Christmas music filled the elevator as I rode in silence up to our apartment, thankful my new client had signed on the dotted line with little fuss. I think we had both been trying to get home for the holidays. Nothing sped up the process like a late afternoon meeting on the day before Christmas, I guessed.
The elevator doors opened, and I stepped out into the empty hallway. Even on busy days, people in our building were quiet, respectful and kept to themselves, which was how I liked it. My fiancé, Jeremy, wasn’t expecting me for at least another couple of hours. I kind of looked forward to surprising him. We had reservations at nine for dinner, so it would be nice to chill out, maybe throw on some news before we headed into the frosty night. Well, for New York City, it wasn’t the coldest Christmas I’d seen. In fact, it was downright seasonal.
I pulled my keys out of my pocket and slipped the right one into the lock before turning it clockwise and pushing open the door. I stepped in and was immediately surprised by the dimmed lights and a handful of lit candles glowing inside. Sometimes, Jeremy takes relaxing baths. I opted not to yell out and didn’t want to break his mood. Hell, if I’m lucky, maybe I’ll slip into the tub and join him.
I hung up my coat on the hook near the door and set my briefcase down on the counter. I walked into the living room and immediately saw clothes strewn about the apartment. Well then, I thought to myself. If that’s how he wants this evening, I don’t want to disappoint him. We’d played this little game before. I’d come home, Jeremy would have stripped and had been waiting for me on our bed. Once, for Valentine’s Day, he’d had a trail of rose petals leading me into the bedroom.
Without thinking, I shrugged out of my suit coat, laying it over the back of the sofa. I kicked off my loafers and made quick work of my tie. Before long, I was naked as the day I’d been born. I stared down at my washboard stomach. Not as flat as when I’d been a teenager, but I still looked pretty damn hot. Just staring at my nude body and its tightly manscaped features had me growing in anticipation.
The bedroom door was closed. I reached out, grabbed the handle and twisted it. I pushed it open quietly, just in case Jeremy had fallen asleep while he was waiting for me. The thought of walking in on a nude Jeremy lying on our bed facedown definitely caused my cock to twitch. I looked down at all eight inches of me standing as straight and hard as a ship’s mast.
It took a second for my eyes to adjust.
“What the fuck!” I yelled.
Jeremy was mid-thrust into some young twink’s ass.
He whipped his head in my direction. “Roger,” Jeremy started, his voice trailing off.
I stared in disbelief as Jeremy’s cock sat nestled in the guy. The twink, whose face was shoved into the mattress, lifted his head and looked at me.
“Oh…hey, Roger,” Avery said. “Wanna join?” He winked at me and licked the top of his lip.
Part of me wanted to go over and shove something between those lips to see if he’d choke on it. But with my luck, he’d have no gag reflex. Instead, I narrowed my eyes and said, “Avery Addington.” I sounded like a principal who wasn’t too surprised to see a pupil in the main office. “What the fuck are you doing here?”
Avery looked at me with a ‘are you fucking kidding me’ look, before he said, “Uh…having a good time.”
My nails bit into my palms in clenched fists. Jeremy sat there with his cock still sitting inside the kid. Then he slowly slid out.
“And you’re not wearing a condom!” I was pretty sure neighbors up and down the hall heard that one.
“Don’t worry, daddy,” Avery said, drawing out the word ‘daddy’ like it was some kind of badge of honor for reaching the ancient age of forty. “I’m totally on PrEP.”
“I’m. No. One’s. Father.”
I knew if I didn’t get out of there, I was going to say a few things I wouldn’t want to repeat in polite company, not that Avery was polite. Avery was one of those kids who had a reputation, and now I saw the reputation in all its glory splayed out on my bed…and on the sheets I’d bought!
I shut the door.
I looked out at the living room. Only then did I notice that there’d been two pairs of pants on the floor. How had I been so blind?
I walked over to where I’d discarded my clothes and heard the bedroom door open.
“You don’t get the right to be angry with me,” Jeremy said.
“What?” I spun around and looked at Jeremy. “I’m not the one who was fucking around on my fiancé…on Christmas Eve!”
“Well, if you weren’t working all the time…”
“I work all the time so we can afford to live here, so we can afford that dream wedding you’ve been wanting.”
“Hey! It’s not my fault I’m having a problem landing a job.”
“Jeremy,” I said, trying to keep the venom out of my voice as much as possible, “you’ve been having a problem landing work for years. When are you going to realize that you’re a two-bit hack of an actor who will never make it big? Sure, you’re hot, but you don’t have any fucking talent.” As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I kind of regretted them—but not really.
“Well… How long have you been holding that in?”
I breathed in through my nose and let it out. “This is neither the time nor the place to have this conversation.”
“Oh, and why not?”
“You’re naked. I’m naked. And that two-bit hustling twink is in my bedroom.”
“As if that makes it better?” I groused.
Avery chose that moment to make his appearance. He reached up and rested his arm on Jeremy’s shoulder as he draped himself around my fiancé. I couldn’t help but focus downward, seeing that Avery was the only one in the room who was on full alert.
“I am not a hustler,” Avery said.
“You’re what? Twelve—?”
“I’m twenty-five, I’ll have you know.”
“And yet you act like you’re a child. You’re the fucking gay version of Peter Pan. All the rumors about you are true, aren’t they?”
“I don’t pay attention to rumors. Anyone who has a problem with me isn’t my problem.”
“What the fuck ever,” I said. “I just can’t—”
“We need to talk about this,” Jeremy said, cutting into my dressing down of Avery.
“Talk about what?” I asked. In the flickering candlelight, I realized that all three of us were standing there stark naked. I was so mad at Jeremy that I hadn’t thought about the fact that I was letting an absolute stranger stare at my naked body. “I can’t talk to you now…not like this—”
“Don’t, Roger, me.” I found my underwear on the ground, reached down, grabbed them and pulled them up. When I was finally covered, I looked back up at Avery and Jeremy. “I hope you two are happy together.”
“Oh, I’m not looking for a relationship,” Avery said, with almost a hint of disgust at the thought of it. “I found him on Grindr and thought he looked like fun.”
“Grindr!” I yelled again. “You’re on Grindr?”
“It’s not like that—”
“Like what? Like you created a profile on a dating app behind my back.” Only then did I realize what other implications this had. “Is Avery even the first?”
The look on Jeremy’s face was all I needed to see. Avery clearly wasn’t the first. My face went slack.
I couldn’t say anything. I didn’t know what to say. I’d never felt more betrayed by anyone in my entire life.
I got dressed. I heard Jeremy’s voice in the background, but I’d honestly stopped listening. At some point, Avery had slunk back into the bedroom. I looked up at one point and could see the kid acting like he owned the place. Avery was propped up with his arms crossed behind his head. The light from the living room provided me enough to see the smug look on the little prick’s face.
I laced up my shoes, stood, walked to the front door, grabbed my briefcase, pulled down my coat and left.
Even as I shut the door behind myself, I could hear Jeremy calling after me. I walked in a haze to the elevator. A happy, smiling couple stood in the small box hand-in-hand when the doors opened. That should have been me. As much as I wanted to make a snide comment about how love was fake, I plastered on a smile and turned my back to the couple. On the ride down, a tear fell down my cheek.
I walked through the lobby and quickly realized I did not know where I was going. Out in the cold air, I pulled out my phone and pulled up my favorite hotel app. On Christmas Eve, there wasn’t exactly much availability, and the prices for booking this late made my eyes bulge. I found a hotel I’d always wanted to stay at and booked it. I had the money in my savings, so I might as well enjoy the stay. I booked for three nights. I needed distance. I needed to figure out what my next move was.
Fuck! I have nothing with me. Thankfully, Duane Reade was always open, so I could get my necessities there. If I hurried, I could buy some new clothes for a few days. At least, I hoped I could find a department store still open. I hailed the first cab I saw and said, “Take me to Macy’s Harold Square.”
The guy got a weary look on his face before saying, “Whatever. It’s your funeral.”
I leaned back and stared at my reflection in the cab’s window as we passed the familiar sights of the city. What am I going to do now?