TIGERS DON'T CRY - Chapter Fourteen
In the harsh environment of a British pub kitchen, young Nate will have to come to terms with his growing attraction for one of his male colleagues.
TRIGGER WARNING - Strong and sexual language. Explicit sexual content.
For those curious to read from the start:
Two weeks went by in a haze. It was horrible to know how Cam had left us but, now that I was back to take a chunk of the burden, the shifts were easier for everyone and even I, who was normally a surly bastard, had started to take part in the banter. The dynamics in the workplace had changed without Cam burning a hole in everyone’s back.
Ethan and I messed about a lot. On Saturday I slipped a slice of cucumber inside the collar of his shirt as revenge for him flicking dirty water at me and squirting my shoe with the spray-tap on the sly. He jumped about like an eel and we all laughed.
Mariana, from management, sorted out our rotas but it didn’t take long – exactly ten days – before the higher-ups started to press for selecting a new lead. The nudges to Pete and Sam, who were the most experienced, to stand up for Cam’s position were getting more and more insistent. Neither of them wanted the job.
‘I think they’re going to bring someone from another branch,’ Nick had told me. Everyone seemed to be alright with the arrangement and we only hoped the new lead wouldn’t turn out to be a dick.
Ethan and I hang out a lot after work. The other guys, if they didn’t guess we were together, they for sure knew we were close.
Much of what Ethan and I did was hang out in his room watching movies, playing video games, cwtchching and having sex. We often slept in each other’s arms, zonked out for hours after a hard shift.
Louis grinned at me knowingly every time I went in and out of our house to grab something.
‘Damn, you really are moving out,’ he’d said on a Thursday as he nursed a cold lager by the counter. ‘Your room will be completely empty now in a minute.’
I blushed. ‘Shut up, I ain’t moving. It’s just convenient staying in his house, like.’
‘You guys can sleep over here sometimes if you want. I don’t mind.’
I packed a couple of books and drawing markers and said, ‘You would.’
‘Wha? Why?’ he sounded offended.
‘‘Cause like,’ I sighed. ‘We make loads of noise. His housemates complain a lot that we make a ruckus when we fuck and keep them awake at night and that.’
I couldn’t believe I said this out loud and freaked out for a second but Louis only laughed a hearty laugh. ‘I’ve got some earplugs I can wear at night. No problemo!’
My bro was awesome. My boyfriend was mint. Work was alright.
Too good to be true, innit?
It was Sunday when I met Jo. Piece of shit.
I was at Ethan’s house on a Monday afternoon when I received a message from Mariana.
BF had been telling me I should start drawing tattoos, as “getting my hands on skin” as soon as possible. The way he put it was that I should aim for my art to suit the one part of the body that’s going to be tattooed on, both in terms of shape, size and sometimes even colour.
‘So like, working on skin is nothing like drawing on paper,’ he’d said. ‘There’s curves, tighter and softer areas, bones, muscles and fat. Depending on the skin, if there’s folds and such, your art will be impacted. Also, the tattoo gun is much heavier than a pencil to hold and it vibrates.’
I smirked and Ethan laughed. ‘Dirty mind much?’ He kissed me.
So I was there, bringing to life a spaceship and a horde of aliens with a skin-friendly marker on Ethan’s back and having the time of my life. Ethan had clumped a lot of blu-tac around the felt-pen – something he did for himself when he’d first started practicing – so that I'd get used to working with something weighty. It definitely was more difficult to draw than in normal circumstances. I was sitting on his butt and he was flat on his stomach on the duvet as I completed my masterpiece.
I was used to doing a lot of black-and-white work – that’s what I specialised in – so I enjoyed myself creating a play of different patterns, strong blanck-and-white contrasts and dotted areas that gave the illusion of a fading shadow.
‘All done,’ I said triumphantly and capped my weighted marker. I soon realised that Ethan was snoring under me.
‘Wake up!’ I rocked over him, shaking his body and the bed creaked. Ethan groaned. The sound of his voice, the movement and the feel of his taut butt caused me to get a serious erection.
Blimey, I want to fuck him real bad. The thought hit and surprised me. Ethan grumbled, ‘I’m tired babes,’ and went back to sleep.
I stared at my black lines and, for some reason, wished they could forever be imprinted on his skin. Slowly, I pulled the elastic of his boxers down to his thighs and got my cock out. I rubbed it between his warm buttcheeks.
‘Don’t you want to see my finished art piece?’ I leaned forward and kissed his nape as I stroked my hard dick over his crack. Ethan blinked an eye open and said nothing. He turned his head and perched on a pillow enough to watch me as I straddled his arse and pressed my cock over his hole back and forth, over and over.
The fact that his eyes were fixed on me as I rode him was such a turn on that, in a matter of a few minutes, I spunked on his crack and lower back big time, shooting far enough to hit my cool alien-invasion design with my jizz. My body was hot and the intensity of my desire to spurt inside his hole strong to a shocking degree.
‘That was hot as fuck,’ he said groggily.
He nodded. ‘You want to fuck me sometime?’
I swallowed hard. ‘Yeah, maybe.’ Abso-fucking-lutely.
His lips stretched into a lazy smile. ‘Take a pic of your artwork, babes.’
I did. My alien horde, spaceship and gleaming cum for Ethan to take a look at.
He snorted as he looked at the photo, sitting at the edge of his bed. ‘This is sick, Nate. Honest, you are going to make it big in the tattoo world with a style like this. Really unique.’
‘Totally.’ Ethan put an arm around my shoulder and chuckled. ‘Although, let’s take another pic without the cum in it so we can show it to Oscar. I promised her I’m going to teach you all the basics up to her standards.’
As I was taking the second photo, I received a message from Mariana.
‘Hello Nathan. Tomorrow morning you’ll be opening the shift with Jo, your new lead. He’s very experienced but he may need a bit of guidance in our kitchen, seeing it’s a new environment for him.’
‘They found a new lead,’ I said to Ethan. ‘His name’s Jo.’
I texted Mariana,
‘Will I need to show him how to get to the backdoor?’
‘Yes good point.’
It rained on Monday morning at four thirty-five. I underestimated how heavily the water drops would fall, how even the front wheel of my bike would be a pain, splashing my clothes as it rolled along with the bad weather.
I cycled as fast as I could to avoid getting soaked, slipping by The House of Fraser and swooping all the way down to Tesco.
There was a tallish guy standing there, under the bright streetlight, holding a big, black umbrella over his head and rain dippin’ and tappin’ on the taut fabric.
‘Alright mate?’ I panted.
He looked up from his phone and at me from under the shadow of a baggy hood. ‘You Nathan?’
‘Yeah. Nate’s alright. Come, I'll show you where the backdoor is.’
I wheeled my bike down the street, the asphalt wet and shiny – a black stream.
‘There’s a few turns to take before you get there.’ My shoes squelched as I walked downhill and I cringed inwardly at the feel of my wet socks pressing on the drenched soles of my shoes.
‘Yeah I can see,’ he said stonily.
When we got to the changing room, dripping all the way to the top floor, I had a better look at him. He was young – not older than thirty – with short brown hair and a hard look about him.
‘I heard about the lead,’ he said. ‘Real shame. Heart attack, was it?’
He took off his sopping coat and underneath his light blue shirt adhered to his body. Damn, he had proper muscles and, as it happened, tattoos. He slid off his shirt and I took a glimpse at his chest and the art he had going was proper mint.
I’d watched a video of Oscar tattooing the day before. Ethan had played it on his phone – it was a very complicated cover-up of the name of the client’s ex-wife on his ribs. A large bear had taken its place instead.
In Jo’s case, he had this amazing wolf tattoo on his bicep, trees, the night sky and a huge eagle on his chest, all done with black ink. The artist had used a fine tip and spent a long time detailing. I was mesmerised by the piece.
I realised I was standing there, shirt in hand and gaping at him like a fuckin’ idiot when Jo’s eyes went real wide. ‘Mate, the fuck you starin’ at?’
‘Shit I’m so sorry,’ I said quickly, and of course my face was burning. ‘I’m learning how to do tattoos and what you’ve got there is really amazing. I was reading about this technique where you have a soft fade, like…’
Jo’s eyes crumpled like a tin can between two very angry hands. ‘Gawking at a dude like that is just weird. Don’t care if you like tattoos or what, just don’t do it again.’
My stomach sunk uncomfortably. ‘Sorry mun.’
But it wasn’t alright and I should have known better than being remotely forward like that with this guy.