I was doing my best not to fidget or look too anxious, fearing that Scotty or Artie would see me and start figuring out the devious plot that Jesse and I worked out to get them together in the same room for the first time. We didn't want to rush it. Just...sit back and watch. It was like watching a flower blossom through a time lapse camera. Don't interfere...just let it happen. You know?
There was something kind of cute about it all. They didn't really look at one another. Artie didn't know what to do with his hands or where to sit. I guess when it was just him and Jesse, there was this pre-rehearsed routine that they had fallen into as best buds. I think Scotty and I being there was a sudden shake up to their usual, dependable, system of being comfortable. But I was more than happy to stand up and give Artie my seat on the bed if it meant being closer to Scotty for a few minutes. "Sorry. Go ahead. Sit down." I told him.
Artie paused for a moment. Then he stepped forward to take a seat next to Scotty on the bed, but it looked like he had only done it to keep from looking awkward in front of the rest of us. "K. Thanks." He said softly, still a bit self conscious about his voice, and trying to deliberately lower its pitch a bit by not speaking too loudly.
"Ummm...so I wrote down some ideas for...the big video..." Artie said to Jesse, bashfully clearing his throat and trying not to look in Scotty's direction.
"Ok. Cool." Jesse answered.
"I was thinking...ummm...like maybe we could do something with the...with ummm..." Artie was really nervous about speaking in front of Scotty. He ran his fingers through his dark, spikey, hair a few times, almost as if he was trying to calm himself down. "Or...whatever. I mean, I drew some stuff. They're just sketches, but..."
"Oh, cool." Scotty said. Actually speaking up for the first time since Artie sat down next to him. I guess he got a glimpse of Scotty's artwork as he looked down at his half-opened notebook, and was interested in what he saw there. "So...you draw?"
"Yeah. Well, I mean, I'm not super awesome at it or anything. But it's enough to get the point across, I guess."
"Ah, ok." Scotty said, and Artie got nervous and quiet again, so he looked away from him, hoping to avoid any further questions from him. I don't think scotty took it as a rejection or anything, he just...didn't push to say anything more as the room fell into a pit of silence again.
Artie glanced at me briefly, but then looked back at Jesse exclusively. "Do you think that you could get Jimmy Jukebox to maybe come over and make a cameo appearance or something? I mean...he's the whole reason that most of these folks even know who we are right now, so...bringing him in would be kinda cool."
"Well, I can try. no promises though. Especially on a weekend, because he's got his own channel to worry about." Jesse said. "I can ask, though. Who knows? He might be into it. Plus we can send some fans his way too. Always a good thing."
Artie seemed to be a bit more relaxed when he was just talking 'shop' about the Youtube channel. It showed. "Also, we got two more copyright claims that came in this morning. Youtube is just being mean for no reason these days."
"What the hell did we do NOW???" Jesse grunted.
"You ask me that as though they ever give a legitimate or logical reason for anything anymore. They just penalize us and figure we should deal with it while super rich advertisers spoil our videos with bullshit commercials without any regulation at all. I don't know...I'll dispute them. But you know how they are when it comes to 'gay' content. Especially from boys our age." I don't think Artie really knew what he said at first. He suddenly covered his mouth with his hand, and looked over at Scotty, saying, "Sorry. I mean...not sorry sorry, but...I mean, when I said that, I didn't mean..."
"It's cool." Scotty said. "I mean, it's like...I knew already, anyways."
"Oh...ok." Artie said, just above a whisper. "You don't mind, or anything?"
"No. I'm ok with it. It's fine."
That's when Artie asked, "Are...I mean, you don't have to tell me if you don't want to, but...are you gay? Like...do you like boys too?"
Immediately, Scotty's eyes turned to connect to mine. His stare partially tainted with fear, and partially tainted with a craving that he's been harboring for a lot longer than even I was aware of before this very defining moment. What happens if he says yes? What happens if he says no? It was like he was waiting on ME to give him the nod to say one or the other for 'comfort's' sake in the midst of an extremely awkward moment. But I didn't know what signal I should be sending him. If anything, I was even more intrigued to know what his answer might be than anybody else in that room.
Just say it, Scotty. I won't judge you, dude. Not if you just say it. Come on. Inquiring minds want to know.
"I'm..." He started, turning red in the face. "...I mean, it's not like I'm NOT...you know...what you said. Wait, I mean, I don't have a problem with boys that like...other boys and stuff. And, like...well, it's not like I'm totally...well, sometimes I think about...wait, that came out wrong..."
OMIGOD! Is Scotty going to admit that he's gay out loud for the first time? Or...IS he even gay? I mean, I'd throw all of my worldly possessions and one of my testicles on the gambling table to be on 'YES' if I had to! But that's not really a guarantee is it? Omigod! Where's my cell phone when I really need it? I should be recording this!
"Omigod...I'm sorry. That was rude, wasn't it?" Artie said. "I wasn't assuming that..."
"No, it's cool. I'm just...it's not like I'm not...into boys, or..." Then Scotty turned EXTREMELY red in the face he peeked back over at me, forcing me to look away as though I wasn't really paying that much attention and adding any more tension to the situation by waiting for his answer. "...But I'm not saying that I am into...listen, I just...look, it's cool if you're, like..."
"Oh wow..." Artie said. Then heard his high pitched voice squeak a bit and fought to get a slightly more boyish pitch to take control. "Ahem...I mean, I wasn't trying to..."
"It's not like I'm saying..."
"Oh, I know. It's just...I prolly shouldn't have accused you of..."
Artie's ice blue eyes opened even wider. "Did I say accused? I didn't mean accuse. What the...hehehe, sorry, I just meant..." He struggled for words. "It's none of my business, anyways. Sorry."
"Ah..." Scotty said, now a little bit shaken himself. "Ok then." Then he was quiet for a few seconds before peeking back over at Artie and asking him, "But, like...you're...I mean, you're like...into boys and stuff?"
Artie forced his eyes down to look at the carpet, and he quietly mumbled, "I don't know. Maybe." His hands were nervously rubbing his knees at this point, and he added, "They're pretty cute to me, I guess. So...well, I mean, you've seen the channel and all."
"Yeah." Scotty said. "I have."
"Heh...dealing with people, face to face...I kinda wish you hadn't, now." Artie told him.
Scotty smiled sheepishly, saying, "It's totally cool. I dig it. People are people. That's all there is to it."
I'm not exactly sure what he meant by that, but it seemed to make Artie happy to hear it. You could see it glistening in the charming smile that he gave him in response. And Scotty seemed to let a bit of his guard down too. Answering the question without really answering the question. Well played, sir.
Jesse seemed to give me a silent wink as we watched this whole theatrical performance play itself out in front of us, and we had hope that things were only going to get better from here. At least, that was the idea. I was eager to see some more from the both of them, but that wouldn't be a fair expectation, considering how long I made Jesse wait for me to even approach him in the mall for the first time. I don't know, it just gave me a serious flutter in the center of my heart to see them be so CUTE together for the first time! It almost made me wish I had gotten to Scotty first, now that I think about it. Hehehe! WHAT??? I'm serious! Something about Artie's infatuated approach to him made me see something in Scotty that I don't think I ever really saw before. He really was something special. I mean, he's still not my 'Jesse-101'...but he's definitely an A-list pick if I ever saw one. They are an ADORABLE match! I feel really good about all of this. I really do.
"Hey, Tristan? I wanna show you something." Jesse said, keeping me from staring at the two of them so intensely as they began to casually strike up this really cute conversation with one another.
"Oh...yeah. M'kay..." I said, still watching Scotty and Artie talking a bit more comfortably. I almost didn't want to leave the room. This was like...so magical, you know?
"Dude...those shoes are crazy." Artie grinned. "Are they new? Where did you grab those from?"
"I made them myself."
"Get OUT! Are you serious? You made these?"
Scotty put his foot out there for Artie to admire. "Uh huh. Well, I mean, I bought these 'blanks' online, and I got these paints to design them myself. You really like them?"
"Omigod, those are so sick. I love 'em." Artie said, his tiny voice squeaking again as he forgot to regulate his pitch through his excitement. "Sorry."
"Sorry for what?"
"My voice. It kinda...doesn't do what it's supposed to do sometimes." Artie blushed.
"It's ok. Mine either." Scotty grinned. "It was MUCH worse last Summer. But it fixes itself eventually, I guess."
Artie smiled. "My older cousins says that it hurts their ears. I don't mean to be annoying or anything."
"You don't annoy me." Scotty said, and their eyes met briefly before they nervously laughed it off and tried to disconnect again. I don't think this could have gone any better if I wanted it to.
"Tristan?" Jesse said. OH! I had gotten so hypnotized by what was going on in front of me that I had almost forgotten that we were supposed to be leaving them alone for a little bit to take the pressure off.
"Oh, right! Sorry. I'm...yeah, I'm coming. We'll be right back, you guys." I said, and both Artie and Scotty looked at us with a touch of...I don't know...paranoia, maybe? Especially Scotty. I still don't think he trusted me to be out of his site with a cute gay boy like Jesse for any length of time. But he was entertaining a really cute gay boy of his own this time. So maybe that was enough of a distraction to keep him from jumping up and running after us to keep a close eye on our interactions out of his sight.
"You know what would've been cool?" Artie asked him, still looking at his shoes. "A splash of, like...I dunno...purple or something. It would set off all of the other colors you used so far."
Scotty gasped slightly. "Seriously? That's exactly what I was thinking! But I was out of purple dye or paint or whatever. It was gonna take me two weeks to get another bottle on my allowance. So I just filled it in with what I had. Just to get it finished, you know?"
"No, I get it. Totally. They still look pretty fresh."
"I'm glad you like them." Scotty said. "You know...if you can find a way to order some blanks, I could maybe do a pair for you too, if you want."
"Really? That would be ummm...awesome." Artie said breathlessly. And then turned away from him as his over exaggerated smile became a bit more obvious than he wanted it to be. Accompanied by a deeper blush than anything I've ever seen on Artie's face before. "I'll...I'll try to find somewhere..."
"I know a good place online. Here, I can show you the website..." Scotty told him. "You'll just have to tell me what you like and what you're looking for. I can get more purple, if you like purple..."
"If I draw something...do you think you can make that?" Artie asked.
"Heck yeah! I can make whatever you want. Your drawings would help a lot, actually."
"Cool..." Artie sighed. And that's when I felt Jesse secretly take a hold of my hand to pull me away from this snuggle fest by force. Hehehe! Sorry, I just...ugh! I never thought that seeing Scotty so happy would bring me this level of unadulterated JOY! I think I was actually getting a little misty eyed over here.
"We'll be right back..." Jesse said.
"Yeah. Right back." I said.
And I think Artie and Scotty were already too involved in the game plan for making these magical sneakers of theirs to really even look in our direction at that moment. Artie was already turning to blank pages in his notebook and looking for pencils and colors to show Scotty what kind of stuff he was thinking about. "So, the blank shoes are like...the ones you have on now?"
"They have a couple of different ones. Some high tops too." Scotty said.
"I don't know...I think I like those better. Hehehe!"
"Mine? Ok. Cool. We can do those. They're my favorite style..."
SWEET!!! They're really getting along. Omigod!
Jesse had to tug a little harder, and we left the two of them to just...'exist' in each other's space for a few minutes. I mean, let's just see what happens.
The moment that Jesse got me around the corner, I was so excited, my heart pounding in my chest, and I couldn't stop giggling to myself...trying to keep it quiet to make sure that Artie and Scotty couldn't accidentally overhear my jovial response to them communicating with such ease. "Can you believe this?" I said. "I think they really LIKE each other! They're getting along so great. This is monumental, dude! Just imagine what this could lead to in the future! I mean...what if they started dating? Do you think we could all end up going on a big massive date together someday? Just the four of us? Oh wow, what if they...?"
I was cut off, mid sentence, by having Jesse's exquisitely soft lips mashed up against my own. I swear, nothing takes the breath out of you like the feel of a set of sexy boy lips being pressed against you. I was completely confused and bewildered for a moment...forgetting that my main reason for even coming over here today was to spend some time with true love of my life. My reason for waking up with a smile every single morning before getting out of bed. It was like being reintroduced to the very concept of my very first love all over again. Wow...
Our lips parted, and I had to lean against the wall before the weakness in my knees caused me to drop down and collapse in some sort of psychotically infatuated mess. Hehehe! "Hi..." Jesse whispered with a smile.
"Hi, back..." I said, reaching up to run my fingers through the soft blond locks of his hair as he moved closer, his gentle breath breezing across my cheek.
"I've been wanting to kiss you since I heard you ring the doorbell. I wasn't sure that I was going to make it another few minutes without sneaking in a few smooches before you guys left." He said.
"Sorry. I got all invested in...well, you know..."
"Oh, believe me...I know." Jesse said, now threading his fingers through my dark hair as well, nearly rubbing noses with me. "I don't think I've ever seen Artie act like this. I mean, this is like...unprecedented. I'm kind of impressed."
"Well, I mean...Scotty is really cute. Like...'celebrity' cute. You know?"
"You think so?" I asked. "I mean, he's far from being ugly or even average, but...I don't know. Maybe I've always just seen him as being more like a little brother all this time. Or like, that ONE fly in the house that you chase around with a flyswatter, but can't ever catch, and it frustrates the ever loving SHIT out of you? Hehehe! That's always been Scotty's place in my life. But that's not to say that he isn't one of the sweetest, most adorable, boys on the planet...because he is. He's just..." I sighed out loud. "...He's not my 'Jesse-101', I suppose."
"I guess I'm lucky, then." Jesse said, kissing me on the lips again. "I won't lie...I didn't expect him to be so cute. He likes you a lot. I mean, you already know that, right?"
"Ugh, yeah...I know." I said, rolling my eyes. "I'm sorry. He just...this is a crush that has been going on since he was old enough to have crushes, so...there really isn't much that I can do about it."
"Thank God for Artie, then." Jesse said. "Because after the cold shoulder he was giving me, I was starting to worry that your neighborhood cutie was gonna snatch you away from me. Hehehe! I was starting to get a little jealous, myself."
"Awww, don't be jealous. K?" I said, kissing him again. And then again. "I love you, Jesse. I mean, like...I really really love you. Does that sound weird?"
Jesse blushed, and kissed me back, wrapping his arms around my shoulders. "Not weird at all. At least, not to me. Because I love you too." He said. "If that's weird, then...maybe we can both be weird together for a while."
"Sounds like Heaven to me." I smiled. And we began to kiss again, more intensely this time. I had forgotten how HOT it was to have Jesse's tongue in my mouth. His hips pressing me to the wall as the stiff lump in the front of his pants rubbed itself up against mine while I quivered in ecstasy from the feel of my boyfriend, my first love, my online celebrity...humped himself lovingly into me while providing me with all the love and affection that I'd ever need in this life and any lives that I may have in the future. You have no idea how insanely satisfying it was to have the boy of your dreams in your arms like this. To have him want you the same way that you wanted him. To have his passion exceed anything that you ever thought you could possibly deserve from being what most people would assume was an average, 'normal', teen boy. It's a mind-blowing experience. How can anyone live a life without pursuing this level of 'wow'? Seriously...it baffles me.
Suddenly, I heard a short break in Scotty and Artie's conversation, and it sounded like Scotty was heading in our direction. So Jesse and I immediately stopped making out and put some space between us, hoping that our eager erections were somewhat under control so we could hide them if needed.
Scotty peeked out of Jesse's bedroom door, and saw us standing there on opposite sides of the hallway, probably looking guilty as hell...especially since I'm sure that both of us had our hair messed up from heavily petting one another while kissing. But he just kind of looked at Jesse, and then at me...and then back at Jesse again. And he asked, "Where's your bathroom?"
"Oh...um, it's right down the hall. First door on the right." Jesse said.
Already hypersensitive, Scotty peeked over at me again, and just said, "K. Thanks..." And he walked past us. It almost looked as though there was a hint of sadness in his eyes as he passed me, but I was hoping that I was just imagining that. I REALLY didn't want to hurt him! Scotty was such a gem of a person, inside and out...but what was I supposed to do? 'Pretend' to love him and selfishly use his golden heart for my own needs when he could be giving it to someone more deserving? Someone like Artie?
I don't know. It's hard to not feel like the 'bad guy' in this situation, you know?