"Wanna go out, buddy?" Jet always wanted to go out. Silly dog. Jack bent down and scratched around those long black ears, narrowly avoiding the big drippy tongue that eagerly sought to clean his face for him. "Okay, come on, let's go."
Once the back door was open, the big black lab lost no time scooting past Jack's legs and out into the yard, where they spent the next half hour happily breaking human and doggie sweat by chasing around a Frisbee, a ratty, stinky old tennis ball, and a length of dog toy rope that'd seen better days.
Finally, Jack collapsed into a chair on the deck, Jet lying in the shade beside him, and they spent companionable moments enjoying the quiet, watching the play of the sunlight on the flowers and trees, lazy dragonflies lighting on the porch railing. Next door, a lone blue jay set up an alarm call, probably in response to the neighbor's predatory cat that was undoubtedly once again on the prowl. It wasn't long before both sets of eyes were closed for a siesta.
The ring of his cell phone woke Jack up. He fished it out of his pocket and checked the caller ID. Daniel. "Hey."
"Hey yourself. Whatcha doin'?"
"Not a damned thing. What're you doin'?"
"I'm solving the world situation. All by myself. 'Cause you've been sleeping."
"See? Told ya."
"Did you just call me to wake me up?"
"Yup." When Jack didn't answer, Daniel continued, "Actually I'm over at Barnes and Noble, checking out the gay men's magazines."
"You oughta see page 64 in this month's Gay Times." Daniel whistled softly through his teeth. "Hung. Uncut. Half hard." By now he was whispering, but Jack could hear him as clear as day.
"Damn liar. Those magazines are all wrapped in plastic, and you can't even look at the pictures till you buy 'em."
"I'll bet you're half hard, too, just thinking about it, though."
"Mmmm." The man knew him, and that was no lie. Jack shifted in his chair, sitting forward a bit to ease the pressure.
"Why don't you get your fine ass over here and take a look for yourself."
Jack glanced at his watch. 1630 hours. It'd be time to eat soon. "Dinner too?"
"Sure." A pause. "I'm in the mood for meat."
Christ on a cracker. "Which Barnes and Noble?"
With Jet safely ensconced back in the house, Jack quickly shaved and brushed his teeth, and with his shirt changed, a light layer of fresh cologne applied, he did his best to keep to the speed limit on the way over to the mall. He parked near the entrance closest to the bookstore, taking note of Daniel's car in the parking lot, and again did his best not to double time it inside.
Damned if Daniel hadn't bought that magazine, because the cellophane wrapper had definitely been removed. Jack stopped short, someplace between "Latest Bestsellers" and "Christmas Decor and Cooking", one hand on a bookshelf, and just stared. There was Daniel, big as life, lounging back on a sofa, one leg propped on a coffee table, with the aforementioned copy of "Gay Times" open and held up in front of him. Jack couldn't see his face, since the magazine was in the way, but he'd recognize the rest of the man anywhere, of course.
Casually, waiting to be noticed, even though he knew Daniel could outwit, outplay, and outlast him at any time in any place, Jack strolled over to the magazine rack, his eyes searching along the very top for the section with all those bare-chested buff men staring out at him. Barnes and Noble had a pretty good selection of gay publications, and it wasn't hard to pluck the latest Instinct out of the pile, carry it to the front, and lay down ten bucks for it.
Receipt carefully tucked into his pocket, Jack tore at the plastic wrapper as he walked back towards Daniel, who still hadn't given any indication of knowing he was there, just continuing to study the pages like the good intellectual he was, seemingly oblivious to everything else. Mmmm, Jack knew that single-minded Jackson attention personally, intimately, and knew how wonderful it would feel to be that magazine right now.... you know, if magazines could feel....
It was a big couch, so Jack slid into the opposite end, tucking one leg up under himself and turning towards Daniel a bit. Getting no reaction, he relaxed back into the comfy cushions, opened his own magazine, and held it up so Daniel could see what he'd bought. Within a minute or two, Jack was convinced he was being watched, even though he hadn't actually caught Daniel at it.
He cleared his throat, turning a page or two and regarding Daniel through narrowed eyes. "You come here often?"
Daniel didn't deign to look at him, but Jack didn't miss the sudden swallow. "Sometimes." The little shrug came off more as a nervous tic than as nonchalance, at least, to Jack's hopeful regard.
Jack left him hanging, whistling a little tuneless ditty under his breath, and just continued turning pages as though he had all the time in the world.
Jack looked up. "Me?"
"You come here often?"
He did his best to shrug more convincingly than Daniel had. "I was supposed to meet my.... friend..... here." More page turning.
Daniel squirmed in his seat a bit, lowering the magazine onto his lap, but he stayed quiet. After a couple of minutes, his question was uttered almost breathlessly, "Friend?"
Jack waggled his eyebrows, giving him a half smile that, if he'd been a real actor, would have been much more knowing and lascivious than he managed. "Ye-ah... my friend."
Daniel looked quickly around. "Guess she's...." he glanced down at Jack's magazine, taking in the male centerfold that was spread between them in all its glory. He cleared his throat. "I guess he's... late."
"Yeah, I guess so." Jack stuck out one hand, offering to shake. "Hi, I'm Jack."
Daniel looked at the proffered hand but didn't stick out his own. "Nice t' meetcha, Jack." He picked up his magazine, crossed one leg over the opposite knee, and said as clear as day, "I'm taken."
I guess the hell you are, Jack's tiny reptilian brain spoke up. "I'll just bet you are, a fine specimen like yourself."
Daniel peered at him over his glasses, his eyebrows climbing up his forehead. "What?"
"You heard me." Jack flipped his magazine closed, threw it onto the coffee table, and sidled his ass a little closer. "Mmm, mmm, mmm." He actually licked his lips. "I've never seen quality like you in this store before." He leered at the magazine Daniel still held. "And gay, too."
"Excuse me?" Daniel moved away a bit.
"You heard me," Jack repeated. "What part of fine gay quality didn't you understand?"
"Ooooo, and shy, too. I like that." Jack got closer. "So. Wanna go back to my place?" When Daniel only widened his eyes, Jack continued, "Or yours, I don't care." He was actually sweating. He lowered his voice, speaking just above a whisper, his eyes glued to the beautiful face he knew so well. "I can't wait to see what you've got under those clothes."
He put his hand on Daniel's arm, aware of the fine trembling under his fingers. "You a top? Bottom?" He snickered quietly and added, "I don't care. I do either, so whatever."
"My b-boyfriend..." Daniel shook off Jack's hand. "He'd kill you, if he found out."
"I used to be Special Ops. I have guns. Shovels. A backyard to bury the body. I'm not afraid of him, whoever he is."
"You should be." Daniel's eyes shifted, but he made no move to get up. "He's a real hardass. A Colonel in the Air Force. A lean, mean, fightin' machine."
Jack stifled a giggle. "Really?" When Daniel nodded, Jack told him, "Believe me, you're worth the risk. You and I, we could be magic together; I just know it."
Wordlessly, Daniel flipped open Gay Times to page 64. There he was, an older guy for once, a bit silver around the temples, uncut, half hard, and delicious. "This," Daniel pointed, "is Mr. Page 64."
Jack smiled, spreading out his arms in invitation. "Hey, you can have the real thing. It's right here waiting."
Daniel got to his feet, snatching up both magazines. "I'm so glad I'm taken." He grabbed Jack by one arm. "Let's go."
Laughing, they headed for the store exit. Together, as always, on the same page.
|Genres:||Established Relationship, Humor, Romance|
|Summary:||Daniel knew him so well.|
My thanks to the Six Pack-- you gals know, don't you.