Dreamy Dylan

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#52 It’s me, not you

The next day, I don’t feel like going to the bakery, because I don’t want to see Andre. Or rather, because I’d love to see him, but I’m too scared, sad, and angry to face him right now. I barely slept all night, mulling over what his lie could mean. I can’t seem to figure it out.

Maybe he didn’t want to have sex with me, but I feel like he could have just told me that. If he’d told me that he didn’t want to rush into things for whatever reason, I’d have understood. Whether it’s because we only just got together, or the fact that it’s been ages for him since he slept with anyone, or the whole kid thing… I’m not an unreasonable guy. I like to think of myself as being understanding and kind. Surely Andre knows I’d have understood, right?

I can’t think of another reason, yet the whole sex thing doesn’t feel right either. We talked about condoms, STD tests, all that stuff. It was obvious where that conversation was heading, right? I didn’t force him into anything. He was the one who got me naked before I even tried to take off his pants. I really thought he wanted to sleep with me. Why the sudden cold feet?

There’s only one way to find out, and that’s by talking to Andre. For once, I don’t tell any of my friends what happened. Part of me is hoping Andre will have a good reason for lying to me, and if he does, it’ll probably be something personal. I can’t think of a single good reason, but still. I don’t want my friends to know about something he’s not even ready to tell me yet, apparently. Plus, I don’t want any of my friends to tell me I’m moving too fast and that I’m stupid for trusting a guy I’ve barely even begun dating.

Andre texts me a few times during the day, but I don’t respond to any of his messages. I can’t pretend nothing is wrong, and I don’t feel like talking about coffee art, cupcakes, and movies he wants to see with me soon. Fuck that shit. I deserve an explanation, and he’s not giving me one.

I’m cleaning up after dinner as a thank you to Thomas and Tracy for cooking for the millionth time in a row when the doorbell rings. Thom curses loudly, probably afraid the kids will wake up. Most of our friends know to text when they arrive instead of ringing the bell after Alex and Teagan’s bedtime, but whoever it is apparently did not get the memo.

I continue loading the dishwasher, and it’s not until I feel a hand on my shoulder that I realize that the visitor is here for me. I know who it is before I even turn around.

Andre.

“Hey,” he says quietly. “Can we talk?”

I wipe my hands on a kitchen towel and turn to face him. “Fine. Talk.” I was planning to sound harsh and commanding, but it comes out way softer and sweeter than that. He looks so fragile, and that makes me weak. His eyes are full of emotions – guilt, sadness, hope – and it’s hard to ignore that. This is Andre we’re talking about. Not Kian. Yeah, he lied to me, but I still can’t wrap my head around why. He’s not cheating on me. He wouldn’t do that. Would he? He wouldn’t, right?

I hate that one lie makes me doubt everything between us, but I guess that’s what Kian did to me. I find it harder to trust now. Maybe that’s a good thing. I don’t know.

“You’re mad at me,” Andre says, leaning against the kitchen counter.

“Yeah, well, you lied to me,” I state, keeping my distance from him. “You didn’t have plans with Ivan.”

“No,” he admits, looking down at the floor. “I didn’t.”

“Are you cheating on me already?” I bite out before I can help myself.

He looks up, his eyes wide with horror. “What? No! Of course not.”

I believe him. I can’t help myself. He looks completely shocked at my question, and there is not a single twitch that might give away he’s lying.

“Then why did you lie to me?”

He takes a deep breath and runs a hand over his face. “You wanted to come back to my place.”

So it is the sex thing after all. “I’ve been to your place a million times already, Andre.”

“This time was different.” He sounds like it’s difficult for him to talk about this. “It was clear that we would… I mean, we both wanted to…”

“I wanted to have sex with you,” I say when he doesn’t go on. “And I thought you wanted the same thing, but apparently not. You could have just told me that.”

“I did,” he insists. “I really did, Dylan. I swear to you, I wanted that too. It’s just that… It’s complicated.”

I’m not getting this at all. “What’s complicated? Either you want to or you don’t. You know I’d never do anything you didn’t want me to do. If we go home together and you tell me you’re not ready for whatever reason, I’d be okay to wait, Andre. I thought you knew that about me by now.”

“I do.” He takes a step in my direction. “Of course I do. This isn’t something you did, love. It’s just that… It’s me.”

The word love almost undoes me, but I still stand my ground. “Are you using the phrase it’s not you, it’s me? Seriously? Does that mean you’re breaking up with me?”

“No!” He sounds like the thought alone is ridiculous. “Of course not.”

“Then why?” I’m scared of what the answer might be, but I need to know.

“I’m nervous,” Andre admits, his voice quiet.

“Because it’s been a long time?”

He shakes his head. “I don’t like taking off my shirt.”

Okay, that is so not where I thought this conversation was going. “Yeah, you said something like that yesterday. Is that why you didn’t want me to come home with you?”

He nods, looking a bit sheepish now. “I know it sounds ridiculous, but you’re so… You’re hot, Dylan. You know you are. And I’m just… not.”

I scoff at that, my anger gone now. “I’m way too skinny, gangly, no muscles to speak of, and I’ve got a small cock.”

“You’re incredibly sexy,” Andre insists.

“So are you.” I hate that he doesn’t see himself that way. No, I don’t think I’m sex on a stick, but I’m also not insecure. I look just fine, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder anyway. When Andre looks at me, I feel beautiful. “I told you that I think you’re cute the very first time we met, and you’ve become more gorgeous to me every single day. I’m not going to suddenly change my mind about you if I see you without a shirt on.”

“You don’t know that.” He truly seems to believe me seeing him naked will be a bad thing. “I’ve got stretch marks from gaining a lot of weight as a teenager. I’ve got back hair, and dark spots, and I’m far from skinny.”

“If you seriously think I give a shit about any of that, you don’t know me at all.” I close the space between us, putting a hand on the side of his face. “How shallow do you think I am? Besides, it’s not like my body is flawless. I think you are beyond sexy.”

“It’s not just that.” He leans into my touch. “You’ll spend the night, and I’m not exactly my most… attractive… in the mornings.”

“I’ve got bed hair and morning breath too, Andre.”

He smiles slightly. “That’s not what I mean. I’ve got… My IBS… I usually spend half an hour on the toilet in the morning.”

Again, so not where I thought this conversation was going. “Okay, but how would that be a problem? I can just stay in bed and catch some more sleep, right?”

“Yeah, but…” He shrugs. “It’s not very sexy.”

“So the reason you lied to me is that you think your upper body isn’t sexy, and you don’t want me to be there when you poop in the morning?” I groan when he confirms that with a nod of his head. “You’re an idiot. I love you, but you’re an idiot.”

He pulls me in for a hug, and I can tell the stress is leaving his body. “I’m sorry. I should have just told you.”

“Is that why you were freezing up whenever I tried to do more than kiss you when we were hanging out at your place?” I realize. “I thought you were freaking out about me wanting to have a baby, but it wasn’t about that at all, was it?”

“A little.” He pulls back to meet my gaze. “That’s still something I need to wrap my mind around, but it’s not the reason why I waited to have sex with you. I just don’t want you to spend the night with me only to wake up in the morning wondering why the hell you’re even with me.”

This guy… How does he not know how amazing he is? How sexy? How deeply I care for him? “How about you take me home with you so I can prove you wrong?” I offer hopefully. “We don’t need to have sex if you don’t want to. Just give me a chance to prove you wrong. I’m pretty fucking sure I’ll still find you sexy as hell after seeing you naked and you taking a dump that lasts for half an hour.”

That makes him laugh. “Okay, sure, let’s go to my place.”

Together, we finish up in the kitchen, and I grab some clothes and toiletries from my room. Then we say goodbye to Tracy and Thomas before we leave. He got here by bus and by foot, but of course we leave in my car. He’s nervous, that is easy to see, but he’s not backing down. Thank God.

At his place, I get changed into some sweats and an old T-shirt before snuggling up to him on the couch. He puts on Gilmore Girls, and we watch two episodes. We kiss a few times, but there’s no groping or anything. I can tell he’s too anxious to get in the mood tonight. I’m a patient man. I’d love to have sex tonight, but I’d much rather wait until he feels comfortable.

“I’m getting tired,” I tell him when the third episode starts.

He turns off the TV immediately. “Let’s go to bed then.”

We brush our teeth together, but afterwards he changes in the bathroom while I wait for him in bed. It hurts that he doesn’t want me to see him change, but I try not to take it personal. This truly is about him, not me. He’s in pajama pants and a loose-fitting black shirt when he gets back, whereas I am only in my boxer shorts. I don’t like sleeping in more than that, and I don’t see why I should cover up just because he does.

Once he gets underneath the covers and turns off the lights, he immediately pulls me against him. We kiss for a while, but I don’t want to do more than that if he’s not comfortable letting me see all of him, so I stop him when he tries to take off my shorts.

“I’d like the lights to be on for our first time,” I whisper.

“Okay,” he breathes, kissing me softly. “I get that.”

I turn over so he can spoon me from behind, feeling very comfortable despite all the weirdness today.

“I love you,” he says quietly into the darkness. “I’m sorry about this whole mess.”

“It’s okay.” I reach back to squeeze his arm. “This is nice, right?”

“This is so much more than nice.” He nuzzles my neck and presses a kiss to my flushed skin. “It’s perfect.”

That’s how we fall asleep, wrapped up in each other all lovey-dovey.

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