Different Tracks Schedule Part 1: Jan 5th – Sophie Bonaste Part 2: Jan 8th – Brynn Stein Part 3: Jan 12th – Grace R. Duncan Part 4: Jan 15th – Suki Fleet Part 5: Jan 19th – Elizabeth Noble Part 6: Jan 22nd – Kim Fielding Part 7: Jan 26th – Sophie Bonaste Part 8: Jan 29th – Charlie Cochet Part 9: Feb 2nd – Sophie Bonaste Part 10: Feb 5th – Brynn Stein Part 11: Feb 9th – Grace R. Duncan Part 12: Feb 12th – Suki Fleet Part 13: Feb 16th – Elizabeth Noble Part 14: Feb 19th – Kim Fielding Part 15: Feb 23rd – Grace R. Duncan Part 16: Feb 26th – Charlie Cochet Part 17: March 2nd – Lane Hayes Part 18: March 5th – Brynn Stein Part 19: March 9th – Grace R. Duncam Part 20: March 12th – Suki Fleet Part 21: March 16th – Elizabeth Noble Part 22: March 19th – Kim Fielding
Peter wasn’t sure how he was going to convince Xander that he really wanted to get to know him. Him. Not where he came from or what kind of car he drove or even what he did to disserve a sentence of community service. Just him.
Peter had been drawn to him from the beginning, and he was pretty sure the feeling was mutual. But, for some reason, Xander seemed convinced that Peter couldn’t possibly care about him. Couldn’t want him as a friend or a lover …or anything beyond a quick lay.
That wasn’t the way Peter worked. The sex had been fun with Xander – okay, the sex had been phenomenal – but he wanted more. Peter chuckled to himself. More sex, certainly, but more of Xander than just sex. He simply had to figure out how to convince Xander of that.
“So, back to questions,” Peter redirected the conversation, but refused to give up Xander’s hand. He was going to hang on to as much of Xander as the man was willing to give, for as long as he could. “If you could be any cartoon character, who would you be?”
Xander chuckled. A throaty sound that went straight to Peter’s cock. “I know I’m not up on dating and all, but aren’t you supposed to ask me my sign or my favorite color or something?”
Peter grinned. “Boring.” He squeezed Xander’s hand. “Cartoon Character.”
Xander smiled but seemed to be thinking about it. “Wiley Coyote! But even I’d be a lot smarter than that and I’d really get that damned little jerk of a road runner.”
“Poor little road runner never bothered anyone.” Peter sang part of the theme song. “Just running down the road’s his idea of having fun.”
Xander scowled but Peter could tell there was no heat in it. “Damned little enthusiastic jerk. He’s like those infuriating phone people who call you up at eight in the morning, on your day off! Then proceed to be so damned cheerful you want to ring their necks!”
Peter laughed. “Not a morning person I take it.”
“Not on my day off, no. Not if I can help it.”
“And you have a vendetta against cheerful people.” Peter grinned again. “Pity.”
Xander smiled. “Not all cheerful people. Just fake, annoying ones.” It was Xander’s turn to squeeze Peter’s hand. “You’re not fake or annoying. Well…usually not annoying.”
Peter smiled again. “But you think I’m basically cheerful.”
“Yeah, don’t you?” Xander answered.
Peter debated keeping the conversation light and just brushing off the question, but decided to go ahead and get a little serious. “For the most part, yeah. I try to be.” He paused, then went on. “I don’t always manage it.”
Xander seemed genuinely surprised. “Yeah? I’ve never seen you any way but cheerful and patient. You’re basically good from the top of your head to soles of your damned feet. In fact, I’m not sure why you haven’t been nominated for sainthood.”
Peter hadn’t expected that reaction, but could sense that this attitude was part of what was keeping him and Xander apart. Xander seemed to think Peter was ‘too good’ for him or something.
“I’m not perfect, Xander,” Peter answered seriously. “Not by a long shot.”
“Yeah? Look at you Peter.” Xander seemed to be warming to his topic. “You have a gorgeous house, a great paying job. You’re astonishingly attractive and smart and generous and loving. Damn. If that’s not perfect, I’m not sure what is!”
Peter wanted to think carefully about how to answer that before he said anything. He didn’t want to scare Xander away any more than Xander was already doing himself. But it must have taken him a breath too long to speak because Xander jumped into the silence.
“That’s why we’ll never work. We’re nothing alike. I live in a dump. I drive a car that breaks down on days ending in ‘y’. I have a crap job and crap prospects for anything better because I’m dumb as owl shit. I’m skinny and pale, and marked with ink and I’m no one’s idea of handsome, smart, generous or loving. I’m good for a quick fuck, Peter. That’s all. Relationships are not my thing.”
He tried to pull his hand away, but Peter wouldn’t let go.
“You finished?” Peter just looked at him, staring him down. Willing him to calm down and hear him out.
Xander’s shoulders eventually relaxed and he stopped trying to tug his hand away. He slumped back into his chair, and while ‘resigned’ was not exactly the emotion Peter was hoping for, it was better than having Peter in ‘fight or flight’ mode, so he’d take it.
“I’m glad you said all that, Xander.” Peter took in Xander’s look of incredulity and added. “I really am. I think that needed to be brought out in the open. But now it’s my turn.” Peter starting rubbing his thumb back and forth on the back of Xander’s hand, still trying to get him to calm down. “I respect that that is the way you see the situation. But I don’t agree with it.
“We live in different environments because of the hands dealt us in life. It has nothing to do with the type of person we are. My living in a nice house and making good money doesn’t make me a good person any more than your living in a ‘dump’ and working a ‘crap job’ makes you a bad person. I don’t care about your background, Xander. I care about you.
“And you’re wrong about all the other stuff too.” Peter thought, in for a penny, in for a pound. “I’ve seen you naked, remember? You’re lean, not skinny. And I like your pale complexion and all the ink. It was the ink that got you to my house to begin with, truth be told. The rain drops from your drenched shirt running down all those beautiful colors on that muscular back. You are one of the most gorgeous men I’ve seen, Xander.
“But you’re also so much more.
“I’ve watched you work on the site. Yes, you were forced to come work at Habitat every Saturday. Community service and all. But we’ve had quite a few people put in hours there, working off their community service, and that’s literally all they do…put in hours. You don’t. You put everything you have into everything you do. You don’t do the bare minimum to get done. You go the extra mile to make sure it’s done right. You know that people are going to live in these houses and they have to be built correctly, and you make sure you do your part to see that they are.
“You’ve made friends at the site too, whether you realize it or not. Mr. J talks about you all the time. I think he’s about ready to adopt you as another grandson. Mike thinks you’re one of best workers we’ve got. Jo keeps hoping you’ll switch teams. She’s positively smitten. And it’s not just your looks. There’s a lot more to you than you seem to realize, Xander.
“And fuck the ‘dumb as owl shit’ comment. I know you’re not dumb. You may not have ‘book smarts’ but I’ve seen you come up with solutions to problems at the site that are nothing short of brilliant.
“We’re different, Xander.” Peter was running out of things to say, and hoped like hell that he had made his point. “Of course we are. We get to have the adventure of finding out all of those beautiful differences. What fun that will be. But the point is, it doesn’t matter that we come from different sides of the tracks, so to speak. It doesn’t matter that we have different jobs, or different interests. We’re drawn to each other…and for more than sex. Come on. You have to admit that. Don’t we owe it to ourselves to see how far this can go? If it turns out to be just fun sex, then we’re really no worse off, right?” Peter leered and waited for Xander to just grin just a little. “But I think it’s going to be so much more than that.”
They sat there for a long while. Peter didn’t want to break the silence. It looked like Xander might truly be thinking about all he’d said. That was all Peter could really hope for. He wanted more than anything for this, whatever this was, between them to work out. But to even have a chance of that, Xander was going to have to get past the idea that Peter was out of his league.
So Peter waited.
Finally, Xander smiled. “See, there you go being all optimistic and cheerful again. Damned annoying.”
Peter smirked, “Beep, beep.” And he started humming the Road Runner theme.