The Best Moves
Matthew woke to the sound of his phone ringing. His usually accurate caller ID was blank, but as Matthew groggily held the still squawking device, he realized that he was in another country. Just getting his calls was a minor miracle.
Finally, after realizing that indeed his phone would not answer itself, he decided to, well, answer his phone before it stopped ringing.
"Matthew, hey, I gotta make this quick. I know you're only a few blocks away but this is still a long distance call since you have an American phone."
"Billy?" Matthew asked. This was definitely unexpected.
"Expecting someone else?" There was a laugh that followed that and it echoed and fuzzed through Matthew's end of the phone. In all honesty, Matthew was expecting anyone but Billy to be calling.
"How did you get my number?"
"Does it matter?" Billy asked back.
"Yes!" Matthew exclaimed, finally waking up enough to realize that something was very bizarre and it needed investigating. That something, of course, was the blond.
"Well, you left your phone on the table after you checked the time on it yesterday when we had dinner at Skye's," Billy explained. "When you went to the can, I sorta grabbed it and copied down your number into my phone. You know, just in case I forgot to ask you for it."
Matthew groaned. "How can you be so awake? It's early."
"It's a gift."
"So what do you want?" Matthew asked. Surely there was a point to the current conversation. Perhaps he wasn't quite awake enough to catch it just yet though. It was always safest to ask when in doubt.
"Come over later," Billy said as though it were the most commonplace thing in the world to say.
"Why?" Matthew asked. Again with the safest questions he could come up with.
"Why not? Just come over, okay?"
Matthew sighed. After his thoughts the night before, who was he to forsake or run away from time with the object of his new fantasies. Billy was just about all he was looking for, really.
He had the giddiness and apprehension of a junior high student heading out to the kissing tree though. As much as he wanted Billy to try something, or to try something himself, Matthew just wasn't sure. And after all, he'd basically blown it the day before by mentioning Audra's very existence.
"Fine. I know how to get there, I think," Matthew said quickly. He didn't mention that he'd probably have to backtrack and overshoot a few blocks each direction to make sure. But he was learning and he was sure he could find his way without directions.
"Awesome, see you then."
Matthew clicked off his phone. The read-out claimed he'd been talking for almost four minutes. He didn't even want to fathom what his roaming charges would be for that. It hadn't seemed like almost four minutes, after all. But then again, he knew he was usually a little slow when he'd just woken up for the day.
With a smile, Matthew stretched and stood. It was the trivial things he let get to him much too often.
In a moment of sudden inspiration, he lunged for a notebook and quickly wrote that down.
And then he kept writing. He wrote about his confusion with his sexuality, even though that was quickly leaning to being not confused just not sure how to deal with being gay.
Part of it was that he'd always thought of the typical gay male as the stereotypical flaming effeminate pretty boy who flounced about loudly displaying his preferences.
But after the previous night and seeing Jameson and Ethan interact with one another, that stereotype had been rather knocked on its ass. Neither of them really qualified as anything less than normal seeming. Then again, neither did Billy. Sure both Ethan and Billy were beautiful in the aesthetic sense of the word, but besides the part of the night where Ethan had his lips locked to Jameson's, there was nothing to give away that either of them had less than what passed as normal tastes.
As he wrote, he came back to the idea of what was normal to begin with. And he just wrote. It ended with him ruminating on Emily's faeries and some of their societal conventions. They didn't pair up for life, instead they paired as long as they wanted to and parted on mutual terms. Sometimes they chose to cohabitate with friends instead of lovers, and sometimes it was never really stated.
Emily had said she made the faeries live thusly because she hated watching her friends' parentsí divorce and yell and scream at one another. That and she didn't think the faeries were capable of true hate.
After filling six notebook pages with compact, neat script, Matthew set his notebook aside and opened 'Faith & Practice'. Instead of starting at the beginning, he went for the middle, as though perhaps the fates would guide him to something he could take with him and use later.
However, he doubted 'Faith & Practice' had a large forty-point font two-page message along the lines of "Go For It!".
Instead he was instructed to go forth and love his neighbor regardless of condition. With a laugh, Matthew copied that over into his notebook and underneath mentioned that perhaps that was just the same as a forty-point font instruction to go for it.
Matthew went downstairs just in time to catch tea with Daniel, who was puttering around with his watering can trying to catch all the plants in the tea room just as the tea kettle whistled.
"Enjoying yourself so far?" Daniel asked as he grabbed a second teacup from the downstairs food preparation area. It wasn't so much a kitchen as a place to do the basics.
"I've learned things about myself," Matthew replied, sitting down and gazing up at the ornate woodwork. The lyrics to one of the few hymns he knew popped into his head, but he reminded himself that the woodwork wasn't Quaker-made. Besides, it was simple beauty, really. It was the sort of thing many people wouldn't bother noticing anyway as they went about their lives.
"Then you're making progress. It's all part of growing up," Daniel said, pouring tea for them both.
"When do you get there?"
"Where?" Daniel asked. He set both cups on the table and went over to grab a dish of sugar.
"It depends. Do you ever really want to get there?"
It really wasn't as difficult to find Billy's house as Matthew was expecting it to be. Instead of getting lost, he actually seemed to have taken a rather straight path to get there.
Anna answered the door. She was wearing a black sweat suit and her hair was up in a bun. She didn't look anywhere near as threatening as she had the day before.
"Hi," Matthew said, smiling. The more he looked, the more he could find similarities between Billy and Anna.
"Come on in. Billy's downstairs with one of his games. He's working evening shift tonight, not overnight, so you two only have a few minutes," Anna said, stepping aside to let Matthew in.
Matthew inwardly kicked himself. No wonder Billy had sounded a bit urgent on the phone. But then again, Billy had said later as well. But it was Friday, so of course things were most likely to be a bit different.
"Matthew!" Billy was in the hallway all of a sudden. Before Matthew could respond, Billy bounded forward, grabbed Matthew's arm, and pulled him off towards the basement. "I thought I'd lost you in the city for good."
"You didn't tell me you were on a timeframe," Matthew responded once he was on his way down the basement steps.
"Sorry," Billy said, pausing a moment. "I had kinda forgotten too until I checked my schedule on the fridge. Friday nights are busy though. I may be able to make more than a hundred dollars in tips if I'm lucky. I'm the only one scheduled to work since the girl who normally helps me is on maternity leave."
Matthew just nodded before walking across the basement to sit on what he now thought of as his beanbag chair.
"So what did you want to show me?"
"Nothing, really. Mainly I wanted to talk to you about the whole thing the RT crew has put together and dragged you into," Billy said before flopping down on the floor and staring up at the ceiling.
"It sounds interesting. I'm here to do new things," Matthew replied. He was a little apprehensive about the entire thing, but truthfully it did also sound like quite a bit of fun. Myra had mentioned dressing him up as some character whose name he couldn't remember for the actual auction part of the event. As for the date, they had decided that the dates would have to be chaperoned and then written up for inclusion in the magazine, however the lucky winner would have to pay for all but whatever the chaperone's expenses were. Jameson had volunteered to take care of the rest, as well as front a little money for the event.
The more Matthew had learned about Jameson, the more interested he was. Apparently the man was a bit older than even Matthew had thought. He just looked young. He was a successful businessman and had a nice condo on the waterfront, something that Ethan had managed to smile about during a rare moment that he let his face be visible.
"You sure, I mean... I guess I'm a little concerned about screwing anything up with your girlfriend or anything."
Matthew winced. That again. He was silent a moment before he decided it was really a now or never moment.
"She's not really my girlfriend. Audra just thinks she is and I'm too nice to tell her otherwise. I don't even really like girls in the same sense that you don't really like girls," Matthew said quickly, hoping he hadn't dissolved into unintelligible babble and would have to repeat himself. He could feel his cheeks burning and couldn't look down to where Billy lay. He didn't want to see the blond's reaction.
"Thought so," Billy said after a moment.
"Thought so?" Matthew's voice broke midway through the question. He finally looked down at Billy, who was smiling.
"The way you look at me, looked at Ethan and Jameson, even Rhyn," Billy said, the grin not leaving his face. "You don't hide it well."
Matthew wanted to sink into the beanbag chair and never be seen or heard from again.
"You're just new to this, right?" Billy asked a moment later. "Don't worry about it."
"Watching Jameson and Ethan, you looked as though you were seconds from coming in your pants." Billy clamped a hand over his mouth as he spoke the last words. "Sorry, I know you're just... am I the first person you've told?"
Matthew nodded. He wanted to die. He felt so damned stupid that he had been so damned obvious with what was going on. It was as though Billy was peering straight into his head and watching his thoughts. Suddenly he wondered if perhaps...
"Cool. So, want to play Soul Blade or something? The graphics are really good for a PS1 game."
If it had been possible, Matthew would have fallen over. Thankfully he was already sprawled out on the beanbag chair and wasn't at risk to injury. Billy was treating the whole thing as a non-issue. It felt, well, amazing.
After leaving the discussion group at Quaker House, Matthew paid an early visit to his usual internet cafe. He had more on his mind than ever before. Shoved alongside anime, Billy, and the woodwork of Quaker House was God and various teachings. If his head could have literally exploded, Matthew was sure it would have.
Tonight's attendant was the first one he'd seen the other day. She leered at Matthew as though she already knew he was off to look up various illicit things on her computers.
Matthew's e-mail account was scarily empty. Tyler hadn't written him back, but Matthew decided he just hadn't given Tyler anywhere near enough time to get somewhere with a working computer and also answer what he was realizing to be a more complex query than he'd previously thought.
Emily had gushed back at his gushing over her art and story. She told him that Jorin was finally getting ready to settle down with someone for the very first time, but she wouldn't tell him any more. Matthew was rather sure it had to be Aanor, the banshee from the last story, but he didn't want to ruin her fun by taking a guess.
He wrote back that he was eagerly awaiting the conclusion to the big battle that was currently waging as well as who Jorin had finally chosen to spend at least a few years of his many hundreds with.
Audra had written again, as per usual. Her e-mail of the day was unusually short and just mentioned that she was going out that night and may tag along on a visit to a friend's parents. Matthew didn't really care. He was getting the sneaking suspicion that she'd also found another object of possible affection and was just too nice to break it to Matthew.
So far he'd manage to blurt out to Billy that he was interested in boys, so why couldn't he tell Audra? But he just couldn't. Not yet. He wrote her his customary quick reply and then sent off an e-mail to his mother that just said that, yes, he was finding out things about himself and was enjoying his stay very much.
From there his searches wandered off into the realm of something called fan fiction. It was basically stories written by fans using the characters from a given series. Most of the stories, Rae had explained, were sexual in nature. Billy had filled in that many of them involved non-canon, or unofficial, romances. Some were action stories, a sort of what-happens-next to the entire series.
Matthew was looking up stories for some of the games he'd played with Tyler. One caught his eye right away, it involved one of the Japanese words that Billy had taught him: Yaoi. So the story was apparently a NC-17 story with two of the male Guilty Gear X2 characters having illicit homosexual sex.
With a slight chuckle, Matthew was sure he saw the cafe attendant watching him from across the room.
"Don't you want to know," he said under his breath as he clicked the link.
The story had started out following along with the storyline he remembered from the game. And then it delved straight into, well, fucking. The author wasn't the most articulate, but still the story left Matthew a little hot and bothered. He was supposed to go meet Billy at the end of the blond's shift, which was in a few hours. Now he'd have one more thing on his mind... If the bliss the author described was anything like what he could experience in real life, Matthew wanted in.
Pondering for a moment, Matthew wondered if he'd ever be able to write stories like the one he'd just read. Perhaps, he decided, before looking for another interesting link to follow.
When he left the internet cafe, Matthew was basically too hot, bothered, and lost in his mind to even consider going straight to the 24 Hour Coffee Shop. Instead he found himself lying on the dew-damp grass of the little park near Quaker House. Instantly he was thinking of Jorin and wondering what would happen when Emily grew up and started writing graphic and erotic stories for her characters instead of action and adventure.
He saw Jorin in his mind, and Aanor and Lek. The three of them were tangled in a naked embrace, unaware of where one ended and another began. It was an interesting mental picture and Matthew wasn't quite sure he wanted to will it away so quickly. Aanor was a beautiful banshee with sparkling eyes and nice perky breasts. Attractive for a woman, he thought. It wasn't as though just because he thought he was gay didn't mean he had to stop finding women aesthetically pleasant after all.
Jorin and Lek though, those two were quite the pairing, as terminology went.
He was thinking about Billy too. He'd known Billy for two days and already was pondering how to initiate something more. Except he was never really the type to initiate anything like that. That was the problem. It wasn't as though he could just walk up and kiss Billy, despite the urge now being very strong in his mind and other parts of his anatomy.
Stretching, Matthew stood up and looked at his watch. It was definitely time to head to the 24 Hour Coffee Shop to catch up with Billy. Maybe something would happen, maybe nothing would. But as long as Matthew kept it in mind, he decided there were still possibilities. After all, he was young and had time to make mistakes and have adventures, perhaps all at the same time.
The walk to the 24 Hour Coffee Shop didn't take anywhere as near as long as Matthew had expected it to. It was ten minutes to ten and the place was more than half-filled. There were eleven people in line though and Matthew realized as he stepped in the door that most of the people were taking their cappuccinos to go. The night was warm and downright beautiful, so there was little reason to sit inside only to stare out at what was being missed.
Billy gave Matthew a quick smile and wave before going back to preparing the drink he was halfway through making. Matthew stepped into the line and waited his turn. Instead of pondering what it would quite possibly be like to be fucked by Billy, he found himself staring out at the traffic light on the next block. He watched it cycle twice, the red captivating him for just a moment each time.
It was a lesson, something that had popped up earlier during the discussion he was in at Quaker House. Everything was a cycle. There were stopping points and starting points, times to go and times to pause to reflect on choices made and choices to be made.
Matthew had taken notes and participated actively. The group that evening had consisted of seven people and they were all taken by Matthew's enthusiasm and ideas. It was one of the better moments, non-Billy related, of his stay in the big city.
Finally Matthew made it to the front of the line. Before he could say a word, Billy presented him with a hot chocolate.
"As soon as my replacement arrives, we're good to go," Billy said, holding out a hand to stop Matthew from digging in his pockets to find a toonie to pay for his drink. "Hey, drink's on me."
Matthew nodded. "Thanks."
And since there were other people in line behind him by that point, Matthew walked over to the two-person table he'd sat at the first night he was there. He pulled out the chair, the one facing away from the traffic light, and sat, relaxing for a moment and just people watching through the glass as he let his drink cool.
"See anything good out there?"
Matthew jumped in his seat. Billy now stood beside him, looking out over his shoulder.
"You scared me."
"I people-watch too," Billy said. "Especially when this place is boring."
"Everyone has a story," Matthew said, smiling and looking up into Billy's eyes for just a moment.
Billy laughed. "I guess they do. But we should get going."
"Where are we going?" Matthew asked, pushing his chair back as he stood. He hadn't even gotten to his hot chocolate yet, but it didn't look as though he was going to, either, just yet.
"Rhyn's place," Billy replied. "Just for a bit though. It'll be the same crew you met last night as well as some RT clingers and other writers."
"Okay," Matthew said, grabbing his hot chocolate and following Billy through the coffee shop. Billy waved to the girl now behind the counter before pushing the door open and stepping into the night, Matthew just a couple of steps behind.
"The thing about tonight is that Rhyn will probably be a little tipsy," Billy said once they were out into the night. "If he hits on you, just... wait, I mean, if you're interested at all..."
Matthew accidentally made a noise similar to a squeak. His protest had gotten stuck in his throat and all had that had come out was a little high-pitched gasp. He hadn't even thought about the possibilities of being with anyone besides Billy... And it was a little weird, but Rhyn was rather attractive too.
No, he wasn't what Matthew wanted though. He wouldn't say no to a kiss, he decided, just before he was pulled out his reverie.
"You okay?" Billy asked, pausing on the sidewalk and looking at Matthew.
"I... I've never kissed a boy before."
"It's just like kissing a girl," Billy replied before stepping a bit closer to Matthew, crossing into Matthew's personal space for just a moment. "But better."
And then he was back to his part of the sidewalk, motioning for them to keep walking.
"If you aren't sure you want to, just tell Rhyn to go fuck himself and that you really don't want to watch him do it, as that will be his next question."
Matthew couldn't help it, he burst out laughing and couldn't stop.
Rhyn's place was a loft-style apartment over a rather seedy looking bar. The elevator up clacked and clattered, shaking as though at any moment it would either stop or plummet to the basement without notice.
Matthew clung to the railing at the back wall of the elevator and started trying to figure out just how he should be praying for his life.
"Not much farther," Billy said as though he was reading Matthew's mind. And then there was a bit of a clunk and the elevator shuddered and stopped.
"Fuck," Billy interrupted before going and banging on the panel of buttons beside the door. Nothing happened. "Guess I'll have to call Rhyn."
"Not for long," Billy replied. "This happens all the time. If we can't get up through the top, they can haul the elevator manually."
Matthew didn't say a word. The only light in the elevator was dim and flickering now that they'd stopped.
"You aren't claustrophobic, are you?" Billy asked, pacing a bit after he pulled out his cell phone and started clicking through the numbers stored in it.
Shaking his head, Matthew sat down on the floor and leaned back against the side wall while Billy talked to Rhyn about getting a rescue squad together.
"Ciao," Billy said before snapping his phone shut and crouching down beside Matthew. "Give 'em ten minutes to get the proper tools together."
Again, Matthew was quiet. He couldn't think of anything to say, not when Billy was so close and they were so downright stuck alone in a small space.
They just stared at each other for a couple minutes, the flickering fluorescent light above them casting odd shadows in irregular patterns.
Billy leaned closer, Matthew held his breath. Still silent, Billy reached out to cup Matthew's chin with one of his hands, tilting Matthew's head ever so slightly and regarding him with an almost curious air.
Matthew parted his lips, ever so slightly, and hoped he wasn't shaking visibly. Billy wasn't going to...
"You aren't ready," Billy said suddenly, drawing back quickly and standing up, going back to his pacing.
Stunned, Matthew just stayed where he was, frozen. Inside he knew he was ready. What had Billy seen in his eyes that had told the blond otherwise? Sure he was a little unsure, but he would be that way with anyone. Especially someone he barely knew yet was having intense sexual fantasies about.
"Why would you say that?" Matthew finally asked, softly, timidly. He wasn't sure he wanted to know the answer, actually.
"I saw it," Billy replied, turning to look down at Matthew. Matthew felt naked and vulnerable under the scrutiny of Billy's blue eyes. He jumped to his feet and walked up to Billy, just inches away.
"I don't care, I want..."
Matthew's words were lost though as Billy grabbed Matthew's arms and held them, holding Matthew where he was. They were just inches apart and able to feel one another's breaths easily. Their lips were close, just about to...
"Rescue Crew!" Light poured in from above and the men jumped apart, peering up at the almost blinding brightness of twin flashlights and the ceiling lights above those.
"About time," Billy shot back before looking at Matthew. Their eyes locked again, but Billy just winked and grabbed Matthew's hand. "But next time this happens, give us another few minutes. I was just about to..."
Billy was cut off as the elevator shuddered and rose a few inches. Both Billy and Matthew lost their footing and tumbled against opposing walls.
Matthew landed hard on his arm and stayed down until the elevator was hoisted up far enough for them to climb out easily.
The hands that reached for him pulled him up easily.
"You're bleeding!" a voice exclaimed. He blinked, his eyes still having trouble adjusting to the light difference, and realized it was Ethan. With his hair pushed back, Ethan had deep green eyes, the sort Matthew had only imaged in stories.
Not worrying about Billy just yet, Matthew let himself get escorted into Rhyn's loft and to the bathroom to have a rather bloody but superficial cut tended to by Ethan.
"I'm a veterinary assistant," Ethan said as he cleaned the cut carefully. "More like a secretary, really, but I know how to do the basics."
Matthew frowned in thought. He'd assumed Ethan was a professional pet, actually, not a professional with actual marketable skills.
"Does that hurt?" Ethan asked suddenly. "I'm not used to being able to ask. I just know if my patients try to bite or not."
Matthew laughed. "It doesn't hurt. I just didn't really think about any of the Remote Transmissions editors having day jobs."
"Oh!" Ethan said, digging through a drawer to find Band-Aids. "We all have jobs. I'm only working part-time right now though. Rhyn is a breakfast cook at a fancy restaurant downtown, Myra works for a rock radio station, and Rae is a social worker. Remote Transmissions is just part of our lives, a creative outlet really."
Smiling, Matthew realized this was the most he'd heard the black-haired man talk. His arm was now patched and he'd learned something new - don't assume anything based on subcultures.
"What are you doing in there?" Billy's voice called through the bathroom door. "You okay, Matthew?"
"I'm fine," Matthew called back before getting an approving nod from Ethan that he could stand and leave.
Billy was on the other side of the door, grinning. He took a look at the pair of Band-Aids covering the worst of the cut and winced.
"That's from falling?"
"I think I caught a screw or something," Matthew replied. He'd hit something on his way down, that was for sure.
"I should have held on to you tighter," Billy said. "But anyway, since we're here for a rare little shindig, we may as well relax and see what mayhem will occur."
With a not, Matthew followed Billy across the room. The names and faces of the handful of new people he met blurred in his mind. He thanked everyone for helping himself and Billy out of the elevator and most of them just laughed and launched into stories about how they'd gotten stuck before.
At one point, a slightly sloshed Myra stood up and started trying to rope more people into the Bishonen and Bishoujo Auction Caper, which is what she was now calling it. A couple of punky girls volunteered instantly and after they'd been properly cheered for, Billy leaned over and whispered that the girl on the left wasn't entirely female. Matthew stared a moment before deciding that either Billy was messing with him or that, well, she was doing an entirely convincing job of being a woman.
Just then the door flew open and a whirlwind came rushing in disguised as three women. One of them was Anna, the second Skye, and a third who clutched a large bag with both hands.
"The party has arrived," the third girl announced as she set the bag down.
"Nicole!" Myra exclaimed, bounding over to hug the woman. As Matthew watched Myra, he noticed she had had a pronounced limp that he hadn't been aware of before. Then again, he really hadn't seen her take more than a few steps at a time.
Everyone had a story.
Nicole grinned and made her way through the room to where Billy and Matthew were now sitting, awkwardly, on a pale blue sofa.
"Where have you been?" Nicole asked, leaning down to mock-hug Billy. "Working?"
Billy nodded. "And out with a new friend. This is Matthew."
Nicole reached out her hand instantly, letting go of her bag for just a moment. Matthew took it and almost had his hand crushed.
"Matthew, this is Nicole. I know I've spoken about her a bit," Billy finished, watching the pair.
Matthew, once he got his hand back, tried to figure out just why anyone would be attracted to such a woman. But she did seem nice enough, after all, just a bit overbearing. Pausing, he realized she was quite a bit like Audra.
"Nothing too bad, I hope," Nicole responded, smiling before looking around the room. "Don't suppose you've seen Bradey-chan yet... this whole bag is stuff she bought off me. She's paid already, so I'm delivering."
Billy thought a moment. "Not yet. Give her a few, she's always late."
"Good point. But I am going to find a good corner to set this all in, then I need to chat with Myra," Nicole said, waving quickly before wandering off with her bag.
"Nicole deals in stuff," Billy explained after a moment. "Nothing illegal, just a variety of things at all times. She makes the rounds of junk shops, estate sales, etc., looking for various things for various people."
Matthew nodded. "So she's like an antiques dealer, just not the expensive stuff?"
"Right. Mainly she sells to a select clientele and a few interior design agencies that treasure her bizarre finds. She also sells things on eBay after she's sick of looking for other buyers. But mainly she just caters to the extended crowd who's liable to show up tonight."
"This will be a big party?" Matthew asked. He hadn't really gone to any sort of party while in college or high school. He'd seen a couple of people in the loft, Rhyn included, holding cans of beer, but beyond that, they mainly seemed to be milling about.
"Maybe twenty people," Billy replied. "And at least a half-dozen of those have come just to play DDR."
"Dance Dance Revolution. It's like a full-body video game," Billy said. "I'm sure you'll recognize at least the concept when you see it. But I bet Rhyn's waiting for everyone to get a little more trashed before he brings it out. It's a real riot watching people play then."
That brought the obvious question.
"You don't drink?" Matthew asked. He felt a little silly asking so many questions, but at least it was better than the few bouts of awkward silence they'd ended up in before Nicole's arrival.
"Not like I used to. I may have one tonight, I guess," Billy said as he stretched. "You?"
Matthew shook his head quickly. "I'm not old enough."
"Nineteen is legal in Canada, silly," Billy shot back. "If you want to, you can."
It was one of those moments where Matthew wished he was flexible enough to kick himself in the head. He knew quite well that nineteen was legal to drink in Canada, he'd just not really connected with the fact that he actually was in Canada at present. Canada wasn't so different from the United States that it really felt like a different country. The main factor that kept him from forgetting altogether was the different currency. And even that, living so close to the border, he was more than used to mixing change and being well aware of what vending machines accepted Canadian quarters.
"I don't know," Matthew said after a moment. He hadn't really had more than a beer at a time in his life, and those were when he was twelve. Alcohol never really appealed to him, nor did any of the other illicit things offered to him at various times in his life.
Billy leaned back and stretched his hands over his head for a moment.
"Huh?" Matthew answered, a bit confused at the question.
"About before, in the elevator. Are you okay?"
With a nod, Matthew looked away. He hadn't really thought of it after he'd finished getting his arm cleaned by Ethan.
Billy had almost kissed him, interrupted only by rescue. Matthew was okay with it, all of it, but if Billy wasn't...
"Are you?" Matthew asked back, quickly and almost too soft to be heard. As he turned to speak, he realized Billy had shifted just enough so yet again he was just inches away from Matthew.
"Yes," Billy said before leaning in. There wasn't time enough for Matthew to be scared or panic as Billy's lips met his.
Billy seized instant control of the kiss, flicking his tongue through parted lips against Matthew's lips, asking for entrance. Matthew let out a startled, muffled gasp before letting Billy win. Lips parted, Matthew willed himself to relax and ride out whatever was to come.
His mind had left him and now it was just sheer feeling. Pleasure caught him off guard as Billy's tongue touched his, engaging it in a erotic dance that carried on for what felt like both an eternity and nowhere near long enough.
Matthew was panting, lost for breath as Billy pulled away. Their eyes met, both questioning for a moment before Billy burst into laughter.
"What?" Matthew asked, immediately on the defensive.
"Your expression," Billy replied. "As though that was the most amazing thing that's ever happened in your life."
Matthew didn't want to say that it most likely actually had been one of the more amazing things that had ever happened to him, but his eyes gave him away.
"Can I do it again?" Billy asked, winking.
Both Billy and Matthew were laughing as they watched a rather inebriated Rhyn attempt a more complex move on the dance pad. He couldn't match a single instruction on the television screen and was getting obviously flustered. Beside him, a tiny little woman Billy had introduced as Bradey-chan was pulling off perfect combinations left and right as she bounced effortlessly across her pad.
Matthew had taken a shot at the game but not been much better than the drunken Rhyn. Billy had played against him and basically humiliated him without trying. However the blond had lost his pad after a challenge from Nicole. Nicole's own blonde hair lay in tight ringlets that had bounced hypnotically as she danced. The first thing to Matthew's mind was the Gorgon Medusa, which he snickered away after a few moments.
They'd only kissed once more before Rhyn had pulled out his DDR dance pads, and honestly, Matthew was rather sure no one had noticed what was going on. Somewhere during that time, Bradey-chan had shown up and everyone had been doting on her.
"Yay! Gotcha!" Bradey-chan yelled as the song ended and the screen announced her the winner. After looking around at the crowd, Bradey-chan pointed to Rae, who slowly made her way up to the screen.
The party continued on, but mainly Billy and Matthew just sat and watched or talked to whoever came up to sit with them.
At one point, Myra wandered over and began filling in more details of the Bishonen and Bishoujo Auction Caper. It sounded simple enough - it was just like a date auction, only the participants from RT needed to dress up to whatever degree they desired. Jameson had already agreed to buy outfits for anyone needing them, which caused Myra to go off on a tangent about just how much she owed Jameson and why.
All of that had made Billy smile. Matthew frowned, already a bit curious what Billy had in mind for the both of them.
Dates would go to the highest bidder and be carried out during the next week - just in time for Matthew to go on his before heading back to the USA.
The shocker though had been when Jameson showed up, a bit flustered and apologizing to Ethan for his absence all night. Apparently there had been some crisis where he worked and being on of the higher-ups, he'd had to stay to clear things up. Then, after another blatantly sexy kiss, he had walked over to Billy and Matthew and invited them to stay over for the evening in his condo on the waterfront so they could have a late breakfast.
Matthew was a bit confused by the invitation, but Billy was rather calm about it. Apparently he'd stayed there before already, as had most of the RT staff at some point in time. It was just a little getaway.
The more it was mentioned, the more Matthew did want to go. He imagined it to be a sleek post-modern residence, complimented by naked and wanton pictures of Ethan as well as mirrors on the ceiling. But that was just based on the way Ethan had poured himself into Jameson's lap, either oblivious or uncaring about the obvious erection showing through his pants.
The condo wasn't actually as ornate as Matthew had expected. The stars were still high in the sky when they got there and Jameson had bid everyone to sleep as late as they liked. It was the weekend, after all.
Despite not being the angular black, mirrors, and glass as Matthew had expected, the condo was still awe-inspiring. There were a pair of black-leather sofas in the main room, one of which immediately was flopped upon by Ethan, who'd just finished up telling the elevator rescue story.
Asian trinkets decorated just about every shelf and ledge. Many were small vases with dried flowers protruding forth from them and others were statuettes, perhaps of deities or other important figures.
Both Matthew and Billy were shown to guest rooms. The condo had three bedrooms and two bathrooms, along with a respectable office space, roomy kitchen, and large closets. Matthew was in awe, especially after seeing the prices of similar condos during the ride there.
He found himself yawning once he sat down and without words, Billy pulled Matthew over to lean against him. The move caused a raised eyebrow from Jameson, but Jameson didn't say anything.
"You look tired," Ethan said, pulling himself free of Jameson's arms and walking over to crouch beside Matthew. "You should rest before you make yourself sick."
Matthew just nodded. He was right at the point before sleep when just
about any suggestion was going to be taken seriously.
Drink Lemonade! Tip Your Waitress!