Brad’s Search : Part 36

My phone’s alarm goes off, ushering in the arrival of a new day. I hear the shower running. I had set my alarm especially early to have time to run. I stretch my arms and get out from under the covers. I hear the water from the shower turn off. I rummage through the dresser for a few seconds and eventually find a jockstrap and running shorts. I bend over and put on the jock. I’m about to pull up my running shorts when I hear-

“Damn, cutie; you gotta warn me when your ass is just hanging out like that.”

I stand straight up and turn my head to look at James and smile. All he has on is a towel draped around his waist. He approaches me from behind and cups my ass in his hands. He massages it for a few seconds, then digs his hands underneath the leg straps of my jock, grips my hips, and pulls me toward his crotch. I can feel his semi-hard cock through the towel.

He bends his head over my shoulder. I turn my head to meet his lips and we kiss.

He sighs. “Why can’t today be Saturday?” After a few seconds, he continues, “I’m really not looking forward to going in with what happened last night.”

I turn around and place my hands on his chest. “I’m sure everything will be fine. Even though he said some things he shouldn’t have, he did sound genuinely sorry.”

“I know, but I just can’t help but take it personally sometimes.”

I fondle his cock through the towel. “Well, if it helps, just think of me to help you get through the day.”

He cups his hand on the pouch of my jock and gives it a light squeeze. “Likewise.”

He removes his towel and hangs it up, then begins retrieving his work clothes from the dresser. I pull on my running shorts and a shirt. I turn to him as I’m putting on my socks and shoes. “Those friends of yours getting married...”

He looks up at me as he pulls on his briefs, snapping the waistband against his hips. “Patrick and Damon?”

“Yeah. That’s not this Sunday, but the next one, right?”

“That’s right. Did you still want to go?”

“Sure, it’s just that I’ve never been to a gay wedding before, so I don’t really know what to expect.”

He pulls on his pants, but leaves the zipper down, probably because he’s still semi-hard. “Well it’s not like they’re planning to have a huge orgy during the reception, though I’m sure a few of their guests would kill for that. They’re keeping it mostly traditional.”

I start tying my shoes. “Will I get to meet them before?”

He puts on a very tight, form-fitting undershirt. “They’re in town, and we’re all going to Volunteer Park to play Frisbee this weekend.”

“I don’t know. I kinda suck at Frisbee. I wouldn’t want to be a bother.”

He puts on his dress shirt and begins fastening the buttons. “Nonsense. You’re always more than welcome to join us. You’re part of the group now, and the guys all love you. Plus, they’re happy I’m getting laid now.”

“I know I’m happy I’m getting laid now.”

He nods in agreement. “Mmhmm.”

I stand up and walk towards him. “Well, I should try to get as much running in as I can before I have to head to work.”

He places his hands on my shoulders. “All right, cutie.” He pulls me in close and we kiss. He reaches around and lightly taps my ass. “Take a key, because I’ll probably be gone before you get back.”

“OK. Have a good day at work.”

He sighs. “Thanks; I’ll try. You too. See you tonight.”

We kiss one more time. I turn and head to the door, making sure to grab the spare key on the way out. I put on my running jacket and head out the door.

It’s a bit dull and dreary. Clouds fill the sky, and a brisk, cool wind blows from the south. I can feel a light mist. Now I know why Starbucks is so popular here - everyone needs a cup of coffee not only to wake up, but also to warm up.

I had never thought of Gas Works Park as a place to run, but it fits that role surprisingly well. There are paved paths throughout the park, and the earth mound is great when I want some altitude variation. However, the park can be a bit creepy with the sun still below the horizon and the ancient metal structures of the long-since-abandoned plant sticking up out of the ground. I feel for a moment like I’m all alone in the world. I would give anything for James to come running out from nowhere trying to catch a Frisbee, just like on the day we met.

I finish out my run and head home. I take a quick shower, brush my teeth, get dressed, and head out the door. It’s hard to resist the temptation, so I grab a bagel and coffee and head into the office.

Eric and I make plans to grab lunch together. We then work with each team to see how far along we’ve gotten. The programmers say they have hit a huge obstacle, and with me now being the lead developer and tester, I’m given the task to figure out how to overcome that obstacle while the team goes on to tackle another area.

It’s been hard - no pun intended - trying to keep James off my mind. I get all excited thinking about him in just that towel, rubbing his cock against my ass. I imagine him kissing my neck as he slips the towel off of his body and onto the floor. He positions the head of his cock and pushes against me, ever so gently, until he’s inside me. He continues kissing my neck as he pulls my hips closer and closer to him until he’s all the way inside me and then starts slowly thrusting...

I catch myself drifting off into this erotic moment and shake myself back to reality. I look down. Crap - it’s almost lunchtime, and there’s no hiding this erection. It’s totally obvious in these khaki pants.

Eric steps into the doorway of my office. “Hey Brad. Ready to head to lunch?”

“Erm, give me a minute.”

“All right. Let me know when you’re ready.”

He turns and walks away. I try with all my might to not think about anything sexual at all. I feel my cock start to get softer, but all of a sudden it tenses up and the head pushes against the soft material of my briefs, adding to the sensation - and the length and thickness.

After what seems like an eternity later, Eric appears again. “You about ready to go yet?”

“Umm, almost.”

“Come on, Brad. If we leave any later, we won’t have any time to eat.”

I take a quick breath. “All right.” I stand up from behind my desk.

“Cool, I was thinking we could try that-”

We break eye contact, and I see Eric glance down at my crotch.

“-Whoa! I see programming isn’t your only talent!”

“Oh Eric, I’m sorry. This is so embarrassing.”

“Don’t sweat it, Brad. It’s the bane of every man’s existence.”

I turn my back to him, undo my belt, unzip my pants, and reach down and try to adjust myself as best as I can. “I can’t help it. James came up to me this morning wearing nothing but a towel.”

“You know, I never have this problem.”

I turn my head and glance at him as I keep adjusting. “What’s your secret?”

“Anytime I feel even the slightest bit horny in the morning, I make sure to take care of it before I go to work, either by myself or with Lorna.”

I glance down at myself, then back at him. “You know, you’re not making this any easier.”

He laughs. “What, you get excited thinking about straight men?”

“I get excited thinking about men, period!”

My erection has gone down enough to where it’s not that noticeable. I pull my zipper up, buckle up my belt, and turn around.

Eric smirks as he glances down once more. “Ready now?”

“Yes,” I say sheepishly. “You were saying?”

“I was thinking we could try that deli we went to before.”

“You really want to go there again?”

“Sure. Is something wrong with it?”

I hesitate for a second or two. “No. That sounds fine. Let’s go.”

We hop in Eric’s car and head to the deli. We step inside and I look around for Derek. He and I haven’t spoken since the night before James flew back in town. Knowing Derek, he’d probably try to exact his revenge by cumming into my ham & Swiss panini.

Eric and I walk up to the counter and order. We find a nearby table and wait for our sandwiches.

“So how are you and James doing? Besides the fact that you haven’t had sex in the last six hours.”

I roll my eyes and give him a half-smile. “Things are OK, I guess.”

“Just ‘OK’?”

“Yeah. Willie, his father, came for dinner last night. He seems like an all right guy, but he said some things that James didn’t like.”

“What did he say?”

“Well, James and his brother, Paul, don’t get along too well. When James came out, Paul reacted badly. He lives out in the Midwest and is married with kids, and he and James don’t really talk to each other anymore. Anyway, Paul’s been calling James at work wanting to talk to him, but he refuses, and Willie ends up having to take all the calls, and all he wants is for his two boys to be on good terms with each other.”

Someone approaches the table with our sandwiches. They come from behind me, so I can’t tell if it’s Derek or not. A sense of relief washes over me when I hear a female voice. “Here you go, gentlemen.”

I look up at her as she places our sandwiches on the table. I thank her and she walks away.

Eric sighs. “Family drama is never easy to deal with, especially when you’re an outsider to the whole thing.”

“Yeah. And James’s mother died of a heart attack a few years ago. She used to smoke and drink heavily. Willie didn’t really say or do much to stop it in the past, but now he acts very critical towards her and her past actions. James just thinks his dad is being unfair, especially now that his mother’s gone.”

“What was his mother’s name?”

I pause for a few seconds. “You know, I don’t think he ever mentioned her name.”

“Hmm...” He is silent for a few seconds. He then continues, “All I can say is: Everyone deals with loss differently. Anger is a part of that process. Everyone’s relationship with someone before they die can have a big effect on how each one of them handles the loss. All you can really do, as hard as it may and will be, is to just be there for James. There’s probably a lot more about his past that you still need to find out about from him.”

I tilt my head to the side. “Like what?”

“Well, as I mentioned, his relationship with his mother.”

“He said, as kids, he and Paul used to stay mostly in their room because of how bad the house reeked of cigarette smoke.”

“Yes, but last night he sounds like he took much of what Willie said about her personally. He wouldn’t have done that unless he had some respect for her in the first place. Trust me; there sounds like there’s more to this than meets the eye.”

“How do you know all this?”

“While I was in college, I also thought about pursuing a career in counseling. I took a few social work classes. They taught me a lot about how people work.”

I ponder for a few seconds, then speak up. “I have a feeling that I’ll be talking to you a lot about this.”

“And I want you to feel comfortable doing so. You can talk to me about anything you want, Brad. We’re not just coworkers, you know. I really cherish your friendship, too, and I want to be a good friend to you as well.”

“You are, Eric. You’ve been there for me when I was struggling with whether or not I could handle being together with James. I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me.”

“Think nothing of it.”

We finish eating and start heading back to his car. He turns to me as we walk. “So how are you coming along with that problem the programmers are having?”

I groan. “I’ve been beating my head against the wall trying to figure it out.”

“I bet you’d rather be beating another part of your body.”

I look at him, surprised. “Eric, I never thought you had this much of a sense of humor.”

“Wow, I take offense to that!”

“Oh, come now. I didn’t mean it like that.”

After a few seconds, he says, “I know; I’m just fucking with you.”

I feel really lucky to have someone like Eric for a coworker - and a friend.