A/N: Here we go! This is the last chapter! It's been a great ten weeks for me, trying out writing an original story and also the new sites I've been posting on (wattpad/Fiction Press and AFF). If you are reading this on AFF you might want to know that I found this site the EASIEST to post on, so far, and I I also read a lot on this site I think I'll make it my home for future stories as well… it's a pity there's no alert system, though…
For thoughts about what I'll write next, see the bottom A/N, and feel free to give me suggestions!
Now See Here!
Chapter 10: Naked Eye
"Ready to go shopping?" It was the next day. Work had been hectic but great, and Mark was practically bouncing with energy, making Jake's question redundant.
"Yup! Where are we going?"
"If we can't find what we want on Madison Avenue, we're not going to find it," Jake told him and led him out the door to hail a cab.
"So if we don't find anything we'll go in sweats?" the blond grinned.
"Why not naked?" Jake countered.
"I feel that would be a bit unfair for me…"
"I'd love it, though…"
"Well, maybe after the opera…?"
"Mark, I didn't mean to sound pushy," Jake hurriedly explained.
"Well, mind if I am? Please spend the night on Friday? Or I could get Lance to look after Felix, and-"
"Your place it is. Don't take this the wrong way, but I want you to be somewhere you're comfortable… and can kick me out if I misbehave."
"Do you plan to misbehave?"
"Would 'slightly naughty' count?"
"I was hoping for 'very naughty'" Mark sighed, faking disappointment.
"I'm sure that can be arranged," the man purred in his ear as a cab pulled up in front of them.
There were a few stores Jake had in mind, and after the car dropped them off, the walk there was a crash course in guiding the blind. At one point Mark's shoulder bumped into a lamp post because Jake hadn't noticed it, and the next moment he stumbled over a piece of garbage on the ground.
"I am very, very bad at this, aren't I?" Jake sighed.
"You'll learn! And I'm not dead yet," Mark chuckled. He was in too good of a mood to let anything bother him at the moment.
"Okay, but I think it's best if I bring you in here now," the man said, and they entered the first store. Mark had just realized that he didn't know where they were, and was about to ask, when they were met by a shop assistant.
"Mr. Barlow, so nice to see you. What can I- oh."
"Could we leave, please?" Mark muttered and pulled on Jake's arm.
"What? What's wrong?"
"She's that woman I went on a blind date with," Mark mumbled. "I don't want to buy anything from her." He had forgotten that Linda worked on Madison Avenue, which meant that this must be Barneys.
"I see. I won't require your assistance today Miss. Smith," Jake said coldly.
"Is there a problem?" another smooth voice cut in. This one was male and Mark's amazing built-in voice recognition couldn't place it.
"No, it's simply a matter of personal preference, Mr. Russo," Jake said. "Maybe you could help us instead, or should we leave all together, Mark?"
"We can stay," Mark nodded, suddenly not wanting to flee with his tail between his legs.
"Of course, I'd be delighted to help you. So what are you looking for today?" the man asked. He had that little… lilt… in his voice, which Mark associated with some gay people, but he supposed it was wrong to jump to conclusions just because of a speech pattern.
"We are going on a date to the opera later this week and are looking for a couple of new suits… just to look stylish enough so they won't kick us out," Jake explained.
"Then this way, please," the man said.
As they left, Mark's sensitive hearing picked up a few words.
"Well, if you were gay anyway…" Linda muttered. Neither Jake nor their new assistant had heard her, though, and Mark decided not to call her on it. It was unfair that she should get in trouble at work for something that had happened privately, after all. She wouldn't get any commission from Jake again, though, the blond was pretty certain of that…
"Well, this feels nice," Mark said half an hour later. "What does it look like?"
"Very good!" Jake said approvingly.
"Yes, but I mean… like what color is it?"
Mark sighed. "Could you be a bit more specific? I want to be able to picture it?"
"Mr. Barlow, I'm ashamed of you. One could almost believe you were straight!" the shop assistant, who had just returned with a few more items to try on, snorted. "Mr. Sanders, you are currently wearing a navy chalk stripe suit from Andrea Campagna. It's made of wool, in Italy and has a cupro lining."
"Wait… cupro? What does that mean?"
"It's the material, Sir, a type of rayon."
"Oh, I see," Mark nodded, though he wasn't completely sure. The lining felt like silk, anyway, and was very nice.
"It's a two button model, as you can feel, peaked lapels, front flap pockets and chest pocket as well as interior pockets. The pant is a flat front with quarter top pockets and back button welt pockets."
"I was wondering about the hem, it… didn't feel right?" Mark asked, a bit embarrassed to be complaining about something the man had just described so proudly.
"That's right, Sir. The hem is unfinished and it comes with basted sleeves and shoulders… this suit is too fine not to fit perfectly, and our tailors will take care of that for you, should you choose to buy it."
"Oh, I kind of like the sound of that," Mark grinned.
"Yes, especially as we almost had to go into the teen department to look for something that would fit you, short stuff," Jake joked.
"Hey! Not everyone can be a giant like you!" the blond defended himself.
"I assure you the fit is already good and it will be perfect," the salesman said.
Mark enjoyed the feel of it. He had tried some others on which hadn't felt quite right, but this one was just like an outer skin. And probably a very expensive one.
"How much does it cost?"
"Well, as I said, this is one of our finest-"
"Four thousand, four hundred and ninety five," the man answered.
"That is expensive," Jake said.
"I'll take it," Mark decided. "That is, if it can be done by Friday?"
"Yes, and we can arrange to have it delivered to you, if you would prefer."
"That will be great, thank you."
"Mark, a word?" Jake said and pulled him aside. "You don't have to buy it, it is a lot of money. He won't be upset if you go for something else…"
"Jake, um… how to say this…" Mark tried to find the right words. "Money isn't really a problem."
"Okay?" the man sounded a bit puzzled, making the blond smile.
"Well, it doesn't come from my parents, if that's what you think, although they aren't exactly poor, it's just that… I don't spend a lot of money. Once in a while I'll buy some new tech, oh, and movies, but… yeah… most of it just sits in the bank account… and come on, it's exciting to buy a fitted suit, isn't it?"
"Yes, well, it does look good on you," Jake agreed.
"That's the point too; I want to treat myself and I want to look good for you… so you'll think I'm really handsome and let me seduce you," he added with a smirk.
"You can do that wearing sweats, but fine. I just wanted to make sure you wouldn't regret it," Jake said, and led him back to the salesman. "Excuse us. He'll take that one and I'll take the gray one."
"That would be the Ralph Lauren Black Label shark gray, Sir?"
"Yes, the gray one," Jake deadpanned, and Mark could hear he was teasing the other man who merely snorted good-naturedly.
"If you would come with me, then we'll have them both fitted," the man said. "You two will make a lovely couple on your date, if I may say so."
"You may," Mark answered gracefully, "as long as you don't try to steal him from me."
"I shall try. Though to be honest… neither of you are my type."
"I'm not either?" Mark blinked. "Damn, and here I thought I was irresistible in the gay community…"
"He recently came out," Jake chuckled, probably as a response to the assistant's facial expression.
"Ah, I see… they are a bit full of themselves when they are young, aren't they?" the man said wryly, making Jake burst out laughing.
"Fine. At least I'm still good enough for you, right?" the blond demanded to know, taking a hold of Jake's arm as they followed the salesman.
"Of course. And my standards when it comes to these things are exceedingly high," Jake said in a snooty tone.
The next day, as they hadn't gotten around to it yet, Jake showed him his apartment after work. It would take a long time before Mark could move around freely in it, but he got a guided tour of the place. Jake complained that he couldn't impress the blond with designer wallpaper or the huge flat screen TV, and then sighed deeply. "Seriously, though… you scare me a little," the man admitted.
"Um… what?" Mark blinked.
"I don't want to brag, but… I catch some eyes, all right?" The man really did sound uncomfortable saying that, which Mark thought was endearing. On the other hand the CFO had burped during lunch and he had found that endearing too. He really had it bad. "To be frank, I don't have to work hard to hook up with someone if I want to, and then it's the other things… my money, my car, my watch, the way I dress…"
"I think you complained about something like this before," Mark chuckled. "It doesn't matter!"
"Exactly! Those things don't matter to you! And still, here we are… and that means a lot to me. Mark… I love you."
"I love you too, Jake… I really, really do!" the blond beamed. He didn't have to think about it, not even for a second, his feelings were perfectly clear. Fingertips touched his cheek in a certain way and he immediately knew what it meant. He closed his eyes, tilted his head up a little and the man's lips met his.
When it was time to leave he could barely tear himself away. He was on the verge of calling Lance and asking him to feed Felix, so he could spend the night, but he also had some extra work to do so he eventually found himself in a cab heading home, almost against his will.
Thursday went by in a blur. Mark was extremely busy at work but loved every second of it. His suit arrived and he hung it up carefully, out of reach from Felix's claws and fur.
On Friday Mark and Lance ate out for lunch as usual, and it was just the two of them. Even though they spent at least almost as much time together as before, Mark felt somewhat guilty because his mind was all filled up with Jake. He tried to explain that to his friend but only got laughed at and assured that it was perfectly normal and that the brunette didn't feel left out at all. He didn't know if it was true, because Lance had sounded a bit wistful, but it felt good to have mentioned it, at least.
Both Mark and Jake left work early, but each went home to their own place. The opera started at seven thirty and Jake had reserved a table at The Grand Tier Restaurant at the Met, so they would get something to eat before the show. The CFO would pick him up at six, meaning Mark had a lot to do before then. He tidied up, changed sheets –blushing while doing so- and took out a new pair of underwear he had bought, as well as a pair of pajama pants, even though he doubted he would have any use of them. If he did, the evening would have to be a bit of a fiasco, after all… He then shaved and showered, and he had never spent so much time under the spray before. He wanted to make sure he was really clean. Everywhere. More blushing ensued. Having heard that some men trimmed their pubic hair, he hesitated, but decided against it. A razor down there right now was to invite disaster.
He spent some time deciding on the evening's scent too, wishing he would have thought to pick something new up at Barneys, but he finally went with La Nuit De L'Homme from Yves Saint Laurent, both because it smelled very nice of cedar tree, cardamom, bergamot, and a hint of vanilla, but also because he remembered that the person selling it to him had talked a lot about 'sensuality' and 'seduction'. Well, he would just have to put it to the test, then…
The tie didn't really give him trouble; he could tie one in his sleep, but he ended up fiddling with it until the doorbell rang.
"You look fantastic," was the first thing Jake said.
"Right now I really wish I could say the same…" Mark sighed, but then came closer, caressing the man's cleanly shaved cheek, touching the tie knot, and brushing his hands over the wonderful fabric of his suit. "You feel fantastic," he grinned.
"And we should go, or that cabbie out there is not going to see us until morning," the man purred. "I'll just put my overnight bag in the bedroom, okay?" Mark nodded, and a few minutes later they were on their way.
The food was fantastic and the show was almost overwhelming. Mark had read up on the story and even listened a tiny bit to other versions of it, so he could follow pretty well, even though he didn't know what people were chuckling at until Jake explained that there were giant dancing birds on stage at that moment.
Honestly, though… the food, the music… none of it mattered, because there was really only one thing on Mark's mind. In hindsight he beat himself up for planning this. It would have been so much easier if he would have just let it happen. As it was he was stressing himself out quite a bit.
Once they were home, Mark poured them a big glass of wine each, though it was mostly for his own sake.
After that was empty though… there was only one thing to do… one place to go…
"Um, so… should we head to… the bedroom?" Mark asked.
"Only if you are sure-"
"I'm sure! Please don't ask again, because I'm… freaking out a bit. I mean, I want to. Tonight. Now. I just… if you keep asking me it's like you're gonna do something horrible to me for only your benefit, you know? And I am kinda counting on enjoying this too…"
"Oh, damn, you are?" Jake gasped. "I have no idea how to do that, do you have a manual?"
That made Mark laugh and some of the tension was broken. But just some of it, or else it would have been a miracle…
"Come," the man added, warmly but firmly, and led the younger man into his bedroom. Slowly Jake began undressing him, starting with his suit jacket which, Mark heard, he dropped on top of the dresser.
"Maybe we should hang it u-"
"Mark, there's a time to be neat, but it's not now," Jake chastened him with a chuckle in his voice, as his fingers loosened the blonds' tie before sliding it off completely.
He then started on the shirt, opening it slowly, button for button. When the shirt fell to the floor, Mark forgot to complain as he was pulled close, lips kissing his neck.
"You look beautiful," the man told him in a husky voice. "And damn, you smell so good!" That made Mark chuckle and finally dare to make a move of his own; pushing the man's jacket down from his shoulders.
Jake paused, letting the blond man set the pace as Mark slowly undressed him in return, exploring his chest in the process in great detail. The copywriter was grateful to be allowed to 'take the wheel' for a while so to speak, because it made him slightly bolder. He heard the man's breath hitch as one of his fingertips ran over a nipple, and teased the hardening nub playfully.
When Mark hesitated about what to do next, Jake took over again, popping the button to the younger man's trousers open and sliding the zipper down. He let them fall from the slender hips and gracefully sank down in front of him. Mark gasped at that unexpected move, and seemed to stop breathing altogether when he felt a kiss just under his navel. Jake lightly caressed the growing bulge inside Mark's light blue boxer briefs, making the young man moan.
The blond then gave a light chuckle. "I'm not going to last long, I can feel it…"
"Well, that's a challenge," Jake purred, "but I might not take you up on it." He then kissed the bulge itself, even mouthing the hardness through the fabric, before grabbing the waistband and pulling the underwear down.
"So beautiful," Mark heard him mumble. The blond didn't know if the words were for his benefit, to make him feel less nervous, but it did seem like the man meant it. He had to stop himself from actually asking questions; after all, he had never had the opportunity to compare himself with others. A random memory of him finally gathering up the courage to ask Lance, after gym in high school, if he was 'normal', came to mind. They'd never had a more awkward moment than that throughout their whole friendship, but it was one of those essential things a teen boy needed to know. And now he wanted to ask Jake… but he doubted that it was a good time…
All those thoughts disintegrated the moment the man's lips closed around the tip of his cock. Nothing, absolutely nothing in the whole universe, existed apart from that moist heat.
"Come. It will relax you," the man prompted before going back to his mission and taking more of the length into his mouth, sucking lightly. It was the tongue that did it for Mark, though, as it massaged the sensitive underside and then ran in circles around the tip, dipping into the slit. The man's hands were busy too, stroking what his mouth didn't handle, and softly fondling Mark's sack as well, pressing a finger against the perineum. Mark's mind was a hot mix of emotion both great ones like how good it felt, and how much he loved the man doing this to him, but there were nerves too, mixed with some self doubt. Somehow, Jakes' very presence, his touches, seemed to push those feelings back a little. Though Mark felt a little nervous, the way he was caressed was assuring and calming. Even if the blond didn't know what to do, the other man clearly did, and for once he therefore managed to guide his younger lover without fumbling… None of these thoughts truly registered in Mark's mind, though, because the sensations he was exposed to were just too overwhelming for that. The hot coil of pleasure inside the blond suddenly exploded, and he cried out, his hands tightening in Jake's hair as he came.
Not long afterwards, Mark was lying on the bed, listening to Jake's zipper being lowered and the remainder of his clothes falling to the floor. Then the man was there with him, skin against skin, lips against lips. He had gotten something from his bag before coming to bed and at that moment Mark realized that with all this planning… he had missed something crucial.
"I… I don't have any condoms?"
"Don't worry, I have. Right here," Jake mumbled against his neck, nibbling at the sensitive skin there.
"Oh, thank god, I didn't want to stop now," Mark chuckled, a bit embarrassed.
"We should go out tomorrow and buy them in bulk," the man chuckled back. "But… I am clean. I mean, you should never ever take anyone's word for that, so I'll get tested again, but once I do…?"
"Yes, sure," Mark nodded. "Does it… does it feel better without?"
"Don't worry about that," Jake told him with a low laugh. "It will feel amazing either way, though without is just more… intimate. But it's also messier, so it's really depends on the situation. We'll make sure to do a comparative test one of these days."
"Fine," Mark grinned, "but shouldn't we complete the first one before that?"
"We should, shouldn't we?" the man agreed, and kissed the younger man a bit more intently, one of his hands finding the blond's length, which was slowly hardening once more.
"You… you will top, right?" Mark asked, feeling a bit stupid, but he wanted it confirmed. "O'Connor said you were a top?"
"O'Connor should have kept his mouth shut. I prefer to top, yes, but if you want to…?"
"No… I mean… not this time, at least," the blond said, although truthfully the idea of bottoming appealed to him more, for some reason, even though he was nervous about it. "It would be like cheating, somehow."
"Yes, well… then I would still be a virgin."
"Funny, that would mean most straight men are virgins…" Jake pointed out with an amused snort.
"Like Lance!" Mark laughed. "Oh, I should tell him that, but I'm not sure what he would do…"
They abandoned talking for a while after that, to do more interesting things. Jake took it slow and careful and had had the foresight to bring lube as well, guessing –correctly- that Mark hadn't thought of that either. When a slick finger pressed against his opening, the blond couldn't help but tense up, though. Jake was patient, but suddenly, out of the blue, the man burst out laughing.
"What? What did I do?" Mark demanded to know.
"It's −I'm sorry− it's not you, it's…" the man was practically shaking from laughing. "I just noticed Felix on the dresser, watching us, and… I've never seen a more confused cat in my life."
The idea of Felix wondering what the heck they were doing made Mark laugh too… and relax. A sly Jake took advantage of the situation.
"OH!" the blond exclaimed. "Sneaky bastard!"
"Does it hurt?"
"No… just a bit strange… hmmm… nice strange, though…" the blond felt his hips respond of their own accord, lifting and meeting the intrusion of the man's finger, pushing it deeper inside. A second finger was added a moment later, and they were both stretching him, opening him up.
"Ah!" the fingers had curled, pressed upwards, and brushed a spot inside him that felt- well, it wasn't an overwhelming pleasure, but it was definitely a step up from 'I could get used to this' to 'I want more!'.
"Do you think you are ready?" Jake asked softly. "I could go on if you're not… or we could take a break, or-"
"I'm ready," Mark said decisively.
"Liar. I can see how nervous you are. I like your attitude, though," the man chuckled. "Should I pretend I believe you and go ahead?"
"Yes. Don't trust my face for once, will you?" Mark grinned.
Jake maneuvered them both into a better position, even placing a pillow under the blonds' hips for a better angle, and then Mark heard a plastic ripping sound as Jake opened the condom. Then the pressure at his opening was back, only much more intense now. Mark realized that he hadn't even touched the man's cock yet, merely felt it against him, meaning he had no idea of what kind of size to expect.
"Are… are you big?"
"You'll be fine," the man simply answered, and the copywriter realized that talking about a man's size at a time like this might be a bit of a faux pas.
"You… feel really big…" he therefore added, getting a low chuckle in reply.
The pressure turned into a slight burn as it grew and then, suddenly, he could feel himself opening up, the length sinking into him.
"Breathe," Jake whispered, sounding like he wasn't doing that himself.
It was not amazing. It was strange, and it burned a little, but at the same time, he felt so… full. And that sensation, paired the friction against his entrance as the man pulled out slightly before pushing in a bit deeper − that made it all better. A few more slow thrusts and Mark heard himself moan as he raised his hips again, clutching at the man's shoulders.
"I'm… starting to… understand why… people do this…" he mumbled. After a little while longer, he added "Could you… go a little faster?"
It turned out that Jake could.
They moved surprisingly well together for a first time, Jake constantly taking his clues about how fast and deep it was okay to go from the blond. Mark was no longer worried, though, and much more intent on enjoying himself, so the dark-haired man didn't have to hold back much. After letting the younger man experience only the sense of penetration for a while, he started stroking Mark's now fully interested length.
The dual sensations made the blond cry out loudly and his hands fell from the man's shoulders to curl into the sheets instead, as his body shivered in pleasure.
"That's- Yes, oh… god! Please!" he gasped and Jake drove into him even harder and faster, getting closer to his own climax. Mark felt that spring tighten once more and, as he heard the older man grunt he lost his own control.
"I think I blacked out there for a second…" Mark panted heavily a little later.
"Why, thank you," Jake purred.
The blond chuckled and turned towards the man, cuddling close.
"I love you," he whispered.
"Of course you do, I'm amazing," Jake sniffed.
"Hey, don't ruin the moment!"
"I'm sorry. I love you too. You were incredible."
"We haven't done everything yet, though," Mark pointed out like there was a list. "I mean, I haven't touched your cock, or given you a blow job, or-"
"There's no need to rush, we have all the time in the world," his –now certified- lover assured him.
"I know, I know, I just… by the way, what is Felix doing now?"
The man turned over a bit to look and gave a short laugh. "He's asleep. We're apparently not that interesting."
"We must just have had the most boring sex ever!" Mark exclaimed.
"Pft, he's neutered, what does he know?" Jake sniffed. "I think you should go back to thinking that I'm fantastic."
"Well… alright then… not that I have much to compare you to…"
"Just assume I'm the best, then."
"Yes, I think I'd better do that," Mark snickered.
"Good. Because I love you, and I'm completely against the idea of owning people, but you're mine."
"I see," Mark smiled. And he really did.
A/N: And that was it! Thank you for reading this little romance story, I hope you've liked it… I'm THINKING of writing a spin-off with some more of Lance/O'Connor, so let me know if that sounds interesting at all, okay? I have some other ideas for original stories, though, much more fantasy-inspired… I wanna do a mer-people one, and I DO love Nekos… maybe even m-preg (!) and I've written that a few times in f-fiction and it's kinda fun… for shits and giggles, you know… ;) But for now I'm very busy on ff, so you probably won't see me for a while... but I'll be back… ;)
Also; a DISCLAIMER: I've never been to Barneys, New York, so I don't KNOW if they have shop assistants like that (thought it would surprise me if they didn't have good customer service)… all else, like the suits, tailoring, prices and such are legit, though... because they DO have a web site... ;) Same with the Met, who (as I write this) actually DON'T have audio description, though other operas do… they should get on that, shouldn't they? ;)