EXCERPT – One Night Stand

BLURB: Teddy realizes he drank too much at the office Christmas party when he wakes up in a hotel room with confused memories of a night of fierce, fabulous sex and a man asleep beside him. He doesn’t know how his outrageous behavior will be judged by his boss, but he’ll find out soon… when his boss wakes up.

Teddy stretched his left leg out and groaned quietly.  His thigh was cramped, the muscles weary as if he’d been through a heavy session at the office gym.  It had been a while since he went there on any regular basis, not like Marshall, his boss, who worked out most days.  Tremendous commitment, but then Marshall was determined like that.  Very assertive.  Great body, too, of course.  Yes.  A great body.  Still very sleepy and half-aroused, Teddy felt a flush run all over his skin.

Marshall always invited his staff team along to the gym with him, if they wanted to take advantage of the subsidized facility.  When Teddy dropped out of the routine, Marshall had made a deliberate effort to coax him back.  Came around to his cubicle at the end of the day and everything.  Stupid thing was, Teddy thought Marshall had looked genuinely disappointed when Teddy explained he wasn’t really interested in going.  Ridiculous, of course.  Clerks like Teddy Newman didn’t have any effect on managers like Marshall Craig, disappointment or otherwise.  Teddy had turned away, clearing his desk, afraid that Marshall would hear Teddy’s lie in the nervous tone.  The visit wasn’t personal, of course it wasn’t.  His boss was just being a good team manager, one of his many skills, and Teddy greatly admired Marshall for being so considerate and confident.  He always had.  Admired him, that is.  Teddy smiled drowsily, his thoughts hazy.  Anyway, thank God Marshall had given up on asking him after that: he’d have run out of excuses eventually.

He stretched the right leg as well.  It was just as stiff.  Dammit, he needed something like the gym, really.  His promotion into Marshall’s team had been a great opportunity, but it’d been stressful too.  In all sorts of ways.

Dreams… laughter and satisfied smiles.  Another successful deal, the praise enthusiastic, the future plans shared. A gaze turned to him, warm, encouraging. A lingering handshake, an arm around his shoulders

He’d been coming home from the office every day with tension knotted into the muscles of his shoulders.  That was bound to take its toll on the whole of his body.  Still cocooned in his half-waking state, Teddy wrinkled his nose.  Amazing how the sleeping mind could impose such realistic physical symptoms!

Someone coughed gently.  The body beside him in the bed shifted, the springs barely acknowledging the movement.

Teddy was suddenly, totally, shockingly awake.  God.  Not a dream at all!

A wave of horror washed over him. He lay as if paralyzed, trying to calm his thudding pulse, swamped by instinctive fear.  Where the hell was he?  What had happened last night?  His muscles flexed, spiking the cramp afresh, reminding him exactly what had happened.  Fierce sex: greedy and athletic.  Incredibly great sex.

But with whom?

Teddy felt his whole body tense up again with self-disgust.  He hadn’t had a one night stand since he left college.  It’d been tacitly accepted in those days, between young guys who were coming out sexually yet still growing emotionally.  He’d found it all desperately exciting though confusing too, as he started to discover what his body liked.

Memories… young, sweaty bodies, laughs, growls, the smell of skin that wasn’t his, the taste of seed on his fingers, still warm

Of course, he’d been glad to leave that wild scene behind him.  Hadn’t he?  Casual liaisons unnerved him.  They encouraged his more… passionate side.  But didn’t he still need some attention sometimes?  Dreams weren’t all necessarily sweet, and Teddy ignored the nagging ache inside him.  It wasn’t as if he’d missed out on longer relationships, though admittedly there hadn’t been anyone special for a long time.  But overall, it was easier and safer to show discretion, to keep himself to himself.  Like Marshall did.  The man was so cool about it.  Being gay.  No one ever teased him in the office like they did Teddy.  Well, that wasn’t so surprising, Marshall being such a great guy and Teddy himself being rather, well, shy.  But he wasn’t always shy, was he?  There’d been that evening a few months ago…

Teddy had an annoying itch, just below his left buttock, but he really didn’t dare reach down to scratch it.  His heart was still thumping and he tried to quiet his breathing even more.  Short of suffocating himself, he wasn’t sure how he could.  Was he going to find suffocation a viable option?