Technicolor Daze

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fifteen.

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

THU AT 6:37 PM

Just left work

Had to work overtime so I may run a bit late

Theo and Noah had been texting each other all day. Noah had gotten up around 9 am to work out for an hour before heading to work. He’d worked until late and didn’t have to work at the bookshop until 11 am, but from the moment he finished his workout until Theo left work, the pair spent most of the time exchanging messages, with the occasional break to do some actual work. Theo had been sporting a wide grin on his face throughout the day and one of his colleagues even prodded him, asking him why he was smiling more than usual, but Theo didn’t want to share the reasons for his cheery state, so he answered with a simple, “Nothing.” Unfortunately for Theo, his colleague was rather nosy and persisted, to which Theo added, “I’m meeting a friend tonight.“. He hadn’t lied, as he wasn’t sure where he stood with Noah, but he didn’t want to tell her any more details, so he feigned being extremely busy, so that his colleague would not ask her any further questions. He suspected that she had a crush on him, but she didn’t know that Theo didn’t swing that way. He wasn’t in the closet per se, but he didn’t really like bringing his personal life into the office.

The two men had agreed to meet at 8 pm at Talay Thai, a Thai restaurant located at the Fisherman’s Wharf, but some problems arose at work last minute and Theo couldn’t leave until they were sorted. After texting Noah as he left the Venetian hotel, he rushed home so that he had enough time to take a shower, get dressed, and get to the restaurant Noah had suggested, which wasn’t very far from the future location of D2. Noah had told Theo that D2 was changing location, which Theo hadn’t been aware of, and wanted to show him where the nightclub would move to in June.

Theo managed to arrive home around 7 pm and took a quick shower, before getting dressed, styling his hair, spraying on some cologne, and brushing his teeth. After a glance at the mirror to see if he was pleased with how he looked, he left the apartment with half an hour left until he was supposed to meet Noah. To his luck, he spotted a vacant taxi heading his way and raised his arm to hail it. He told the driver his destination in Cantonese and texted Noah, letting him know that he was already on the way and that he would get there on time.

Fuschia and blue lights of the casinos swayed together in an electric dance at the other side of the bridge, painting the misty sky, already tinged with a golden glow, in a surreal violet haze, tinting the surface of the Pearl River delta with a somewhat impressionistic recreation of the technicolor daze, a product of the high rise buildings that dotted the city’s skyline, skyscrapers attempting to touch the sky, but far from succeeding - a true reflection of some of the hapless souls who step into these same buildings with the highest of hopes only to have their dreams crushed and end up sleeping in a public space. The Grand Lisboa hotel dominates the skyline with its unique lotus inspired design, making its much smaller and older sibling, Hotel Lisboa, as well as the Bank of China, once the highest structure in the city, pale in comparison to the grandiose neighbor. Macau - a mere tiny dot in the map of the world, a small metropolis merging elements of both East and West in an almost dizzying combination of the glitzy and hypnotizing Vegas glow and remnants of the old traditional Chinese fishing village as well as the Portuguese colonial heritage.

Even though he had lived in that small gambling hub most of his life, Theo would still on occasion gaze in wonder at the skyline of his city, just like he was doing at that moment as the taxi crossed the Sai Van Bridge, taking them to the quieter part of the densely populated peninsula. Once they approached the Nam Van Lake, he looked to his left and admired the bright city skyline once again from a closer distance. He couldn’t help but feel so small when surrounded by the imposing structures trying to reach the sky.

As the taxi traversed the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Avenue, driving past residential buildings, hotels, the Kun Iam Statue, the science museum, and a beautiful park, following along the coastline until it approached the Fisherman’s Wharf, Theo’s mind couldn’t help but wander towards thoughts of where the night would take him and Noah. He had never felt so helplessly drawn to someone before, in an almost spellbinding way, and it wasn’t simply because of the dancer’s tantalizing appearance, as Theo was even more fascinated by Noah’s mind after having talked to the young performer. He couldn’t make sense of how someone he had just met and who he still didn’t know too well, somehow felt like a familiar soul, who he had known for a long time - almost as if they had met in a past life and Theo didn’t even believe in reincarnation.

The taxi driver suddenly stopped beside the replica of the Roman Amphitheatre at the entrance of the Fisherman’s Wharf - the largest leisure and themed entertainment complex in Macau, the idea of which seemed more exciting in theory than it turned out to be in reality. At first, many families visited the newly opened complex, exploring its variety of shops and attractions, but after the novelty wore off and someone died at the theme park in 2006, the place had almost been left alone, barren of shops and semi-abandoned until other development projects seized control of the area and revitalized it a bit, bringing a bit of hope to an ambitious project that never fully took off after the initial buzz around it wore off.

Theo handed the driver enough money to pay for the taxi fare. He arrived with five minutes to spare, just enough time to get to the restaurant. As he approached the restaurant, he heard a voice coming from behind him, calling him. He turned around and saw Noah in the distance, seeming to have arrived at the Fisherman’s Wharf just a minute or two after him. He raised his hand in a wave and waited for the dancer to approach him.

Noah was wearing a vintage-looking pastel green, blue, white and salmon striped crew neck t-shirt, making his beautiful tan complexion and broad shoulders stand out even more. The t-shirt was paired with some light wash denim pants that also seemed to have been bought at a thrift shop. Theo’s eyes drifted upwards, gazing at the smiling face of his date, feeling his heart skip a beat when his eyes met the other man’s.

“Hi,” Noah greeted Theo, slightly out of breath, as soon as he was at an arm’s width from him. It was a rather fresh evening, there was a light breeze in the air, peacefully blowing the scent of Noah’s cologne in Theo’s direction, making the latter man aware of how nice his date smelled.

“Hey,” Theo smiled, feeling a bit lost for words. He wasn’t sure what to say so he was glad when Noah took the initiative to speak first.

“I spotted you arriving, so I tried to catch up with you, but you walk pretty fast,” Noah pointed at the restaurant just behind Theo, “The restaurant’s right here. They have an indoor seating area if you want, but they also have an outdoor area on the other side of the building, which I definitely recommend.” Noah gave Theo a small charming smile as he subtly indicated his preference.

“Sure, the outdoor area sounds good, let’s go,” Theo started walking around the building of the restaurant, but he noticed Noah hadn’t followed after him, so he turned around and looked at Noah, who was standing a couple of steps behind him, just staring at Theo, “what is it?”

Noah’s eyes were roaming up Theo’s body until they briefly landed on Theo’s eyes, before looking down and chuckling to himself. His warm gaze drifted back to the man standing before him, an amused grin radiating off his face, “It’s just... you look amazing tonight.” He then started walking towards Theo, whose cheeks felt a bit warm. He felt a tingly sensation, butterflies in his stomach, upon hearing Noah’s compliment.

As the enticing dancer approached him, his gaze dropped towards Noah’s lips. He felt like kissing the other man, once he was standing next to him just around the corner from the outdoor seating area. He didn’t really know where they stood, so he didn’t know if he could just kiss the man. He had only ever experienced casual hookups and one serious relationship that had started as a friendship. He knew how to handle those two cases, but with Noah, things felt different. He was in an unfamiliar grey zone and he wasn’t sure how to act, but at the same time, he felt at ease talking to Noah. Just be yourself, Theo thought. He hadn’t really been shy around Noah up until that point, so why was he suddenly acting so timid?

“You’re looking very handsome yourself,” Theo’s gaze had left Noah’s lips as he smiled at Noah, enjoying the sight of Noah’s somewhat wanton grin. Noah also seemed to express a similar desire, which was evident by his subtle downward glance at Theo’s lips.

Theo stepped closer to Noah and leaned his face in, looking at Noah’s eyes to see if the other man was giving him any indication to stop, before planting his lips on Noah’s for a chaste kiss. Noah surprised Theo by grasping the back of his neck, fervently bringing the ash brown-haired man closer to him, deepening the kiss, the world around them forgotten for a couple of moments. Theo allowed himself to get lost in Noah’s positively delectable lips, engaging in a sensual tango, as their tongues slow-danced with one another.

The spell was suddenly broken, when Theo heard some voices approaching them from the outdoor seating area and pulled back from the kiss, breathlessly gazing at Noah’s eyes for a few moments, as some customers awkwardly walked by them, stealing some glances at the two men, having accidentally witnessed some of their ardent liplock. Once both men could no longer see the customers, they burst into laughter at the awkward situation.

“Well, glad to see you’re also hungry,” the chestnut eyed man winked at his date, his pupils slightly dilated, leaving Theo with a sense of arousal at the suggestive hint that something more could happen that night. Something Theo had desired ever since he had laid eyes on the dancer for the first time, a desire that had intensified as Theo had gotten to know the other man. Noah was the first to break the gaze, glancing at the outdoor seating, “Shall we?”

“Yes, I’m starving,” Theo’s words definitely had an underlying sexual undertone, but upon inhaling some of the aromas coming from the restaurant’s kitchen, his stomach had begun to manifest an intense craving for food by emitting some grumble sounds.

“Good, because there are a couple of dishes I want you to try,” Noah said before sitting at a table close to the seaside, with a view of the Amizade bridge and the ferry terminal. Theo sat down in front of him, just as Noah raised his arm to call the waiter over to ask for some menus.

“Do you come here often?” Theo asked before adding, “This is a nice spot.”

“Sometimes, when my friends and I have some time off. I sometimes cook as well to save money,” the waiter returned and handed the men two menus. Theo and Noah thanked him in Cantonese before looking through the menu.

“What do you recommend here?” Theo asked, not being able to decide what to order out of all the delicious-sounding dishes on the menu.

“Well, I really like their tom yum goong, but we could order a couple of dishes and share if you want,” Noah said as he looked through the menu.

“Sure, that sounds like a good idea,” Theo’s eyes wandered between the green curry and the pad thai, “What are you ordering?”

“I’m getting the tom yum goong and som tam. What about you?” Noah glanced at Theo after placing his menu down on the table.

"Som tam? What’s that?” Theo looked through the menu to see if he could find that dish.

“It’s a green papaya salad. It’s really good!”

“Oh, I’ve never tried that...”

“Well, I’ll get some and we can share,” Noah smiled at Theo as he grabbed the drinks menu, “And what are you ordering?”

Theo had briefly gotten distracted by Noah’s smile before answering, “I was thinking about getting either the pad thai or the green curry. Which one do you think I should get?”

“They’re both good, but I would go for the green curry. It’s really delicious.”

“I’ll trust your judgment then. Should I order some rice or does it come with the curry?”

“I think it comes with the curry, but we can ask. Are you ready to order?” Noah looked around to see if he could see a waiter.

“Just gotta decide what to drink, but sure we can order,” Theo looked at the drinks menu.

“I’m getting some beer. Oh, there’s the waiter,” Noah raised his arm to call the waiter over.

“You really are German,” Theo grinned at Noah, making the other man snort at the remark, “But I like your idea. I’ll also have a beer,” he placed the drinks menu aside.

The men told the waiter their orders and waited for the waiter to walk away before resuming their conversation. “So, that first time we met you told me you’ve traveled around Asia a lot. Have you ever been to Thailand?” Noah asked Theo.

“Oh yeah, a couple of times. My parents really like the Northern part of Thailand so I’ve been to Chiang Mai, Pai, Chiang Rai,” Theo’s eyes drifted upwards as he spoke as he tried to recall the names of all the places he had visited.

“Oh, I’ve been to those places too. I really liked Pai. Have you ever been to the South?” Theo really liked the sparkle of excitement glimmering in Noah’s eyes whenever he spoke about Thailand and Germany.

“Well, not sure. I went to Koh Samui and Krabi when I was a kid. Is that in the South?”

“Yeah, my mom’s family is actually from Surat Thani, which is not too far from Krabi, but they moved to Bangkok when my mom was young. So I mostly ate Southern Thai food at home,” Noah explained.

“Does your dad also eat Thai food? Or does your mom also cook some German food?” Theo was curious.

“He loves Thai food more than German food,” Noah laughed after stating that fact, “He also says that it’s just hard to find German food here in Asia, so he prefers having authentic Asian food. Once a month though, he cooks Käsespätzle for us. It’s kind of like a German mac and cheese, but much better. It’s his favorite German dish and it isn’t as hard to find the ingredients outside of Germany.”

“Oh, I’ve never tried that. I do love mac and cheese though, so if it’s better than mac and cheese, I’ll probably like it.”

“I can cook it for you sometime, so you can try it,” Noah smiled at Theo. Theo’s heart skipped a beat at the promise of another date, “It’s much easier to cook than some Thai dishes I enjoy.”

“Do you cook mostly Thai food?” Just as Theo asked the question, the waiter returned with their drinks, interrupting their conversation by placing the two bottles of beer on the table along with two glasses. He grabbed a bottle opener and opened the two bottles before leaving once again without uttering a single word. Theo had lived in Macau most of his life, so he was used to some waiters not being very talkative, so he didn’t think much about the service quality. As long as the food was delicious, he could overlook the politeness of the waiters and the speed of the service.

After the waiter left, Theo and Noah poured beer into their glasses, as Noah resumed the conversation, “To answer your question, mostly yes, but after living in Germany for a few years, I learned how to cook some other dishes that aren’t Thai, so I try to cook different things when I have some extra time. Usually though, I cook simple and quick Thai dishes. My mom also gives me some homemade curry pastes whenever I visit my parents. It’s much better than the store-bought stuff.”

“That’s pretty cool! I suck at cooking... My housemate and I eat out almost every day,” Theo rubbed the back of his neck as Noah smiled in amusement, “What’s your favorite dish? To cook, I mean... Oh, and cheers!”

"Prost!” They clinked their glasses together before taking a sip, “Good question. I’ve never thought about that... This is going to sound a bit strange, but I really like grilling meat... like at barbecues. In Germany, in springtime, when the weather is nice and sunny, my friends and I would go to the park and have a barbecue. We even have a verb for the start of the grilling season,” Noah chuckled as he mentioned that fact.

“Really? What’s the verb?” Theo drank some of his beer as he awaited Noah’s answer.

"Angrillen,” the pitch of Noah’s voice seemed to be lower whenever he spoke in German, which Theo found particularly attractive.

"Angrillen?” Theo tried to repeat what he heard, but Noah could tell Theo had a strong accent.

“Yeah, that’s it,” Noah smiled at Theo’s attempt before drinking some of his beer and adding, “So yeah, I love grilling stuff, mostly because of the social aspect and the memories tied to barbecues I had with friends in Germany, but as far as favorite dishes to cook go, I don’t know. I like stir-fries because they are easy and delicious, but I also really love curries.”

“Well, I love curries and stir-fries, but if I tried cooking any of those myself, I think I would burn down the kitchen,” both men laughed at Theo’s remark.

“I can cook some for you. Either that or the Käsespätzle,” Noah smiled at Theo, who couldn’t help but grin back at his date, finding the dancer sitting in front of him incredibly charming and endearing, “How about barbecues? Do you also enjoy them?”

“I love barbecues, but I don’t really have a lot of barbecues here... Mostly back in the States. Whenever I go back to the States, my family loves grilling in my grandma and grandpa’s backyard.”

“Do you go back often? To the States, I mean...”

“I haven’t been there in a couple of years. I used to go once every two years when I was growing up, but after graduating from high school, I only visit every few years. I think the last time was two years ago, but I have to go there next year for my sister’s wedding,” Theo explained.

“Oh cool! Is your sister older or younger than you?”

“She’s five years older than me.”

“Having an older sister must be fun,” Noah smiled at Theo.

“Well, when we were growing up it was annoying at times, but I guess it was fun,” Theo chuckled.

“I can imagine. Whereabouts in the US are you from?”

“Well, my dad’s family is from Colorado and my mom’s family is from New Orleans. I was born in Boulder, which is where I usually go when we visit, but I visited New Orleans a couple of times before my grandparents moved to Texas when I was eleven. Now, whenever I visit I alternate between Boulder and Dallas.”

“Oh wow, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone from any of those states. Is everything really bigger in Texas?” Noah asked with a smirk.

“Oh yeah! I mean, overall portion sizes in the US are much bigger than over here. Even I experience some culture shock whenever I visit,” Theo chuckled a bit, recalling the first time he had visited Dallas and his jaw had dropped at the sight of the portion sizes. He did notice Noah still had the smirk on his face, so he asked him, “What?”

“Well, I was just wondering if everything American is truly bigger...” Noah had a playful yet suggestive smile on his face as he said that, making Theo blush.

Theo looked down at Noah’s lips and noticed the other man moistening them with his tongue, “I guess you’ll have to wait and see.”

The waiter once again interrupted their conversation, perfectly unaware of the sexual tension that had befallen between the two men. He was carrying some of the dishes they’d ordered and placed them on the table. He had brought the papaya salad, the curry and the tom yum goong over, but the rice was missing, so Theo asked about it and the waiter notified him that he would bring it soon. They also asked for some extra bowls to share the spicy soup. Noah asked Theo for his dish and served him some papaya salad, before serving himself. Once the waiter had returned with the rice and the two bowls, Noah poured some soup into one of the bowls along with some shrimp and handed it to Theo.

“Hope you like it and feel free to take some more. It isn’t as good as my mom’s, but it’s one of the best ones I’ve tried here in Macau,” Noah said as he poured himself a bowl. Theo tasted a spoonful of the soup and moaned in delight, making Noah chuckle.“I’m guessing you’re sold on the tom yum goong.”

“It’s so good! And you’re telling me your mom’s is even better?” Noah nodded at that statement, “How?”

“Well, you’ll have to try it and see how it compares, but for me, it’s much better than this one. Try some of the salad too,” Noah nudged the plate of salad towards Theo after putting some on his own plate.

Theo placed a bit of the salad on his plate before tasting it. He instantly recognized the flavor, “Oh, I’ve had this before, but I had no idea what was in it. It’s pretty good.”

“Yeah, it isn’t as spicy as I’m used to, but it’s pretty good for Macau,” Noah ate a bit more of the spicy soup and watched as Theo savored the food. He had just tried some of the green curry along with some rice and by the look on Theo’s face, Noah knew he had made the right decision inviting Theo for dinner at that restaurant.

“This is all so good! Here, take some curry!”

The two men shared their food and exchanged a couple of favorable comments regarding the culinary delights they were feasting on. At the end of the meal, both men were feeling satisfied as they stared at the clean plates and the empty beer bottles. “That was so good! Thank you for bringing me here,” Theo smiled at Noah.

“Glad you enjoyed it. Oh, by the way, do you want some dessert?” Noah asked, looking for the menu on the table.

Theo felt a bit daring and decided to tease his date a little bit, “Well, let’s just say I’m saving some space for a different kind of dessert.”

Noah briefly glanced at Theo’s lips before retorting, with a seductive grin on his face, “Is that so? Well, I do have a sweet tooth.”

Theo gazed at Noah, feeling more and more aroused every time Noah flirted back at him. Noah was even more playful than Theo had anticipated. He wondered if Noah was just as mischievous in bed... His mind drifted towards thoughts of Noah in bed, moaning and panting, their bodies clinging to one another. Would Noah be more dominant or would Theo take control? Theo could see it going either way - and this both scared as well as aroused him. His pants started feeling tight and a knowing smirk appeared on Noah’s lips, appearing as if he knew the effect he had had on Theo.

Almost as if on cue, the waiter appeared, once again nonchalantly ignoring the sexual tension, and collected their dishes. ”Mai dan,” Noah said to the waiter, his voice sounding a bit raspy, asking for the bill in Cantonese. Theo welcomed the interruption, feeling somewhat relieved as he needed to cool off a bit before standing up or the other patrons might catch sight of the protuberance in his pants. Luckily, by the time the waiter returned with the bill, Theo had managed to conjure up thoughts that aided him in reducing the tightness in his pants.

“I’ll get this one. You can treat me next time,” Noah said as he placed enough money to pay for their meals on top of the bill. The waiter collected the money and Noah placed his hands on the table, “Shall we go? I really want to smoke a cigarette.”

“Sure, where do you wanna go?” Theo asked as both men stood up.

“We could go to that 7-eleven near the cultural center and have some drinks somewhere. What do you think?”

“Yeah, sounds like a plan.”

Theo and Noah walked away from the outdoor seating area of the restaurant and headed towards the main avenue of the theme park. As they walked along the main avenue of Fisherman’s Wharf, Noah pointed out the future location of D2, which wasn’t too far from the restaurant. He then fished a cigarette from his packet and lit it up, prompting Theo to do the same.

“I see that you also have the habit of smoking after a meal,” Theo remarked.

“Yeah,” Noah gave Theo a small smile, “Actually, I didn’t smoke until I moved to Germany. My friends would always smoke after lunch and I decided to try once. It was a stupid decision, ’cause these are addicting,” he said as he raised the cigarette to his lips and took a puff.

“I am always telling myself on New Year’s eve that next year is the year I will quit smoking. No luck so far,” Noah snorted at that. The two men walked silently for a minute or so, as Noah appeared to be deep in thought.

Theo was about to ask Noah what was on his mind when the latter man spoke up. “Maybe we should make a bet. See who can go longest without smoking to motivate each other to quit,” Noah suggested, a mischievous glimmer in his eyes.

“Well, it depends... What are the stakes?” Theo’s eyes inevitably drifted down to Noah’s lips as the other man took a puff from his cigarette.

“Hmm... I don’t know yet. The idea just came to me, but I’ll get back to you once I have thought of what I want. You can also think about what you’d like if you win,” Noah said as he blew the smoke out into the air.

“Are you sure you don’t just want to keep smoking a bit more before committing to the bet?” Theo sent Noah a knowing glance.

“You got me,” Noah smiled at Theo, “But I also need time to think of a good reward for when I win.”

“You mean if you win,” Theo corrected.

“Nah, I’m sure I’ll win. If I choose the right reward, I’m sure I’ll stay motivated,” Noah glanced briefly at Theo’s lips before looking back up at Theo’s eyes and smirking. Without any warning, Noah halted Theo and brought his lips to the other man’s lips, crushing them in a fierce kiss, before letting go and taking a step forward, starting to make his way again towards the convenience store. However, before he could take more than one step forward, Theo turned Noah around to face him again and crashed his lips into Noah’s, quickly deepening the kiss, all of the built-up tension accumulated throughout the dinner leaking into the passionate liplock. They were close to the 7-eleven, but the two men appeared to have changed their minds, no longer wanting to buy drinks at the convenience store, their bodies desperately clinging to one another, wanting to feel more of the other person, needing to feel more.

Theo could feel Noah’s arousal by the hardened member rubbing against his own. For a couple of minutes, Noah and Theo were in their own bubble, ignoring the world around them, uncaring about the reactions of potential passersby. Their passionate make-out session was bordering on inappropriate for a public setting and would definitely not go unnoticed by the people walking in that street - and yet, Theo didn’t really care. He felt excited when he was around Noah which he hadn’t ever felt before and that excitement was making him a bit more willing to take risks.

Noah was the first to break the kiss, breathlessly panting as he leaned his forehead against Theo’s. The two men gazed intently at each other with half-lidded eyes, pupils fully blown out, as they tried to catch their breath.

“Do you want to come over to my place?” Noah asked in a low, husky voice, before adding, “My housemate is working the night shift, so we have the house to ourselves...”

Theo’s eyes darkened at the invitation, lecherous thoughts swimming in his dilated pupils.

“Lead the way.”

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