After making the coffees, I went through to my room, got a joint from a drawer, then returned to the kitchen where Kyle was waiting for me.
"I think we should sit outside in the courtyard," I suggested. Once we were seated on a bench, I lit up.
"So how's the job going?"
"Well, I've had a few customers ask for my phone number… and don't you fucking dare tell Carol about that! One of the African dudes in the kitchen is gay, and has taken a fancy to rubbing my butt. But I told him to move his fucking hand before I broke his fucking neck. The manager stresses as soon as we get busy, and craps on everyone. The pay's lousy, but the tips are good."
Kyle waited until I'd blown a huge cloud of gray smoke into the air before he spoke. "This African dude a young guy?"
"What difference would that make? Yes, he is."
"Just asking. So how many shifts do you do?"
"I've got one tonight, another tomorrow night, then day shifts on Saturday and Sunday."
"Cool, so you're free on Friday night."
"Yep, but I'm not going to any club."
"What about a movie or something?"
"Nope. I told Carol I'd take her out somewhere special. It's just gonna be the two of us. Like a celebration type thingy. We thought of going to a restaurant and getting something other than pizza. It'll give you and Steph a chance to be alone as well for a change."
"True. What time are you finishing on Saturday?"
"You're coming to the party, right?"
"Oh." My bud's face dropped as though he'd just received the worst of all possible news.
"Fuck, Kyle! I'm kidding! Hey! We'll be there, bro."
"Heard from your dad yet?"
"No. Actually, to be honest, I didn't think I'd hear anything. I made a right ass of myself phoning him like that. I guess I kinda got carried away by you and your dad and everything on Father's Day."
"Maybe he's just tied up or something."
"Don't you start making excuses for him. He's quite fucking capable of doing that himself."
"Want me to massage your shoulders?"
"I thought you came here 'cause you wanted one?"
"It's cool. I enjoy it."
"Go for it."
"Can I pull your t off?"
By that stage, the joint had kicked in big time, and I was about as relaxed as it was possible to be. "OK."
"I could give you a full body massage if you want."
I had to smile at Kyle's persistence. "So all I've gotta do is get undressed. Right?"
"Wrap a towel around your waist if you're shy. It's not like I'm gonna grab your dick or anything."
"It's OK, Kyle. Just do my back."
He stood behind me, lifted my t over my raised arms, then placed his open hands on my shoulders. Coupled with the affect of the joint, his gentle but firm touch seemed to banish all negative thoughts and stress from my entire being. "That's awesome."
"Yeah, tell me about it!"
"Just solid, fucking muscle. Your arms have got these smooth balls of muscle on them. Totally fucking awesome."
"Yours would, too, if you did as many situps, pushups, and as much skipping as I do."
As he kneaded my shoulder blades with his thumbs, and smoothed my shoulders with his fingers, I did some neck-stretching exercises. Damn, it felt wicked. So incredibly relaxing.
"I see you're wearing briefs," he observed, jolting me back to his own crazy version of reality.
"Trust you to notice."
"Gimme a break, Mark! Your shorts are pulling away from your waist, and I can see the briefs. Hey! Of course I'll notice! Fuck. Actually, I thought you were wearing nothing under your shorts, 'cause I didn't see the top of your boxers showing like they normally do."
"Yeah, yeah. Whatever. Jeez!"
If it weren't for Kyle's other friends, such as Steph, Wingnut, and Steve, I could've easily been forgiven for thinking that I was the absolute center of his universe. In fact, I was when we were alone together. Kyle had an extraordinary ability to focus on the present situation to the exclusion of all else. At that moment, the two of us was all that mattered to him. I had his complete and undivided attention. And I had to confess that it was a pretty cool feeling to be held in such high regard by another person… in particular, a person who also mattered a great deal to me.
"You're starting to doze. Why don't you lay on your bed so I can give you a decent back massage?"
"I'm gonna catch some shuteye, I think."
"Want me to massage you to sleep?"
"I'm fucked after all the exercises, Kyle. I need some sleep before going to work."
"It's the joint that's fucked you up, I think."
"Whatever. Listen, Kyle, you can massage my back if you want. All I'm saying is that I'm probably gonna drop off to sleep, and I don't want you getting all pissed off and excited."
The moment I was within a few feet of my bed, I crashed face down. Kyle sat on the edge of the mattress beside me, and resumed his massaging. Even though I was battling to keep my eyes open, I took the time to ponder his affection for me. Despite the fact that we'd fought like cats and dogs only recently, there he was, next to me, treating me as though I was the most important person in the whole world. "Thanks, Kyle."
"That's what I'm here for… to make you happy."
When I woke, I'd been covered by a blanket… the one that had been neatly folded on the chair beside my bed. There was no sign of Kyle.
As I showered, and soaped my wet, shiny skin, I became consciously aware of my bod, with its curves, firm bulges, and muscle mass… not from my point of view, but from Kyle's. "I dunno," were the words I recalled from my dream about him. "Sometimes with you it's not just your dick. It's your whole bod, from your toes to your hair, that excites me. Maybe it's 'cause I can't have it that makes it interesting."
Later that day, I rocked over to Carol's place, where the convo eventually got around to my bud, and his chat with Steph.
"He wanted to know what you were like when Steph was going out with you."
"She said the best part was all the girls staring at you, and knowing that you were hers. Then Kyle wanted to know what you were like in bed."
"He said he was just curious. Anyway, Steph told him that you guys were like chalk and cheese, and that you were a total damn rebel when she was going out with you… into some heavy shit, and totally pissed off with the world. Actually, you still are sometimes."
"Like the other night?"
"She told him that I'd gotten off lightly, and that he hadn't seen you go really crazy yet. Actually, I wonder how the hell you two ever became friends. On the other hand, you've both changed."
"You've mellowed, and Kyle's become more aggressive."
"Kyle! Ha! He's a pussy cat."
"Not when he's making love to Steph, he's not… according to her. When she was blowing him, he was singing the lyrics to that song he digs so much: "You and me, baby, we ain't nothin' but mammals. So let's do it like they do it on the Discovery channel.""
"You're kidding! He sang that while she was blowing him?"
"Maybe you don't know Kyle as well as you think you do."
I was still half asleep when I answered the door next morning. I had a piss boner making a huge tent in my boxers, but was too damn tired to give a fuck. It was no surprise to see the grinning, elfin face of my bud, with his hazel eyes riveted to my crotch. "Morning, Kyle."
"Hi. Did I wake you?"
"No. I always walk around like this."
The mop of black hair followed me to my room, then watched as I pulled on a pair of shorts, and a t.
"I got up early and went to the beach, just to relax and check out the sunrise. It's so cool to watch the gulls and the waves, and all that ocean. It's another world out there."
"And another world in here. You want breakfast? I'm gonna make some bacon and eggs on toast."
As we ate outside in the garden, Kyle commented on the lack of convo, and how tired I looked. "I went out to a pub [hotel/bar] with a bunch of guys from the restaurant until three this morning."
"Shit. Sorry I woke you, then."
Yeah, right. Sorry, my ass. He was shoveling bacon and eggs into his mouth like it was gonna be his last fucking meal. "It's cool. I've got stuff to do, anyway."
Typically, after breakfast, Kyle hung around to watch me tidy my room, and make my bed. Why he was so interested in the mundane aspects of my life, I had no idea. But it was cool to have him around.
"You're so damn neat! Your homework is neat. Your clothes cupboard is neat. Everything's folded before being stored. Ts on one shelf, shorts on another, button-up shirts all hanging, sports gear all stowed at the top, school stuff all in one place, a drawer for your briefs, a drawer for your socks, boxers stacked neatly beside your shorts…"
"And all this is interesting?"
"To me, it is."
"You're easily amused, bro."
"I don't think so. And what's this?" he asked as he checked the open book on top of my bedside cabinet. "A Town Like Alice, by Neville Shute? You desperate?"
"It's a cool book. I've read it before. Nothing else to read, and it's worth reading again."
"Wish we could've been away on holiday again… like we were last hols."
"Tell me about it. Then I wouldn't have to work."
"How's it going?"
"Good. I made almost 200 bucks [Safrican rand] last night. They pay three percent commission on table sales, plus tips. It's tiring, though."
"The guy who's on your ass?"
"I dunno. How are you?"
"Fuck off. You know who I mean. The gay African in the kitchen."
"He scares the shit outa me," I laughed, "so I give him a wide berth. I think he knows he's treading on thin ice, though."
That night, while I was working at the restaurant, I saw Kyle and Steph arrive, then seat themselves at a table. Sure enough, they managed to manipulate the situation so that I was the one who came to their table.
"You're not supposed to say, 'Hey'. You're supposed to say, 'Hi, I'm Mark, and I'll be your waiter. Can I get you anything to drink?'"
"Shuddup, Kyle. What do you want?"
"You're not gonna get a tip."
It was impossible to talk to the guys 'cause the restaurant was like ultra, hectic busy. But they did make a few comments each time I came to their table… well, Kyle did… about how cool I looked in my jeans and green top with my 'Mark' nametag. And every now and then, I'd catch Kyle checking out my butt as I served another table, which made me wonder how much Steph had noticed about his interest in my bod. Surely she couldn't have been that blind. On the other hand, maybe it was cool with her. Who knew? They were both crazy.
The next chapter in this story will be about Kyle's birthday, and the week that followed, as told by Kyle himself.
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