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For Beth who, but for the grace of God, missed her train that day.
And for those who didn’t.
Cause And Effect
As the plane set down on Terra Firma I let out the breath I felt I had been holding since we had begun our descent and sent a silent prayer of thanks up to the Gods of Aerodynamics for allowing me to survive the flight home.
I’m not normally a nervous flyer, and have in fact been aboard an aeroplane more times than I can count offhand, but after the holiday I had had it wouldn’t have surprised me in the slightest if bird strike had caused an engine to catch fire or a wheel fell off during landing.
At thirty three and after four years of evening study and two failed attempts to quit, I had finally passed my degree in English Literature and to celebrate I had taken out a loan and bought a return ticket to New York. I’d always wanted to go there. Everyone I knew who’d been had said how amazing it was – the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, The Empire State Building… Even Ground Zero took my breath away. Strange that what is in essence a building site, could serve as a reminder of garnering strength from such tragedy and the overwhelming power of good over evil.
It was the fourth day of my week long holiday and I had stood at the window on the first floor of the shopping centre for a while, staring out at the work going on below me. The builders were shifting rubble and dirt from one pile to another, so sure in their task, despite the fact that it looked as if they were getting nowhere fast. Eight years had passed since America had been attacked, and four years since London, but I remembered both so well and standing there that day, watching as the suited businessmen and women rushed past on their way to lunch or another meeting and other tourists took photographs and paid their respects in muted voices I found myself leaning all of my weight against the glass in front of me and fighting back tears.
I don’t know how long I had stood like that for, but it must have been some time because when the security guard placed a gentle hand on my shoulder and told me they were closing the centre for the day I shook myself out of my reverie and saw that day had become twilight and the builders were packing up to go home.
The evening had come on so fast that I could see my reflection in the glass of the window. My blue eyes looked misty with unshed tears and my footballers frame hunched over as I stared sightlessly out into the New York evening. I was apparently a good looking guy, with the quintessential English blonde hair, blue eyed appearance, but right now I felt as shaky on the outside as I was on the inside.
The guard smiled at me again and asked if everything was okay. I answered with a nod and used my sleeve to wipe a renegade tear from my eye.
“Does everyone react like this?” I asked jokingly as I shifted my weight from one foot to the other in embarrassment.
“Not everyone,” he replied, his accent strong with local flavour. “But it affects people on different ways. Don’t usually see grown men crying these days though.” He said with a smile to ease the barb.
I looked at him for a moment, absently appreciating what I saw and at the same time feeling ridiculous for becoming emotional in public. I cleared my throat. “Something in my eye,” I replied, all British stiff upper lip.
“Sure,” he smiled again and it was infectious enough to have me grinning in response. “Listen, I really do need to lock up now but if you want to take a couple more minutes…”
I shook my head. “It’s fine. I should be heading back to my hotel. I was going to try and beat the queue for cheap tickets to a show tonight,” I looked at my watch, not surprised to find it was almost seven, “I guess I can try again tomorrow.”
“Are you here on your own?”
I hesitated, briefly remembering all the warnings my family and friends had given me about holidaying alone, then I pushed them aside. He didn’t look dangerous. In fact, he looked…sweet. I nodded.
The guard studied me for a minute, his eyes betraying the fact that he seemed to be having an inner struggle, and then he spoke again. “Well if you don’t have any plans for tonight, why don’t you let me buy you a drink? You look like you could use one.”
A voice came from the bottom of the staircase and we both turned to look at the intruder. It was another guard, this one around fifty or so and from his girth it looked like he enjoyed his morning pancakes a little too much. “Carl, let’s go,” he called out, barely even looking in my direction. “I gotta get home.” then he stalked off into another area of the mall. Carl turned to look back at me and I quickly nodded.
“Great, then let me finish up here and I’ll meet you outside in twenty minutes.” He said, and with that he moved off down the staircase and disappeared into the back of the shopping centre.
It took me a minute or so to get moving myself, the residual tide of emotions that had casino şirketleri grabbed me just from being outside Ground Zero mixed with the surprise of meeting someone who wanted to take me out for a drink was a little overwhelming and at first it was all too much to take in, but eventually my feet started to move of their own accord and I found myself walking down the stairs and leaving the mall to wait outside for Carl.
I was leaning u against the fence surrounding the building site when he came outside fifteen minutes later and for the second time that day I felt a little breathless. As he stood for a moment under a streetlight and looked about trying to find me, my eyes worked fast to take in his six foot frame, messy black hair and olive skin. I placed him at about thirty or so. The security guard uniform had done nothing for this man but out of uniform he was truly a sight to behold; all natural muscle and sex appeal.
As he caught my eye and walked towards me I had to remind myself in a very stern voice that until his orientation could be determined it was strictly hands-off and even if he was gay, he may just be being friendly to a tourist. But the way he unconsciously licked his lips has he drew closer had me practically panting and suddenly all maudlin thoughts that had earlier occupied my mind were gone and my mind became focused entirely on the carnal.
He smiled as he reached my side and my cock twitched uncomfortably in my jeans. “You all set?” he asked and I nodded mutely as we walked off towards the centre of the financial district.
Carl hailed a taxi as soon as one appeared in our view and, with the ease of someone who had lived here his entire life, gave a fast address to the driver whilst simultaneously muting the small but irritating television in front of us. “So you should probably tell me your name,” he said as settled back into the cracked black leather seat, “especially since you already know mine. Gives you an unfair advantage.”
I grinned and had to bite my tongue for a moment to stop myself from responding with an obvious flirtatious comment. Instead I simply replied, “It’s Matt.” I looked about me for a minute, glancing at the interior of the cab and at the rapidly rising meter. “You always use taxis?”
“No,” he laughed. “That’d be way too expensive. Jerry and I both live in Brooklyn and he’s only five minutes from me. We carpool.”
I nodded and relaxed back into my seat for a while, enjoying the view of Manhattan at night as we moved through the streets. I could feel Carl in the seat beside me, sense every move that he made and it made me nervous as hell, but our silence wasn’t uncomfortable in the slightest and I was almost sorry when the taxi pulled up outside a bar in Greenwich Village and the driver turned to look at us impatiently.
I grabbed my wallet from my jeans pocket and made to take out some cash but Carl stilled my hand with his. “I got this,” he said as my heart leapt to my throat and the air within the cab seemed to thicken. I looked down at our hands, his laying gently on top of mine, and then slowly moved my head to look at Carl’s face. His eyes seemed to have darkened slightly and his cheeks looked flushed but it was dark in the car and as he moved his hand away to pay the driver, I convinced myself that it was just my own overactive libido playing tricks on me.
We entered a bustling Tapas bar called Meson Felipe and settled ourselves into a table in the corner, mercifully away from the noisy young New York fashionables who were hovering around the bar calling for ” More Pinchos!” and “More Sangria!”
It was only a little after eight in the evening but I had already come to realize that nightlife starts early in the Big Apple and some of the twenty-something’s throwing down twenty dollar bills and demanding dishes they would never have considered eating five years ago were already well on their way to becoming absolutely steaming drunk. I smiled at Carl who simply shrugged and said “Trust me; this is the best Tapas in town.”
A waiter appeared as if out of nowhere and I ordered myself a Cervesa, leaving Carl to look after the food. Being somewhat shy of trying new things I had never eaten Spanish food before, but there was something about this man that made me trust his taste implicitly.
Carl ordered about six dishes and the waiter disappeared amongst the throng of bodies, leaving us alone in our quiet corner of the restaurant. “So what do you think of New York?” he asked once we had our jackets off and were settled comfortably.
I paused for a moment before I began, “It’s not what I imagined,” I replied slowly. “I’ve only seen Manhattan so far, but I’ve only done the tourist stuff and I get the feeling I’m not seeing the real America.”
Carl nodded in understanding. “You’re from London?” he asked and I raised my eyebrows in surprise.
“How did you know?”
He shrugged as if it didn’t matter. “I understand what you mean. Everything you’ve seen so far casino firmaları has been designed for you, not for the locals. If you want to see New York, you have to leave Manhattan and go to Brooklyn, or Queens, The Bronx,” he smiled at my reaction, “It’s not as bad as it’s made out to be. Areas of The Bronx are very nice. They even have a zoo. It’s no different from London really. There are parts you just don’t go to at night or on your own, or on your own at night,” he finished with a laugh that lit up his whole face.
The waiter reappeared with our drinks and I took a hefty swig of my beer before placing it back on the table. “Go easy on that,” he said with another laugh, “Beer over here is a lot stronger than your weak-assed crap!”
I eyed him suspiciously, “My powers of deduction tell me you spent some time in my fair city,” I replied as I took another drink, this time much smaller and more controlled.
Carl nodded. “I was there last year for four months. My ex got a job directing a Fringe production and I went over for moral support.” He looked down at his bottle for a second before continuing, “It was supposed to be six months but one day I came home to find one of the actors in my bed and after a massive fight, we split up. I came home to Brooklyn the next day.”
“I’m sorry,” I murmured and unconsciously moved my hand towards his. I stopped myself in time and pulled back quickly hoping he hadn’t noticed.
He nodded and smiled again, his expression all but forgetting the conversation. “It’s fine,” he replied. “Guy was an asshole for cheating on me. Who needs that, right?”
“Right,” I replied definitively.
Then I registered exactly what he had said and once again, my heart was in my throat.
Thankfully the food arrived at that moment and Carl was so busy sorting through the Spanish fare that I had time to compose myself and get my pulse rate to slow back down to somewhere around normal.
He was gay. There was a God and he loved me. Well, either that, or he was teasing me with the gorgeous hunk of American Pie who probably didn’t have the vaguest interest in me, but either way I was just really glad to be out in that moment with Carl enjoying Tapas and Cervesas on a Friday night in Greenwich Village.
“So what is it and how do I eat it?” I asked I looked down at the masses of food in front of me, none of it recognizable.
Carl grinned and began to point at each dish in turn. “This is an Omlette, this is Tuna in a Caper sauce, we have Albondigas, which is meatballs, Asparagus in garlic, Shrimp and Crab meat stuffed Pimento, Mussels in white wine and Adobo Pork Chops.” He looked at me for a moment. “You like fish, right?”
I laughed and nodded before attacking the Tuna with my fork and stuffing a piece in my mouth. “Oh my God,” I moaned as I closed my eyes and allowed the full flavours of the fish and Capers to wash over my taste buds, “That’s incredible.”
I opened my eyes again to go for more food, but instead found Carl staring at me, his dark brown eyes almost black with desire. “What?” I asked as I began lick my lips slowly, “Did I get some on my mouth?”
Carl shook his head and cleared his throat. “Have some Asparagus,” he said, but his voice sounded rough.
I smiled, and used my fork to spear some of the vegetables and place them on my plate. I may be new to New York and I was uncertain at first, but I’m not entirely naive. At that moment I knew he wanted me, so I decided to pull out all the stops.
“I love these things,” I said as I picked one up at the end and placed the tip against my lips, slowly pushing it into my mouth before sucking off all the garlic butter. I continued this with the entire stalk, licking and sucking at the garlic sauce before eating the vegetable, never taking my eyes off the man in front of me and getting a heady thrill watching his breath quicken and his eyes widen every time my tongue poked out lick my lips.
“Aren’t you going to eat?” I asked innocently as he shifted in his seat once more. I tried to do the same, more subtly so that he wouldn’t notice I was as aroused as he was, but it was difficult and the glint in his eye betrayed that he had seen. He nodded and smiled, this time wickedly and my pulse rate kicked up a notch.
Without speaking he plucked a meatball from the plate between us and regarded it for a moment. Then, looking directly into my eyes, he moved it to his mouth, and began to lick the sauce off the meat. My cock became impossibly harder and my balls ached for his magic tongue. I moaned quietly as I watched him, unable to resist as he reached over the table and fed the meatball to me, closing his eyes as I spent some time licking the remainder of the juice from his fingers.
“Can we go?” I asked roughly once I had allowed him to take back his hand.
He shook his head. “Eat,” he commanded and gestured wildly at the food. I groaned, not wanting to play this any more when it was obvious we both just wanted to be naked güvenilir casino and fucking wildly somewhere way more private than this.
I piled food on my plate and started shoveling it in my mouth, not caring what it was because my head was filled with images of Carl under me, on top of me and oh God, In Me.
He was laughing as I ate, taking his time with small bites of food and washing them down with his beer, but I didn’t care. I was desperate for him and I suddenly became concerned that he had somehow managed to calm his raging hormones down. Well, I couldn’t have that. America could not be allowed to beat England at this particular sport, so I placed my fork on my plate with finality, reached across the table and grabbed his hand once again.
I held it for a moment, turning it this way and that, before raising it to my lips and drawing his index finger deep into my mouth and sucking hard enough to feel the blood pumping underneath his skin.
“Oh Lord,” he choked out as I swirled my tongue over the tip before taking his finger in all the way to the knuckle. He seemed to enjoy my parlour trick because his eyes went black with desire and he almost dropped his fork on the floor. “Let’s go,” he said breathlessly.
I slowly released his finger, sliding my tongue along the sensitive underside as I let it fall from my mouth. “Actually, I wouldn’t mind another beer,” I lied cheerfully. Carl growled.
“I’ll get the cheque,” I stammered, incredibly aroused by the noise he had made.
“No need,” he replied as he leapt to his feet and put his arm in the wrong sleeve of his jacket, “It’s my family’s restaurant.”
I was stunned for a moment. “Sorry?”
“Can we please talk about this later?” he replied as he righted his coat and pushed mine at me, “I really just want to go somewhere and fuck you right now.”
That was a pretty convincing argument, so I followed him swiftly out of the door, only half paying attention to the waiters and bar staff as they bid him goodnight, slightly more so to the handsome maitre de whose cheek he kissed before promising to call him later.
“Where are we going?” I asked as we moved out into brisk March evening air. He didn’t reply, just took my hand and pulled me on, the tightening of his grip the only indication that he had felt the same sparks on contact as I had.
Five minutes later and I was starting to wonder if another taxi wouldn’t have been a bad idea, when he pulled me into an alleyway between a liquor store and a Chinese restaurant and pinned me up against the wall. His six foot frame stood slightly above my five foot ten, so he had the advantage when he pinned my hands to the side and bent his head to capture my lips in a kiss so powerful that my ears began to ring.
Despite the strength and urgency of the kiss, I could feel the softness of his lips against mine, and my knees went weak as his tongue licked against my teeth begging for entry. I acquiesced, and as soon as I did, he angled his head for deeper penetration and grabbed the back of my head with one hand. With the other he released his grip on my wrist and moved to cup my butt, bringing our raging erections against one another and causing us both to growl into the others mouth.
He pulled back too soon and I whimpered with dissatisfaction as he released me before grabbing my hand and pulling me out into the street once more.
“Come on,” he said as he continued to lead me, now practically screaming with need, down the road, “it’s not far now.”
He wasn’t lying. Within minutes we were standing outside a very smart looking hotel and Carl was adjusting his jacket to make him look more respectable. Not wanting to shame him, I did the same.
“Good evening Mr Sanchez,” the doorman said as he pulled the door open and allowed us entry.
I looked around me at the lobby, forgetting for a moment why we were here. The place was incredible. Soft lighting and softer music gave an almost ethereal glow to the room, with light blue walls and blue leather sofas of a slightly different shade just begging you to curl up in them.
At the front desk, a smart and very attractive young woman was checking in some French guests, speaking their language, and when their business was complete the bellboy appeared silently and whisked their bags away. Once assured of their satisfaction and the couple were in the lift on the way to their suite she turned to us and spoke, her accent soft Canadian.
“Good evening Mr Sanchez,” she looked at me, “Sir. Would you like your suite?”
“Yes please Allison,” Carl said with a calmness that even I had started to feel since entering this beautiful hotel.
Allison nodded politely and from under the desk produced a white key card. “Is there anything else sir?” she asked as she handed him the key.
“No, thank you,” he replied with a smile and turned towards the lift.
I nodded my thanks to the desk clerk but her attention was already on the telephone that had started to ring.
We stepped into the waiting lift and Carl pressed the ‘P’, taking us to the top floor. “Don’t tell me your family owns this hotel too,” I joked as the lift began to move.
“No,” he replied in all seriousness. “Just me.”
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