After dreading it for multiple hours now, it was finally time for Vincent to read the messages that his friend had been blowing up his phone with. It was a little difficult for him, because the conversation that he’d anxiously, but silently, opted out of was regarding the party that Myra was throwing later today. Vince rolled over in his bed and reached blindly for his phone, which he was sure had fallen onto the ground at some point in the afternoon. Unlocking it, he was immediately bombarded by about thirty-seven thousand messages from his friend.

are you coming tonight

hey, stop ignorign me

read my messages you cheap ass

He groaned and rolled over again, kicking the blanket onto the floor with his feet. For a moment, he considered just saying no. But he wasn’t going to let himself give up that easily. Not again.

i dont know ok

youre just gonna talk to someone else

and ill be all by myself

The little tick marks turned blue, and his face followed suit quickly when his phone began to vibrate violently in his hand. A call? Really?

“If you don’t come, I will literally cry, Vincent. What the fuck am I going to do without you?”

Myra genuinely sounded a little annoyed, but Vince knew this game: She’d pretend to be pissed at him for a minute until he started feeling genuinely bad, and then she had to explain to him that she was just joking, like always. It was less of a game and more of a Myra being a normal friend while Vince stumbles around his inability to be a functioning person. So, pretty much like always.

“Damn it, Vince, you know I’m not being serious, right?” There it was. “You’re the only person who it’s fun to drink with.”

Admittedly, he was pretty fun when he managed to leave his anxiety behind at the bottom of a glass. And drunk Vince and drunk Myra would always start deep, meaninglessly meaningful conversations that made them think deeply and then cackle embarrassingly again and again.

And if he said no to this party, he would’ve not only denied his best friend, who was there for him pretty much constantly, but he’d just have to have another sad Saturday night consisting of chips, memes and maybe a, uh, fun toy and some porn. Admittedly, that sounded a lot more fun than some jock-infested party.

“Look, listen,” Myra began after enduring the awkward silence for longer than she reasonably should have. “There’s this guy coming to the party who is really sweet, and he looks pretty cute too. Dan even said that he might be, you know, a top, and I know how desperate you’ve been for that sort of thing recently.”

Damn it. Why did Vincent tell anyone anything, ever?

“Why do I tell you anything, ever?” He half-whispered into his phone and sat up into a surprisingly graceful cross-legged situation and picked up the dildo that he spotted at the foot of his bed. He really had to take better care of his belongings.

“I’m not sure. It’s weird. But no judgement, babe. I know what it’s like.”

“You literally just said that it’s weird, how is that not judgement?”

“Listen. Are you coming or not? I’m not going to spend the rest of the evening getting your sad ass laid.”

Vince rolled his eyes and sighed, deliberately loud enough for her to hear it clearly.

“Stop rolling your eyes at me. Yes or no?”

She knew him too well. He looked at the toy in his hand and fondled it a little. Non-sexually fondled it. He really did want to do stuff with a guy again, but he also quite enjoyed the idea of not having to go out and meet new people.

“Fuck, fine,” he said and flopped back onto his back. Goddamn it.

“There we go,” Myra exclaimed loudly and immediately hung up.

There we fucking go.

Myra’s party turned out to be happening at a different house that apparently belonged to a friend of hers or something. Vince was kind of relieved, as Myra’s apartment didn’t feature a lot of space to hide from sweaty crowds of drunken people in. The night was unfurling as people around him started showing clear signs of a buzz, and of course, Myra was absolutely nowhere to be found. Great.

In his frustration, Vince decided to sit down on one of the chic living room sofas that were very clearly too expensive to house his poor ass. Nevertheless, it seemed to invite him to take a little break from the crowds and the anxiety and just breathe for a second.

If he was being honest with himself, Vincent wasn’t at all interested in this party or the people at it. He sipped his drink tentatively, a vodka and coke that tasted more like a vodka and vodka with a side of coke, and looked around the bustling living room. Not only had Myra seemingly disappeared, any other people that he may know and be able to interact with were also nowhere to be found. And while this meant that there were also no people around that he might want to run-away-slash-hide from, it was still kind of a bummer to be wasting his night at this place and still sit around alone.

A few more minutes went by, and Vince started spotting one or two people that he did know, but none of which he wanted to talk to. There was a guy that he’d briefly hooked up with at another one of Myra’s parties about a year ago (he was one of the “straight, but I have needs, too” guys), and there was a girl who had flirted with him a lot before Vince found out that he was, in fact, not at all interested in her or her gender. They’d still continue talking every now and again after that, but it seemed to Vince like she’d only been interested in him as a potential romantic (or sexual) partner, which was fair enough.

Myra finally reappeared by tapping Vincent on the shoulder from behind the sofa. She was radiating confidence and also, maybe, probably, a slight bit of drunkenness. Those tended to go hand in hand for her.

“Hey, stranger,” she said to him as if they hadn’t talked for, like, months, and not literally less than half an hour.

“Is this a rickroll situation, and you just forgot the actual lyrics, or what’s going on with you?” He said to her with a snarky grin.

“Shut up,” she said, jumped over the backrest and landed on the soft, brown leather beside him. She came a little closer and tilted her head to whisper into Vince’s ear.

“Okay, listen. Brandon is here,” she said.

Vince made one of his famous faces. “Who the hell is Brandon?”

“The guy I was telling you about! The cute one with a dick that isn’t made of silicone?”

Ah, yes. The human dick man.

“Couldn’t you guess from the name?” She laughed. He did not.

He chose a smooth “How much have you had to drink?” as his reply and then pushed her head off of his shoulder. “Where is he?”

“He’s, uh…” She narrowed her eyes and began to investigate the crowd.

“Right there!” She exclaimed and jumped up from the couch. “Go to him! Come on!”

Brandon was, in fact, quite cute. Actually, Vince might have been drooling over him just a tiny bit while waiting for Myra to resurface earlier, even before he knew that he was the cute, gay friend in question. Well, he might have been bi or pan or something. That wasn’t important right now.

What was important right now was getting Brandon out of the hot tub and into one of the spare bedrooms. Why was there even a hot tub? Had someone taken this house from a high school movie? Though, in the hot tub’s defense, it did allow Vince to see Brandon’s not-quite-chiseled chest and his not-so-short hair that was flowing over his surprisingly broad shoulders. He hadn’t quite decided if he found Brandon cute or hot yet, but he had decided that he would quite enjoy spending some more time with him to figure it out.

Vincent, being the perfect-at-social-interaction smooth talker that he was, stood in front of the hot tub like an idiot, just staring at Brandon’s beautiful fucking face. How did humans do that speaking thing again?

Brandon turned around and saw Vince standing there like an idiotic statue. He looked at him for a second and then turned to jump out of the hot tub gracefully, with little streams of water running down his chest and over his abs and dripping off of his Bermudas. That’s just what water usually did, but it looked fantastic on this guy. Of course.

“Oh hey,” Brandon began, to Vince’s absolute surprise. He tried to snap out of his continued statueing and blinked. “You’re Vince, right? Myra told me all about you.”

“Yup, yea, that’s… that’s me. Hi.” He stood there awkwardly, debating whether he should extend his hand? Go in for a hug? No, he was dripping wet. The— Brandon was dripping wet. Yes.

Not too long after the most awkward thirty-five seconds of his life, Vince found himself sitting next to Brandon on a bed in a room that Vince was pretty sure was at least twice as big as his own apartment. Brandon had, despite Vincent’s wordless disapproval, towel dried himself off and put on a shirt.

After staring at each other for a few seconds, their thighs rubbing together on the bed, things started going pretty fast. Brandon took of Vince’s shirt and then his own, and Vincent started making use of his free hands to feel Brandon’s rather muscular body. Brandon took off his Bermudas and they both realized that he was not wearing anything else underneath, revealing his rock hard—and very human—cock. Vince also took off his pants after struggling with his belt buckle for an embarrassing amount of time, and then he found himself laying on his back with Brandon’s chest pressed against his, their cocks rubbing against each other. Brandon got up from the bed and grabbed Vince’s legs, pulling him towards the edge of the bed.

Vincent knew where this was going, and he really, really wanted to like it. But as Brandon was pulling Vincent closer to his throbbing cock and bending his lower legs to rest them on his own shoulders, some sort of switch flicked inside Vince’s head. Yes, of course he wanted to have his brains fucked out by a hot guy. By this hot guy. But he didn’t want it right now, like this, so fast and without a single question asked.

Brandon was fumbling with a condom wrapper and Vincent quickly decided to use the moment to slide up a bit towards the head of the bed, taking his legs back and starting to hug them.

“Can we,” He began. “Can we slow down a bit? I don’t think I’m ready for that yet.” Vincent frowned and looked at Brandon, whose expression was unreadable to him.

“What?” Brandon asked, still expressionless. His tone wasn’t aggressive, but it wasn’t all that calm, either. Had Vincent said something wrong?

“I thought this is what you wanted. That’s what Myra said!”

What the fuck? Was Myra, his best friend, just going around telling random guys that Vincent was desperate to be fucked by some stranger stud?

Vincent started breathing heavily. It took a second for him to start speaking, but then he did. “Oh, and you just signed the fuck up right away, didn’t you? Just ready to fuck some random guy and then never talk to him again? Is that what you do every weekend?”

Brandon frowned and closed his eyes. He sighed. He didn’t say anything for a solid thirty seconds, which gave Vincent plenty of time to develop his famous instant regrets. Even if Brandon was that sort of guy, what did it matter to Vince? He was a little desperate to be fucked, and this stranger seemed a hell of a lot better to him than any of the other strangers at this party. And Myra had said that he was sweet, too. Maybe something could have happened here. But he just ruined it, officially and irrevocably. Right?

“Fuck,” Vincent began again. He shook his head slowly and frowned. “I’m sorry, that came out wrong.”

Brandon just stood there. “It did, didn’t it?”

Then he walked away.

When Vincent trotted slowly down the stairs, the party was still in full swing, and he absolutely hated it. Not only were there a million humans that all reeked of alcohol and just generally existed, which was usually bad enough, Vincent had also ruined a very good opportunity to have sex with a very hot and, according to Myra, very sweet guy. A guy whom, even after looking around the living room and the kitchen, he wasn’t able to find anywhere.

This was, as Vincent told himself, the perfect time to give up. Find Myra, say goodbye, and head home to his bed and his stupid toys. He didn’t deserve human dick anyway, because all he could do was be a human dick.

If he talked to Myra right now, all she’d tell him would be to stop wallowing in self-pity and do something about the problem or some crap. Maybe she’d instruct him to find Brandon, or find some other guy, or apologize through text because she probably had his number, too. But Vincent wasn’t ready for rationality right now. Being mad at himself felt good, in a fucked up way. And maybe it had its purpose, or at least that’s what he began telling himself as he was walking outside to check the hot tub for any signs of the guy he’d just hurt for no reason.

Brandon was, in fact, in the hot tub. He sat there with his hands by his sides, less happy and less confident than the first time he saw him here.

Vincent slowly walked up to him. He closed his eyes for a second and started feeling sick to his stomach. If he was going to leave, he should leave right now. But that’s what he usually did, and he wasn’t going to mess this up again. He wanted to give this guy a chance. He wanted to give himself a chance, too.

“Hey, uh, Brandon?” He said and Brandon turned around. He narrowed his eyes as he looked into Vincent’s. “Can we talk?”

Vincent and Brandon were sitting on a log bench at the far side of the unreasonably large backyard.

“Fuck, I’m so sorry,” Vincent said apologetically, again. “I just… I thought about something stupid and then I snapped. I really didn’t mean what I said.”

Brandon looked at him and frowned, his eyes twitching back and forth between the ground and Vincent’s face.

“No, you were right, man. I should have asked if you wanted to do the stuff we did. I was too fast.” He didn’t sound disingenuous. If anything, he sounded like he was mad at himself.

“I did want to do the stuff you did. I really wanted to. I still want to.” After saying that, Vincent decided it was probably time to shut up. Was he being too vulnerable or honest now? Was Brandon just going to walk back to the hot tub, or go inside and fuck any of the twenty other cute guys that were less of an emotional mess than Vincent was?

Brandon chuckled and smiled.

“Okay,” He said. “Let’s do it, then.”

“Wait, really?” Vincent blurted out and raised his eyebrows to the fucking sky.

“Yea. I still want to, too. Plus, I haven’t really gotten to take a proper look at your ass yet.”

“Hey now, I’m not just an ass, Brandon.” Vincent said and smiled.

“So far, you were,” Brandon whispered into his ear, and Vincent knew that it was true, but he wasn’t sure if this was Brandon dirty talking or just… telling him how much of an ass he was.

It didn’t take long until he found out, because Brandon turned Vincent’s head towards his own.

“Can I make out with you?” He asked quietly and bit his lip.

“Yes,” Vincent replied with a grin, and he kissed Brandon on the lips and didn’t let go.

Eventually, their tongues were intertwined and only momentarily separated as Brandon made sure that he was doing everything exactly as Vincent wanted him to. They went slower this time, but still did all the things that they’d both wanted to do.

When they were done, they were both sweaty and out of breath. They cleaned themselves (and the bench) up with some tissues that Vincent found in his back pocket and kissed a final time before walking back towards the house-slash-mansion together.

Vincent looked at Brandon, who was walking next to him, and quietly said a genuine, vulnerable “Thanks.”

Brandon looked back and chuckled. “It was fun.” He said. Then he came a little closer.

“Hey, Vincent,” He began. “Can I take your hand?”