Jay doesn’t tell Chris about that evening with Darren. He wouldn’t know what to say, he feels like his brain hasn’t finished processing what happened, plus he’s not sure he wants it to be repeated. That’s why, the next month, when Chris comes over with grass in his pockets and a joint between his lips, ready to watch another video of Jay’s porn selection, Darren isn’t there.
Jay puts effort into enjoying the video with Chris, he does. It’s a good one, too, a part of his brain realizes that, the girl in the video can do things with all four limbs that seem physically impossible without popping a joint. Even Chris, who is sometimes too stoned to get it up, enjoys it immensely. And somewhere through the video Jay comes, to his own relief. But although it’s good, it’s not above-average amazing, no hook behind his navel, no white-hot heat in his groin, no afterglow that remains for hours. It’s just that. An ordinary orgasm.
But still, Jay doesn’t call Darren, forces himself not to think about him, even. They meet by chance on a garden party a few weeks later, Jay stammers a hello and Darren nods, face blank, then tips the joystick forward to continue his trajectory toward another table. There’s no opportunity for a natural conversation throughout the evening and when Jay has finally collected enough courage (and drank enough beer) to try and corner Darren, he’s told that Darren has already left. Jay feels strangely relieved.
Jay decides that he can live with things being this way. That evening with Darren was a one-time occurrence, a bump in an otherwise flat development. Jay chalks it up to the beer or the weather or him just not having had a go for a long while before. It was great while it lasted and that’s all.
And then, one evening, when Jay is caught between the decision if he should open another bottle of beer to rewatch another episode of his favorite TV show or go to bed early, his phone flashes with an incoming call, and the name on the screen identifies the caller as Darren.
Jay realizes belatedly that he has answered the call without saying his name. “Uh, yeah, it’s me. Jay. Hi.”
If Darren notices that Jay’s about to lose it, he doesn’t comment on it. “So, I’m on my way home and I’ve nothing planned for tonight...”
Darren’s slurred speech isn’t easy to understand over phone, but the words are clear to Jay as if he’s reading them in print. “Y-eah… uh huh?” Jay tries to slow down his breath, there’s no way he can let Darren know how his heart jumps in his throat.
“And I thought,” Darren continues, his voice vibrating deep and calm like he’s ordering pizza. “I could stop by at your place.”
Jay’s brain completely stops working for a second.
“Yeah, uh…” Jay blinks and swallows, trying to get a grip on himself. “I’m still listening.”
Darren chuckles at that, a genuine, wholehearted sound, not the sarcastic one that Jay became used to. “Good. I wouldn’t say no to a cold beer, either, the air-conditioning in this train isn’t working.” With this he cuts the connection. Or maybe the train entered a tunnel, Jay doesn’t know.
Jay doesn’t waste time, though. He fires his laptop up and connects it to the large screen across from the couch. He picks one of the videos from his best-of list and programs it to start next. Then he checks if he has enough beer in the fridge, opens one for himself and sits on the couch to wait.
How long did Darren say he needed to arrive? Jay can’t remember if he mentioned that. Darren also didn’t really ask if Jay was okay with him coming over, didn’t he? Jay could be occupied with something, couldn’t he? But if he’s honest, Jay is glad that Darren left him no choice and invited himself. Like this, it’s not Jay’s idea. The more he thinks about it, the surer Jay gets about it: this is him doing a favor for a good friend, nothing else.
Jay gets up again and places lube and tissues on the table in an afterthought, then he brushes some invisible dust from the couch. He lets his gaze shift through the living room. It’s clean, if a bit empty. Jay never lets personal stuff leave out in the open. He’s aware that most people knowing him wouldn’t have picked him for a neat person. But there’s enough clutter in his head already, and his heart is on his tongue most of the time, so he doesn’t need his apartment to display it as well. Plus he pays a cleaning guy to come over once a week. That may be it.
It seems to take forever until the doorbell finally rings. Or maybe Jay just drank two bottles of beer in no time, he’s not sure. Anyway, Jay shoots up from the couch as soon as he hears it, almost sprints to the door and wrenches it open. “Hi!”
Darren looks at him from his electric wheelchair, the corners of his lips twitching a bit too knowingly. Standing, Jay is as tall as Darren, which reminds him again of the fact that Darren is huge. Jay stands rooted to the spot, trying to keep it together, staring at Darren across from him. Darren is again in his office outfit, button-up shirt and slacks, and his legs are shaking slightly, leather shoes rattling softly against the footrest.
“May I come in?” Darren asks after a while, an amused glint in his eyes.
Jay jumps and blushes. “S-sure, of course, come in,” he stammers, releases the door handle that he’s been holding tightly and steps out of the way. He clears his throat. “Make yourself at home, I’ll fetch you a beer. Um… Do you want anything else?” For a second he wonders if Darren indeed came to watch porn, it would be super awkward if not.
Darren turns his head as the wheelchair bumps over the doorstep and drives past Jay who has to take another hasty step back until he’s with his back to the wall to avoid his toes being run over. “Hmm… ” Darren says, the whirring sound stops and he turns his head on the headrest to look at Jay.
And Jay just knows he’s been right with preparing the video. Under Darren’s unblinking gaze he blushes even deeper and then inches away to make a beeline for the kitchen. Shit, shit, shit. This isn’t going well.
Jay takes a deep breath and pulls two bottles of beer out of the fridge, puts them on the counter and closes his eyes, his hands braced on the edge. “Get your shit together, Jay,” he murmurs to himself. “Just a bro over, nothing serious. Do what you always do when Chris is here, you know how to.” He shakes his head to clear it, then, with a resolute huff, grabs the beer and marches out of the kitchen.
Darren has already transferred to the couch, he is leaning back and braces himself with his left hand on the edge. Jay gives himself a nudge and settles down on the other end of the couch, subtly moving the cushions to form a small wall between them.
“Are you ready?” The video they are about to watch is a harmless one, just a girl and a guy and some silly story involving a dripping faucet. It’s classy in the way that’s it’s so trashy it can’t be taken seriously. And the girl has amazing tits, that’s why Jay chose it. He nervously slaps the remote control repeatedly into his hand, watching Darren for an answer.
Darren grunts an affirmation and inches forward a little to be closer to the beer bottle that Jay placed on the table, farther away than Jay normally does when his brain is working. But Darren doesn’t ask Jay for help, rather leans forward, groaning and trembling slightly from the effort, and manages to close the fingers of his left hand around the lower half of the bottle. He has turned the sleeves of his shirt over and Jay is for a second mesmerized by the muscle playing under the skin in his underarm. Darren shakes his head back to get rid of hair that has fallen into his face and scoots back again, catching himself with his elbow on the cushions when his legs kick out violently. Without looking over to Jay once, Darren turns his attention to the screen.
Jay swallows, fixes his attention to the screen as well, and presses play. During the entire video he forces himself not to peak sideways even a single time. He’s so concentrated on jacking off properly, he doesn’t even notice Darren’s hoarse moaning. Well… almost doesn’t. But anyway, he finishes in record time, somewhere through the girl kneading her tits sitting on the counter top while the guy is kneeling on the floor, trying to fix the broken kitchen equipment or whatever he’s doing with a torque wrench and a shovel. Darren comes a couple of minutes later and Jay tries to immediately rid his memory of Darren’s deep groan as the big guy ejaculates into his fist. Darren’s left hand clearly behaves better today, he doesn’t seem to have nearly the same difficulties as he’d had last time. Both watch the screen quietly until the video ends, with a fulminant and very wet finale in the backyard, and when Darren bids his goodbye he seems happy, or at least Jay thinks he reads that in Darren’s relaxed features as he nods at Jay.
Jay clears the room of all evidence of the session and goes to bed, curling up in the satin sheets of his king-sized bed. He’s happy, too, isn’t he? He managed a normal evening with Darren, nothing weird happened, Darren seemed okay with everything and still… Jay can’t help but feel something is missing.
Darren and Jay settle for a monthly rhythm, just shifted by one week from the one Jay and Chris have. Jay has finally decided there’s no need to tell Chris about Darren at all. He isn’t obligated to inform Chris about other people he’s watching porn with, isn’t he? Plus, three guys jacking off together would probably be weird anyway. So he meets Chris one week and Darren the next, and then he waits for a month for it to be repeated, and when he’s more excited to meet Darren than to meet Chris, that’s just because he enjoys getting to know Darren a lot.