An Open Door

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When I got home the first thing I smelled was his soap-a rosemary chemical tang that hung in the damp air and collapsed over me as I stepped through the door. I breathed in as the door closed behind me, letting the smell ghost over my tongue and fill my mouth the way it filled the room.

Jared’s smells had settled into the air of my condo almost as soon as he’d moved in. His old sneakers greeted me at the door. His shower gel dominated the bathroom. The stale smell of dirty laundry rolled into the kitchen every time he left his bedroom door open. After a few weeks, the traces he left in the air began to tell me more about him, about his habits, his pleasures, his laziness, than any of our brief conversations.

As I filled my lungs again I wondered why he was in the shower. Was he on his way out, or had he just gotten in? I scanned the darkened living room for clues, but I found nothing. Everything remained as I had left it that morning.

I wondered how he’d spent his day. Working? Drinking? Sleeping? Absently, I pulled again at the soapy smell and my mind conjured one possible explanation: Jared on the soccer field, his tight waist hugged by a sweat darkened jersey, nylon shorts revealing the dark hair of his thighs.

I hung my computer bag in the closet and tried to remember whether it had been a work day for him. On an off day he might have spent the day playing pick up games, but after a day of road work, of gathering brown smudges on his jeans, his arms, his face, sweat and the rich smell under his arms would have driven him into the shower as soon as he got home. But I didn’t see his boots by the door, slumped where I had always kept my black leather shoes. Had he stomped with them down to his room again? Maybe. Probably. A small miracle I couldn’t smell them from the door.

On my way down the hall I glanced into the open door of the bathroom, drawn by the light and the sound of running water. If I hadn’t been preoccupied by the likelihood of a trail of mud in the hallway, I might have wondered what he was doing in there while the water ran and the door stood open. Clipping his nails or brushing his teeth, maybe, or shaving before a night out. But I didn’t wonder. My mind was already filled with images of him, of the disarray that followed in his wake, and I was completely unprepared for what I saw.

The glass door was mostly clear, too much steam having escaped the room to settle and turn it opaque. Jared stood behind it, facing me, his legs planted wide apart. His hips were thrust forward slightly, his shoulders hunched. The water that had rinsed the lower half of him clean cascaded down his stomach to glide in sheets over his legs. The rest of him was slicked over with foam. It clung to him in mounds and streaks, the skin of his arms visible, the hair on his chest obscured, and I could see where his hands had passed through the suds, leaving valleys the size of fingers.

But it wasn’t his chest that commanded my attention. It was the hand that gripped his shaft while the other cupped his balls. His knuckles glistened in the fluorescent light, shifting, tightening, rising. When they slid back down they revealed his dick-long and hard, rising out of a thick mat of dark hair.

That glimpse could have been the end of it. If he hadn’t seen me I could have walked away with an illicit peek to savor during quiet moments alone. But I was too slow, or he was too fast, and just before I passed by and that thrilling moment became a secret snapshot, mine and mine alone, he looked up.

The expression on his face was calm, unconcerned. It told me he was in no hurry-not to close the door, not to cover himself, not to finish-and the frisson of that moment, of seeing while being seen, etched every detail of the scene into my mind. Above the mirror I saw the dark bulb he said he would replace. I saw his brown towel hanging on the radiator. I saw his clothes heaped next to his boots, the whole pile soaking sludge into the green bathmat. I saw the hair slicked down on his chest and the haphazard curls suspended in white foam on his head. I saw the way the fluorescent lights gilded his muscles with silver. I saw the stubble along his jaw. I saw his open mouth. And then, in the fraction of a moment before my momentum carried me past the door, I saw him look up, and his eyes, unblinking, caught mine.

When I reached my room I closed the door firmly behind me and stood in the dark, filled with the terror of discovery. Jared and I were cordial roommates, but we didn’t share much of ourselves. He paid his rent on time and I used the money to chip away at the mortgage and my student loans. We didn’t mix socially. We didn’t drink together in the living room and share our worldly ambitions or our sexual conquests. If there was any intimacy between us it was one-sided, built on my appreciation of the way Jared’s body filled the air we shared, the way I breathed it in and savored it. It was an offering he didn’t know he made and one I accepted as my due, an appropriate ultrabet yeni giriş entre into his person that mirrored his intrusion into my home.

But this was different.

I hid in my room, standing in the dark amid the private smell of dirty clothes and my unmade bed, nervous energy hovering in my chest. I shifted from one foot to the other, my mind a welter of images, my dick throbbing, until I heard the pipes in the wall shudder and stop. Moments later, the sound of heels on hardwood approached from down the hall. I waited for a knock on my door, an angry voice, accusations, but they didn’t come. Finally, after the silence in my ears had become a roar, the door across from mine opened and closed.

I sagged in on myself. The thrill in my chest devolved into relief, then soured into anger. I wondered what he might have said to me if I’d been there in the hallway. Would he have been embarrassed? Angry? He didn’t have the right. He’d been the reckless one, the one too thoughtless to close the door.

But I wondered. I remembered his unconcerned gaze, the way he hadn’t seemed surprised to find my eyes on him.

I shoved angrily at the steel hard erection straining against the front of my pants. The idea that he’d intended to be discovered excited me and stoked my anger all at once. All my recollections of him, his smells, his appearance, burned with a new intensity. How many times had he passed me a rent check with a hand that had just been hard at work? How many times had he finished just before I got home? How many times had he slipped into his room for a quick release while I stood in the kitchen?

These thoughts thrilled me, made my dick jump, but the anger remained. With this brazen act, his invasion of my home seemed more complete. How long until I existed only on the edges of our shared space, embarrassed for both of us while he stripped at the door after a game or lounged naked in the living room after work?

But no. It wasn’t possible. He’d lost track of time. He thought I’d be working late, like I sometimes did, and he thought he could jump in and out of the shower before I got home.

Stupid, then, to stop and jerk off.

Finally less angry than aroused, still wondering how often he’d stroked off in the open bathroom while I was out, I considered what to do about my hard on. I couldn’t leave my room as I was, but neither could I take care of it in the obvious way, as much as I wanted to. If he hadn’t seen me watching him I could have pushed my pants down past my ass and stroked to a toe curling finish there in the safety of my room. But he’d looked up, he’d seen me, and as I gripped the mound between my legs I couldn’t separate the sight of him from the anxiety of being seen. Each time I thought of his dick I felt his eyes on me, watching, and I felt exposed.

So I changed out of my suit and lay on my bed. I read the news. I answered emails. Only when I finally felt sure my anatomy wouldn’t betray me did I go out into the kitchen to make dinner.

Jared’s door opened as I filled a pot with water. He wore cargo shorts that hung low on his hips and a threadbare t-shirt that clung to his stomach.

“You were home early today,” he said.

Behind me he opened a cabinet. The small city kitchen kept us close and if I extended my arm I could have stroked a finger down his spine.

“No,” I said, keeping my voice steady as I lowered my pot of water onto the stove. “That was the normal time.”

He made a noise, a distracted grunt, and pulled a jar of peanut butter from the cabinet.

I waited for him to apologize, to make a joke, to accuse me of spying on him, but he didn’t say anything. He just opened the fridge, closed it again, then slid a jar of raspberry jelly across the counter to collide gently with the peanut butter.

“How was your day?” he asked.

I watched him pull bread from above of the microwave, sure that if I waited he would say what needed to be said. Instead he stabbed a knife into the peanut butter, scooped a glob of it into his mouth, then put the knife back into the jar. He stirred it around a few times before turning the jar on its side and pouring a wide, hesitant flow out onto a slice of white bread.

“Work was work,” I said, turning back to the stove. The hiss of the gas flame filled the kitchen while his knife clattered around inside the jelly jar. “Yours?”

“Miserable,” he said.

I turned in time to see him flip the sandwich closed and raise it to his mouth.

“Hit ninety today,” he said.

His lips closed over a wide corner of the sandwich and I gritted my teeth as I listened to him chew. When he swallowed I could almost feel the lump in my throat.

“Sounds awful,” I said.

“New guy on the crew,” he said. “Idiot. High school kid. Almost passed out from the heat.” He paused to cram another wad of sandwich into his mouth. “Didn’t drink enough.”

I listened as he catalogued the new kid’s failings, talking and ultrabet giriş eating until he had one last lump of peanut butter mounded in his left cheek.

I opened a box of pasta. Maybe it was better this way, I thought. Maybe if we didn’t talk about it we could pretend it never happened.

But as he moved on to the other members of the crew and their most recent fuck ups, my mind drifted. I wondered if he’d gotten off after I’d seen him. Had he been close when I walked by? Did he finish? What had it looked like?

Maybe he was a shooter like me and he had finished all over his own chest. Or maybe it bubbled up out of him in a thick flow and then slid down his knuckles to drip, drip, drip down with the water to circle the drain. Or maybe he hadn’t finished. Maybe his shorts didn’t hide a member nestled sedately between his legs, soft and spent, but curled half-hard against his briefs. Maybe my gaze had frustrated him, had gone through him and stuck in his mind’s eye the way his had burrowed into me.

I snuck an appraising look at the front of his shorts as he made another sandwich. I couldn’t see a mound between his legs, but as I turned to him, intending only a glance, he reached up to a high shelf for a plate. The hem of his shirt lifted as he stretched and his shorts slipped down to reveal the top of a mound of coarse hair. My heart thudded. My dick hardened. I imagined going to my knees before him, bringing my face close to the heat between his legs and inhaling, filling my nose with the scent of his shower gel, his clean skin, his damp hair.

When Jared’s shirt slipped back down over that crescent of skin I returned to myself. His plate hit the counter and I looked up. Our eyes met. As he watched me, unmoving, I realized that my mouth was open. I’d let my lips part unconsciously as I anticipated the taste of him, of his scent filling my nose and rolling over my tongue.

Neither of us said anything. I turned back to the stove and Jared passed behind me, another sandwich on his plate, to sit at the kitchen table. He ate in silence while I stood at the stove stirring my pasta. I could feel his eyes on me, like a physical presence against my back. The longer he sat, the heavier it grew, slowly boring through me to stare down into my pants where my dick throbbed. He knew. He had to.

When Jared finally stood and went to drop his plate in the sink, I felt light headed. I jumped when he spoke.

“So,” he said.

My heart hammered.

“You gonna watch tv?”

“No,” I said. I wondered if he could see my shoulders wilt in relief. “All yours.”

Without another word he passed behind me, close enough to touch. I waited for the sound of the tv in the living room before I stepped away from the stove and adjusted myself with a quick tug. With my erection now pointing more discretely up toward my left hip, I moved quickly across the kitchen to pour out the pasta I’d stirred into mush. Setting a new pot of water on the stove, I prayed I could boil pasta and retreat to my room before Jared came back for another sandwich.

It wasn’t until late, as I hovered at the edge of sleep, after project planning and work emails had given me distance from the excitement of the afternoon, that I let myself return to the scene in the bathroom.

I gripped myself beneath my sheets and began to stroke. I traced the drifting mounds of the soap that clung to his chest and imagined digging my fingers into his hair, the foam gliding beneath my hand while he worked both his fists between his legs. As I imagined him standing there pumping his dick, I could feel the tension of a climax tightening inside me. In my mind’s eye I stepped back, wanting to see all of him, both his total nakedness and the thrill of his long dick, as I finished.

It was a mistake. When I stepped back to take him all in, I felt his eyes bore into me. Something lurched in my chest. Fighting the desire to retreat, trying to recapture the moment, I tried a closer view and focused on his narrow hips, his hairy stomach, the round head of his dick. It didn’t work. He’d seen me again and his phantom moved into my room, exposing me.

I stopped, then I pushed him away. Too close to finishing to roll over and sleep, too sleepily aroused to fall into anger, I reached for something different. I had plenty of other faces, plenty of other bodies to call on when I needed release, so I reached for an old favorite.

But as I pulled it forward, first one, then many, I found that Jared’s self-possession had infected all of my familiar play things. In their faces I saw his eyes and each of them knew that I used them.

The man with the chiseled face who waited at my bus stop every morning knew that I wondered what it would be like to reach into his jacket and open his starched shirt. He knew that, if it were possible to strike the other passengers blind, I would get on my knees there in the aisle of the bus and take him into my throat.

At the office, the VP of sales knew ultrabet güvenilirmi that sometimes I followed him to the cafeteria just so I could watch the way his body moved beneath the thin fabric of his suits. He knew that I wanted to take him into a bathroom to explore the hard body beneath those designer fabrics, to feel the heat of his muscles soaking into my hands through the cloth.

My boss knew that I imagined what it would be like to hide under his desk during meetings, to feel the heat of his crotch on my face, to take him into my mouth while his deep voice filled the room. He knew that I wanted to feel him explode against the back of my throat while everyone in the room watched him, listening, wondering why his voice deepened, inexplicably, just for a moment.

These secret fantasy men turned on me, saw me watching, and their gazes paralyzed me. I didn’t know what to do, didn’t know how to posses their bodies when they knew that I wanted them, so I pushed them all into the back of my mind where Jared lurked, his naked body covered in soap and dark hair.

As I lay in bed with my hand between my legs, still lingering in the ruins of my office fantasies, I drifted in a new direction. Hiding from the imaginary, accusatory stares of my boss, I ducked into a copy room. There I found a young man, entry level, maybe an intern, standing in front of the door with his pants around his ankles.

I didn’t bother to fine tune the image. I let the door close behind me and I put the intern on his knees. Using both hands, I pulled his head forward and let my pants slip down over my thighs. I pushed myself into his mouth, over his tongue. I watched as his lips slid all the way down to the base of my dick. I tangled both fists in his hair and began thrusting. I fucked his mouth, my balls slapping against his face until his chin grew slick. He made little choked sounds of lust and abandon and clung to my hips with both hands to steady himself. As my climax neared, he shot without touching himself, jetting white lines of heat against my legs. I imagined the wet warmth gluing my pants to my shins as I dragged his mouth up and down the length of my dick.

And then my climax wiped the scene away. I threw back the covers with my free arm and my dick started pulsing. After my pleasure had peaked, I lay naked in my bed with warm lines stretching from my stomach to my chin. My mind pleasantly blank, I fell asleep just as warm beads began to roll from my chest down my sides to the bed.

Work and Jared’s social schedule kept us from meeting in the apartment for the next two days. During that time I imagined what I would say if he happened to mention our encounter. I decided that if he brought it into casual conversation I would strike a balance between casual indifference and gentle reproof. I was no prude, I’d make that clear, but we were adults and we ought to respect each other’s privacy.

But it never came up. On the third day after our encounter, a Friday, we both spent the night at home. He watched TV and I read in my room. He moved through the apartment the way he always had, casually possessing everything he touched, every space he occupied. When I hovered for a few minutes in the doorway to the living room to see what he was watching, I saw that he had removed his socks and left them under the coffee table. Later, when I went for a glass of water, I looked down the hall to see that he was bare chested, his shirt crumpled on the back of the couch. As I drank my water in the dark kitchen I wondered if he still had his shorts on. Was he in his underwear, or were those gone too? What intoxicating smells were his wide flung arms leaving on the couch?

I went back to my room and turned out the light. I slipped out of my clothes and conjured an image of my eager intern. I imagined a company shower room at the office and I took him there. While I pressed his face against the shower wall and pushed my way into him from behind, I lectured him about his indecent exposures around the office. Members of upper management had caught him in lewd and compromising situations, I told him. He’d become a distraction and it was my job to help him control his impulses before he threw away a promising career. No more jerking off in the copy room, I told him. No more stripping down in the elevator at the end of the day to walk naked through the parking garage. No more following the VP of sales to the gym across the street to undress in front of him in the locker room. If you ever feel yourself losing control, I told him, you come find me. I’ll help you work through your urges. You can perform for me here. Or we can book a conference room. You can undress in front of the windows. No one will look up from the street while I fuck you until you come against the glass. No one will know if you sit naked under the table and swallow me once, twice, while I take a conference call.

And so it went, my intern gratefully accepting my attention, until I came with a shudder that threatened to double me over.

The next day was hot, windless, and filled with an urban humidity that made going outside a special kind of ordeal. I pulled on a t shirt and a pair of old shorts and settled in the living room to enjoy a day of reading in front of a fan.

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