TIGERS DON'T CRY - Chapter Fifteen
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.
*Apologies to my readers for the late post. Between the busy holidays and me falling sick, I’ve struggled to keep up with the writing. I hope you’ve had a merry Christmas and I wish you all a happy new year!*
TRIGGER WARNING - Strong and sexual language. Explicit sexual content.
For those curious to read from the start:
‘The new lead is alright, innit?’ Ethan said.
I was busy drawing a rose on his forearm at the table in his house’s shared kitchen. There was a corner of white skin which he’d been planning to get tattooed but hadn’t had the chance to get it done yet. I was filling the empty space with blooms.
I frowned for two reasons. The first was that I was shit at drawing roses and to create one that was worthy of compliments required all my concentration. Flowers, unless they were something cartoonish, weird and out of this world, were not my speciality. Ethan spotted my weakness and had me work on it incessantly.
‘Flowers are a very popular subject and not only with girls. You definitely have to ramp up your flower game,’ he’d said. I replied that “ramping up your flower game” was a weird thing to say and he’d agreed, laughing.
After five days of constant practice, I was starting to get the gist of how to draw a decent rose and other flowers, like magnolias, irises and such. I was especially good at copying them from pictures and Ethan said that was an invaluable skill.
The second reason why I was frowning was that no, I didn’t necessarily agree that Jo was alright. The other guys seemed to share Ethan’s view. Jo was calm and composed, true, and the fact that his jokes were few and far between, as well as mean and edgy, seemed to be a quirk that didn’t bother anybody else but me.
‘I feel shit saying this but working in that kitchen was much harder with Cam around,’ Ethan said. He flexed his fingers as I ran the felt pen along the smooth surface of his skin. ‘Maybe it was better before he got stressed and that?’
I shook my head. ‘No, not really. Bless, he was a bit of a cunt.’
But at least he didn’t have hate in his eyes, like that Jo guy. I didn’t say that out loud because if I did… well. I didn’t want to make of my passing thought a solid opinion. I had to work with this bloke and he hadn’t done anything actually wrong that I could put into words. In fact, as far as work went, he was doing things alright. When one of my orders was late because one of the microwaves was faulty and the other ones all in use he didn’t explode like a bomb – something that Cam would have done – but very calmly shrugged it off as it was something we simply couldn’t control. He never lost his cool, no wonder the other guys liked him.
‘You know,’ Ethan smiled as he studied his forearm. ‘This rose is fuckin’ amazing. Damn, you’re a fast learner.’
‘I think the petals should look like they’re more delicate. I don’t know how to explain it. Thinner? Less rigid, like.’ I traced the lines I created with my finger. Ethan smiled and his expression softened.
‘I like you,’ he murmured.
‘I like you too, mun.’
His dark-blue eyes were fixed on me and I knew what he was thinking – the same thing I was. Us naked fucking senselessly somewhere. He put his arms around my neck and parted his lips over mine, slipping his tongue inside my mouth, teasing me slowly and making me tremble. My dick got stiff instantly and Ethan reached down with a hand to cup it and stroke it over the fabric of my jogs. I moaned and grasped his T-shirt, already lifting it to feel the warmth of his skin…
‘Ugh, get a room, you two!’
We separated, horny and with serious regret.
‘Hey Alice,’ Ethan said flatly.
Alice stood by the stairs with a cup of coffee and her usual shorty-shorts that showed off her legs.
‘I swear, every time I see you, you’re making out.’ She shook her head and clicked her tongue, disapproving, although there was the shadow of a smile on her lips.
Ethan put his arm around me again. ‘You’re just jealous because you’re not getting any recently.’
Alice huffed and plonked on the sofa, taking a serious amount of space. ‘Just give us a chance, will you? I’m not simply thirsty for hookups, ya know? I’m looking for ‘the one.’’
She lifted her cup of coffee, said ‘Cheers,’ and swigged.
‘Oh!’ Alice’s eyes widened all of a sudden. ‘It’s Manny’s birthday in three weeks! Shit!’
‘What’s the problem?’ Ethan asked as he stroked my shoulder.
‘I promised my mum I was going to go visit her since I'm going to be off work. Ahhrgh!’
‘I’m sure you can make it up to Manny when you're back.’
‘But that’s the big twenty-one! It’s not just any birthday,’ Alice whined.
They went on discussing ‘the big party.’ Alice was gutted that she might not be able to take part – she went on and on about how she was torn as to whether or not to give her mum’s visit a pass to attend Manny's birthday.
‘You know Manny’s parties are incredible,’ she said wistfully. ‘And everyone is going to be there!’
Ethan grinned. ‘Including Manny’s hot sister.’
Alice sighed heavily. ‘Yeeah.’
After a while, she left to go to her room and Ethan and I looked at each other in a certain way. We went upstairs to his bedroom and, as soon as the door was shut, I lowered my trousers and pants enough to leave a large portion of my butt in view and lifted my t-shirt a bit, so that Ethan could see what I had to offer. I knew he liked it when I did that – this kind of teasing was his favourite thing to start with.
He groaned deep in his throat behind me. His steps filled the soft silence in the room as he came closer and knelt on the carpet.
‘Mmm, yeah,’ he sighed under his breath and buried his face between my buttcheeks. Ethan spread me open and slipped his tongue over my hole, slowly licking and sucking it.
‘Fuck,’ I gasped out in ecstasy and bent over the bed to give Ethan better access. I got my cock out real quick and stroked it in earnest.
He gripped my flesh and began tongue fucking my stretchy opening that, as it happened, was soft and needed little working to be ready for him. He ate me out so good that in minutes I was throbbing and dripping pre-cum.
‘Please…’ I begged, panting and unable to form other words.
He rough-fucked me by the bed and clapped my mouth shut, pulled my hair and made me cum hard. I moaned loudly against his palm as I spunked in my fist.
Later we were naked in bed, listening to Frank Zappa and cwtching. He traced my body with his fingers and I bit playfully on his neck, enjoying the simple beauty of the moment.
‘When is your birthday?’ Ethan asked croakily.
‘Hmm,’ I rubbed his beard, raking my fingers through his soft hair and smiled. ‘It’s… in three weeks as well, actually.’
His eyes widened. ‘For real?’
I nodded against his chest.
‘Shit. The day after Manny’s birthday!’
I shrugged. ‘Don’t worry too much about it. It’s not that big of a deal.’
‘‘Course it is.’ He kissed my lips, my cheek. ‘It’s your birthday and you’re my boyfriend, innit?’
‘Yeah but it’s not like I'm planning a party or anything. I wouldn’t have anybody to invite aside from my friend Kev and he’s kinda disappeared, so…’
‘I’d want to do something special though, for us to do together. I know you’re not into romance and that but I think it’d be nice to make an exception.’
My normal me would have said, ‘Nah. Not into that, you know it,’ but I had this growing mushy side that came out often when I was with Ethan. He cuddled me so much and he made me feel like I mattered. The more time passed, the more I lacked the energy to fight off his affection and all I wanted was to curl up against him and forget all about my worries, my doubts, my fears.
‘What did you have in mind, like?’ I murmured.
He brushed my hair away. His lips curved as he hugged me tight and he went on kissing my lips and face, taking his time to peck every corner. After two minutes of mouth dedication, he said, ‘We could take a trip to somewhere nice. Although, the weather isn’t on our side to go to the beach and that… I’ll think of something good.’
I stayed over and thought that maybe my bro was right – I had been spending the night at Ethan’s a lot lately and was there more than I was at home. I’d even left a spare toothbrush in the bathroom! And I didn’t know if it was good or bad to spend so much time together, but it was nice. I slept next to Ethan and he held me and spooned me and I loved it that much, I did.
In the morning we made our way to work together and the prospect of a tiring shift wasn’t so glum, knowing that Ethan would be with me from start to end. We went to the changing room, chuckling all the way. Ethan took off my clothes and helped me put my uniform on, kissed me and eventually we made our way to the kitchen. He called me “babes” and stroked my backside on the sly, popping a kiss every time he walked by to clip the filters up the ceiling.
Nick and Jo arrived at six and Ethan was in a playful mood. It wasn’t busy yet and there was plenty of time to joke and banter. Nick laughed with him.
‘Lynn is not in today. You sad?’ Nick taunted, peeking through the hot shelves.
Ethan shut the dishwasher and smirked. ‘Nah.’
‘You fancy her, do you?’ Jo asked. There was a smile on his face. Nasty, like.
‘No, not really.’
‘She fancies you!’ Nick said.
Ethan shrugged. ‘Well uh, I’m seeing someone, so...’
I arranged four tomatoes on a plate and tried to hide my blushing face by stooping over the counter.
‘That’s alright,’ Jo said, and laughed deeply. ‘If you’re not having her I’d be happy to give her a right rump up the arse.’ He mimed humping a body and Nick chuckled awkwardly. Jo didn’t seem to notice. ‘Reckon she’d like a taste of my cock? Bet she would.’
And so banter time was over, withered into nothing.
Later, Ethan came by me with a clean chopping board. I’d dropped it on the floor and he’d kindly popped it in the dishwasher for me real quick. Now he was giving it back, squeaky clean.
We’d agreed that the guys didn’t need to know about us but sometimes it was hard to pretend there was no buzz between Ethan and me. The others kept on pointing out what such good friends we’d become. If only they knew.
‘Thank you, mun,’ I said and put the chopping board on the counter.
He smiled and damn, it was mushy. Nick was on break and Jo had gone out a second to get something from the stockroom downstairs. He often left with that excuse, but we all knew he was actually taking lots of cigarette breaks. He was our new lead though and, even though he wasn't supposed to smoke while on shift, we didn’t want to argue with him. Not our business and that.
Ethan and I were alone in the kitchen and he was going to kiss me. As I went to peck his lips he stepped back a bit and chuckled playfully.
‘Don’t be a stingy bastard.’ I gripped his apron and pulled him towards me. Ethan leaned in.
Jo barged, door whacked open. ‘I’m back, lads.’
Ethan and I stepped away from one another but Jo froze into place and my heart stopped. Fuck!
‘The fuck you’re doing?’ He muttered.
I opened and closed my mouth but nothing came out. Ethan didn’t look as bothered as Jo and I did.
He shrugged. ‘Nothing much.’
Jo’s face went bright red. ‘The fuck…? You were kissing!’
Jo’s mouth dangled open and I swallowed with a dry throat. Aaaaand out we were! To the fuckin’ wrong person!
‘You two gay?’
Ethan shrugged again. ‘What’s it to you?’
Jo just stood there, ruddy and speechless.
Nick walked back in and looked at Jo with a perplexed frown. ‘Everything alright?’
Jo recomposed, more or less. He scratched his head and said, ‘Yah.’
The shift went on and it was proper awkward. Nick kept glancing between us, all confused because we went so quiet. Jo was stiff like a door and Ethan’s expression calm but oddly hard, angry even.
It was twenty-five past two when Ethan was making a move to leave and I was right behind him.
Jo called out. ‘Off in a rush to get your arses stuffed, is it?’ He grinned like it was a funny joke, a fun and friendly thing to say.
Ethan’s face changed and it was scary. ‘The fuck did you just say?’ He was all gritted teeth and fury.
‘I’m joking!’ Jo shook his head. ‘It’s a joke.’
‘It’s a fuckin’ shit joke,’ Ethan growled. Nick watched it all happen, baffled. On our way out we crossed paths with Pete and Sam.
‘How was this morning?’ Sam asked as we passed by.
Ethan was pissed. ‘Absolute horseshit.’ He gnarled the words through his teeth and the guys followed him with their eyes in shock as he left. I had a really bad feeling about all this.