Not One For Weddings Ch. 04

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I had to admit it – Chris was right. The zoo had been fun.

I hadn’t been to one since I was in elementary school, and definitely didn’t remember having half as much fun then as I had with Chris; then again, as a six-year-old, I was probably too busy eating dirt or something.

The time passed by easily with Chris. He knew his way around the park, and freely held my hand as he lead me around. It was a slow day there – we were one of the only people visiting that day. A couple of the trainers even brought us aside and let us pet a few of the animals. We ate hamburgers and ice cream for lunch, and sat outside for a couple hours just talking on a bench. We talked about our favorite music, movies, books (he had an eclectic taste in each area); he told me about growing up there in Seattle, and I told him about the small city I’d been born in. It was almost six before we finally left.

“I actually enjoyed myself,” I remarked as we walked out the gates of the zoo.

“You’ve said that once before today,” he reminded me.

I scanned my memory, and laughed when I realized he was right.

“I have; maybe it’s because you keep surprising me.”

“I’d like to continue doing that, if you don’t mind,” he gave me a shy look.

“Not in the least.”

“Good.” We arrived at his car – a silly little silver car – and he walked to the passenger side door, opening it for me. I gave him a beaming smile.

“Nobody has ever – ever – done that for me.” I climbed into the seat, and he closed the door softly shut behind me. I watched him as he walked around the car to the driver’s door – he looked a bit too nonchalant: he was trying to look confident. He knew that I was watching him, and wanted me to think he was totally unperturbed, smooth as fucking silk.

I let him.

“Where’s Little Ferry at,” he asked as he started the engine, referring to the place I professed to be from.

“New Jersey,” I smirked. At least I escaped the accent.

“Really, East coast?”

“Yup.” All the way on the other side of the country.

“And what ended up bringing you to rainy old Seattle?”

“Ah…I wanted something new after I graduated. Forty miles away from home wasn’t enough. I got a job offer from a veterinary clinic here, and hopped onto the first flight I could.”

He furrowed his eyebrows, as if he didn’t understand what I was saying.

“You didn’t like living in New Jersey, then?”

“Not really, no. I mean, I didn’t like my situation there.” He remained silent, prompting me to continue. “My parents are…difficult. I got a job as a teenager and saved every penny until I was eighteen and could move out. I was a good student in highschool, and was offered a full scholarship at Rutgers University – honestly, it probably didn’t hurt that I knew a couple of the people on the admissions board. I worked my ass off and got good grades, graduated top of my class. I got a few job offers in-state, but I’d applied everywhere. I weighed my options, and decided the West coast was the best choice for me – and it was. I like it here.”

“Why Seattle? I’m sure you could’ve gotten a job somewhere drier and sunnier.”

“Yeah, I could’ve. But I rather like the drizzly weather. It’s…comforting. Does that sound weird to you?”

“No, no. Exactly how I feel, actually. When I tell that to people, that the weather’s comforting, they give me a confused look and shrug.”

I smiled at him. “I guess it’s a good thing we found each other.”

As soon as I said the words, I couldn’t believe they’d escaped my mouth. I hadn’t meant to presume so much, and truly didn’t realize the extent of my attraction (could it really be mere attraction?) towards Chris. It just slipped out, unrestrained.

“I guess it is,” he agreed in a soft voice, interrupting my inner panic. A pause passed, before he added in a cheerier tone. “Do you have any strong opinions towards Sushi?”

“I love it.”

He pulled into a parking lot alongside a small building. “Then it looks like we’ve found a place for dinner.”

We got climbed out of the car, and walked into the restaurant – it was even smaller from than inside than it had looked from the outside. A mirror ran the length of the far wall in an attempt to make the space look larger than it was. Little white Christmas lights were strung around the room with fake green leaves that matched the fake tree by the entranceway, and subdued lamps hung over each of the six rickety tables (four of which were occupied) that looked like a gentle breeze would blow them apart. It smelled faintly of the ocean (not surprising, considering the small fish tank that stood beside the kitchen doorway), and soft music in a language unfamiliar to me played faintly in the background.

I liked it immediately.

Chris lead me to a table near the back of the restaurant – so, maybe ten feet away – and we sat across from each other. There were menus sitting atop the table already, as well as napkins and chopsticks. I eyed them warily.

“What’s wrong?”

“Chopsticks…I’m not very competent with them. They’re basically spears in my hands.”

He Demetevler Escort laughed musically. “We can always ask for forks. Or, I could teach you how to use chopsticks like a grown man.”

I gave him a doubtful look. “You can try. But don’t get your hopes up.”

“Come on, you can preform delicate surgery on sedated animals, but can’t manage to eat with two sticks?”

I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, not all of us can be perfect.”

“Too bad, it’d make my life easier,” he grinned.

“Hi, Chris! I haven’t seen you in a while,” a petite waitress exclaimed.

“Hey, Akira,” he returned. “I haven’t had a chance to stop by lately – work, you know? How’s your dad been?”

“He’s okay. In the back, as always.”

“Has he ever had a day off?”

“No. At least, not in the last 25 years.”

“Poor man. Hey, this,” he gestured towards me, “is Julian. Julian, Akira.”

“Julian. Nice to meet you,” she extended her hand.

“Likewise,” I answered, returning the handshake.

“What can I get you guys to drink?”

I looked at Chris for guidance. “I’ll have a Coke,” he ordered. I nodded my head, and he changed the order to add a Coke for me as well.

“I’ll be right back with those.” She left to get our drinks.

“She seems sweet.”

“Akira? She is; she takes after her father. Though you’d never know it from the surly front he puts on at first. What are you going to get?”

“Hmm…” I examined the menu, and was at a loss. I’d eaten sushi before, but still wasn’t quite clear on what was what. “You know what’s good?”

“I’ve had just about everything on the menu at one point or other.”

I put my menu down. “Order for me. Whatever you think is good. Or whatever you’re having.”

“Okay,” he easily accepted. “Is there anything you don’t like or are allergic to?”

“I don’t have any allergies, as far as I know. And I’ll try anything twice.”


“Twice. Second chances and all.”

“Good to know,” he leered at me, making sure I was aware of his double meaning.

Akira returned and handed us our drinks with a smile. I sipped at my soda while Chris ordered what sounded like enough food to feed a small army. When he finally finished, he found me regarding him with an amused expression.

“You know, you’re giving me the same look you did at the wedding.”

“Am I now?”

“Yes. You’re laughing at me in your head.”

I laughed aloud. “There, better?”

“Somewhat. Now, what was the cause of the look?”

“You. More specifically, your extravagant ordering.”

“I know it sounds like a lot, but it’s just sort of a taste of everything. That way you can decide what you do and don’t like.”

I wasn’t sure I was convinced, but I didn’t argue it – after all, leftovers are always great.

“Do you have any siblings,” I asked him,

“Yes, I have a younger sister. Her name’s Diem, but I call her Drew. She’ll be twenty-three in a couple weeks.”

“Her name’s Diem but you call her Drew? Why?”

“It’s a sort of joke. I don’t know how much you remember from high school, but in mine I remember doing a section in English class about the Carpe Diem poets – one of them being named Andrew Marvell. I started to call her Andrew after school one day to piss her off, and it stuck.”

“Oh, so you’re on of those older brothers,” I teased him.

“Damn right I am. What about you? Are you an only child?”

I snorted. “Not by a long shot. I’m the youngest of seven – all girls.”


“You’re telling me!”

“Do you know why your parents decided on having so many kids?”

“They’re Roman Catholic,” I shrugged. And I do not want to go there right now. I changed the subject back to him. “What’s your family like?”

He smiled. “They’re great, really. My dad’s a highschool photography teacher, my mom’s a librarian, and my sister’s a pain in the ass. She’s also a cake decorator.”

“You love them,” I stated the obvious.

“What’s not to love? They’ve put up with me for the past twenty-six years – can’t beat that. We get along pretty well. My parents never shoved their beliefs onto me, and always accepted me for who I am.”

“Are they religious?”

“My parents go so far as to celebrate Christmas and all that, but I can’t remember them ever talking about religion to me. They took me to Church a couple times when I was really young because I wanted to see the pretty building with the bells. Of course, I got bored immediately, and that was that. They’re really easy-going; I genuinely like them, as people, not just as my parents.” He chuckled, mostly to himself. “Of course, that’s not to say they’ve ever hesitated to put me in my place when needed.”

“They sound great.”

“They’re the best.”

Akira returned then – with an ungodly amount of food. I shot Chris a look, which he returned with a carefree grin. After some maneuvering and giggling from Akira’s end, we managed to fit all the food onto the tiny table. Another table flagged Akira, and she left us to deal with the mountain of food.

“This Otele gelen escort is not just a little bit of food,” I stated.

“No, I guess not. Oh, well. I guess we’ll be forced to eat it all. Tempura shrimp?” He offered me a fried morsel of seafood at the end of his perfectly-held chopsticks. I retrieved it with my fingers. “Oh, no you don’t. Here, let me show you.”

I carefully picked up my chopsticks as he directed, not trusting that I’d be able to do anything more than make a mess with them. After a few minutes under Chris’s patient direction, I had was actually able to use the things with some degree of skill (rather than stabbing at the food, as was my usual M.O). With so much food before us, our conversation quickly dwindled to choosing what to try first (futo maki roll), comments about how everything tasted (delicious), and my naively trying wasabi by itself (horrendous and unlikely to happen again). Akira checked on us a couple times – once just to laugh at me after I’d eaten the wasabi – and brought us the check after watching us try in vain to finish the last of the meal, which was still considerably more than enough for a meal in its own right. She packed the food away in little styrofoam containers while Chris and I fought over the check.

“Julian, I brought you here, let me pay.”

“No. You paid for the zoo admission, you paid for lunch, you drove, and you made me breakfast this morning. I’m paying.”

With an adorable twist of his lips, he relented and allowed me to pay the bill. I left Akira with a 20% tip, but I was pretty sure I still saw Chris leave a few bills on the table when I turned my back. We thanked her as she handed us our food in bags – two! – and wished us a good night.

“Thanks again, Chris. It was really good. This entire day’s been really good.”

“You’re more than welcome, Julian.” He started the engine, but didn’t shift to drive. “It’s still early…Do you want to head back to my apartment for a while?”

“Yes,” I answered quickly. Maybe too quickly, but I wasn’t going to play games – I wanted to be with him, and wasn’t about to pretend otherwise. With a smile, he guided the car onto the road and in the direction of his home.

“Tell me more about your family,” I requested.

“My dad’s from a tiny town in Utah called Panguitch. It’s really small; if you close your eyes for three seconds while driving through, you’d miss it. We went there a few times over the summers. His parents, my grandparents, still live there. They had three kids, including my dad, but they all moved away as soon as they graduated high school – the place was too small to provide enough entertainment for a bunch of teenagers. My dad went to W.S.U here, and that’s where he met my mom, who was born and raised here. They were – well, are – both sort of free spirits, and were bound to end up together. I doubt anyone else would’ve been able to put up with either of them half as well. They got married three years after they graduated, and had me three years into their marriage. Drew came three years later.”

“What’s with all the threes?”

“They met in ’79 on March 3rd, and ever since then 3s have been their thing. It’s kinda weird, but so are they.” He let out a chuckle. “It’s funny, every third of the month – every month – they make it into a sort of holiday. They bake a ‘Three Day’ cake, and will usually go out to eat. When I was younger I’d ask my friends what they did for Three Day, and none of them knew what I meant.”

I nodded my head, smiling. Imagining his parents, so different from my own, was immensely fascinating. They sounded odd, yes, but that was much more endearing than it was off-putting. Like a cup of tea come to life. Herbal tea and incense and old books.

“What about your parents,” he snapped me out of my reverie.

“What about them?”

“Anything. What are their names? Where are they from? What do they do?”

“My mother’s name is Antonia, and my father’s is Domenico. They’re both Italian, from Sicily, and grew up in the same little village together. They moved to New Jersey when my mother was pregnant with my second eldest sister, Catherina. My father owns a landscaping company. My mother doesn’t work, but she volunteers at their church with a bunch of other Italian women.”

“What are they like?”

“They’re very…old-fashioned. They have all the traditional, old-world beliefs; the whole men-provide-for-the-family, women-stay-home-and-child-rear mentality. They got married at seventeen and had my first two sisters almost at once. So my mother would’ve been just 20 when they came over, and my father nearly 21. They chose Jersey because we already had some family there, so that made it easier for them. They found a neighborhood near a Roman Catholic church with a lot of people from the ‘motherland’, as they might say.”

“You don’t like talking about them,” he observed.

“No, not particularly. Am I that easy to see through?”

He smiled, but it didn’t reach his eyes. “In this case, yes. You’ve spoken of them two times now, but Balgat Escort haven’t really said anything about them.”

“That sounds about accurate,” I granted.

We sat in silence for a couple minutes. It was obvious Chris was waiting for me to volunteer more information, but I’d arrived at my daily limit for sharing. I knew he was just trying to get to know me, and it was unfair of me after all he’d shared, but I wasn’t comfortable enough yet.

“Sorry, Julian,” he whispered. Even though he’d spoken just louder than a breath, it still made me jump. “I didn’t mean to pry.”

“Don’t be sorry; you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s just me.”

We arrived at his apartment, and got out of the car without speaking. Chris stopped me at a pillar in the front of the building.

“Really, Julian. I wasn’t trying to be insensitive.”

He brought me in for a kiss, brushing his lips against mine for an endless moment. He pulled away too soon, and I rewarded him with a smile. He easily took hold of my hand and lead me into the building. Unlike the night before, there was nobody in the front lobby or the elevator.

“Looks like we’re not running into my neighbors tonight,” Chris echoed my thoughts as the doors of the elevator closed shut.

“I guess not.”

The ride up was quick, and we mutely walked to Chris’s door. While he picked out his keys, I kissed his neck. He stood still, and I took it as an opportunity to continue kissing him, making a trail from his collar to just beneath his ear. Beneath my lips I felt his stubble, and was glad he hadn’t bothered to shave it. I licked his ear lobe before bringing it between my lips and sucking on it.

The door clicked as Chris unlocked it, quietly falling open.

“We should probably go inside,” I breathed into his ear.

“You have objections to the hallway?”

“The hallway doesn’t have a fridge to put the food into.”

“Fair enough,” he conceded.

He put the leftovers away, while I wandered to inspect a bookshelf that stood against a wall. It had quite a few murder mystery novels, John Grisham and the like, as well as Stephen King and a handful Greek mythology texts. A glass of wine appeared to interrupt my view.

“Thanks,” I said, bringing the glass to my lips; the wine was deep and fruity.

“Do you like it?”

“I do.” I tapped a book whose cover showed a woman with snakes for hair. “Medusa?”

“That’s her. The Greeks made great stories for the kids at school.”

“Didn’t Zeus fuck a goose or something in one of the stories?”

“Not exactly; it was a swan. And, Zeus was the swan.”

I snorted. “Great. I bet that one’s a real crowd-pleaser at school.”

“I tend to keep our story-time-stories quite a bit more G-rated. But you know what’s even weirder than inter-species copulation?” He pulled out a different book and opened it to a page with what appeared to be a young boy wearing a headband. “This is Himerus, he’s one of the Erotes – they’re Love-Gods. See how young he looks? Now, guess what he’s the God of.”

“I don’t know – innocence?”

“Sexual desire.” He pointed to a paragraph beside the picture, confirming his statement.

A sharp laugh burst out of me. “That’s disgustingly hilarious.”

“I know. The Greeks were weird. Then again, no weirder than any other religion.”

He put the book back on the shelf and guided me to the couch, where we sat down.

“Did you feel like talking,” I finally asked him.

“Not right at this moment, no.”

I set my glass down and scooted myself forward until our knees were touching. I put a hand on his thigh and squeezed it lightly.

“I don’t want to talk either.”

I took the glass of wine from his hand and placed it beside mine on the coffee table. I brought his face closer to mine, and captured his lips with my own. He returned the kiss eagerly, opening his mouth to mine, his hands going to my hair. My hands slid up and around his torso, his back, his neck. His fingers twined themselves into my hair, pulling it softly, causing me to sigh and my lips to press more firmly upon his.

I shifted our position on the couch so that Chris was lying beneath me while I straddled his lap. I undid the buttons of his black and white plaid shirt as I kissed him, smoothing my hands over his chest once I’d finished. I played with his chest hair, and deftly pinched his nipples. He released a low moan and yanked my face harder against his, though I hadn’t moved away. I continued to run my hands over his body as his lips insisted upon mine. He twitched beneath me as I knotted my fingers again and again in his chest hair, pulling at it when the urge struck me.

His fingers moved from my hair, down my back, to the hem of the shirt I wore. He pulled it up, but struggled to take it off as I refused to pull our lips away from each other.

“Let me take your shirt off, Julian,” he mumbled against me.

“No. And it’s your shirt, not mine.”

“Let me undress you,” he revised his complaint with a groan.

With a smile, I removed myself from him enough so that he was able to tear off the offensive piece of clothing. He flung it over the back of the couch, and his hands roamed over my newly-bared chest with renewed vigor. His nails traced over my back to make me moan, then made me squirm as they tickled over my sides. Enjoying my reaction, he lingered there; the tips of his fingers stroked the sensitive skin, much to my dismay. I twisted at his pestering touch.

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