“What the hell is that smell?” Michael grumbled as his blurry eyes fluttered open before quickly closing again, blocking out the light. His scowl pinched his handsome face as bright morning sunshine and a gentle breeze filled Asher’s apartment. The light and wind streamed through the open, floor to ceiling windows.
“That would be you,” Asher chuckled, walking through the living room to his small kitchen nook, wearing only a pair of Daffy Duck boxers. His light brown hair still wet from a quick shower. With his chest bare, the tattoo that decorated his left shoulder was visible. He didn’t normal show strangers the colorful sea turtle that was so personal to him, but he hadn’t expected for Michael to be awake this early.
Grabbing a single glass from the cabinet, Asher figured that Michael wouldn’t be ready to put anything in his stomach yet and filled his own glass with fresh orange juice. He leaned against the refrigerator and watched Michael slowly stir back to life.
Michael’s dark brown hair stuck out in every direction as he lifted his head and looked around. The scab over his eye was indented with a checkerboard pattern from the couch. He grimaced at the discolored stain on the couch cushion, right where his face had been lying. It was the source of the awful smell.
Asher noticed him eyeing the stain and said, “Yeah, that’s vomit.” His words were short and clipped, but not as harsh as Michael deserved.
Michael immediately pushed himself up and away from the offensive stain. The movement must have been more than the man could handle since he quickly squeezed his eyes closed and swayed for a moment. His nostrils flared as a bead of sweat formed on his forehead. Asher grinned, it served the bastard right for getting wasted last night and now, Michael was paying the price.
Moving slowly into a sitting position, Michael grumbled with every movement. “I’ll pay to have it cleaned,” he said glaring at the threadbare cushions, “On second thought, I’ll pay to have it replaced.”
Asher grunted and finished the rest of his juice.
“This is your place?” Michael asked Asher who was still standing in the kitchen.
“Yep.” Asher nodded his head.
The apartment was small, yet very organized with tons of sports memorabilia decorating the place. The walls were the only reminder that it was once an industrial warehouse that had been converted to living space. Rough exposed bricks made up the outer walls, they were decorated with several team jerseys. The high ceiling was cooled with two big fans hanging in the center of the room. There was also loft filled with a desk, books, and more sports equipment.
What appeared to be a bedroom was tucked below the loft. It was separated from the living room by a large open bookcase instead of a solid wall. The entire space was very open. There was even room for a ten foot longboard, propped up in the far corner. The only privacy in the entire place was behind the kitchen nook. The door had been left slightly open, but the sink and toilet inside the bathroom could be seen past the cracked doorway.
Michael suddenly frowned. “How did I get here?”
“Cab,” Again, Asher’s answers were short and blunt.
Rubbing at the thick black hair covering his wide chest, Michael cocked an eyebrow and asked, “Where are my clothes?”
“In the dryer,” Asher told him, walking to the small laundry stall tucked behind the bathroom door to retrieve Michael’s clean shirt and pants. “The label said ‘dry-clean only,’ but I figured it was worth a shot to run them through the washer on the lowest setting I could, to try to get them clean or you would have to wear them home filthy, because,” Asher’s eyes skimmed over Michael’s broad hairy chest as he handed the guy his clothes, “Nothing in my closet is going to fit you.”
Michael’s face flushed red with embarrassment. “Dude, why are you being so nice to me?”
Asher shook his head and chuckled, “First, my name is Asher Burkhart, and second, I don’t know.” He walked over and plopped down in the old blue recliner beside the couch. All of the furniture in the apartment was a mix-match of stuff, different woods, different finishes, even different decades. “Your friends left you--”
“My friends?” Michael’s brows shot up, but he immediately winced in pain.
“Leon and Perry--”
“Those jackasses are not my friends!” Michael growled cutting short Asher’s explanation.
“Well then, that would explain why they were so quick to abandon you and leave you passed out and bloodied on the street” Asher got up and disappeared into the bathroom again. He returned a few seconds later with two tablets and a small glass of tap water. “Here, this will help that headache you must have.”
“They did this to me?” Michael shouted.
“No, but they weren’t exactly willing to step up and help you, either. They were trying to take pictures of you to post on Facebook.”
Michael’s jaw tightened as anger flash through his dark brown eyes.
“Don’t worry,” Asher assured him, “I made them delete it before they could post them online.”
Sitting on the couch in the confines of the apartment, Michael looked like a trapped animal. Asher pointed to the bathroom and told him, “Why don’t you get cleaned up before I call a cab to take you home.”
“The cab,” Michael’s face lit up with recognition. “That’s why I stopped by the bar the other night. I wanted to thank you for helping me last week.”
This was starting to be a regular occurrence with this guy. Asher forced a weak smile, “It was nothing; besides, I hope you didn’t mind me paying the poor cabbie a big fat tip out of your wallet.”
Michael smiled, “I noticed I was running a little low on cash. At least both of you got paid for helping me out.” Michael must have noticed Asher chewing on his lower lip because he continued, “You got your tip too…right?”
Suddenly avoiding Michael’s dark gaze, Asher stood up and walked back to the kitchen, but Michael was right on his heels. “Dude, where’s my wallet? I’ll pay you right now for bailing on your tip the other night at the bar and also for all the trouble I’ve caused you.”
Asher ran his fingers through his hair. There was no way to put it lightly, so Asher blurted out, “I think someone stole your wallet because it was missing when I found you last night. Your phone was gone too.”
Michael blew up. He shouted at nobody in particular while he paced around the living room. Asher backed himself into the kitchen and waited for Michael’s anger to pass. After a few minutes, Michael slowly started to calm down. His wide chest heaved as his lungs expanded and contracted with air. Even though they were the same height, Michael had a good thirty pounds on Asher.
Asher watched Michael, a gorgeous straight man, shouting at the top of his lungs while wearing nothing more than his boxers that showed the perfect curves of his tight ass.
“God damn it, look at me, I’m shouting like a fucking mad man. You must think I’ve lost my mind,” Michael muttered running his fingers through his tangled hair.
Asher opened and closed his mouth several times, but no words came out. He was at a total loss, standing there watched a stranger have a meltdown in his home.
Michael blurted out a quick apology, “I’m really sorry. I should get dressed,” before quickly heading to the bathroom.
Asher watched the man go. He had never known someone so impulsive and out of control before. It was scary and nerve-wracking and it also had an erection stirring to life inside his shorts. “Don’t you dare,” He warned his lower member. Willing his body to relax so only a slight bulge remained when Michael finally exited the bathroom fully dressed.
The mood was uncomfortably tense. Michael’s eyes darted around the room from his jacket to his designer shoes, but they never looked at Asher or his body. Holding back a sigh, Asher reminded himself that Michael was straight. There was no use in fantasying about running his fingers over the guy’s thick chest hair and over that flat stomach which led to Michael’s—
“Dude, did you hear me?” Michael’s voice was so close.
“What?” Asher snapped back to reality.
“I said, I want to make it up to you for how I acted and how much trouble I’ve caused you.”
“Don’t worry about it.” Asher turned away from him, trying to hide the effect this man had on his body.
“No really, let me take you out for lunch later or dinner tonight?” To Michael it was a harmless request, but to Asher it would mean treading on dangerously thin ice.
‘Say no, say no…SAY NO!’ Asher’s mind screamed at him. It made sense. He should politely turn Michael down and let the man go on his merry way. “Dinner sounds okay, what time?” Before the words were out of his mouth, Asher wanted them back. Too late, he and Michael were meeting at L’Chêne Blanc for dinner at seven o’clock tonight.
Asher looked at his reflection for the hundredth time before he left the apartment. His tie was straight, his shoes were polished. He looked perfect, yet he didn’t know why he was so nervous. It was just dinner. He was meeting Michael Waters for dinner, that’s all. It was no big deal, so why did he feel so anxious?
“Friends, that’s all.” Asher said to the version of himself standing in the mirror. Grabbing his wallet and keys off the countertop, Asher took a deep breath as he shoved both of them into his pocket and walked out the door.
L’Chêne Blanc was uptown. Asher considered suggesting somewhere a little closer to the center of the city so they could both meet half-way, but Michael sounded so excited about sharing one of his favorite restaurants, that Asher didn’t mind an additional fifteen minute bus ride to meet him.
More than a block from the bus stop, the S37 turned the corner. Not wanting to chance being late, Asher jogged to keep from missing the bus. The night was balmy. Asher cursed under his breath at his shirt dampening from sweat in the humid summer air. If this had been a real date, he would be pissed, but somehow he didn’t think Michael would be getting close enough to smell the masculine scent salting his fresh clean skin.
The air conditioner blasted cold air as Asher climbed onboard. It was refreshing and felt good; it would also stop the perspiration. The last thing he wanted was to show up at the restaurant looking disheveled. It might not be a date, but Asher still took a lot of pride in his appearance. Just because there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of Michael Waters being ‘the one,’ Asher still believed that Cupid had a match for everyone and he didn’t want to look like an unkempt bum whenever Mr. Right decided to show up.
Arriving with five minutes to spare, Asher debated waiting outside to avoid appearing too anxious, but the heat had increased, and fear of looking like a drenched rat drove him inside to find that Michael was already there waiting for him.
Asher tried to hide his smile when the waitress led him to their table. Michael looked gorgeous. His dark brown hair was gelled to perfection. He was clean shaven and his tan complexion glowed in the soft candlelight of the restaurant. The small cut over his warm brown eyes was barely visible and the swelling around his busted lower lip just made his mouth look lush and kissable. Seeing Michael’s crisp navy suit suddenly made Asher feel underdressed for the occasion.
Michael’s face lit up when he saw Asher approaching, but his smile faltered when he noticed that Asher was frowning. “What’s wrong?”
Glancing around at the other guests, Asher noticed the women wearing expensive dresses and the men in tailored suits. “I think I’m underdressed,” Asher whispered as he sat in the seat across from Michael.
Michael leaned his body into the aisle and cocked his head to the side to get a full view of Asher’s wardrobe, before shrugging his shoulders, “Dude, you look fine to me.”
Red flushed across Asher’s face. The last thing he wanted was Michael commenting on his appearance. “No,” Asher hissed, “I’m not wearing a jacket like everyone else.”
The waitress suddenly appeared beside their table. She glanced back and forth between them, interrupting their conversation. “Is something wrong, gentlemen?” She questioned them. “Is there anything I can help you with before we start with your drink order?”
Michael smiled as he shucked his broad shoulders out of his jacket. “Yes, can you please take my jacket to the coat check? It far too warm to be wearing such a stuffy jacket.”
The waitress smiled politely when Michael handed it to her.
Once she was out of earshot, Michael started to laugh. “Is that better?” The sound was delicious. Asher had to concentrate just to keep breathing. He felt a little dizzy and lightheaded as all of his blood rushed straight to his cock. He could get lost in the sound of Michael’s voice as Asher nodded his head and grinned like an idiot.
“Well, now that’s settled, what do you want to drink?” Michael picked up his menu and scanned his options.
Asher couldn’t believe that this was the same guy from last night. This Michael Waters was suave and dashing, he was intelligent and funny and charming…but the way his eyes peeked at the waitress’s ass each time she passed by their table…this Michael Waters was most definitely straight!
Well, Michael's awake!!!
What do you think? I promised we would see more of Michael....did I deliver?
Thanks for reading. Please let me know what you think, I love to hear from readers.