Authors: Josephine Myles
First Impressions #2
Copyright 2011 by Josephine Myles
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series of short stories, but can be read as a standalone.
For Lou Harper, who kept asking me when there'd be more Jez and Steve.
I let myself into the flat to be greeted by the strains of Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child of Mine", and Steve's voice accompanying with rather more enthusiasm than accuracy. God, so this was how he'd been spending his days while I was hard at work, was it? Listening to cock rock and watching dross on the telly, no doubt.
I smiled as I dumped the groceries down on the kitchen table, and pulled out a bottle of Grolsch to take through to him. Yeah, Steve may have turned my world upside down and polluted my—sorry, our—flat with his godawful taste in music, but I wouldn't want it any other way. Five months into our relationship, and already I was finding it hard to remember life without him.
Okay, I've probably made him sound like a right lazy bastard already, but the reason Steve's been off work was he broke his leg trying to rescue our upstairs neighbour's kitten from the roof. Stupid creature didn't need rescuing really—cats can always get down somehow, can't they? Still, Steve—being the ever helpful kind of guy that he is—volunteered to go and get the little blighter down. Unfortunately, Mrs Amin's stepladder was a bloody death trap, and on the way back down the kitten leapt, Steve slipped, went arse over tit, and ended up snapping his fibula.
Before you ask, yes, Smudge was absolutely fine. Wouldn't have happened if I'd been there, though, I can tell you. I would have gone up myself rather than let him take the risk. Still, no point going over it when it was done now, as Steve kept telling me. Just meant I had to put up with a boyfriend who was frustrated with his lack of mobility, desperately wanted to get back to the office, and needed plenty of looking after. I could certainly help with the last bit.
Of course, if there's one really good thing about having an immobile lover, it's that they can't wriggle away from you very easily, so you get your own way more often than not. It had certainly balanced things out between us in the bedroom (and on the sofa—the kitchen table and shower being temporarily off-limits until Steve's cast came off).
I was still in this warm and fuzzy state of mind when I threw open the living room door and saw him pushing something under the sofa cushions. He looked up with a nervous smile.
"Jez! You're home early. I wasn't expecting you for a while yet."
"So I see." I walked over to the stereo to turn off Axl Rose's caterwauling. What could Steve be hiding from me? It wasn't more of that biker porn he was into, was it? I've never particularly seen the appeal of big men in leather, which is probably why I'm with a slim, clean-cut guy like Steve. Mind you, he assures me that I'm exactly his type, even without the leather jacket and bike, not to mention the absence of any handlebar moustache and bondage gear. He says he'd buy hippy porn if there was any out there, but gay models with dreadlocks were virtually non-existent. I seem to remember telling him I wasn't a bloody hippy, but seeing as how I'm a Nordic-looking artist with long dreads, I always end up losing that argument.
I moved round the footstool Steve had his cast resting on, and sat down next to him. Even in his ratty old T-shirt and jogging bottoms, he still looked edible. I handed him his beer before moving in for a kiss.
Something sharp poked me in the stomach.
"Ow! What the fuck? What is that?"
"Shit! Er, nothing important. Could you close your eyes for a minute, Jez. Please?"
"No. When a man's furniture starts attacking him, something has to be done." I grabbed the cushion and chucked it on the floor. Underneath was something my brain had problems making sense of. It looked like... no, surely not. I looked up at Steve, whose complexion was doing an impression of a tomato.
"Would you care to explain what this is?" I started to lift up the item in question.
"No, don't! The stitches might fall off the needles." Steve grabbed the... thing, and clutched it to his lap defensively. He glared at me and I couldn't help but smile, no matter how hard I tried not to.
"Steve, is there anything you want to tell me? Taken up any new hobbies I should know about?"
Steve looked at me for a long moment, then sighed. "Look, it was meant to be a birthday surprise, but seeing as how you've gone and spoilt it now...."
Steve lifted the thing up and I tried to make sense of it. The two long sticks at the top were definitely knitting needles, although I'd never seen them made of wood before. And dangling underneath was some kind of fuzzy, dark grey... thing. I know it's the thought that counts, but what the hell was he thinking of?
"It's a hat. Well, it's going to be a hat. One of those great big tams that will fit over your dreads but hopefully not make you look too much like a Bob Marley wannabe. I thought, since you're always complaining about your ears getting cold, it would be a good gift. Besides, you did me that gorgeous painting for my birthday, so I wanted to make you something too."
I stared at him. I really didn't want to show him just how mushy that made me feel inside. "You're knitting me a hat for my birthday? That's not for another month."
"Yeah, well, I'm a bit out of practice. I didn't know how long it would take."
"Out of practice? How come you can knit? You never told me you were a closet knitter." I don't think I'd ever met a man who could knit before. Well, certainly not one who would admit to it.
"That's the whole point of being closeted, though, isn't it? No one knows." Steve smirked at me. "Since I've now been outed, I may as well knit on the train to work."
I gaped at him, trying to picture Steve in his pinstripes, primly clacking away with his needles and counting stitches—or whatever it was you did while knitting. He'd instantly go from being the most anonymous man on the train to the person everyone was secretly watching, and I wasn't sure how I felt about that. I rather liked being the only one watching him—sitting in the seat opposite and pretending he was still that handsome stranger with the lurid socks I'd been obsessing about for months.
Steve gently closed my jaw and smiled fondly. "Don't worry, Poppet. I won't do anything to embarrass you."
Yeah right. Except calling me Poppet, perhaps. Mostly he just did it at home, but it had "slipped out" down the pub last week and our friends didn't let me hear the end of it for the rest of the night. I took a long swig of my beer and examined the "hat" in Steve's lap. "It's not very bright, is it? I'd have thought you'd have gone for something more colourful."
"It's for you, not for me. Anyway, this is luxury yarn – an alpaca/merino blend and all the colour comes from the natural fleece. See? Give that a squeeze."
He handed me the ball of wool, and I inspected it closely. What had seemed like a plain dark grey was revealed to be several strands of subtly differing shades spun loosely together. It was incredibly soft and silky – nothing like the awful stuff Gran used to knit with, which practically squeaked it was so synthetic.
"Yeah, nice. So... how long have you been knitting?" And more importantly, was Steve going to surprise me with any other secret talents? If so, I was hoping they might be ones that would prove more useful in bed.
"It's not like I've 'been knitting'. My Nan taught me when I was ten and off school with glandular fever. She'd always wanted to teach mum, but as she never wanted to learn, I was the next victim in line."
I tried to picture the ten-year-old Steve knitting away. I'd seen the pictures of him at that age when we visited his folks. That had been a weird couple of hours, I can tell you. Steve came out to them years ago, but as I'm the first guy he's ever been serious about, they'd never had any of his boyfriends around for tea before. They did their best to be polite and friendly, though, I'll give them that. Maybe it would have been easier for them if I wasn't such a big, tall guy with a fierce expression. They probably reckon I'm taking advantage of their darling son, and that he could do better. Mind you, more often than not, he's the one in charge. Got me wrapped round his little finger, Steve has. I'd probably mind, if I wasn't so fucking smitten.
I looked up to find him smirking at me.
"I've finished my beer," he said.
I took the empty bottle and placed it on the floor. "I suppose you want another."
"Not really." He tossed his knitting to one side. "Come on, up here." He patted his lap.
"I'll squash you." But I climbed up anyway, straddling him. I had to lean right down to reach his lips, but it was worth it. God, all that sitting around by himself must have got him seriously frustrated; he was kissing like he wanted to eat me alive, lips first. My mouth flooded with the coppery tang of blood as he bit down on my lower lip. Shit, that always drives me wild.
I would have stripped his clothes off there and then, but it was tricky what with him underneath me, so I pulled my own T-shirt off instead while Steve had my cock out in next to no time. Yeah, he's got deft fingers, all right. I can see that they might be good for handicrafts, but right then I had better places for him to put them to use.
I reckon he must be able read my mind.
As his spit slickened fingers made their way down my crack, and his others skilfully wanked me off, I had to concentrate hard so I didn't whimper. I hate making all those noises. They sound fucking sexy when Steve makes them, mind, and he always manages to wring them out of me in the end, so he says. Probably once I'm too far gone to care anymore. He circled his fingers a couple of times before sinking them into my hole, and I realised it wasn't going to take me long to get there. And bloody hell, if I didn't make a girly little noise when he pulled them all out again.
"Need you to take your jeans off, now." Steve's eyes were all black now, shining with that wicked gleam he gets when he's in charge. I just can't resist it, and I scrambled off him to comply.
As I was hopping out of the second leg, I saw him pull a condom and lube sachet from his pocket.
"I see you've been planning this, then." Why didn't that surprise me? Even incapacitated, Steve manages to get things going the way he wants them to. I just get pulled along for the ride. The ride... oh yeah, I could see where this was going. He'd already stripped off his T-shirt, and was now pulling down his jogging bottoms, wincing as he lifted his weight. "Shit, Steve! Let me help."
"I'm fine. I can do it." He used his most authoritative tone, so I backed down and watched him roll the rubber on.
"I suppose you think I'm going to just hop on there, then." I folded my arms, trying to look like I was going to be a hard case to crack. I could tell I wasn't fooling him by the way the grin split his face.
"Yeah, you are. Come on, then. You'll have to help out, since I can't chase you and bend you over the kitchen table." He raised his eyebrows and leered.
Oh yeah, I already mentioned the kitchen table, didn't I? You probably didn't imagine things were that way round, but Steve does tend to make a habit of topping. Yeah, let's face it, the bossy little bastard even tops from the bottom.
"You think I'm going to let a man who knits top me?"
I nearly got the bloody knitting thrown at my head for that one, but I did climb back onto him, because by now I was fucking aching to feel him inside me. He was panting hard, making the most ridiculously sexy moans as I impaled myself on his rock-hard prick.
I paused at the bottom. There's something about that moment that I just love—feeling Steve filling me up and knowing that we're just about to get going—everything poised and waiting and ready. I had my eyes squeezed shut, just savouring the moment for as long as I could.
And then something soft and fuzzy enveloped my dick.
"What the fuck is that?" But I just knew, somehow, what I was going to see. Yeah, my dick sticking right through the hole in the middle of the ball of wool, Steve's hand clutched around the outside. His eyes danced with glee. "You'll get your wool all sticky."
"Doesn't matter. I've got plenty more." Steve squeezed his hand, moving up and down gently. "How's that?"