“What are you doing here?” Jackson saved his document and closed his laptop with a loud click-thunk.
“I never stopped coming here. I could ask you the same question,” Benji replied in his deep, silky voice.
“I mean what are you doing here, at my table. I’m sure there are other open spots.”
“Because you’re the most attractive man in the bar and I always go with 10s and work my way down.”
Jackson scoffed. “Even blind I know that’s not true. Why are you hitting on anyone, though? I thought you were getting married.”
“Eh, it fell through. Evan and I seemed to disagree as to how ‘open’ the marriage should be.” It was just like Benji to throw a good thing away. He’d gotten a fellowship to study in England but had taken too long to send in the acceptance letter and lost it.
Jackson frowned and decided it was time to leave. He bent down, starting to put his laptop and refreshable Braille display in his backpack when he heard Molly let out a low growl. She was trained not to bark or growl at all, but she and Jackson had become so close over the past eight years it was difficult for them not to feel protective of each other. A second later, Jackson heard someone sit in the chair beside him.
Benji took Jackson’s hand and placed something into it.
Jackson automatically felt it, sliding his fingers over its surface and around its outline, trying to discern what it was. A thick piece of paper about the size of a credit card, although without any embossing to give Jackson a hint of what it was. “What is this?”
“My business card. So you can call me later.”
Jackson should have been surprised by Benji’s nerve and disrespect for his blindness, but he wasn’t. “And how am I supposed to read it?”
“Use that camera machine thing you have. The one that takes the pic of the paper and reads it out loud or whatever. You’ll figure it out. The profs always did like you because of how impressive your tech made you.” Jackson and Benji’s dissertations had been finalists for an award, and Jackson had won. Apparently Benji was still jealous.
Jackson blew air out his nose, tucking the card in his bag to throw away later. No way on earth he was getting involved with Benji again. Even if Dan didn’t want him, even if he’d had a disaster of a hookup Friday night, there were plenty of fish in the sea, right?
Benji was suddenly pressed up against Jackson, brushing the backs of his fingers along the skin above Jackson’s left ear and into his hair. “You’ve let it grow. It looks good.”
Jackson pulled away. “Don’t.”
Benji wasn’t put off. He wrapped his arms around Jackson, pulling the smaller man toward his chest, dropping a hand to Jackson’s crotch and gently stroking with a thumb, trying to urge him to harden. “When was the last time anyone fucked you? I’ll take you to the back room, throw you on a table, shove inside you, and make you scream.”
Some of Jackson’s fight left him. Benji knew exactly how to make Jackson hard, fast.
Benji grabbed Jackson and shifted him in his chair ninety degrees so that he was sitting sideways in it. Jackson heard the click of Molly’s nails and the jingle of her harness as she moved to get out of the path of his feet. But a second later Benji pulled Jackson’s chair closer to him, almost sitting in it himself, Benji’s left thigh aligning with Jackson’s. Benji unbuttoned Jackson’s jeans and snaked one hand inside his pants and boxers while the other slid beneath Jackson’s shirt, giving Jackson the touch he loved. Benji’s handjob was slow and teasing, and his breath was hot in Jackson’s ear, telling him exactly what he was going to do to him.
“Gonna fuck you right here, bend you over the chair, sink balls deep into that tight man cunt.”
Jacksons mouth refused to work since all blood flow had been redirected straight south, but he managed, “Public,” between heaving breaths.
Benji laughed. “We’re in a gay bar. Half the guys will ignore us and the rest will pull up a chair and jack off watching us.” Benji used his hand to push Jackson’s lower jaw down, sticking his index finger in, all while his other hand pulled and squeezed and tickled Jackson’s cock and balls. “Suck. Going to shove this finger inside of you, open you up, and fill you.”
As hot as that sounded, Jackson’s stomach contracted in fear. He hadn’t had a man inside him in years. As horny as he was, he didn’t want to be ripped in two. “Need lube,” Jackson said around Benji’s stubborn finger.
Benji removed his finger; his only response was to shove Jackson so hard his stomach lurched and his hands automatically went out to hopefully catch himself on something. They found the wall and he let out a relieved breath. Benji had abandoned Jackson’s cock and had slid the hand with the moistened finger down the back of Jackson’s pants, searching for his hole. Benji’s touch was light as he teased at Jackson’s entrance.
“Lube,” Jackson said again although he didn’t move.
Benji laughed again, as if in accomplishment and slid Jackson’s shirt up, licking up along his spine. He held Jackson to improve the angle and keep him from falling while his finger continued to probe.
Jackson’s first attempt at anal sex, he’d been so young and neither him nor his partner had known what they were doing. But Jackson knew better now, and no matter how hot spit-alone might be for Benji, it would hurt like hell for him. Jackson risked dropping one hand from the wall to try to pry Benji’s hold off of him. “No lube, no sex.”
Benji growled and gripped him tighter, shoving Jackson forward so fast he almost hit his head on the wall but fortunately his forehead bumped his hand instead. He shoved Jackson’s pants farther down and tried harder to force his finger in, but Jackson clenched tight, resisting him.
“Stop, Ben. Jesus.” Jackson had always loved things a little rough, but only a little, and only when he knew he was safe. He didn’t feel safe with Benji, his heart picking up and his dick softening.
“Jackson, everything OK over there?” Nate’s voice called out from across the room.
“Let go,” Jackson said under his breath.
“Fucking cocktease,” Benji spat, and from the sound of the way his chair moved, and how his body was suddenly no longer right on top of Jackson’s, Jackson suspected he’d stood up.
Jackson braced himself on the wall, breathing hard. The bar got suddenly quiet; the surruss of men’s voices and the music suddenly dropping off so that Jackson could hear the heavy footsteps of someone approaching.
“I told you: no fucking in my bar. You wanna do that kinda thing? That’s what the bathroom’s for. Or go to a fucking club. Or get a fucking hotel room.” Nate’s voice.
“Making out isn’t fucking, or have you forgotten what that looks like, old man?” Benji laughed.
Jackson realized he was shaking, and Molly sensed his anxiety and sat up, brushing along him to tell him she was there if he needed her. Embarrassment slid over him again. Maybe the universe was trying to tell him he should become a monk. He pulled his pants back up and did the button again. Petting Molly in between to try to steady himself.
“You OK, Jackson?” Nate asked, concerned.
Jackson adjusted his sunglasses and sat up. No, he wasn’t OK, but the last thing he needed was to admit that he was so weak he couldn’t stop a man he’d once loved from nearly raping him in front of an entire room of people. “Yeah,” was all Jackson managed to say.
Jackson could feel the tension in the air; men had started whispering to each other but otherwise the bar was still except for Benji and Nate arguing. Jackson had just slipped his earbud in so he could use his phone to call another Uber when it started to ring, Dan’s tone, announcing his name loud and clear. Jackson’s heart soared. Just when he’d thought he was doomed when it came to sex, Dan was calling. It had to be a sign.
“Who’s Dan?” Benji asked a little possessively, at the same time that Jackson answered, breathless and relieved, “Dan!”
Dan hesitated. “Jackson? Are you OK?”
I am now that I’m talking to you, Jackson thought and immediately pinched his nose in his mind for being so stupid and silly. “I thought you’d be working all weekend.”
“That’s actually why I’m calling. I’m actually gonna be winding up this project within the next couple hours. I thought I could make dinner, or maybe pick something up?”
Maybe Dan had spent the weekend thinking over whether he wanted to take the leap beyond roommate to lover and now he’d come to his decision. Dinner was a good sign, right? Jackson honestly didn’t know. Benji was the only affair he could remotely call a relationship, and now Jackson knew it was all one-sided. The attraction was there, but Benji didn’t see him as anything more than a cock receptacle.
“Jackson?” Dan sounded concerned. “You’re OK? Where are you? I can . . . I can pick you up if you need me to.”
“Who’s Dan?” Benji demanded again, and Nate said, “That’s it, you’re banned for a month.”
Jackson couldn’t help smiling. Just talking to Dan everything that had happened--and almost happened--with Benji faded away. “You must be tired. Why don’t you pick up Chinese on your way home?”
“Sure. What do you like?”
“Food,” Jackson replied honestly. “Get whatever you want. I eat everything.”
“Not everything,” Benji grumbled.
“Uh, sure. OK. I’ll see you back home about seven?”
“I look forward to it,” Jackson said before hanging up and turning his head in the direction he suspected Benji still was so he could smirk at him while he said, “Dan’s my boyfriend.”