I stared up at the pink ceiling with a frown.
Turning my head to the side, my frown deepened at seeing Lesley. His mohawk had wilted and was a ruffled green mess due to sleep and my hands from last night. My focus on getting my hands on him and getting him in me was probably the reason I didn't notice the odd paint job when we stumbled in and crashed onto his bed.
And speaking of last night…
My gaze drifted from his sleeping face to his crotch, hidden under the purple sheets. I was quite surprised to feel, and then see, that piercings weren't just located on his face, ears, and navel. All he was missing was nipple piercings.
Lesley grumbled in his sleep before slowly opening his eyes. They were a shocking green, almost the exact shade of his hair.
He yawned and smiled sleepily, "Hey there. You've got real nice eyes, Jack."
I chuckled, "I was just thinking the same about yours."
We both shuffled around until we were sitting up and stretched the kinks out of our muscles. I groaned, feeling a familiar pleasant soreness in my lower back. I rubbed my wrists that were slightly chafed by the silk scarves that were lying on the floor now. That was definitely an interesting experience although I don't think bondage is quite for me.
"You have anywhere to be?" Lesley asked, slumping down so his head rested on my shoulder.
"Not really, no. Although, Carson did say he was going to force me to go grocery shopping in the afternoon."
"My best friend."
"Ah, the tall, dark haired one that was trying to eat the small brunet?"
"That would be the one." I looked up at the ceiling again and couldn't restrain myself any longer. "Okay, what is up with your ceiling?"
Lesley laughed, "I like colors. Each room has got some bright colored wall or ceiling to go with the off-white. My kitchen has a red wall, one bathroom's got an orange wall the other's got purple, neon blue ceiling in my living room, spare's got a yellow wall, and pink ceiling here."
"Uh-huh…" It was then that I spotted an electric guitar sitting in the corner surrounded by notebooks and music books. "You any good?"
Lesley got up off the bed and pulled on his underwear from last night, saying with a chuckle, "I should hope so considering I'm a teacher."
I got out of the bed as well, locating my clothes, and couldn't mask my surprise, "You're a teacher? What school lets you teach the way you look?"
"I tone it down when I'm working, limiting myself to only having my ear and navel piercings in and the mohawk is when I feel up to it. The parents are always a little wary when they first meet me but I'm harmless. And I teach at a studio a couple blocks away in the afternoons instead of an actual school so the rules are more relaxed. Mornings I teach art for adults. Do you want breakfast?"
"Breakfast sounds great. Mind if I hop in the shower?"
Lesley told me to go ahead and even offered me some clothes to wear. When I tried to refuse, he simply said, "Just borrow my clothes. You can return them later." He walked out of the bedroom after that leaving me no room to argue.
Stepping out of Lesley's bedroom dressed in Lesley's clothes with a towel around my neck and my clothes in a clump in my hands, I drifted to the kitchen where I could smell bacon frying.
"You can dump your clothes in my laundry hamper," Lesley called out. I did as told, backtracking into his bedroom before walking back to the kitchen.
"So is the whole clothes borrowing thing some kind of ploy to make me come back?" I questioned lightly.
Lesley shrugged, "Well, yes. I like you and was hoping this wouldn't just end as a one night stand."
Despite his casualness, red flags went up. "Sorry but I don't do relationships."
"I meant as friends, I was hoping we could be friends, Jack. Don't worry about me falling for you or something, you commitment-phobe."
"I am not a commitment-phobe," I defended. "I just don't see the point in romantic relationships."
"Whatever you say, commitment-phobe," Lesley sang, placing the bacon strips onto two plates with some egg and toast.
I groaned and took the offered plate, following him to the dining table, "I'm reconsidering this friendship thing. I do not need another Carson who nags me about everything."
Lesley grinned, "I was teasing not nagging. There is a difference. And he only nags you because he loves you, probably."
I rolled my eyes, "I know but I'm allowed to complain. Anyway, do you have anything planned for today?"
Lesley shook his head, "I've got the next two weeks off. Studio's undergoing some renovating and apparently I'm useless and a distraction. I was thinking of just relaxing, maybe paint or compose a little here and there."
We continued to talk as we ate and I found that Lesley was great company. I already kind of came to that conclusion the previous night once we had tired ourselves out after the second round and we simply lay in his bed and talked. It was not my usual way of handling one night stands but it seems Lesley had his mind set on us being more than that. Well whatever, I liked him and since it seemed like Tim was going to be carted off by Carson, I now had friend number two, Lesley. Hung, despite being the catalyst for my issue with Mr. Stone and spilling my drink on me constantly, seemed to be a great place for finding new friends.
Once our plates were empty my phone started ringing from his bedroom.
"That's probably my cue to get my ass on home," I said as I went to retrieve the device. As I thought, Carson was calling.
"How was your night?" I asked, sitting down on Lesley's bed.
Carson grumbled, "Don't say a fucking word. I don't want to hear about how you got lucky last night while I went to your apartment alone with enough pent up sexual frustration to drown several whales and their mothers."
I laughed, "Wow, little Tim gave you the slip? I figured you'd just throw him over your shoulder and find a hotel or something and have your way with him."
"I wish. At least I got to kiss him. His lips are softer than they look and perfect for biting down on." Carson sighed and I shook my head. He was so far gone already. He startled me when he suddenly exclaimed, "Fuck! I didn't get his number!"
He went on to start panicking and cursing himself for being distracted by Tim's adorable sexiness, completely forgetting that I had the little cutie's number.
I cut Carson off mid-rant, "Look, I'm about to head home now. We've got a grocery date to go to so you don't end up finding my corpse in a couple weeks. I will ask Tim if he's fine with me giving you his number and then you can tell me all about how you are going to make him yours and I will tell you about a new friend I made."
"You have his number?!" Oh, Carson. He's a lost cause.
"I'll see you in a few, Car," I said and cut the call. I quickly sent Tim a text asking if he minded me giving Carson his number before stuffing my phone into my pocket. I gathered my wallet as well and walked back into the main room. Lesley was just coming from the kitchen and our plates were nowhere to be seen.
"You leaving?" he asked.
I nodded, "Yeah. I've got a weekend of Carson bitching and moaning about Tim and how fuckable the little guy is."
Lesley laughed and walked me to the door, "Sounds fun. I'd love to meet the two. Give me your number?"
We traded numbers and I left the apartment, promising to hang out with him sometime in the next two weeks and introducing him to Carson and Tim.
As I was walking down the street towards my apartment, I heard a banshee shriek.
Okay, so not a banshee but I think Clara was close enough.
I picked up my pace and rushed past other pedestrians in an attempt to escape but I was stopped by a red light. I would jaywalk but that particular street was teeming with cars and I would like to not get extremely intimate with the asphalt road.
A small hand grabbed hold of my upper arm and I groaned to myself turning around. "Clara," I deadpanned.
"I was calling for you," she said, immediately removing her hand from me with a grimace and pulling out a bottle of hand sanitizer. Had I not been used to her acting that way, I would have slapped her and then hugged her just to watch her scream in disgust.
"What do you want?" I asked, although I already knew.
"I'm looking for my brother. As much as I hate it, you two are still unfortunately close. He never came home last night and his phone is with some homosexual."
"I'm not Carson's keeper. He can sleep around and do whatever he wants. I haven't seen him since I left work yesterday," I said easily. I was used to saving Carson's ass from his mother and sister.
Still, Clara pressed on, "Are you sure? Is he at your house?"
I shrugged, "Doubt it considering I got laid last night and am just returning home."
"Urgh, where is he? Both mom and I told him I was coming by to visit. My friend is coming down tomorrow to meet him."
"Well, I have no idea and I've got things to do, men to fuck, and homophobes to ignore. So good bye and I hope to never see you again."
I quickly made my escape as the light had turned green while Clara had stopped me. I made it to the other side just as the light blinked red and practically ran to get out of her sight. I slipped into a video game store and pulled out my phone, calling Carson.
"So your sister found me," I said as soon as he picked up.
"Shit. Is she with you?"
"No, I managed to run away and ditch her but I'm not going to risk leading her to my apartment, which she will no doubt—fuck!" I cut myself off and ran to the back of the store, hiding behind a display case for secondhand games just as I saw Clara rushing past the store, looking around.
One of the salespeople gave me a weird look.
"Hiding from my best friend's homophobic and psychotic sister," I explained, keeping my eyes on the big window that looked out onto the streets. "I would be extremely grateful if you did not give my location to the girl that is just entering the store."
The last of my words rushed out in an almost inaudible hiss as I crouched to the floor, praying that she wouldn't find me.
"Jack? Jack! What the hell is going on?"
"Your sister is a fucking stalking machine," I hissed before cutting the call.
"Hi, have you seen a man with brown hair and eyes come by? He was wearing tight black skinny jeans and a cut up green shirt with a picture of a clown on the front."
"That the crazy sister?" the salesperson asked, standing up after having shelved the last game she had in her basket.
I nodded, not daring to say a word more.
The girl walked away from me and went up to Clara and I felt dread building up in the pit of my stomach.
They talked for a couple minutes, the girl pointing outside of the store then leading Clara out. They talked and she kept pointing and then Clara ran off down the street.
"You can come out now," the girl called. "I told her you crossed the street and went the other way, towards 42nd."
I stood up, sighing in relief, "Thank you so much. She would have stalked me all day and I do need to get home."
The people at the store laughed and I thanked them once more before leaving and quickly making my way home. I did look over my shoulder every once in a while just to be sure she wasn't following me. I did not want to pack up and move apartments.
Carson was lounging on my couch watching TV when I entered, quickly shutting the door and using all three locks.
"Yeah, fine. Perfect. I hate your sister."
Carson sighed, "Sometimes I do too but I can't hate her or my mother forever. You ready for my bitching and grocery shopping?"
Carson gathered his things and we set off to the grocery store, taking his car. On the way he told me exactly how Tim ditched him and I couldn't help but laugh.
"I can't believe him! He is too cute. Ducking down and crawling between your legs and then sprinting off. I can't," I gasped. "My stomach hurts. Oh my god. Car, no, too much. It hurts. I can't breathe. Jesus Christ."
I was bent over in the passenger seat clutching my stomach. It was so hard to breathe and my stomach was cramping. I hadn't laughed like that in so long and I forgot how painful laughter could be.
"Shut up," Carson grumbled, reached one hand over to smack my head.
"Hands on the wheel!" I exclaimed, still laughing.
"I fucking hate you. I should just let you starve to death."
I laughed the entire ride to the store and was only just getting my breath back when we were entering the minimart and Carson grabbed a cart.
"We need food for a month or so, and seriously, quit laughing or I'm leaving you here and you can walk back to your place."
"I walk everywhere anyway, so that's not much of a threat," I pointed out as we walked towards the vegetables. Ew.
"You are twenty-seven, not seven," Carson said, seeing my grimace as he grabbed a couple carrots.
"A grown man is allowed to not like veggies," I pouted.
"Speaking of veggies, how was mohawk dude?"
"He was great. And he wants to meet you and Tim."
Carson frowned, "Didn't the red flag light up? Practically everything sets off those flags for you."
I nodded, grabbing some apples, "They did when he said he didn't want last night to just be a one night stand. But he just wants to be friends and he didn't seem to be lying. We talked a lot and he seems pretty cool. I liked him and since you are stealing Tim from me, I now have Lesley."
"Lesley?" Carson raised a brow as he moved us down to another aisle filled with starch products and canned goods.
I nodded, "Eh, he's cool. And we wouldn't have worked out as something sexual anyway. He's got a bondage kink and I have discovered I don't like restraints."
Carson grimaced as he grabbed a bag of rice, "Okay, too much info. I do not need to visualize you in bondage gear."
"We just used scarves, perv, seeing as I was a bondage virgin," I said, rolling my eyes and replacing the bag he took with a much cheaper one that was probably really bad quality. I slapped his hand away from the rice and grabbed some spaghetti.
"You will shut up now. I am so glad I didn't know you in high school. You would have been even worse." He led the way to the drinks and grabbed a jug of milk, grape juice, cranberry juice, and a box of beer.
I laughed, "In high school we would have never even spoken to each other." With me being an 'emo-punk' and Carson being a 'bad boy' we would have never bothered with each other unless forced to. Which was what happened in university when we were assigned to the same dorm room. I had been starting to grow the shaved parts of my head back out and it took a couple months for me to return to my natural hair color and for the studded, neon clothing to disappear. Carson's leather took a bit longer but he has yet to part with a particular jacket.
While we continued shopping, I got a text from Tim and grinned when I read that he didn't want Carson to get his number from me although he did ask if he could get Carson's email address which I did give him because I knew Carson would not mind at all. The little bunny was going to be leading the wolf by his tail it seemed. When Carson asked why I was laughing I simply told him that I had a form of quality entertainment in my future. It was safe to say that he was incredibly suspicious but I ignored all his questioning and we quickly finished shopping. Although, we had to explain to the fanboy cashier that we were not married or living together or dating or interested in his underaged ass before getting into Carson's car and heading back to my apartment.
We put everything away and crashed on my couch, Carson snatching the remote before I could and putting on the news making me groan.
"You are such a kid," Carson said, rolling his eyes at me as some woman droned on about people getting drugged or something during the day.
"It's the same thing over and over," I complained. "Bombs in the Middle East, protesting in Asia, prejudiced violence in America, North Korea threatening to start World War III, psychopath goes postal, celebrity does something, nudes leaked, and more stuff that further shows how shitty the human race is."
Carson moved his eyes from the screen to look at me with a raised brow, "Okay, I stand corrected. You are such an angsty, cynical teenager."
I stuck my tongue out at him.