to board. Eric started watching the clock and realized he was looking forward to getting on the plane, not because it meant he was that much closer to a new life in Chicago but because he would be able to see Karl again, if only from a distance. Eric walked down the ramp to the plane, ducking to enter the fuselage, when a sweet-faced, brunette stewardess approached him with a wide smile.

“Eric Franklin?” she asked, her smile never once even flickering while she spoke, or when Eric nodded in response. “If you could come this way to your seat.” She turned with a motion to follow and brought him to where Karl was seated in first class.

“We meet again so soon.” Karl smiled at the confused young man.

The woman behind him, eager to get back to her seat, pointedly cleared her throat. Eric apologized and let her past by slinging his duffle, with everything he currently owned, into the overhead bin, and stepping to the side.

Once the three people waiting had pushed past, Eric stepped back in the confined aisle and let Karl stand so Eric could slide into his spot by the window.

“But, I…” Eric finally managed with some degree of volume, but Karl dismissed him with a wave of the hand.

“There was a free seat so I arranged it with the staff that you would sit next to me,” he said, cutting off Eric’s protests. “We were delayed for a long time so you’ll probably want to catch some sleep, and, trust me, it’s much easier to do that when you’re not having your personal space invaded.”

Eric barely held back his response–“I’d rather you invade all my personal spaces”–but he bit his lip and nodded, unable to voice a protest as his mind wallowed around in the gutter. It didn’t dwell there for long, because as soon as the plane began to taxi, Eric sat up ramrod straight in his seat.

Karl smiled a little. “First time in a plane.” It wasn’t a question.

“Yeah,” Eric answered softly, not trusting himself with more volume.

Karl looked at him for a moment. “It’s pretty strange the first time around,” Karl replied, as the plane started to leave the ground, “but just breathe deeply and try to relax.”

Eric smiled a little. “I know I shouldn’t be nervous,” he muttered.

It was a few more minutes before the plane leveled out and Eric felt like he could breathe again, but the strange feeling in his head didn’t really go away.

“Feeling better?” Karl asked, setting his hand on top of Eric’s. It was gripping the armrest just a little too tightly to be comfortable but the contact made Eric flush happily.

“A little,” he replied, with a slight nod.

With a subtle wave, Karl called a stewardess over and asked her for a glass of water. He dug around in his attaché case and handed Eric a little packet with a couple of pills inside, and took the water from the stewardess.

“Here,” he said, handing over the water. “This should relax you enough to sleep the whole plane ride.”

Eric thought about refusing for a moment. He didn’t want to be bad company; the strange feeling in his head encouraged him to simply thank Karl and throw back the pills with a little swallow of water.

The two of them made small talk until Eric wrapped himself up in the thin blue blanket from under his seat, and drifted off into a comfortable slumber.

********

Eric slowly became aware of a warm pressure on his thigh that massaged its way up further and further as a tingling heat pooled in his groin. His jeans were getting tight; too tight to really be comfortable anymore, but that was nothing when there was a hand moving back and forth. It kept dipping in and out between his thighs at the sensitive crease where his leg and hip met.

With he breath coming in short desperate pants, Eric tried to spread his thighs further and arch up into that touch, but his movements were sluggish and unfocused, as if underwater. It was then that his brain reasoned lazily that he must have been dreaming.

Suddenly that warm hand settled over the bulge of his erection, a big strong hand, like the ones he’d been looking at all day, and Eric couldn’t help but gasp. It felt good, too good, and Eric felt sleep slipping away from him slowly. As his dream-fuzzy surroundings melted away into reality, the hand on his erection disappeared and Eric moaned with the loss, wanting it back, wanting his dream to continue. Then realization caught up with his sleep-addled brain, and he awoke with a start.

“Are you, okay?” The question came from somewhere next to Eric and it took him less than a second to realized who that was, where he was, and what he’d just been dreaming.

“Y-yeah. Just, um, dreaming… nightmare.”

“You want to talk about it?” Karl offered.

“That’s okay.” Eric shrugged. “Might as well sleep a little more.”

Eric turned his face away from Karl and looked out into the night sky that engulfed the plane. He didn’t notice that Karl could see his eyes reflected in the darkened window.

********

The touchdown at O’Hare was bumpier than Eric’s sky-queasy stomach would have preferred, but he bore it valiantly, knowing that it only meant that he’d be on solid ground within moments. He was off the plane in seconds after the captain turned off the seatbelt light, and inside his mind the anxiety about flying was replaced by acute, possibly fatal, embarrassment.

Karl hadn’t seemed to realize just what sort of dream he’d been having and his reaction had subsided beneath the camouflaging blanket. That didn’t change the fact that he’d had a wet dream about a man he’d just met. A man who looked at least twenty-five years his senior and who been sitting right next to him at the time.

Eric managed to hold it together, mostly at least, as he said goodbye to Karl. It was a little awkward as far as Eric could tell, though it might have just been the mortification speaking. Karl was pleasant enough, gave him his business card even. Karl muttered with an irritated grumble that his cell was broken and it would take until Monday before he could get a new one, but he mentioned that he was staying in the top floor penthouse at the conference hotel. He insisted that Eric should get a hold of him if there was anything, absolutely anything he needed.

As Karl walked away to baggage claim, Eric felt something inside of him sink down low. He slung his duffle over his shoulder, the black strap cutting in deeply. He walked down the bustling hallways of the airport, the noise and motion or the people all around making him queasy.

He only had to ask for directions once to find the bus that would take him to all the way to his friend Jimmy’s. Jimmy was really more of a friend of a friend but he had offered the couch that would be Eric’s bed for the next few weeks.

The bus ride took hours but they flew by as Eric watched the city roll past him without truly seeing it and thought about Karl. Karl, who was funny and smart and too nice to be so rich, Karl, who was handsome and sexy as hell, Karl, who Eric already missed.

When the bus pulled up to the stop that Matt had told him was closest to Jimmy’s place he almost didn’t get off. Yeah, Eric had known of some rough neighborhoods, but he’d been visiting or passing through. They’d had a nice place in New York and Aunt Jenna’s house had been pretty rundown but at least it was in a quite, peaceful neighborhood. This didn’t look like the kind of place you wanted to be lost in.

Eric kicked a can out of his way as he exited the bus and resisted the urge to look around. Best to look like he was from around here, Eric thought. He shuffled his feet a bit and pushed past people without looking, but without looking like he wasn’t looking. It was a good thing that the apartment building had a distinctive blue painted window, and wasn’t more than two blocks up the street.

The security door was broken and hanging open, and the building was eerily silent as he walked up the narrow staircase to the third floor. Eric steeled himself and knocked on the door to apartment 302.

Nobody came.

He continued to knock as regular intervals, the force of his blows against the cheap hollow door gaining intensity with every desperate pound.

It was when he started calling out for Jimmy, hoping the bum had just fallen asleep, that the door behind his swung open. Eric nearly jumped out of his skin.

“Just shut the hell up!”

Eric stared wide-eyed and slack jawed at the furious woman, who was standing in her doorway in her underwear and a tiny tank top that couldn’t completely contain her flesh. “Some of us gotta be ta work at the ass-crack of dawn ’round here!”

“I…I’m s-sorry, m’am.” Eric stuttered. “I was j-just…”

She looked him up and down. “Oh, you’re that Eric kid,” the woman interrupted and pointed at the mail drop outside of Jimmy’s apartment. “Said he left some’um in there for ya.”

Eric prayed it would be a key. “Do you know where he is?” he asked cautiously, as he reached past all of Jimmy’s mail to find a piece of paper with his name, spelt wrong, printed on it.

“Damn fool done got himself evicted two days ago,” she replied and Eric felt a nervous sickness creep over him. “From what I hear tell,” she continued, “his folks finally got their way and he’s in rehab.”

Eric thanked her for her time and apologized for waking her as she slammed the door. He turned to the note left for him and had his worst fears confirmed.

He was gonna need help. Big time.

********

It didn’t take Eric long at all to decide that he had absolutely no choice but to go to Karl for help, a decision had nothing to do with his beautiful storm-gray eyes, Eric kept reminding himself. He thanked whatever force of the universe looked out for shortsighted idiots that he still had enough cash on him to take the bus back to the north part of the city.

He grabbed his cell phone from his pocket once he was safe on the bus and dialed Karl anyway. The pre-recorded voice mail message confirmed that Karl’s cell was currently out of commission. The ride north seemed to take even less time, time no doubt quickened by Eric’s turbulent thoughts. Outside, it began to drizzle miserably, but he hardly noticed and focused on the reflection of his eyes in the bus window.

The bus stop put him almost directly outside the hotel so he didn’t have long to walk outside in the rain, but his sneakers had holes in them and his socks eagerly soaked up every puddle he tried to step around. He tried not to feel out of place in the beautiful lobby, because he knew that the moment he felt out of place he was going to look out of place. He rushed up to the third floor, called the front desk from the hallway courtesy phone and asked what room Mr. Karl Schroeder was in. He’d assumed that they would be able to tell if the phone call was coming from inside the hotel and would ask fewer questions about why they should give out that information.

Sure enough Karl was on the top floor, and before he realized what he was doing, Eric found himself standing outside the door, his slender hand raised to knock. A great, tense breath slipped past Eric’s lips as he rapped his knuckles quickly against the door.

Nothing.

Eric knocked harder, then again. Feeling desperation and panic rise up in his chest, Eric pounded the flat of his hand and called out Karl’s name until his palm turned a bright burning red.

He turned away from the door, his breath coming in sharp pants and crumpled to the floor next to the elevator. He buried his head in his hands and felt the heat rise from his abused palms.

It took all of his concentration to slow his breathing to normal and not burst into tears. He emptied himself of all thoughts, concentrating instead on the distant, impotent dings that drifted up the elevator shaft. It was comforting in a way, lulling him into a false state of calm as he worked to take breath in and let breath out, again and again.

Eric felt like he had been waiting so long that when the elevator door next to him finally did open, he almost didn’t believe it. Karl just stood there, blinking at him with bleary eyes and a puzzled look on his face, as Eric slowly stood up. His joints were sore from too much time spent sitting on the floor.

“Eric?” he finally asked, both uncertain and concerned. “What’s the matter?”

“I…”

The words started to come as Eric tried to hold it together just a little longer. As he stood there in front of Karl, wonderful, sweet Karl, he felt his throat tighten until he couldn’t speak, could only breath in short little gasps of air.

Eric hadn’t even noticed the movement before two great big arms were wrapped around him, comforting him and drawing him close.

He sobbed into the lapel of Karl’s suit, and bunched the thick fabric in his fists. He tried not to cry, but frustration and anxiety had taken their toll on his emotional reserves. He felt the caress of that big gentle hand cradling the back of his head as Karl whispered words of comfort into his hair.

********

Karl grabbed Eric a 7-up from the suite’s minibar and laced it with a healthy jigger of whisky. “For your nerves,” Karl had said. It certainly did the trick. Eric had stopped shaking long ago. Now he was only facing the ever-mounting embarrassment at his behavior. Karl had understood as Eric tried to apologize for things that he didn’t need to apologize for.

The Karl sat down on the cushy, cream-colored sofa next to Eric, with a low-ball glass of bourbon that was disappearing past his lips far too quickly. It was only from this close that Eric could see Karl’s eyes, which had been so clear and bright all day, weren’t tracking the way that they should. Eric tensed.

“Are you drunk?” The question bust out unbidden and Eric had the decency to blush at his forward words.

A deep sigh escaped Karl as he settled deeply into the couch cushions and turned his head towards Eric; their faces intimately close. “I suppose you’ve caught me,” he admitted, thought there wasn’t any embarrassment to his tone. “I’ve had three surprises today,” he explained in even tones, but a bit of dark humor was coloring the edges of his words. “One good, one tragic, and one completely unexpected.”

Eric swallowed back the sudden dryness in his throat as his heart raced. Heat rose quickly to his cheeks at the proximity to the gorgeous man he’d been thinking about all day. “And which one would I be?” Eric asked, his voice and eyes going soft as he moved his head to close the gap between them to the space of a breath.

Silence stretched between them as their eyes locked and held each other motionless. Eric started to think nervously that perhaps he’d done something wrong, but Karl just smiled. “You are definitely the good surprise,” he finally replied and moved his hand to cup the back of Eric’s head. He pulled the young man even closer as storm-gray eyes slipped from Eric’s to focus on delicate, parted lips.

Eric gasped in surprise as their lips met, not because of the kiss, that he’d been expecting. It was the sweetly painful spike of lust that twisted deep in his belly, hot and hard. His lips began to move ceaselessly, needing to feed those sensations that Karl awoke in him. He didn’t want them to end.

Karl was guiding his head with one hand and holding his slender waist with the other, keeping him in place as he slowly coaxed Eric’s uncharacteristically shy lips apart. He slid his tongue smoothly along where Eric’s lips parted. Eric gasped as the tightening knot of desire redoubled in intensity. He felt a deep tingling heat pool and swell beneath his jeans.

Eric moved then, needing more of that flickering tongue, more of that bourbon taste, needing to feel more as Karl claimed his mouth with deep swallowing kisses. Eric started to let his tongue caress back more boldly. He slipped into Karl’s mouth to find that taste; liquor and something darker that Eric thought must be the taste of experience.

When Eric finally pulled back, his pesky instinct for air getting the better of him, he was straddling Karl’s lap and clutching his shoulders. The material of his dress shirt was bunched in his fists. He rested his forehead against Karl’s and he tried to catch his breath but the prominent bulge in Karl’s black slacks stole it away from him again.

One of his hands stole down without thinking, reaching tentatively forward and caressing the apex of that generous tent. It was so hot and solid and real beneath his hands that Eric and to bite his lip to keep from groaning as though he was the one being touched.

Karl shifted his hips as he sighed in appreciation, grinding up slowly as he muttered encouragement. “That’s it,” he whispered into Eric’s neck, teasing the sensitive skin there. “Just like that. Slow and easy.”

He gently sucked at the skin beneath his lips, caressing with just a hint of teeth. Eric jumped at the sensation, squeezing the flesh beneath his hand just a little bit. He sighed as he felt that hot shaft pulse unmistakably into his touch. “See,” Karl chuckled, “it likes you.”

Eric smiled. There was something both cute and very hot about a sweet, sexy, gentleman like Karl referring to his dick like that. Eric began to caress him in earnest, pumping him as best he could through the slacks as the man beneath him groaned in genuine appreciation. It pulsed steadily until it was harder, longer, and more solid beneath his grip then before.

Eric griped harder and kissed that pleasure slacked mouth desperately. “Enough,” Karl growled, moving Eric’s hand and lifting him upright like he weighed nothing. He stood and pulled Eric to the bedroom.

He stripped off Eric’s clothes quickly, almost too quickly. Eric’s head began to spin and he sat down on the bed to steady himself. Karl stumbled a little as he stripped off his own clothes and that gave something in Eric pause for a moment. He tried to reconsider, but then there was a naked and aroused body pressing his back into the bed and thought seemed much less important than action.

Eric arched up, pressing hard and needing into the man on top of him, who seemed set on tasting every inch of Eric’s neck and shoulders. Karl finally settled on an ear, licking and sucking at the sensitive whorls of flesh as one of his hands reached down to pinch and rub at one tight nipple then the other. Sparks of pleasure shot through Eric.

Continuous moans fell from Eric’s lips when Karl moved further down, sucking one sensitive nipple into his hot mouth, licking and kissing it as his hand crept lower, caressing his swollen shaft with a deft touch.

It was only when Karl moved even lower that Eric knew his intention. Karl looked up at the flushed, panting youth and smirked wickedly. Eric had to bite his lip just to keep from coming in anticipation.

Nothing could have prepared Eric for the sensation of Karl sucking the head of his dick in his hot mouth and swirling his tongue around the tip once, twice, three times before he pulled back to pepper kisses all along the shaft.

Eric was crying out at the sensation of fluttering lips so close but not wrapped around and sucking him down like he wanted, needed. He was just moments from that peak and Eric cried his frustration when the kisses stopped.

Karl was watching him, just looking at his face with a slightly lost expression on his face, as if he were trying to put together a puzzle. So long and intense was his gaze that Eric, frustrated and turned on as he was, narrowed his eyes and tilted his head. Karl’s eyes appeared to have lost their focus entirely and Eric tried to reconsider how drunk the man was but all of his concentration was pumping between his legs at that moment.

Karl’s expression turned unreadable, frozen on his face and when he did finally speak it was with the whisper of someone talking to himself.

“You look so much like your mother.”

Eric’s world froze, everything going still and silent in his head and then wet and heat and sucking engulfed his erection down to the base.

He wanted to scream stop and push Karl away, demand an explanation, but he couldn’t. He was too far-gone and could only scream in confused ecstasy as he spent his lust down Karl’s throat, which was swallowing rhythmically around the sensitive tip of his erection.

Eric was gasping for air, his eyes not even focused yet when he felt Karl move and reach for the bedside drawer. He turned his head just in time to see Karl pull a tube from the drawer.

Eric’s eyes grew wide and fearful as Karl stroked the thick, lubricant up and down his shaft, making the flared head and thick veins stand out even more.

Frozen and unsure, Eric did nothing as Karl approached him. He older man held his hand around the base of his dick pointing it towards the young man in his bed. Eric started to put up a fight when Karl started to turn him over. He was not ready to have a monster like that inside of him, not when he felt so lost.

He just started muttering, “no, no, no,” and squirming away but Karl shushed and pet him, like calming a frightened animal. “Shh, shh,” he whispered, “it’s okay. I won’t put it in.”

He moved Eric up onto his side and slid his slick erection between those pale, boyish thighs. “See,” Karl reassured him twitching back and forth against that soft, tender skin, “just like that. Nothing scary. Can you tighten those legs together for me?”

Eric complied and felt a kiss on his shoulder, full of lips and tongue as Karl started to thrust with a satisfied grunt. He felt dizzy, lost and confused but still wanting. His body was ready to grow hard and needy at the barest touch but he held himself back. Eric bit his lip. He needed to concentrate on the pain and not how good it felt to have Karl thrusting faster and harder between his legs and sucking on his neck with a tenderness that was at odds with the growing frenzy of Karl’s body.

Through his pleasure haze Eric heard his name being called, low and desperate, as Karl’s thrusts grew jerky and ragged. Eric could feel that shaft growing even harder as it slipped easy and slick, back and forth between his thighs. He felt the sticky rush of semen between his legs even before he heard Karl groan his completion, hissing though his deep breaths as he coaxed the last of his orgasm from his body and stilled.

Exhausted and confused, Eric’s troubled mind felt as though it was shutting down not falling asleep. The last thing he remembered was a kiss on the back of his neck at the hairline as the arm around his waist pulled him closer.

********

When Eric awoke in the morning he felt fuzzy headed and, well… sticky. He groaned, and turned over in bed. The last thing he wanted was to face reality and all its confusions, but after a moment he felt the hair on the back of his neck rise in an unmistakable warning that he was being watched. Sure enough, when he rolled over and managed to blink his grainy eyes open, Karl was sitting in a chair pulled up to the side of the bed. His eyes were somewhere between red and blood-shot.

Bleary blue eyes met troubled gray and the world seemed to hold its breath just for the two of them until Eric’s eyes hardened and narrowed in memory and suspicion.

Karl let out a shuddering breath, feeling the judgment in that gaze and its weight upon him. He started to speak, slowly as if each word was drawn slowly and painfully from his guts.

“Words can’t even begin to cover the apology that I own you,” he whispered, low and tense. “I know that I can’t make this better, but I will do anything, anything that I can to make it easier.”

There was something in his tone, something that Eric appreciated. It said he knew this wasn’t going to just go away with money. Eric broke eye contact first, for just a moment. He looked at that spot on the bed next to him, the one that had only been recently vacated and let out a long thoughtful sigh.

The Karl’s heart skipped a little when those blue eyes, filled with fierce determination, locked with his.

“Tell me what you know about my mother.”

Karl opened his mouth, the lie right on the tip of his tongue, but the words wouldn’t come. He looked down and studied the carpet. “How did you know?” he asked softly.

“Last night,” Eric replied, his words terse, “when we were…when you…” he trailed off, unable to put words to it quite yet. “You told me that I looked like her.”

Karl nodded slowly, understanding and resigned. He turned and looked out the large window overlooking the city at sunrise. The view from on high, just before dawn with a faint glow on the very edge of the horizon, was beautiful but Karl hardly noticed.

“Your mother’s name was Sharon and she and I went to college together,” he began. His words were steady, devoid of emotion. “An Ivy League business school, but she was still the top of her class. She was brilliant and beautiful, god she was beautiful, and perfect and unapproachable and for some reason she chose to be friends with me. I was a bit older than most of them and my accent was pretty strong then, but she still wanted to be with me.”

He stopped for a moment and for an instant the tension began to build. Eric felt compelled to break it with the question weighing most heavily on his mind.

“Did you love her?”

Those gray eyes, now growing cold like slate, slid shut for a moment as Karl thought. “Maybe,” he finally admitted, “I’m not sure. She was beautiful, yes, and a genius with numbers, but…” Karl paused, considering his words. “She was congenial enough in public, but there was something about her that rejected people and closeness. I was closest to her for most of college, but even I was kept at a safe distance. Then she met your father during her senior year and everything about her changed. Her studies suffered first of all.” His words suddenly sounded sad, and Eric felt his heart go out to the man despite himself.

“She still graduated with an excellent record, but not the top, not anymore. Then she turned down several internship offers at some of the top companies and took something much less prestigious so she could stay close to your dad and his work. Not long after that, you were on the way so they got married and moved in together.”

His eyes narrowed as Karl continued looking out the window. He took a deep breath before continuing. “That when things started to go wrong.”

“Wrong?” Eric asked, confusion and concern evident in his voice.

“I tried to be happy for her,” Karl continued, “I really did, but then I started to see the bruises and the haunted look in her eyes. It got worse after you were born.” Karl paused, swallowing down a lump of emotion before continuing in carefully measured tones. “I threatened to report it to the police, but she begged me not too, she told me your father was a troubled man who had a different way of showing his love. It was strange, seeing her that devoted to another human being. I think that’s why I let it continue.”

Karl turned back towards Eric, but didn’t make eye contact. He started pacing around the bedroom. “It got worse from there, and I bought a gun just in case I ever needed to scare him. She called me, crying, two weeks later and I drove over, speeding in the middle of the night. I brought the gun with me.”

He stopped moving suddenly and took a deep breath, steadying himself as Eric felt himself grow increasingly disconnected from this strange tale. It sounded more like a made for TV movie than something that could actually happen, let alone happen to him.

“I confronted him, yelling and waving the gun, trying to scare him into changing as Sharon huddled in the corner crying. Her face was covered in bruises and blood was running from her nose.

“It was an accident when the gun went off. Killed him instantly. I started shaking and crying, but Sharon… her eyes looked dead and calm. She told me to go wash the blood spatters off my face and scrub the powder residue off my hands. She said she was going to clean up here and I just left her there.”

There was a long pause. Karl continued, his voice even more dead then before. “I was washing my hands the kitchen, and splashing water on my face… that’s when I heard the shots.”

The tension in the air grew as Karl’s breathing became quicker and uneven, emotion slipping into his carefully controlled words. “I opened the bedroom door just in time to watch Sharon kill herself. I lost an hour. I blanked it from my memory and only came back to myself when I heard you start to cry in the other room.”

Karl shook his head, as if denying the memory. “You were so tiny in my arms. I fed you and changed you. You helped me hang on.”

Eric looked away, embarrassed and not wanting to consider what he’d just done last night with a man who’d changed his diapers.

“Sharon had left two notes, one for me and once for the police. The one for the police told a story of a battered wife who couldn’t take it any more and after she’d drowned and buried her baby she shot her husband and ended her own life. Tragic, but somehow believable and I suppose that was the point.

“The note for me said something else. She told me she was broken inside, that she could feel the pieces rattling around inside her skull. She couldn’t live without him, because she loved him so much. She asked me to find a good home for you, to keep you safe.”

His voice calmed at that point, and the tense expression on his face relaxed. “I think I went into shock, but I took you and drove you to an old friend of mine. Your dad, Bernie, he’d been my roommate freshman year and he’d just married the love of his life three months ago. You can’t even imagine the expression on his face when I showed up on his doorstep at four AM with a baby.”

Eric and Karl both smiled easily picturing that look of surprise and the jokes that had probably followed. “Bernie was a hell of a lawyer and he knew how to officially adopt you, no questions asked. I stayed in touch, a call every once in a while for a couple years.

“They loved you, you know,” Karl said, finally meeting Eric’s eyes, “From the moment they saw you they loved you with all their hearts.”

Eric looked down and smiled, memories of long days in the park and bedtime stories running though his mind. “I know,” he said barely over a whisper, “I was lucky to be loved.”

Karl let out a slow shuddering breath and ran his trembling fingers through his hair. “That’s everything,” he said, then paused, “almost everything.”

Eric shot him a look and Karl sighed. “Okay, full disclosure. When I saw you in the airport I put my bag in your way to I could talk to you. I’d… wanted you from the moment I saw you and then you were so kind and trusting and I wanted you even more.”

Even after last night and everything that happened heat still flushed Eric’s cheeks at the thought of Karl wanting him and he smiled a little at the knowledge.

“You must think I’m a creepy old man now,” Karl admitted, his voice dropping in resignation.

“What? Why?” Eric asked, looking up in surprise.

“After everything I’ve said, everything I’ve done,” Karl responded, his volume rising, “and that I want someone young enough to be my son, that’s not enough for you to want to run away and forget about me?”

Eric stood up, completely forgetting that he was nude beneath the bed sheets, “So am I creepy for wanting a man old enough to be my father!?”

Karl’s eyes widened in surprise at both Eric’s words and his nudity. “Eric…” he started, ready to convince the young man that what he was feeling wasn’t real, but wanting nothing more then to take him into his arms.

“No,” Eric interrupted, “Yes, it’s a lot to take in and it doesn’t seem real.” He paused and considering his next words, worrying he bottom lip and winced at how sore it was. “I like you,” he admitted, “and you…care for me. That’s rare enough, two people who care about each other, that I won’t just let it go.”

“But I…” Karl protested but it was cut short as Eric wrapped his arms around him and rested his head comfortably against Karl’s broad shoulder.

“It’s okay,” Eric said, feeing the other tremble and knowing that, for all his strong exterior, there was something fragile inside of Karl, something that needed him. “I want to find a place in your life,” he looked up into those uncertain eyes, “and I think you want me there.”

Karl nodded and wrapped his arms around Eric, breathing in the sweet scent of his dark hair. “You’re so beautiful and so strong,” he admitted, his breath ruffling Eric’s fine hair, “like no one I’ve ever known.”

Eric smiled into his shoulder. “I’m glad,” he muttered, and they held each other for a long time as the sun rose over the city.

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