Authors: Clare London
Tags: #m/m romance
One Night Stand
rolled on to his back, panting. The mattress dipped underneath him, the creak of the springs sounding like a moan. The bed felt very soft; the sheets snagging under his ass were surely thicker than usual. A muscle twitched in the dip above his left buttock and a dribble of sweat ran down between his thighs, tickling the underside of his balls.
What a dream
! It had been astonishingly vivid, immersing him completely and waking him abruptly like this, gasping and with a racing heart. A passionate dream, a
dream. Dammit, wet beyond belief! His cock nestled at his groin, half-hard with morning arousal, and he didn’t need to touch himself to know it still throbbed from the memory of a fierce climax, a swelling, a bursting, a
His head throbbed and his wrists ached. The physical feelings brought other memories rushing back. He’d held himself up on his arms, muscles tensed, flesh hot and damp with sweat, and he’d driven into the body beneath him, thrusting deeply, again and again, taking his satisfaction for as long as it took.
“So good. So
There had been fierce, ugly sounds—
—and grunts and moans of unfettered desire. It had been his hand that had clutched the sheets inside his fist; his fingers that had bruised the skin beneath him with their desperate grip. It hadn’t been nonconsensual, he was sure, but he’d barely recognized the sexual aggression released from him.
“You. Take it. Take me!
Teddy stretched his left leg out and groaned quietly. His thigh was cramped, the muscles weary as if he’d been through a heavy session at the office gym. It had been a while since he went there on any regular basis, not like Marshall, his boss, who worked out most days. Tremendous commitment, but then Marshall was determined like that. Very assertive. Great body, too, of course. Yes.
A great body
. Still very sleepy and half-aroused, Teddy felt a flush run all over his skin.
Marshall always invited his staff team along to the gym with him, if they wanted to take advantage of the subsidized facility. When Teddy dropped out of the routine, Marshall had made a deliberate effort to coax him back. Came around to his cubicle at the end of the day and everything. Stupid thing was, Teddy thought Marshall had looked genuinely disappointed when Teddy explained he wasn’t really interested in going. Ridiculous, of course. Clerks like Teddy Newman didn’t have any effect on managers like Marshall Craig, disappointment or otherwise. Teddy had turned away, clearing his desk, afraid that Marshall would hear Teddy’s lie in the nervous tone. The visit wasn’t personal; of course it wasn’t. His boss was just being a good team manager, one of his many skills, and Teddy greatly admired Marshall for being so considerate and confident. He always had.
him, that is. Teddy smiled drowsily, his thoughts hazy. Anyway, thank God Marshall had given up on asking him after that; he’d have run out of excuses eventually.
He stretched the right leg out as well. It was just as stiff. Dammit, he
something like the gym, really. His promotion to Marshall’s team had been a great opportunity, but it’d been stressful too. In all sorts of ways.
Dreams… laughter and satisfied smiles. Another successful deal, the praise enthusiastic, the future plans shared. A gaze turned to him, warm, encouraging. A lingering handshake, an arm around his shoulders
He’d been coming home from the office every day with tension knotted into the muscles of his shoulders. That was bound to take its toll on the whole of his body. Still cocooned in his half-waking state, Teddy wrinkled his nose. Amazing how the sleeping mind could impose such realistic physical symptoms!
Someone coughed gently. The body beside him in the bed shifted, the springs barely acknowledging the movement.
Teddy was suddenly, totally, shockingly awake.
. Not a dream at all!
A wave of horror washed over him. He lay as if paralyzed, trying to calm his thudding pulse, swamped by instinctive fear. Where the hell was he? What had happened last night? His muscles flexed, spiking the cramp afresh, reminding him
what had happened. Fierce sex: greedy and athletic. Incredibly
But with whom?
Teddy felt his whole body tense up again with self-disgust. He hadn’t had a one night stand since he left college. It’d been tacitly accepted in those days between young guys who were coming out sexually yet still growing emotionally. He’d found it all desperately exciting though confusing, too, as he started to discover what his body liked.
Memories… young, sweaty bodies, laughs, growls, the smell of skin that wasn’t his, the taste of seed on his fingers, still warm
Of course, he’d been glad to leave that wild scene behind him. Hadn’t he? Casual liaisons unnerved him. They encouraged his more… passionate side.
But didn’t he still need some attention sometimes
? Dreams weren’t all necessarily sweet, and Teddy ignored the nagging ache inside him. It wasn’t as if he’d missed out on longer relationships, though admittedly there hadn’t been anyone special for a long time. But overall, it was easier and safer to show discretion, to keep himself to himself. Like Marshall did. The man was so cool about it.
. No one ever teased
in the office like they did Teddy. Well, that wasn’t so surprising, Marshall being such a great guy and Teddy himself being rather, well, shy. But he wasn’t always shy, was he? There’d been that evening a few months ago….
Teddy had an annoying itch just below his left buttock, but he really didn’t dare reach down to scratch it. His heart was still thumping, and he tried to quiet his breathing even more. Short of suffocating himself, he wasn’t sure how he could. Was he going to find suffocation a viable option?
. That evening? Yes! It had been just after he joined the company and in those days, he went to the gym after work with his colleagues. Okay, so he’d had a couple of beers too many, he wasn’t used to drinking much, but it had been a great evening with new friends. He didn’t notice when the others left, but suddenly finding himself alone with Marshall Craig had been… well, fine. Maybe he wasn’t thinking about being nervous of his new boss right then. Marshall had been friendly and attentive and chatted easily about
experiences when he first came to the city. He had great advice on places to eat and good shops, seemed to have watched a lot of the same movies as Teddy, listened to similar music. And he hadn’t seemed to mind when Teddy kept bumping into him as he leaned over the bar counter. He even suggested where the better apartments could be found, though Teddy had been embarrassed, realizing he’d been rambling on about the shitty little room he currently lived in, the screaming neighbors and the homophobic landlord…. Yes, Marshall had been astonishingly tolerant of him. Even when Teddy leaned one time too many and spilled half his beer all over him.
God, how mortifying! The beer had splashed over Marshall’s presumably very expensive clothes, staining his jacket and soaking his shirt. The thin material had stuck to Marshall’s torso, showing the fine definition of his muscles. Teddy remembered that quite vividly. Marshall had just laughed, shrugging off his jacket, pulling the shirt out of his jeans. He’d put a firm hand on Teddy’s arm. “No problem, it was an accident. It’ll wash. Dammit, Teddy, don’t look so distraught. I’ve got a clean sports shirt in my bag.” He’d gone to change, and Teddy had looked around wildly for some help, for someone to distract him, for—oh God—the exit! But Marshall had come back before he could escape, smiling and looking much more relaxed in a very smart polo shirt that tightened across his shoulders, the fabric a green color that accentuated his eyes. Teddy remembered that quite vividly too.
Marshall got them fresh beers, and then, after Teddy had apologized for another hundred times, they just talked. For ages! What the hell had got into him that night? Teddy had talked about a whole damned lot of stuff. Being a klutz, surprising his family—and himself—with his bold move away from his hometown, loving his new job, loving the buzz of the city despite getting lost on the metro at least once a week, eating too much pizza while he learned to cook for himself, trying to find easy-build furniture for his apartment instead of living out of packing cases. Yeah, lots of nonsense. It wasn’t like him at all; he was usually happy to stay in the background. Most of the details he’d since forgotten… or his nervousness had pushed them to the back of his mind. But during the course of that evening, he’d discovered what good company Marshall could be. And how attractive he was. The man’s voice was warm; his company was reassuring. Teddy remembered thinking things were going to be really good in the city after all.
It was only when they both got up to go home that Teddy realized what a stupid mistake he’d made. Marshall offered him a ride back to his apartment—it was on his route—but Teddy had started to refuse politely. At that same moment, he’d seen a flicker of discomfort in Marshall’s eyes.
. Just how embarrassing had he been? Yes, Marshall was gay as well, but that didn’t entitle Teddy to inflict his loneliness and hopes on him, did it? And what was worse, Teddy realized just how close he’d been to creating hopes that were entirely inappropriate. Marshall was his boss, goddammit. He was just taking pity on the new guy. Marshall Craig inevitably had a cute man at home already, nothing like Teddy, but good-looking and witty and mature and brilliantly successful, who probably played competitive sports and cooked gourmet meals and could put up flat-pack furniture like Teddy’s new bookcase with one hand tied behind his back, rather than stabbing his thigh with the screwdriver and having to support the top shelf with a scrunched-up cover from a men’s magazine and half a tube of wood glue. Like Teddy had.
Anyway, Teddy couldn’t get out of the sports club fast enough that night. Luckily, a cab had been passing right outside, and he almost leaped through the door on to the seat. He never looked back, afraid of the relief he might see on Marshall’s face. God, that evening had warned him to keep things on a strictly professional footing for the future.
The bed springs moaned again, and Teddy gritted his teeth.
He must have been stupendously evil in some former life to deserve this humiliation. And just how smug had he been, thinking how well he’d managed the professional
, at least so far. Dammit, nowadays he was a mature, sophisticated city guy! Well, trying to be. He hardly ever got lost on the Metro, he had a great job with recent promotion, a small group of good friends, his own, miniscule apartment located in one of the better areas Marshall had so kindly identified and, oh yes, a whole bunch of grown-up financial commitments. He wasn’t as naïve or needy, like he was in the past. Not needy
He might not be the kind of guy to parade around with rainbow flags or draw attention to himself, but he wasn’t ashamed, either. He was just
, and he was determined to lead his life in a fairly modest but rewarding way. And that meant a casual fling wasn’t for him, not then, not now. Nothing wild, nothing out of his control. He was sure there were plenty of men who felt the same way, if he could just find them. It wasn’t just the sex he was looking for.
Though—oh God—that’d be good too.
The annoying itch on his leg started to burn. His fingers twitched, desperate to reach down. Beside him, there was another cough: someone clearing his throat as he also began to wake up.
A casual fling wasn’t for him
Who was it?
who, even as he turned his head to risk a quick glance for confirmation. The dark curls on the pillow were very familiar, the muscular hand outstretched above the sleeping head was one he shook hello most mornings.
. Oh God.
For a few seconds, Teddy genuinely thought he was going to throw up. And then he realized he
ashamed, deeply and horribly. Marshall Craig was a man who deserved his respect, who might have become a close friend. Marshall had supported Teddy at work and encouraged him. He’d never made a big thing of being gay. In fact, he’d never made any move on Teddy, never subscribed to stupid jokes and sexual innuendo like most of the other guys at the gym, never led Teddy to believe he considered him as anything more than a colleague with a promising career. He was discreet, just like Teddy himself. Mature, like Teddy wanted to be.
But, dear God in heaven, it was obvious Teddy had failed in all that, hadn’t he? And pretty spectacularly.
His cheeks burned as he tried to distract himself by recalling where he was. The hotel.
. The company always provided overnight hotel accommodation for the staff after the annual Christmas party. Morning light seeped in under the drawn blinds, and Teddy glanced around the room. It was small, as befitted a junior member of the team, but it was clean and had all the refreshment facilities and a good-sized shower room. Oh, and by the way, a big-ass king-sized bed with a soft mattress and far better quality sheets than Teddy could afford for himself.