The news room throbbed with activity and I found myself doing a little throbbing of my own while I surreptitiously watched Clark Kent writing away. It had been a month since Superman had recovered his memory and we'd shared a big breakfast at the corner cafe near my apartment. The conversation had been sporadic and I had decided with a sigh that the night had been a fluke. I'd seen a frown on the reporter's face more than once and there seemed to be questions in the dark eyes. I felt badly about that, not knowing how to give him back his peace of mind. If that was even possible, now.
Still, I couldn't help but watch him and try to smooth his path a little. I don't play office politics but I knew who does and I was careful to drop a few words about the earnest reporter where it would do the most good. I'd even left a few anonymous messages on Clark's computer about things I heard, watching to see if he followed up on the info.
He had and I felt as if I'd contributed to the resulting story on the homeless shelter. No by-line but that wasn't as important as ending the abuses of the greedy administrator who'd been skimming from the donations. I wondered what the frowning reporter was working on now but didn't have a chance to find out before being sent out to make a delivery for the editor, Perry White.
On the way back, I ran into an acquaintance from a gay bar I'd found when I first came to Metropolis and accepted an invitation for a game of pool after work. I was determined not to pine after Clark and the best way to do that was to get out and meet some of my own kind. No sex but maybe some conversation where I didn't have to watch everything I said.
So, I was whistling when I came back into the news room with the file I'd been sent to get. Clark looked up and our eyes met across the room for a moment. Clark had such a shy smile and I felt a twinge in my heart region but I just returned the look with a grin and carried on to the editor's office.
Tapping on the door, I waited for the irascible shout to come in before turning the knob and going in. "Here's your file, sir."
The white haired editor looked up from the papers he was reading. Lois Lane sat across from him and she nodded to me. I smiled back and waited to see if there were any new orders.
"Maybe, young Jimmy here, knows something about the Solitary Cyclist." Perry looked up and noticed my start of surprise.
"Sure. I'm playing pool there tonight." I pondered the odds of a bar I hadn't thought of in weeks coming to my attention twice in the space of an hour.
"Good. We got a tip that there's going to be trouble there tonight. Perhaps you could take Lois with you as your date." Perry's gruff voice made it an order and I couldn't quite hide my smile.
"Sorry, sir. It's a gay bar. Lois would really stand out. Maybe one of the male reporters, instead." I met the editor's look squarely. If this was going to be a problem, I needed to know it now.
"Gay bar?" Lois frowned. "My informant never mentioned that. Just that a lot of action went on in the back room."
I tried to hide my smile at the thought of all the action I'd seen. I really did try, but some of it leaked out and I had to cough to hide it with my hand. "The pool room and poker rooms do see a fair amount of activity. They've got the best tables in the city. There's a pretty mixed clientele of both straights and gays. But all men."
"Damn. Maybe I could go in drag." Lois mused and this time it was Perry who had to cough.
I relaxed when the editor sent me down to the morgue for the file on the Solitary Cyclist. Who'd have thought it? Perry seemed to take the news that I'm gay all right, unless he thought I was so naive that I wondered in there by mistake? That made me frown and I held the file to my chest all the way up in the elevator. Should I say something or should I just let it alone?
I walked unseeing across the news room and noticed the door was open to the editor's office. "Sir, I brought the file ..."
Clark stood in front of Perry's desk and the blank expression on his face told me all I needed to know. I felt my stomach sink when the reporter avoided my eyes. Oh god, he thinks I set him up.
Thinking as quickly as I've ever thought in my life, I spoke up. "Sir, I was thinking that maybe I should just go in on my own like I normally do. You could wire me, then Lois or Clark could listen in from their car. That way, they aren't seen by anybody in the bar, in case this all comes to nothing. Besides, I kind of have a date with the guy I'm meeting to play pool."
I really hoped that Perry could read how important this was in my eyes. The gruff old man knew people pretty well and he'd been a mentor to me since my first day on the job. With one last pleading look as I laid the file on the desk, I stepped to a spot as far away from Clark as I could get.
Miserably, I kept my eyes on the file while Perry played with it. "Actually, that's an excellent idea, Jimmy. It's Lois' lead but Clark should probably ride along in case of trouble. He'd be able to go in without comment where Lois couldn't. Get down to Burbage and have him sign you out a transmitter. What time are you supposed to be there to meet your ... friend?"
I sighed internally and met the kind eyes of my boss. "I'm meeting Keith at seven for dinner at the club above the bar then we'll be down to play pool by eight. When should I turn on the wire?"
Lois piped up. "There's a club above the bar? What kind of club and who are the members?"
I met her inquiring gaze calmly. I might as well spell it out for all of them. "It's a club for the gay men of Metropolis where we can go and eat and talk, away from condemning eyes and comments. I was introduced by a friend and after they vetted me, I became a member. No fees are required, just admitted homosexuality. It's private and I can't tell you who else is a member. Some of them are still in the closet to the outside world. It's a refuge."
"That's all right, Jimmy. Unless it figures into the story. Have you noticed anything out of the ordinary?" Perry flipped open the file and was talking while he skimmed the sheets.
"No. But then, I was looking for 'Mr. Right'." I shrugged and heard Lois chuckle.
"Aren't we all?" She murmured and we shared an almost comfortable look. For the first time, I felt a kinship to the hard-nosed reporter.
"How comfortable will you be with our listening into your conversation with your ... friend?" Clark's voice was hesitant and I finally risked a glance at him.
He had a little wrinkle between his eyes above his glasses and I suddenly wanted to soothe it out and make him smile again. "No problem. He's just a good friend, pining over a grad student who can't see beyond his studies. I'm more worried about what you might hear at near by tables from guys just there to relax. Some of our members are kind of high profile. I'd really rather not turn it on until we're back downstairs. If that's okay, sir?"
I'd turned back to Perry and saw him eyeing me judiciously. He nodded over Lois' protests and sent me on my way. I almost made it to the stairs before Clark caught me. Not looking at him but at the door in front of me, I spoke quietly.
"I didn't suggest you for this. I wouldn't do that."
"I know you didn't, Jimmy. I just had a ... twinge." His apologetic grin flashed at the corner of my eye. "I was a little taken back by the suggestion. I promise to watch your back tonight."
Oh yeah, that would be nice. I felt my own twinge deep inside where he'd fucked me silly a month ago. "Thanks, Clark. Try to keep a rein on Lois if you can. I really don't want to 'out' anybody else. Their privacy has been fought for on a dozen different battlegrounds."
"Someday ..." he hesitated and I risked a quick peek in his direction only to meet those hypnotically intense eyes. "Maybe, we can talk about how you came to your own sexual awakening?"
"Sure. It won't take long." I flashed him a smile and raced away down the stairs to second floor and the technical department where old man Burbage ruled with an iron fist. Perry had already called down and he took care of me himself, demonstrating the newest model the size of a quarter. Masquerading as a shark's tooth necklace, I slipped it over my head and practiced the little twist that would turn it off and on.
When he was sure I understood how to use it, he demanded about a dozen signatures for his paperwork. Heaven help me if I lost the thing. I was grinning when I left him, the cold metal reminding me every time I moved of what I'd be doing in an hour. Catching the early bus home, I hurried through my shower and then stood for fifteen minutes going through my closet.
I wasn't dressing for Keith or even the guys in the bar who would be giving me the eye. No, like a fool, I was dressing for Clark who might see me arrive. So, I pulled out my tightest black jeans and decided at the spur of the moment to go commando except for a stretchy silk thong to give me a little support. My black silk shirt with the flowing sleeves would look good stretched out across the pool table when I took a shot.
I brushed my hair until it shone, settled the transmitter around my neck and made sure it was turned off before grabbing my black leather bomber jacket and pulling on my black leather cowboy boots. Taking a quick look in the mirror, I turned one way than another. Grinning, I slipped some bills into my pocket and headed out. I looked like a young stud on the make, not an entirely erroneous picture for my plan A.
Except I only wanted one man and I was afraid I'd never be able to have him. So, plan B was attracting an admirer with whom I could play while I got over my broken heart. Smiling ruefully, I waited for Keith to drive up. Since I didn't have a car, he'd volunteered to drive tonight and I was glad of the offer. It really wouldn't do to walk down the street like this or I might be accused of soliciting.
Dinner was good and Keith boosted my spirits with his comical tale of woe. That man of his had to be an idiot to ignore his dark good looks and his genuine sense of humor. He was a lawyer, the youngest partner in one of the most prestigious law firms in Metropolis and a man with a nose for justice. If I ever get in legal trouble, he's the one I want defending me.
I couldn't tell him what I really wanted to, so when he asked how my love life was going, I just shrugged and grimaced. He started talking about introducing me to another lawyer he knew in a fellow law firm and he kept on trying to get me to agree to at least meet him when we started down to the bar. I'd turned on the transmitter and knew every word was playing out for the pair in the nearby car.
The first game went quickly because my attention was on the clientele rather than where my balls laid. No pun intended, I told myself silently. There seemed to be more strangers hanging around than usual and some of them made my skin crawl. I murmured to Keith about one man near the back exit who kept staring at us with an open sneer on his face.
"Yeah, I know." He murmured back while he pretended to take his time making his shot. "I've never seen him before but he seems to be with the guy at the foot of the stairs. The one in the purple hair."
I took a quick look at the stairs and immediately spotted the one he meant. Neither of them fit in and they both seemed to quiver with suppressed violence. I suddenly had a very bad feeling about this whole situation. Opening my mouth to say something that would alert my listeners, I was forestalled by the lights going out.
Shouts of consternation followed and I tugged Keith down under the pool table in an instinctive move that probably saved both our lives. The ugly sound of gunfire from an automatic weapon swept over the room and I heard the whine of bullets burying themselves into furniture, walls and flesh. Choked cries and falling bodies echoed in the room along with a string of curses that damned all faggots to hell.
Then, I heard Superman's voice commanding the gunmen to lay down their weapons and heard the bullets ricocheting off his chest. I have never been so glad to hear someone in my life. I felt my heartbeat start to thud back to normal while listening for the sound of sirens. Lois had to have called the cops. I could only hope that she'd called for medical backup as well.
The bartender got the lights back on and Keith and I crawled out into a world gone mad. Two feet away from us was a still body with a widening pool of blood seeping into the floor. I got to him and checked his pulse. Nothing. He was an older man and I realized I recognized him but I couldn't figure out from where.
The place filled with cops and ambulance personnel. Lois came with them and found me closing the dead man's eyes. "Oh . . . my ... god. That's Senator Gibbs. What the hell is going on here?"
Keith joined us after checking on a friend of ours who'd also ducked before the shooting started. "Hi, Lois. Oh no. Not Dick."
I stood, realizing I'd watched him on the Senate floor talking about education just last week and now he was dead on a bar room floor. A gay bar room floor. This was going to make big headlines. Big messy headlines. Lois must be in ecstasy, I thought sourly before I chastised myself. It wasn't her fault her rumor had been dead on target. Something big had gone down.
I stood in the middle of my living room and shivered. Damn it, I should be over this by now. It was six hours after the shoot-out and I'd been answering questions most of that time. Lois had left to file her story and taken Clark with her. He'd showed up a few moments after the cops did and said he'd tried to follow the shooters but lost them down a manhole. His eyes were on me every time I looked away from the policeman taking my statement.
Such worried eyes and it was the memory of those looks that had kept me focused during the weary rounds of questions when the FBI showed up. Shooting a United States senator was taken very seriously. They'd given me a ride home after they were done and I was asleep on my feet but too wired to sleep. And speaking of wires, I pulled off the necklace and threw it in my jacket pocket before taking it off as well and hanging it in the closet.
"Maybe a shower. A long hot shower to wash away the blood." I said out loud to the four walls. But how did I erase those stains from the inside of my eyeballs? Rubbing my eyes, I started for the bathroom only to jump a foot at the knock at the door.
My heart was racing again and I actually shuddered before getting myself in hand. Crossing over, I peeked through the little view-finder and saw Clark standing in my hall. Sighing, I closed my eyes and leaned against the door. Not now. Not when I was so on edge I was ready to jump and fuck somebody through the floor.
"Go away, Clark. I'm all right. It's late and I'm tired." I called through the door.
"Open up, Jimmy. I really need to talk to you." His voice was as deep as Superman's now and this time my shiver wasn't a frightened one.
Making my decision, I unbolted and opened the door. Waving him in, I relocked. Not that they'd do much against an automatic weapon. The door would be match wood before I could get to the phone to call for help. The shivers started again while the sound of gunfire echoed in my head.
Then strong arms were around me, turning me so I could bury my head against a broad chest. Low murmurs began to make sense while tender hands stroked up and down my back.
"I was so afraid for you. When I heard the gunfire, I dashed from the car and almost changed into Superman within sight of Lois. I couldn't see you inside. Just falling bodies and blood and I had to go after the killers without finding out if you were alive or dead. I'm so sorry." His voice broke on the last word and I felt my tremors begin to subside.
"You did what you had to do. Looking for me wouldn't catch the bad guys. I understand. I really do." My own words faltered. What did this mean to him? What did I mean to him? Did I dare hope that he might feel something for me? Beyond friendship?
"I'm very bad at this, Jimmy. Before last month, I had never considered my sexuality. I mean ... I had a girlfriend in high school and when I got here it never occurred to me to wonder about myself. Lois was there, beautiful and intelligent and I fell hard for her." He was stroking the back of my neck now and while I was listening, I was also beginning to relax.
"Then I got hit by that meteor and woke up in your arms. Suddenly, I realized I didn't know anything about myself. We'd made love ... and I enjoyed it." He sighed and I felt his cheek rest on my hair. "I enjoyed it a lot and what was I going to do about it?"
"I'm sorry, Clark. I didn't mean to screw up your life. You seemed to be okay with it that night and ... and you've always been my fantasy."
"I have?" His hand pressed against my head and I breathed in his unique scent. "I don't think I've ever been anyone's fantasy before. I don't know what to do."
The plaintive note in the normally assured voice made me want to hold him and calm all his fears. "It's okay, Clark. We can just chalk it up to an experiment that didn't work. Everybody's entitled to at least one mistake."
His hand stilled. "I'm not so sure it was a mistake, Jimmy." He pulled away a little and brought my chin up so he could see my eyes. "I was myself jealous when Keith was trying to set you up with his friend. I kept thinking, 'no, he's mine.' And I kept remembering the taste of you."
We just looked at each other for a long moment. Then he pulled me back in and our lips met. Briefly, we pressed together then I gave way and licked his mouth. I badly needed to taste him as well. He didn't hesitate but opened for me and our tongues slid together as if they'd been born to nestle.
This was going to be fast, I decided before abandoning thought all together. Now there was only hard hands and an aching need that only he could soothe. We were on the floor, our groins humping each other like there was no tomorrow. Quick doesn't begin to tell the story as we frictioned together into release. I relaxed into a puddle on the carpet, his body covering mine completely.
"Wow." His voice sounded so surprised that I began to chuckle then to laugh.
Somewhere the laughter turned to tears and he held me while I cried away the sudden violence and death. When I was finally still, he pulled me to my feet and we stumbled into the bathroom. Our shower was brief but cleansing. I could barely keep my eyes open and we tumbled into bed with a groan. He pulled the covers up around us and I fell asleep on his shoulder with the thud of his heartbeat singing me to sleep like a lullaby.
This time when I woke up he was already awake, his hand stroking up and down my arm while his eyes focused on the ceiling. He felt me come awake and he smiled at me so sweetly that I felt that damn twinge again. Oh, please be okay with this. I don't even know if I believe in God but here I was praying to him.
"Morning." I managed to croak.
"Good morning. I called in and told Perry that you wouldn't be in today. The police artist is going to want you to try and give her enough information so she can do a sketch."
"Oh. Yeah, you're probably right. What time is it?" I ducked my head against his shoulder so I didn't yawn in his face and felt him move restlessly when I tasted the skin beneath my lips.
"6:00 a.m. I should probably get up and go back to my place and change clothes. Since I'll need to go in to work."
It hurt. A lot. But I was getting used to that. So I gathered a smile and pasted it on before raising my head. "Sure. That makes sense, Clark. I'll see you tomorrow when I get in."
He just looked at me and moved his hands to my hips, pulling me effortlessly on top of him. "Better yet. We make love slowly and carefully and I'll just use my super speed to change clothes on the way to the Daily Planet."
I couldn't help it. I know the false smile fell away in a heartbeat and a very small real one took its place. "Really?"
"Really." Our cocks were nestled together, skin to skin and it felt wonderful. "And if you can stand to see me for dinner. I'll make you my Mom's favorite casserole at my place."
"Okay. I'll bring desert." My mind could already see the chocolate syrup sliding over his nipples so I bent down and tasted the aureoles first so I could compare the tastes later. He moaned and his hands began the careful slide up my back in a caress up my spine.
I squirmed down his body so I could take his cock in my mouth, finding his taste just as addictive. In the early morning light, he was a delicious treat for all my senses. I licked him like my first ice cream cone with short broad laps of my tongue. He moved restlessly and began to pant my name.
That was an incredible turn on for me and I smiled around the
thickening cock while I rubbed a finger over his perineum with feathery
strokes that made his whole body tense. Our eyes met suddenly and
I saw uncertainty there. I tried to reassure him with just my eyes
but knew we would have to talk about limits soon. So I switched to
rolling his balls gently between my fingers instead.
His cock was slowly hardening in my hand and I nibbled him up one side and down the other. "Jimmy! I need to touch you too. Please?"
Wow! What a turn-on, to have this beautiful man begging to make love with me. I moved carefully back up, making sure I touched every inch of that broad smooth torso with mine. My chest hair must have been ticklish because he squirmed beneath me and his smile couldn't have gotten any bigger.
Now that strong hand had joined mine on our cocks and the friction tunnel we created was making both of us pant. Tongues dueled while we thrust against each other more quickly, sweat breaking out all over. I sucked on his lower lip, trying not to leave him swollen but his little whimper undid me and I bit it gently. Riding out the resulting shudder brought me to climax and he joined me with a sigh.
Cradled in his arms, I dozed for a few moments while my heartbeat slowed and the semen on our stomachs cooled. Raising my head, I watched his eyes for some clue to what he was thinking. They were far away and I wondered, not for the first time, how strange he must be finding all of this. I needed to tell him how I came to discover my sexuality or he'd be thinking all kinds of odd things. I was betting that he'd been doing some research on the Internet.
And some of that was pretty raunchy. A turn-on sometimes but still raw and unfiltered sex with live movies and explicit pictures. So, I leaned down and kissed him gently. "Hey, big guy. How about a shower before you fly off? We're going to be glued together otherwise. I'll teach you a new game called 'drop the soap'. Very popular in some circles."
My leer made him laugh and we had a wonderful shower before he left reluctantly for the roof where he could take off unnoticed. I sighed and dressed in my cub reporter suit for the coming ordeal at police headquarters. Some of the old guard was going to be less than happy to be interviewing 'fags' and I needed all the armor I could muster.
But I could handle anything because the night would bring me back to Clark and that was worth everything the world threw at me. Maybe, even the start of something lasting. I'd been hurt before but part of me kept hoping and wishing that this time would be different.
That this time it was real.
End of chapter two