I’m kind of laughing at myself because I now have two characters who share an October 21st birthday. Who does that? You’ll find out who in a few months when Book 2 of my next series is released ;-). Today (& tomorrow) is all about Aaron. Happy Birthday Aaron! Better Than Good begins in October 2010 so yes, the boys have been a serious item for about 3 1/2 years. At this point, they’re probably discussing marriage and family, right? This is a teensy look into the boys’ lives two years ago when Matt dealt with a serious bout of jealousy. The unreasonable kind that hits you unexpectedly and with the strength of a sledgehammer. There’s no point in trying to be rational because it’s not going to happen. We’ve all been there. Admit it.
*Disclaimer: Please remember, this story has not been edited. Please forgive any mistakes or mistypes…hopefully they’re minor. Enjoy!
I loved my job. Dealing with the legal end of contracts wasn’t for everyone but it appealed to my lawyerly sense of order. That morning, I admit I was tired of staring at a computer screen. It was hard to leave a seriously beautiful naked man lying in a cozy warm bed before the crack of dawn. Again. My ridiculous schedule was killing me. Long hours, long meetings and a ton of details to keep straight. Thank God for Aaron. I didn’t have to be particular when it came to details in my personal life. Social calendars and hell, even dinner choices I left to my boyfriend. Aaron was a tyrant about keeping things clean, tidy and organized. When it came to practical matters like balancing a checkbook, he was a disaster, but I didn’t mind. We’d come a long way in learning each other’s strengths and weaknesses over the past year and a half. Maybe moving in together eight months ago put things in perspective. Who knew? I figured communication was key. I wasn’t sure if I was getting better at it, but I wanted to. For Aaron.
What I did know was I may not have ever in a million years thought I’d be in a relationship with a man, but fuck, I’d never been happier. Aaron was… beautiful, funny, sweet, and at times a serious handful. When he got angry or frustrated, his Latino temper flared impressively, but he was the kindest man I knew and definitely the most beautiful. Inside and out. I was lucky to have found someone I loved, trusted and wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I shook my head thinking I had to get home earlier tonight. A couple of weeks pulling sixteen hours plus days had me feeling rundown and out of sync. As much as I loved my work, I felt a flash of longing for the sexy man I’d left sleeping a few hours ago.
My office phone rang loudly, waking me from my reverie. I picked it up without looking at the caller ID, grateful for the distraction. I assumed the caller was one of the firm’s secretaries or my boss issuing a quick reminder about another deadline. Perfect timing, I mused. The last thing I needed was to be sitting at my desk daydreaming with a hard-on at ten in the fucking morning.
“You seem to have forgotten something rather important,” a soft Southern voice sing-songed musically on the line.
“It’s me! Jay! Geez, Matt, what am I going to do with you? Do you even realize you have a rather significant date coming up, for which I might add, you are woefully unprepared?”
I stopped what I was doing and swiveled in my chair so I could concentrate on Jay. I couldn’t remember him ever calling me at work, on a company landline no less. He obviously had something important to say. What was I unprepared for?
“You don’t even know what I’m talking about, do you?” I heard him tsk-tsk and wracked my brain trying to figure it out without him berating me. I came up blank.
“Aaron’s birthday, you bone head!’
Ah. Yes, a high holiday in our house for sure. But it was at least three weeks away. What was the rush?
“Listen Matt. I know what you’re thinking because I’ve been with Peter for eons and you have a similar ability to become consumed by your work. You are thinking, and correct me if I’m wrong, ” it’s weeks away, why worry?”. I’ll tell you why. He is the big three-oh this year and he’s trying to not sound like his usual diva self because you’ve been so busy. He knows how to keep perspective and be compassionate. But Matt, let’s get real. That boy will be crushed if we don’t do his birthday up right. Am I correct? You know I am.”
“Uh…yes. Yeah. Wait. Has he been talking about his birthday with you? He hasn’t really mentioned it much.”
“I told you, he didn’t want to be insensitive. But as his best friend, I’m stepping in. It’s time to plan a party. I’ll do the heavy calling, you do the heavy lifting. Sound fair? It’s not too late to plan something fabulous. Are you on board?”
I had to laugh. Jay was a fucking steamroller. I assured him that of course I was completely in and would love any help he offered. It was a good wake up call. I didn’t like thinking I had neglected my relationship, but the truth was that I probably had been too consumed lately with work. I needed to stop and refocus. Planning Aaron’s 30th birthday party with Jay was a good start.
We agreed attempting a surprise party would be useless. Aaron was way too nosey, not to mention sneaky. Chances are it would have been ruined well before the day arrived anyway. So we told him the time and begged him to let the rest be a surprise. Jay thought an eighties themed party would be perfect since it was the decade Aaron was born. I reminded him the birthday boy would be crushed not to hear his favorite Rhianna, Beyonce or Lady Gaga songs, and that Madonna could really only be played for so long. In the end, we dumped the decade theme idea, rented an outdoor tent, tables and chairs, hired a caterer and invited more people than I thought anyone could possibly know personally. Jay insisted they were all friends, family and work associates, but it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. This was big and we were going all out.
Jay and Peter insisted on hosting the party at their Adams Morgan home. Their house was bigger than our condo and boasted a great outdoor entertainment space with a brick fireplace and graceful old willow trees. Jay had fairy lights strung overhead and results were stunning. I was very grateful for their generosity. Once again they’d proven themselves to be great friends and anyone’s version of a consummate cool couple. Jay and Peter were worldly, successful and though complete opposites, they balanced one another effortlessly. Jay was fun and free-spirited like Aaron, although possibly less dramatic, while Peter was more serious and focused. They were easily the most beautiful couple I’ve ever seen. Even in the earliest days when I was incredibly attracted to Aaron but wasn’t completely sure how to embrace my bisexuality, I wouldn’t have bothered denying I found them both attractive. Peter was tall, dark and gorgeous while Jay was tall, blond and equally hot. More importantly, they were the kind of friends who felt like family. The good kind of family, that is. As the big three-oh bash neared, I was very thankful to have them in my corner. It was a full time job handling Aaron’s excitement and the endless barrage of questions.
“Who’s the deejay? Was Dom available? He’s the best. Did you invite my sisters and my brother? They might not stay long but we should invite them. What’s on the menu? Jay told me Cache is catering. Love them! Maybe they could—”
I put a hand over his mouth and backed him against the bathroom counter. I kissed his lips to soften the gesture then narrowed my eyes. “Dom will deejay. Your whole family will be there, at least for dinner. I have no clue about the menu. Jay took care of that part because he knows the caterer well. No more questions. You’ll see when you get there.”
He smiled up at me mischievously, brushing his long dark bangs from his eyes as he slipped his hand between my legs and rubbed his palm meaningfully against my crotch. “You’re right, Matty. It’s just a small party. Nothing to get worked up about, honey.”
I groaned at his blatant tease and gritted my teeth. “If I could figure out a quick way to get those tight black leather pants over your ass and fuck you senseless before we have to leave, I would baby.”
Aaron laughed. “And ruin this beautiful ensemble? What will everyone say?”
He pushed me gently backward and smoothed his hands over his crisp collared shirt. It was tame compared to what he usually wore with leather pants but I knew he’d lose the shirt and change into something more snug after his family left. He turned to glance at his reflection then stepped back and ran a suggestive hand over my jean-clad ass before pausing in the doorway to pose like a fashion model with one arm anchored above his head.
“Let’s go, Matty. I’ll give you a thank you gift at midnight, when I actually turn that awful number we’ll never speak aloud, alright?”
I chuckled and kissed his cheek. “Twenty-nine forever, eh? I know it’s not going to be a problem for a few years… at least, but what happens when I turn thirty? Or—”
Aaron glared at me and slapped his hand against the doorjamb. “Rude! Four years is nothing!”
“Shh. I was teasing. I love you no matter how much older you are than me. In fact, you’re good for my ego. A hot older Puerto Rican lover with a beautiful ass—”
This time his fierce scowl knit his brow menacingly. “Watch it or you won’t be getting any of this ass. And I have big plans at midnight, Matty. Big plans.”
I wanted to laugh at the silly lascivious way he waggled his eyebrows as he sashayed out of the bathroom but the blood had left my head and traveled south too quickly for response. I had no idea what was happening at midnight but suddenly I couldn’t wait either.
There had to be eighty people at Jay and Peter’s house that night. Who the hell had eighty people over and called it a small party? Apparently Jay and Aaron. People were everywhere. What began in the early hours of the evening as a sophisticated catered affair with heartfelt toasts in the birthday boy’s honor progressed to nightclub-esque debauchery as midnight neared. Lights were dimmed, dance music blared and drinks flowed freely. Aaron was in heaven. He loved a good party and wasn’t shy about being the center of attention. I watched him bounce from one group of friends to the next pausing to occasionally take a sip of his Cosmo or stick his tongue down my throat.
I stood next to Peter late that night watching our boyfriends dance together. They were hypnotic. If I didn’t know Jay was completely in love with Peter, I would have been crazy jealous at the way they touched and grinded their bodies suggestively as their hips swayed to the pulsating beat. Because Jay was so much taller than Aaron, he moved as though he were in control, his arms circling Aaron’s waist and cupping my lover’s ass. I wasn’t jealous. I was turned on. And I understood that this show was for Peter and me. They knew exactly what they were doing. Aaron could dance like no one I’d ever seen. He was fucking mesmerizing. His hips rolled suggestively in his tight leather pants. The black V-neck T-shirt he’d changed into after his family left was so form-fitted you could see his nipples harden as Jay brushed against him. He’d put extra gel in his dark hair earlier and glitter everywhere… in his hair and around his eyes. He looked amazing. I did a double take when we left our condo that evening and I’d done it many times during the course of the night. I couldn’t believe he was mine. I felt so ordinary in my designer jeans and shirt. They were nicer than usual because Aaron had picked them out, but he was so incredibly beautiful and I was just… me.
“Damn.” Peter whistled appreciatively. “Those boys are very fuckin’ sexy. Sorry, Matt, I’m gonna need to intervene.”
I watched him make his way toward Jay and Aaron. He wrapped his hand around Jay’s neck and instantly had his man’s attention. Jay focused all his best moves on his man, gyrating into his pelvis and sticking his tongue…well, everywhere. Aaron was just his dance partner, while it was clear Peter was his lover. Aaron stepped back to allow them room, never breaking stride. He seemed perfectly happy dancing next to his friends rather than being a part of their man on man action. I figured that was my cue. I wanted him. Badly. I’d been patient all night. I wanted him to enjoy himself and not worry about entertaining me or introducing me to eighty people whose names I’d never remember. But a smart man knew when to take advantage of an opportunity and it looked like this was my chance.
I set my glass down on a nearby table but just as I turned, some guy came out of nowhere and stole my spot. He slid possessive arms around Aaron and wantonly pressed their torsos together. It was too dark for me to tell if I had met him earlier, so I didn’t know if he knew Aaron was with me or if he didn’t give a fuck either way. None of that mattered. I couldn’t control my reaction. I literally saw red and the hair on the back of my neck stood in some time-honored, macho reflex. A wave of vicious jealousy no doubt fueled by copious amounts of alcohol swept like wildfire through my veins.
I was at Aaron’s side in a flash. He looked up at me with a blinding grin and opened his mouth to speak but his expression turned quizzical when he saw my face. I gave him a tight smile but I didn’t touch him. His dance partner made a slick maneuver that blocked Aaron from me and something inside me snapped. I reached for the asshole’s sweaty hand wrapped around Aaron’s lower back and firmly yanked it away. The fucker had the audacity to give me a dirty look and say two words guaranteed to make me explode.
Red turned to scarlet and my vision clouded. This time I didn’t hesitate to move completely in his space.