[Narise Konohara] Of Beauty / Of Love – Part 1

by 9ave

Continued from Of Beauty Part 18.
This is a side story published as a mail-order booklet for buyers of Of Beauty volume 2 (Holly Novels edition).

Warning: More sex, sigh

 

Of Love

That day, Yosuke Matsuoka arrived at the office at twenty past nine in the morning. He had ten minutes until the senior management meeting started. Since he had not been able to attend the daily morning meeting, he had his subordinate, Shinozaki, brief him quickly before he beelined for the conference room.

This was just another regular scheduled meeting, and there was nothing to report this time from the sales department. Matsuoka half-listened to the usual routine of announcements as he ducked his head and yawned furtively from time to time, readjusting his seat. It was hard sitting straight.

Every time he felt the stinging in his lower parts, his night with Motofumi Hirosue flashed back in his memories, which was a mild inconvenience. The sensation of his passionate kiss, the hesitant fingers up his back, the sound of the man’s breath catching at his ear―just the memories were enough to make his whole body burn up from its core.

“―Hey.”

He was brought back to earth by the voice of Saijo, who was the same age as him and the section manager of General Affairs. The people around them were getting out of their seats and heading for the door in a scattered fashion.

“Are you spaced out? The conference is over.”

“Oh. Right.” Matsuoka hastily got up, and felt the stinging of his lower regions spread to his entire body. It was hard to shake off this strange sensation, which was both painful and ticklish. But it made him happy to think that this was Hirosue’s lasting mark on him. He was beyond help; he even thought so himself.

“It’s rare to see you so dazed like that.” As they walked down the hall, Saijo raised both arms and stretched. His stint as a rugby player in university showed in his sturdy physique. His mindset was also very sportsmanlike. For someone who had been promoted to a senior position at a young age, he was not snobbish or two-faced, and was a comfortable man to be around.

“Your mind still stuck in the weekend?”

Matsuoka smiled wryly. “Maybe,” he said, giving a small yawn. “Maybe I’m tired because I was out all day yesterday.”

His weekend had been a dizzying roller-coaster ride. In just two days, he felt like he had gone through a year’s worth of emotional ups and downs. The reunion with the man he used to love― Hirosue’s words had put Matsuoka at their mercy as he dragged Matsuoka to one place after another before telling him, at the very end, that he loved him.

Matsuoka had always wished for those words―wished that the man would love him. But when he was finally given the sweet confession, Matsuoka was unable to take it at face value. He had already been rejected twice, and he knew that Hirosue was indecisive by nature. Matsuoka was apprehensive; he figured that Hirosue had only confessed his love in the moment, and later he was bound to say, “Never mind.”

Matsuoka invited the man to bed with the intention of restoring Hirosue’s senses as soon as possible. He also did not want to keep his hopes up. But contrary to his expectations, Hirosue had no problem touching his male body. There was nothing violent in his actions, and he was gentle until the end. The fingers that ran over his body and the words he spoke were almost unbelievably loving.

Despite his caution, Matsuoka found himself drowning in the swirl of emotions, which flooded and rose quickly above hazardous levels. Even at the office, the memories of their naked bodies in erotic acts overlapped his thoughts. He remembered the soft touch on his cheek. Even that was enough to arouse him and make his ears feel hot.

“Where did you go in such hot weather?”

“Huh?”

“You said you went out yesterday.”

Saijo looked surprised when Matsuoka told him the name of the far-flung city where he had spent time with Hirosue.

“Was this on a business trip?”

“No. Personal.”

“What did you go all the way out there for?”

Matsuoka could not say that he had been dragged onto the bullet train by the man he loved―much less that he had endlessly had sex with the man and come back this morning.

Saijo appeared to sense something more and pelted him with persistent questions. Matsuoka dodged him and returned to the office. He took care to sit gently in his chair, but he felt himself throb at the centre, making him conscious of a man who was not around.

He was aware of the pile of documents on his desk, but Matsuoka first took his cell phone out of his suit pocket.

There was no reply to the e-mail he had sent from on the bullet train. He knew Hirosue wasn’t the kind of man who would e-mail him if he knew he was at work, but he still felt a little disappointed.

That time, he had been so desperate to convey his feelings that his message had been a rambling mess of phrases like “I want to see you” and “I want to see your face”. Upon reflection, it all sounded rather feminine and childish. Now, he couldn’t stop wondering whether Hirosue thought he was immature.

All the time that Matsuoka had spent harbouring one-sided feelings had ended with a ruthless rejection. Matsuoka had severed all methods of contact between them, so he had figured they would never meet again. But in one night, they had gone as far as to have sex and become lovers. He still couldn’t wrap his head around what happened or how, and it still felt like he was dreaming.

Matsuoka switched his phone off vibrate mode and took a small breath. Perhaps it was because he had dashed up so many metaphorical stages of a relationship at once; even when he was alone, he found himself restless. He figured he should start on his work, and reached for the documents in his inbox.

“Chief.”

He looked up to see Uemura in front of him. She was the assistant chief, a woman with short hair.

“Do you have a minute? It’s about Daito Company.”

Matsuoka had formerly been in charge of Daito Company, and had transferred the job to Uemura after he became promoted to section chief. Even though he had given her numerous precautions about the trickiness of their contact, the troubles never ceased. He had hoped the contact would be at least a little forgiving towards a female employee like her, but apparently that was too much to ask.

Matsuoka offered to have her switched out with someone else, but Uemura declined.

“I’ll keep at it for a bit longer and see what I can do,” she said resiliently. After they finished their discussion, Uemura asked him an abrupt question.

“Did something good happen?”

“Uh, not really. Why?”

“You just seem really happy.”

Matsuoka could only smile wryly. He took some documents in hand after Uemura went back to her desk, but he still could not concentrate. It had been hours since they parted, but his skin still tingled. He wasn’t in that hotel room anymore, nor was he being touched, but the memories kept coming back vividly.

Matsuoka fished his cigarettes and lighter from his drawer and left the room. At the end of the hallway was a smoking area, with a ventilation fan and plastic partitions extended halfway from the ceiling. He had second thoughts about taking a break at such an early hour of the work day, but he knew he wouldn’t get any work done at this rate.

To avoid the discomfort in his lower half from sitting, Matsuoka leaned against the wall instead as he smoked.

“Chief, are you here for a smoke, too?”

His subordinate, Shinozaki, also came into the smoking area. He was a head above the rest of the sales workers in terms of the amount he smoked. Matsuoka thought it was a little too early for him to be taking a break, but as the equally-guilty boss, he couldn’t make any complaints.

“Aren’t you going to sit?” Shinozaki glanced sideways at Matsuoka leaning against the wall.

“I’m going to head back soon, anyway.”

“Excuse me, then,” Shinozaki said as he sat down on the bench. They could see the sky through the window at the end of the hallway, and it was cloudy outside. It had been sunny in the early morning hours. Matsuoka idly wondered how the weather was out west.

“Say, Chief, you were scrambling around quite a bit this morning, weren’t you? It’s so rare to see you come in late.”

Matsuoka tapped the ash off his cigarette into the ashtray. “I overslept,” he said.

“Whatever you were doing must have kept you up all night yesterday,” Shinozaki said slyly with narrowed eyes. “Enough to make you oversleep, am I right?” He was absolutely right, but Matsuoka didn’t feel like entertaining his joke by affirming it.

“Who knows?” he said, shrugging and putting the cigarette to his lips again.

“Chief, you really do have a girlfriend, don’t you?”

Until now, Matsuoka had always said he didn’t have a girlfriend, because it was true. But if he was going to start dating Hirosue, it would be a hassle if girls continued to approach him like they had done before. Shinozaki was talkative and not very good at keeping secrets. If Matsuoka told him, the whole office would know within the day. Perhaps this was a good opportunity.

“I guess you can call it that,” Matsuoka affirmed.

“I knew it,” Shinozaki said enthusiastically, biting his bait. “I think it was weirder to see you without a girlfriend until now, Chief. But you’ll make your fans cry. I think some girls are pretty serious about you. So, does your girlfriend work at this company?”

“No comment.”

“I won’t tell anyone, I swear. Please?”

Matsuoka looked at the ceiling.

“She’s a normal person.”

Shinozaki pouted sourly. “Everyone’s normal.”

“She’s a gentle, indecisive worry wart. And that’s the end of this topic.”

“Aww,” Shinozaki groaned in dismay, but he did not pry any further. Although he was unreserved and informal, he still knew where to draw the line.

“Girlfriends are nice, but don’t you find them kind of bothersome sometimes?” he murmured. If Matsuoka remembered correctly, Shinozaki was in his second year of dating a girl in a branch company. “She keeps pestering me to take her places on our days off. When I tell her I’m tired and I want to rest, she gets in a bad mood and says I’m being cold to her lately. Obviously I was trying harder when we first started dating―everyone does, right? But I can’t keep that up forever.”

Shinozaki let out a billowing puff of smoke.

“On top of that, these days she’s started telling me to smoke less. I figured she was fine with it since she never said anything, but apparently it’s always bothered her. I’m already stressed enough at work. I can’t stand being suffocated around my girlfriend, too.”

“Well, there’s nothing you can do about that, I guess.”

Matsuoka, who had been tossing back a half-hearted response or two, glanced at the pack of cigarettes he was holding. Before, he hadn’t smoked that much. He had started smoking more after Hirosue had gone back to the countryside.

Hirosue did not smoke. The one time he did, he had choked quite badly. He had never mentioned that Matsuoka’s smoking was a problem. But seeing as how he didn’t smoke himself, he probably didn’t like it especially, either.

“Have you smoked this before?” Matsuoka showed the pack to Shinozaki.

“It’s pretty good. I like it.”

“Then you can have it. There’s still half of the pack left.”

Matsuoka tossed the pack at him, and Shinozaki caught it nimbly with one hand.

“What’s gotten into you all of a sudden?”

“I decided to quit smoking.”

“What? No way, don’t one-up me!”

Matsuoka laughed as he left the smoking area. He never stocked up on smokes, so those were the only ones he had. He would throw his lighter away. He would stop smoking.

He wanted to get rid of any part of him that Hirosue might find unpleasant.

 

Matsuoka had told Hirosue to meet him at Tokyo Station, since Hirosue didn’t know where his new condo was. The bullet train stopped there, and it was also Matsuoka’s transfer station. It seemed perfect. But Matsuoka had completely overlooked the fact of rush hour. And it was Friday today; the ticket gates near his transfer point was packed with people. The heat radiating from the throng was overwhelming, and a thin sheen of sweat formed on his forehead just from standing still.

Matsuoka had come to the station a little early because he didn’t want to keep Hirosue waiting. However, although the bullet train occasionally came late, it never came earlier than the schedule hour. Matsuoka was jostled around pointlessly by the crowd. He carefully looked around him, watching people elbow each other to get out of the ticket gates from the corner of his eye.

He finally found the familiar face. Hist heart suddenly raced. Hirosue was glancing around as he approached the ticket gates. He had not noticed Matsuoka yet. Matsuoka raise his right hand up high.

Hirosue finally noticed him. His blank, public face broke into a relieved smile as he approached.

“Look at the people, huh?” Hirosue wiped the sweat off his brow with his fingers. He was wearing an unremarkable plaid shirt and jeans, and had a large, navy blue tote bag slung over his right shoulder. They had not seen each other since Monday morning, so it had been four days now.

“Sorry, I wasn’t thinking,” Matsuoka apologized. “Seven o’clock on a weekday is smack in the middle of the end-of-day rush. I should have chosen another place.”

Hirosue shook his head at Matsuoka’s apology.

“It’s probably crowded everywhere in the station, anyway. And we still found each other without a problem. I’ve been out so long in the countryside that I totally forgot what it feels like to be in a crowd like this. I was kind of taken aback.”

They had been phoning each other every day, and talked for quite a long time, too―about one or two hours. Over the phone, Matsuoka was unfazed if their conversation strayed into bawdy territory, but in person, he felt needlessly nervous.

“Well, how about we go out for dinner to start?” he suggested. “I’m starving. Any particular restaurant you want to go to, Hirosue?”

“I don’t know much about the station area, so it doesn’t matter where.”

“Can we go to the izakaya close to my condo, then? It has a nice ambiance.”

Side-by-side, they waded through the crowd to get to the subway platform. There were considerably less people compared to the JR ticket gates, but it was packed inside the subway car. As if things weren’t already bad, the man standing behind Matsuoka was wearing large headphones that were leaking noisy music. Even with Hirosue right beside him, they were barely able to have a conversation.

They were finally freed from the throng when they got off at the station closest to Matsuoka’s condo. It had been hot and humid in the subway car, and outside it was not much different. The breeze was warm and the air was damp.

Hirosue was still untalkative after they had left the noise behind. Matsuoka pretended not to notice and kept up a lighthearted conversation.

“What time did you leave your place, Hirosue?”

“Mm… about three-thirty, I think.”

“I know it’s Friday and all, but was it okay for you to leave work early?”

“It’s only busy in the mornings, anyway.”

Their conversation was prone to lapsing since Hirosue did not start any new topics. He had spent over three hours transferring between bullet trains and local trains to get here; perhaps he was tired and didn’t feel like talking.

Matsuoka went along with the man beside him and closed his mouth. He had longed to see Hirosue. His heart had been wrung with yearning the moment the bullet train doors closed on Monday morning. He had been so anxious to see Hirosue that he had been fidgety since morning, glancing every few moments at the clock. He had longed so desperately for this moment; now, he felt rather forlorn that their conversation had stalled even though they were finally in each other’s company.

The izakaya was on a side road off the main street, but that didn’t stop it from being full of people. Although the majority of seats were full, the turnover was also quick. They only waited about five minutes before they were shown to a table set up like a private booth.

“The pork stew here is great. The sunomono is pretty good, too.” As Matsuoka explained the menu, Hirosue leaned in to peer at his hands from across the table.

“Where?” he asked. When he drew up close, Matsuoka could catch a whiff of sweat. Hirosue’s scent. Just being conscious of it made his body turn hot. Matsuoka scooted backwards.

“What’s wrong?” Hirosue asked.

“Oh… um…”

Matsuoka was surprised to find himself almost turning hard just by the man’s scent. If he had been a middle- or high-school student, that would have been another matter. But to become like when he wasn’t even being touched―it was a cause for bewilderment.

“Are you alright? Your face is red.”

He flinched when Hirosue touched his cheek. The man’s fingers drew away as if to hesitate at his reaction.

“Oh―no, it didn’t bother me. I was just surprised,” he reassured the man hastily. Hirosue gave a wry smile. Matsuoka clawed at a hot towel and pressed
it against his hot cheek.

He wished he could act normal. They’d eaten together dozens of times before. But his hyper-conscious mind was turning him into an embarrassing mess.

Before―before Hirosue had told him he loved him, Matsuoka had kept a careful distance, making sure he didn’t get too close, making sure he wasn’t turning the man off with his obvious attraction for him. He avoided romantic topics, and he was careful not to stare too much. He had been doing pretty well.

But as soon as the man told him he loved him, Matsuoka found himself being conscious, expectant, and in an altogether peculiar state. They were going out now: he was allowed to touch the man and look at him. But as soon as he was allowed to, as soon as there was no need for him to hold back, he found himself turning jerky and awkward like a mechanical puppet.

Matsuoka anxiously wondered if he would be alright like this. Even though his body responded with desire, he found himself pushing the man away out of nervousness. Would they be able to have sex properly like this?

Matsuoka felt his back burn up. He was embarrassed for naturally assuming that they were going to have sex. Hirosue was going to stay for two nights, on Friday and Saturday. Perhaps they wouldn’t do it today.

Their beer was brought, so they gave a toast. The rest of the food was brought at a brisk pace, and Matsuoka focused on eating. Hirosue also ate eagerly. The dishes disappeared from the table in moments.

The food had been polished off so cleanly that Matsuoka wondered if Hirosue was still hungry. He was still was wondering if he should order something else when Hirosue spoke up.

“Should we get going?”

Matsuoka looked at the clock and saw that barely an hour had passed. Before, they often stayed at restaurants for close to two hours drinking and eating. Matsuoka was almost sure now that Hirosue was tired and was eager to get some rest.

“Alright,” he agreed.

Hirosue paid for their bill. Although Matsuoka offered to split it, Hirosue insisted he would pay since he would be staying at Matsuoka’s house for two days. Matsuoka relented to the treat; judging by the atmosphere, he risked putting Hirosue in a bad mood if he refused too adamantly. He didn’t want to strain the man’s finances more than necessary―it already cost quite a lot of money to take the bullet train here―but as much as Hirosue was mild-mannered, his pride was also easily hurt. Matsuoka had to be careful with his words.

It was a five-minute walk to his condo from the izakaya. Matsuoka tried bringing up the topic of Hirosue’s favourite nephew, but the thread of conversation did not last long.

This condo which Matsuoka had moved into about four months ago was more spacious than his last one. At the time, he had been driven by a frantic urgency to change his living environment, and had made his decision at the first real estate agent he visited. His rent was higher now, and though it was further away from his office, his neighbourhood was a comfortable one. There was a park and convenience store nearby, and a large supermarket was within walking distance.

Matsuoka thought to himself while they walked in silence. He felt like he was the only one sort of―going around in circles. Hirosue always took things at his own pace, and didn’t seem to feel the need to do something with the air between them. Perhaps Matsuoka was the only one who thought this silence was awkward.

They walked through the condo entrance and stepped onto the elevator. Matsuoka stared at his feet. Honestly, if this is going to continue even when we’re alone in my room, it’s going to be tough, he thought.

When they reached the door to his apartment, Matsuoka hesitated to unlock it. But there was no way he could refuse to let the man in now. He opened the door and turned on the lights in the entrance.

“Come on in.” He let Hirosue in first, then locked the door. When he turned around, he was suddenly yanked by the arm and pulled into an abrupt embrace. He could smell the faint scent of sweat from the man’s neck in front of him.

“H-Hirosue,” he stammered.

The sudden closeness made him feel like his heart was about to burst from his chest. His chin was jerked up forcefully as their lips overlapped. The man’s right arm drew him closer, and his hot tongue pried his lips apart and slipped into his mouth. The sensation made Matsuoka flinch, and Hirosue’s movements froze.

Their kiss was broken, and Hirosue looked down at Matsuoka with uncertainty. Although Matsuoka was surprised to be pounced on with no romantic lead-in whatsoever, he didn’t mind. He did not want the man to stop, either. But he couldn’t bring himself to ask Hirosue to keep going. It was too embarrassing.

He made his best attempt at communication by sliding his arms up the man’s back and drawing him close. Hirosue, who was watching for his reaction, pressed his lips against his again in a deep kiss.

Matsuoka couldn’t tell whether he was a good kisser or not, but just knowing that it was Hirosue made him feel lightheaded and disoriented. Matsuoka gasped for breath. Hirosue gently ran his hand through Matsuoka’s hair over and over. Matsuoka trembled from the happiness of being touched like this.

“―Mmh―” A low moan escaped his lips, and their romantic moment was rudely interrupted as Matsuoka felt himself being shoved away.

“Huh?” Uncertainty took over at suddenly being abandoned. Maybe Hirosue had been repulsed at his moan. I shouldn’t have made any noise, he thought. He felt like crying from the regret.

“I’m sorry. I’m so embarrassed at myself,” Hirosue apologized. His face was so red, it looked scalding to the touch. “I was planning to do everything in the right order, but I can’t control myself at all.”

His face was still red as he muttered “oh, yeah,” and reached down for the tote bag on the floor to take out a square box about twenty centimetres long.

“I brought a souvenir. It’s the most popular item at our factory.”

“Th-Thank you.”

Matsuoka was genuinely happy for the souvenir. He remembered Hirosue saying over the phone that customers often told them how delicious it was. But “lame” was the only way to describe how he looked right now, in this situation, holding a box of shaved bonito flakes.

The charged atmosphere instantly deflated. Not quite knowing what to do with the box in his hand, Matsuoka opened his mouth.

“Do you want some coffee?” he asked Hirosue.

He sat Hirosue down on the sofa in the living room before heading to the kitchen to make coffee. While he waited for the water to boil, Matsuoka had a serious mental debate about whether he should sit across from or beside Hirosue. Sitting beside him seemed too obvious and brash. But sitting across from him seemed distant.

When Matsuoka placed the coffee on the table, Hirosue thanked him. After much deliberation, Matsuoka sat beside him while leaving a little distance. There was still no conversation between them. Matsuoka had no idea what to talk about, especially with the awkward mood between them which carried an underlying suggestiveness. Hirosue wore the gravest expression he had ever seen as he drank his coffee.

Matsuoka didn’t care if he was called materialistic or preoccupied with sex; to be honest, he felt like going to bed. Admittedly, it was physically straining to be penetrated, but he wanted to be touched and sought after.

Although he could never tell Hirosue this, Matsuoka had bought a new bed yesterday. Once the plans were set for Hirosue to come on Friday, Matsuoka initially thought of buying a guest futon. The bed he had right now was a single; it was enough for one person, but a little cramped for two men. He used to have an extra futon when he used to live with his girlfriend, but he had gotten rid of it when they broke up. As he thought of where to buy the futon, he realized that if he bought a guest futon, they would be sleeping apart.

That night when they had sex properly for the first time, they had been in each other’s arms until morning. The heat against his back, the fingers that caressed him lovingly from time to time, were so pleasant it almost made him cry. He wanted to be in the same bed even after they did it. He wanted Hirosue to be close enough to touch when he wanted to, and he wanted to feel the man’s touch as well.

Maybe Hirosue had stuck around with him that time because there had only been one bed in the hotel. Unlike Matsuoka, perhaps Hirosue didn’t like cuddling after they did it. But there was no way Matsuoka could ask whether Hirosue liked being together after they had sex. He thought of buying an extra futon first, then watching for Hirosue’s reaction: if he seemed alright with being close together, he could buy a new bed. But then, that created a whole new problem.

If Matsuoka bought a new bed, a bigger one at that, after they started dating, it was like he was sending obvious signals to Hirosue that he wanted to have more sex. If he was going to make that kind of impression, he preferred to just buy a new bed at the outset.

His bedroom was spacious enough for a double bed. But a double bed seemed suggestive in its own way, so Matsuoka settled on a roomy semi-double bed instead.

“Matsuoka.”

He turned around as his name was called. Hirosue beheld him steadily before he slowly lowered his head. His hand reached out slowly to hold Matsuoka’s left hand. His palm was searing hot.

Hirosue’s heat instantly flowed through to him, and his body turned hot. The man was clearly desirous, but he did not say so. It was maddening. Matsuoka could not hold himself back anymore.

“Hirosue.”

The man lifted his face.

“―Do you want to go to my room?” He made the first move. An expression somewhere between happiness and relief crossed Hirosue’s face as he gripped Matsuoka’s hand back firmly.

 

He was nervous despite assuming nonchalance; when Matsuoka tried to sit down on the bed, his knees buckled in a strange way. The momentum made him flop backwards onto the bed. Whoa, that was totally lame. He was so busy being embarrassed at himself that he was surprised when Hirosue came climbing on top of him.

Did Hirosue think he was trying to be provocative on purpose? Before he could even wonder, he was met with a kiss. He had been worried that Hirosue would find his assertiveness a turn-off. But that disappeared as his attention was swept away by the man’s fierce kisses.

Although Hirosue’s kisses were bold, his fingers were shaking as he unfastened the buttons of Matsuoka’s shirt. It was cute how he was clearly not used to it. This was very much like Hirosue.

Matsuoka began to feel lightheaded as the man bit and sucked his neck hard. If the mark was too high up, he wouldn’t be able to hide it with his shirt. But Matsuoka could not bring himself to tell the man to be careful, lest he make Hirosue too conscious and make him stop.

“Oh!”

Matsuoka’s spine flinched at Hirosue’s voice. He was startled out of the daze he had been lulled into from the man’s hungry kisses. A pair of lost eyes looked down upon his pinned body.

“We forgot to take a shower.”

Matsuoka had already noticed, but had assumed they were skipping that step since Hirosue had sought him so urgently.

“Um. Yeah. You’re right.” There was nothing else to say.

“―Let’s go take a shower, then,” Hirosue mumbled miserably. Matsuoka was already starting to get hard just from kissing, and Hirosue’s own member was also starting to take shape against his thigh. He felt like taking a shower would only dampen the mood. This and the incident at the door made Matsuoka wonder, a little snidely, if Hirosue was cockblocking for fun. But in the end, Matsuoka couldn’t bring himself to say so.

“It was really hot out today,” he agreed. “Hirosue, do you want to go first?” He kept his tone light. The man climbed off of him and pulled Matsuoka’s right hand to sit him up. There was no answer to his suggestion.

“Should I go first?” Matsuoka asked further.

“It would take a long time if we went one-by-one. How about we shower together?”

Matsuoka’s breath caught in his throat. Taking a bath together? He begged to be spared of that. Apart from hot springs, Matsuoka had never taken a shower with someone he dated before.

Not only that, he would be exposing his undeniably male body under the bright lights to a man who had insisted until the end that he could not handle men. Things weren’t so visible when they were entangled in bed. But in the shower, his parts would definitely be in plain view.

When they had done it the other day, Matsuoka had reckoned Hirosue would not be able to get it up. But contrary to his expectations, the man touched him, entered him, and said he loved him. Matsuoka was also able to feel arousal for Hirosue, and to sleep with him. But even while knowing it would be alright, Matsuoka still couldn’t help having his doubts. He didn’t want Hirosue to feel his disgust anew. He didn’t want the man to think of him that way.

“My bathroom’s not big enough.”

Hirosue lowered his gaze in disappointment.

“I… guess so. The two of us in one bathroom would probably be way too crowded.” His tone was that of resignation, but he kept clasping and re-clasping Matsuoka’s right hand. Matsuoka got the message loud and clear that he still wanted to bathe together. He couldn’t ignore that. Matsuoka bit his lip lightly.

“Besides, who knows, you might get disgusted when you see me naked.” He spoke lightly so as not to bring down the mood. Hirosue looked at him curiously.

“You were beautiful last time, Matsuoka.”

Matsuoka felt his back burn.

“You were way more beautiful, especially compared to someone like me. That’s why I want to see.”

Matsuoka’s lips trembled. His entire body broke into a sweat from the embarrassment. Even in this state, the man still gripped his right hand. He silently begged to see.

“It’s alright with me, as long as you don’t mind being crammed,” Matsuoka said.

“Really?”

“Yeah,” Matsuoka said, suspending his cares. What would happen would happen.

 

Hirosue had said he was beautiful, and that he wanted to see him. As an extension of that, Matsuoka had predicted that there might be some intimate touching or fondling, but he hadn’t expected the man to take advantage of their nakedness and let things escalate until he was practically a step away from penetration.

“Ah― ah― ah―”

His own voice reverberated continuously off the bathroom walls. Every move of his arms and legs sent the water splashing and spilling from the bathtub.

It was spacious enough for one, but extremely cramped for two men. The sight of them with their limbs entangled in the bathtub was probably nothing short of ridiculous.

Hirosue’s behaviour had been suspicious even when they were just washing. He would embrace Matsuoka’s sudsy body and touch him. He was a man who could wait, and he was down-to-earth; yet, his bold suggestion that they bathe together, as well as what he was starting in the bathroom now, was obvious bordering on immodest.

Hirosue even extended his hands to Matsuoka’s lower parts while they soaked in the tub. Although Matsuoka tried to pull his hips away, the bathtub itself was small. Also, since he was straddling Hirosue, he could not close his legs.

“Don’t touch me down there.”

“Why?” Hirosue whispered in his ear. His voice had a tender ring as it echoed in the bathroom.

“I’ll get hard if you keep doing that.”

“I’d like to see that,” Hirosue grinned, and closed his hand around Matsuoka’s centre. After being stroked several times underwater, Matsuoka’s member took the shape that Hirosue desired. Hirosue still continued to run his hands up and down his shaft, and Matsuoka felt like he was about to ejaculate. When he hastily got to his feet in the tub, Hirosue grabbed his leg.

“What’s wrong?”

“Um… uh…”

He realized his erect member was in Hirosue’s face, and covered it with his hands without thinking. Hirosue grabbed both his hands and drew them apart. Like a child caught in the middle of a prank, Matsuoka ended up having to expose his penis which Hirosue had brought to full form. Matsuoka was sure the man also saw that the tip was dripping with a milky liquid that was not water.

“Are you about to come?”

Matsuoka trembled as he gave a shallow nod.

“You can go ahead.”

“No. It’ll get in the water.”

“That doesn’t matter.”

Large hands cupped his exposed buttocks. He was yanked close. Before he knew it, Hirosue had drawn his wet and trembling penis into his mouth.

Matsuoka stared in stunned shock as the man sucked him. He was speechless with surprise. He had never thought Hirosue could do that to the very embodiment of his manhood. He didn’t want the man to overstep his comfortable boundaries, but at the same time, it felt so good he thought his legs would give out. Joy and pleasure raced through his whole body at once, and Matsuoka found himself intensely aroused. His member, already close to the limit, felt like it would burst.

“Stop,” he said tensely. “Hirosue, I’m… coming…”

Hirosue would not let go, even if Matsuoka pleaded with him. On the contrary, the man pulled him even closer by the hips and swallowed him down to the base.

“I really can’t―I’m―”

He tried to push the man’s head away, but he was too late. He ended up releasing himself into the damp, warm cavity.

“I―I’m sorry.”

Hirosue’s throat contracted slightly as he swallowed. Matsuoka inwardly screamed. He squatted in the bathtub with a splash and clutched Hirosue’s face with both hands.

“Sp-spit it out!”

He did not want to leave an even stronger impression of his maleness like this when they had finally just gotten over the barrier of their gender. While Matsuoka panicked, Hirosue licked his upper lip. He was not the most handsome man, but he had an erotic air that made Matsuoka shiver.

“You taste green, Matsuoka.”

His embarrassment was blown cleanly away, replaced by a discomfort that made his spine run cold. Matsuoka’s eyes watered as he came close to tears.

“What’s wrong?” Hirosue asked hastily. What’s wrong is the fact that you did that to me out of the blue, he thought, but was unable to put it into words. Tears spilled over.

He was dragged close and taken into Hirosue’s arms. He found his own arms naturally encircling Hirosue’s neck.

“I’m sorry. If you didn’t like it, I won’t do it again.”

The man stroked his wet head. If Hirosue was still embracing him, did it mean he wasn’t disturbed by what he just did?

“You don’t feel… disgusted, or anything?”

“About what?” Hirosue asked back.

“About doing that kind of stuff.”

“When I looked it up on the Internet, I saw it mentioned under foreplay.”

Matsuoka looked up at Hirosue in surprise.

“On the Internet?”

“Since I didn’t know what I was doing last time,” Hirosue explained. “But if you didn’t like it, I won’t do it anymore.”

“I liked it, but… you don’t mind, Hirosue?”

“I liked it, too,” Hirosue said as the edges of his eyes drooped a little in a smile. “It was fun. The look on your face was so different from usual. ―Just licking yours turned me on.”

Matsuoka rubbed his cheek up against Hirosue’s neck.

“Hirosue, all that stuff on the Internet… those are all just examples. Just because it says so, it doesn’t mean you have to force yourself.”

“I know. But I wanted a taste. I wanted to see what you tasted like, Matsuoka,” Hirosue said simply. It was a shocking statement, yet Hirosue’s tone was casual. Matsuoka blushed furiously.

“You don’t need to know,” he sputtered.

“I might as well find out if I have the chance. I want to know everything about you.”

Matsuoka was glad that the man wanted to know more about him. He wished the man would want to know more and more. But when he wondered how erotic the man would become in that process, he was simultaneously a little afraid.

 

They embraced and made love again and again. By the time they went to sleep, it was close to dawn. When Matsuoka woke, it was close to noon.

His lower half, which had finally begun to feel normal, had been penetrated by Hirosue again. His lower regions now felt dull and numb. He wished the man would go easy on him since he wasn’t a girl, but when Hirosue begged for more like a child, Matsuoka could not refuse. He opened himself again and again to Hirosue.

As for the perpetrator who had had his way with Matsuoka, he was still deep in his slumber. Matsuoka peered at his sleeping face. Just looking at him made his chest tighten, and he realized just how in love he was. Those lips, which presently only issued shallow and regular breaths, had repeated the word “cute” to the point of excess last night. Perhaps Hirosue’s lack of speaking skill was what contributed to his lack of vocabulary. Whether Matsuoka moaned, came, or cried, it was always “cute”. That was all he said, like a one-trick pony.

Matsuoka’s uncertainties about having sex as two men was swept cleanly away by the way Hirosue hungrily lusted for him. The man licked his small nipples until he thought they would melt, and even in bed he took Matsuoka’s member into his mouth. Hirosue appeared to feel pleasure from it, too. When Matsuoka felt the man’s groin grow hard against his thigh as he fondled him, he was so happy he was brought to tears.

The sleeping man enticed Matsuoka to draw up and kiss him gently. He was startled to see the man’s eyes, which were supposed to be closed, snap open. The man’s arms circled around him, and he was flipped onto his back. Hirosue crawled on top of him as if it were the most natural thing in the world, and stared at him with their faces inches away from each other. His eyes were erotic but gentle.

Hirosue ran his fingers through is hair, and carefully stroked his cheek. The man’s eyes were fixed so intently on him that Matsuoka dropped his gaze in sheepishness. But he did want to be kissed, and the minute he thought so, their lips overlapped, and he was hugged tightly. It was so comforting, he thought his heart would collapse.

“Mmh… nh…”

They could clearly feel each other in the flesh as they entwined their tongues in a kiss. Matsuoka wished he could turn into some kind of sweet confectionery from head to toe. His hips were numb, he felt lethargic; yet, he wished the man would seek him more. He wanted the man to desire him.

After reducing Matsuoka to a limp mass with his kiss, Hirosue propped himself up. He pulled Matsuoka up, who was lying beside him, and took him into his arms. His lower region ached when he was sat down, but he slid his arms around Hirosue’s back anyway and held him close.

Although he didn’t feel hungry, Matsuoka’s stomach gave a loud growl. Since Hirosue was right up against him, he must have heard as well. It was embarrassing. Just once would have been tolerable, but his stomach continued its plaintive protest.

“Are you hungry?”

“Not really,” Matsuoka responded hastily.

“But your stomach is growling.” Hirosue placed his palm against Matsuoka’s belly, which growled plaintively again. It seemed like even his inner organs were begging to be babied by Hirosue.

“It’s almost noon, isn’t it? I’ll go buy something.”

Hirosue gave Matsuoka several smacking kisses around his ears, then got off the bed. He picked up the clothes he had thrown off yesterday and put them on. He was not naked anymore―just that fact was enough to make Matsuoka sad, and he felt like there was something wrong with him to think that way.

After Hirosue changed, he sat down on the edge of the bed and peered at Matsuoka’s face.

“Is there anything you feel like eating?”

“I’ll eat anything.”

Hirosue cocked his head. “What do you like?”

Matsuoka was at a loss. But he felt like he had to give an answer, so he said “rice balls” off the top of his head.

“Rice balls it is. I’ll be right back.”

Hirosue gave him a light peck and a stroke on the head before he went out. After seeing the man off, Matsuoka pulled the sheets over his head and curled up into a ball.

“―This is unreal,” he muttered to himself.

Hirosue so gentle, it was enough to make him feel faint. Matsuoka had never pampered someone or been pampered by someone to this degree before. He was blissful, but it was so blissful it was almost frightening. Once he got used to this cloying atmosphere, he would never be able to get out of it. He would never be able to return to normal.

But just because he was afraid of the future, he could not stop moving forward. He could not stop dead in his tracks.

Matsuoka lay wrapped up in his sheets like a chick waiting for its mother bird to bring food. Even though Hirosue had just left, Matsuoka kept wondering if he would come home soon.

Hirosue came back about fifteen minutes later with nothing but rice balls, and a dozen of them at that. He said he didn’t know what Matsuoka liked, so he had bought one of every kind at the store.

The sight of the man sheepishly explaining himself with his back stooped was maddeningly endearing. The two of them did not leave the apartment until they had finished all twelve rice balls. They did not talk much, nor did they watch TV. They were satisfied just rolling around in bed and playing like kittens.

Matsuoka quite seriously wished that Sunday evening would never come so Hirosue would not have to go home.

 

Continued in Part 2.