Newsletter subscribers received this treat a while ago, but I wanted to post it here for all to enjoy, since it's a NYE story featuring your favorite Belonging boys.
Jaime gets his first experience playing "Never Have I Ever" and learns quite a lot about his friends....
Never Have I Ever
A trip out to Pot O Gold usually ended with Jaime Winters having to half-carry his drunk boyfriend, Alessandro Silva, the two block walk to their friends’ apartment. And considering tonight was New Year’s Eve and Alessandro didn’t have to get up early to open the bakery tomorrow, Jaime had expected to need extra hands wrangling Alè home.
Alessandro had surprised him by only ordering two whiskey sours, then sticking to water until he shared a glass of champagne with Donner Davis at midnight. The fourth side of their quartet and Donner’s partner, Ezra Kelley, had helped himself to two glasses.
It had been months since their foursome had haunted Pot O Gold together. Not since Ezra and Alessandro opened up their coffee shop and bakery, Half-Dozen, back in July. The business was thriving enough for them to toss around words like “expansion” without actually making plans, and Jaime had never been prouder. Alessandro was a business owner, he was happy, and he made Jaime stupidly happy, too.
Life was pretty great for all of them at the moment, so he was a little confused over why his friends hadn’t let loose more at the Pot.
Please, God, don’t tell me we’re all getting old.
Jaime had just turned twenty-four that summer, same age as Ezra now. Alessandro would be twenty-four in February. Only Donner could be honestly teased about being old, since he’d already hit the big 3-0 and was inching closer to 3-1.
“I still can’t believe you wore that shirt,” Donner said, pointing at Jaime’s chest. He was probably the least intoxicated of the three who’d been drinking. Hanging off his arm, Ezra wasn’t exactly drunk but he was definitely extra-happy.
Jaime glanced down at the black sleeveless tee hiding under his open winter coat. The words “Versatile Boys Have More Fun” was printed in blocky white letters. Alessandro had given it to him a few weeks ago to celebrate Jaime finally graduating college, along with a promise to take him out to the Pot as long as he wore it.
New Year’s Eve had been the perfect excuse. The Pot had been jammed, and the shirt got Jaime the kind of attention he loved. Alessandro had helped him discover and nurture his inner exhibitionist, and while he still wasn’t comfortable with the idea of having full-on anal sex in front of other people, he and Alessandro got pretty damned frisky, both in the club and at Ezra’s apartment.
Once they’d even sucked each other off on one couch while Ezra and Donner did the same on the other.
“Verse guys do have more fun,” Ezra said, his voice only slightly slurred. “I’m sure all four of us can agree to that one.”
Alessandro stumbled slightly, his brow creasing. “Wait, when did you start letting guys stick a dick in your ass, Mr. I Only Top?”
Ezra flashed a wicked grin at Donner. “When I met him.”
While the mental image of the slender, totally gorgeous Ezra going to town on Donner was crazy hot, the opposite made Jaime’s stomach wobble in funny ways. Maybe because in the sixteen-ish months they’d all known each other, Ezra had always been about control. The fact that he could give that up to Donner was pretty intense. He loved seeing his friends so happy together.
All of his friends, which included the two who’d begged off for another gig. Romy and Brendan had only been together for a couple of months, and they seemed totally mismatched on the outside, but they also completely complimented each other. And they were busy at a New Year’s party at Brendan’s mother’s house, surrounded by Brendan’s extended family.
Romy was probably nervous as hell around so many people, but he’d put up with it for Brendan’s sake.
The walk back to the apartment never took long. Donner and Ezra shared the renovated second floor of a three-story brownstone. The bathroom was a tiny pain in the ass, but the living area was huge, and it had two bedrooms.
Jaime planned to make good use of the extra bed tonight.
“Who’s up for Cards Against Humanity?” Ezra asked once they were all inside, shedding coats.
Jaime blinked at all of the snowy, silver Christmas decorations still in place. Ezra had gone all out.
“You lent that to Brandy last week,” Donner said. She worked at the bakery with Ezra and Alessandro.
Ezra’s face dropped. “Fuck. I did, didn’t I?” Then brightened. “How about a drinking game?”
“Jaime can’t drink,” Alessandro said. He came up behind Jaime and slid warm arms around his waist from behind. Pulled Jaime’s ass right into his crotch. While Jaime had lost his wood the moment cold air blasted him the face outside the club, Alessandro was still hard in his jeans.
Jaime melted into his boyfriend’s arms. “Jaime can drink soda while you guys do booze.”
“Never Have I Ever!” Ezra whooped and darted for the kitchen cabinets. He produced a bottle of Fireball and four Dixie cups. Then a can of soda from the mini-fridge that came with the place.
Jaime let Alessandro manhandle him over to one of the two long couches that took up living room space, hoping his face didn’t away he had no idea what game they were talking about. Okay, so he’d been sheltered growing up. Extremely sheltered, which wasn’t a surprise when he told folks about the heart disease that nearly killed him more than once, or that the only reason he was alive today was because of a heart transplant.
Hence no drinking anything stronger than soda. Ever.
Small price to pay for someone who’s never actually tasted alcohol anyway.
While Donner found some music on Ezra’s space-age sound system, Ezra arranged the cups and booze on the coffee table, then immediately poured three shots of booze, and a shot of soda for Jaime.
“Have you guys played before?” Ezra asked.
Affirmatives came from Donner and Alessandro, and suddenly all eyes were on Jaime. His face got hot, probably scorching red from his neck to the tips of his ears.
Ezra made an amused noise. “So that’s a no from Jaime.”
“It’s pretty basic,” Alessandro said. “Someone makes a statement, such as ‘never have I ever been bitten by a snake,’ and if anyone in the room has been bitten by a snake, they drink.”
“Except most of the time the statements are sexual, so it’s the sluts among us that get wasted first.”
Donner poked Ezra in the ribs and gave him what seemed to be a disapproving look.
“Damn,” Jaime said. “The list of things I’ve never done, in bed or out of bed, could fill a phone book.”
Alessandro smoothed a warm palm over his chest, across the long surgical scar hidden beneath his birthday shirt. “You had a good reason, babe.”
“Still, nothing,” Ezra said. “The game doesn’t have to be all about sex.” He waggled his eyebrows, the silver brow stud winking in the lights from the Christmas tree. “Most of it, but not all.”
“Fine.” Jaime settled in with a hand on Alessandro’s thigh. “You go first.”
“Hmm…” Ezra glanced around the room as if his question was tacked to the wall somewhere. “Never have I ever…had sex with a stripper.”
The declaration surprised Jaime for some reason, but he was even more surprised when Donner downed a shot.
Ezra squawked. “Story!”
Donner worried his lower lip with his teeth while he refilled his cup. “It was years ago. Jacob and I went to Philly one Saturday to blow off steam, and we hit up some clubs. We were both eyeballing one of the strippers, and after his set, we approached him.”
“Oh my God.” Ezra’s eyes nearly popped out of his skull. “You never told me you had a threesome.”
“You never asked.”
Jaime stared at Donner, impressed by the story. Jacob was his late boyfriend, who’d been killed almost three years ago. And Donner Davis was the quiet, responsible one, so the threesome thing earned him mad respect from Jaime. While Jaime loved playing around and frequently fantasized about a threesome, he wasn’t sure he would, in reality, ever want to have full-on sex with anyone except Alessandro.
Ezra tipped an imaginary hat at his partner. “Fine, you scoundrel you. Your turn.”
Donner tried to a find a comment on the back of his hand. “Um, never have I ever had sex in the woods.”
Jaime and Alessandro reached for their cups at the exact same time. The soda fizzled down his throat. Alessandro pressed a cinnamon-scented kiss to his cheek. The first time Alessandro blew him, it had been in the woods near an unfinished development, Jaime’s back against a tree. He still remembered how that rough bark had felt against his naked skin.
“Phone book my ass,” Ezra said. He still hadn’t touched his shot.
“Never have I ever shaved my balls,” Alessandro said.
Ezra downed a shot.
“Why would you do that?” Jaime asked. “I mean, a razor that close to your junk?”
Ezra shrugged. “The novelty. I was with a guy once who swore his nuts were more sensitive if he shaved them. Personally, I didn’t notice much difference, and it itched like hell when the hair grew back.”
Donner nuzzled Ezra’s neck. “I like your balls just the way they are.”
Jaime picked his question out of genuine curiosity. “Never have I ever smoked weed.”
All three drank.
“Didn’t want to, or never had the opportunity?” Donner asked.
“I guess more I didn’t care, because I was sick all the time, and then I got better and sometimes I’m terrified that anything at all unusual could trigger my body to reject the heart.”
Alessandro slid an arm across his shoulders, and Jaime sank into the warmth of his chest. “If it helps, both times I tried it I didn’t like it.”
“That does help. Thanks.”
Ezra switched it up with a benign, “Never have I ever owned a pet.”
No one drank. Donner hesitated in reaching for his cup. Last spring his sister’s dog, Lex Luthor, had to be put down due to old age and terrible seizures. He hadn’t been Donner’s dog, but Jaime and Alessandro had been with Donner and Ezra the night Lex had died, and Donner had been a wreck. Like he’d lost a family member.
Ezra ruffled Donner’s hair. “Sorry, I wasn’t thinking. But he was your dog, as much as theirs.”
Donner nodded, then did the shot. “Never have I ever been handcuffed in bed.”
“What?” Jaime’s entire body lit up like a live wire at that confession. The visual of his Alessandro, naked and handcuffed to a bed, gave him all kinds of dirty ideas. Very, very dirty ideas.
“Uh oh, me thinks he likes the idea,” Ezra said.
“I love the idea.”
Alessandro’s dark eyes glittered, and his smile went almost feral. “Oh yeah?”
“Oh yeah.” Jaime’s dick started waking up again, taking note of his super hot boyfriend and all of the sex talk. “This is happening in the very near future.” Jaime nearly hauled Alessandro into the spare room so they could get down to business, but the more his friends drank, the more interesting things he learned about them.
“Your turn, babe.” He poked Alessandro in the ribs, which made him laugh.
“Um, never have I ever done karaoke.”
Ezra polished off his third shot, and Donner his fourth.
Ezra had a little trouble pouring the next round, and Alessandro had that rosy-cheeked thing going on that said he was tipping past the point of drunk and maybe two more shots away from wasted. Donner had a pretty good poker face when he drank, but he’d downed the most since they got back.
He was also the biggest guy in the room in terms of body mass. Ezra was taller, but super thin.
Maybe it was the fact that all three of them were on the road to serious Drunk Brain and less likely to take his next statement seriously, but Jaime still blushed hotly when he said, “Never have I ever had sex with Ezra.”
He squirmed under the intensity of the three wide-eyed stares directed at him. Donner and Alessandro did the shot, and Jaime felt new tension in Alessandro.
“Does masturbation mean I had sex with myself?” Ezra asked.
“Sure,” Jaime replied, because booze.
Ezra drank, then said the most obvious thing in the universe. “Never have I ever had sex with Jaime. But I did feel him up once.”
Alessandro drank with a slightly slurred, “Felt him up plenty of times too.”
The comment was kind of funny, but no one laughed. Jaime felt the intensity of Ezra’s stare but couldn’t make himself meet it. He couldn’t lift his gaze higher than the liquor bottle on the coffee table.
Alessandro nuzzled his ear with his nose. “Does it bother you? That I slept with Ezra once?”
“No.” It didn’t. Not really. Except Jaime’s mind frequently circled back to the night they first met Ezra and Romy at the Pot. The way they’d all danced, grinding and feeling each other up, and having an amazing time. An amazing time that kept going all the way back to Ezra’s apartment, and to the fraction of a moment the next morning when Jaime wouldn’t have said no to a threesome with Ezra.
Except now that was impossible. Jaime had Alè and Ezra had Donner, and even though Donner seemed to enjoy watching Ezra dance with other men at the Pot, there was a huge gap between dancing and fucking.
“Then why bring it up, sugar?” Ezra this time, all curiosity and no accusation. Still sharp despite the amount of alcohol he’d consumed.
“I don’t know.” The words had escaped Jaime’s lips before he could think them through. “It’s true, though. That’s the game, right? We say stuff we haven’t done.” And maybe deep down, if he was really honest with himself, it bothered him that Jaime was still the least experienced person in the group. His list of sexual partners stopped with Alessandro. “I’ve never even kissed anyone else.”
Crap, why did I say that out loud? I’m not even drunk.
Alessandro dragged his lips from Jaime’s ear to his Adam’s apple, and good grief, that felt good. “You want to kiss Ezra, babe?”
Jaime wanted those teasing lips around his cock as soon as possible, but he had three drunk people staring at him, waiting for an answer. The idea of walking to the other couch, straddling Ezra’s lap, and sliding his tongue into Ezra’s mouth held a lot of appeal. The fact that both Ezra and his boyfriend were two shots from completely wasted kept Jaime rooted firmly next to his boyfriend.
He didn’t want to say or do anything they’d all regret in the morning. He wasn’t that guy.
“Sometines I do,” Jaime replied. “But not tonight.”
“Why not?” Ezra asked, practically pouting.
“Stretch your right hand out, then bend it at the elbow and touch your nose.”
Ezra managed to poke himself in the eye.
“Don’t think so hard about the people you never got to fuck around with,” Donner said. “You lucked into something a lot of guys wait years, maybe decades to find. You skipped all the frogs and found the prince.”
“Aww.” Ezra planted a sloppy kiss on Donner’s mouth. “That was super romantic, you know. I’m done kissing frogs, too.”
“Won’t kissing frogs give you mouth warts or something,” Alessandro asked.
Jaime patted his knee. “Not literal frogs, babe.”
“I’ve never heard of those.”
“Literal frogs. Do they live in the rainforest?”
Ezra started cackling. Drunk Alessandro was hilarious Alessandro, and that was probably Jaime’s cue to suggest everyone go to separate beds.
Donner leaned over and started whispering in Ezra’s ear, and whatever he said made Ezra’s eyes light up. Purple contact lens-covered eyes latched onto Jaime’s, and the seduction in them made Jaime’s stomach wobble. Ezra slunk off the sofa and plunked himself right onto Jaime’s lap. While Ezra was taller than him, he was also super-thin so he wasn’t very heavy.
“What—?” Jaime’s question was cut off by a finger against his lips.
Ezra’s finger. “My boyfriend seems to think we could alleviate some tension between our little quartet if I went ahead and kissed you.”
“Really?” Damn, his voice squeaked high. Jaime glanced over at Alessandro, who was watching them with wide eyes and very keen interest. His gaze swung to Donner, who didn’t appear drunk in the least, despite Jaime knowing better. Donner gave him a mock salute that didn’t do anything to soothe Jaime’s buzzing nerves.
“Why not?” Ezra traced a light touch across his cheek. “We’ve gotten pretty damned close a few times, but you always turned away.”
“I didn’t want to.”
Ezra leaned in close enough for Jaime to smell the whiskey on his breath. “Why not?”
“Because that’s only for Alessandro.”
A deft hand caressed his collarbone, then spent a moment outlining his pecs. “Is that right?”
“You’ve really never kissed another man?”
“No.” Jaime stared at Ezra’s pink lips, torn between loyalty to his boyfriend and curiosity over what it would feel like to kiss someone else. Grinding on a dance floor was one thing. Getting felt up still another. Somehow, in Jaime’s mind, kissing had become the one line he didn’t want to cross. The one thing, other than fucking, that was only for him and Alessandro.
“Do you want to?” Ezra scraped light nails across his throat, waking up his nerves. “Because I’m right here, and I think it could be a lot of fun.”
“I can’t touch my nose with my finger but my mind is clear enough. I’ve wanted to kiss your pretty red lips since that very first night at the Pot. When you were so green you attracted every dominant guy in the bar. You were magic that night.”
Jaime had never forgotten the joy he’d felt from dancing and being watched, being wanted by so many other guys. He’d only had eyes for Alessandro, despite the advances from various men, including Ezra. Sometimes he regretted settling down with the first guy to show him any real sexual interest, but that rarely lasted longer than a few seconds.
His relationship with Alessandro was everything.
He looked past Ezra, at Donner. “If I ever kiss Ezra, it’s because you’re all sober and we’re not doing it because Drunk Brain thinks it’s a good idea.”
Donner gave a slow not. Ezra pouted.
Alessandro relaxed completely next to him, and yeah, right call.
Ezra planted a wet kiss on the middle of Jaime’s forehead, then climbed off his lap and re-deposited himself onto Donner’s. The pair immediately started making out. Alessandro wrestled Jaime around until Jaime lay on his back on the couch, Alessandro draped all over him from above. His eyes were bleary, and yeah, he was past the point of great decision making. Good thing Jaime didn’t drink.
“Would have been hot,” Alessandro whispered. He left a trail of soft kisses along his jaw. “But glad you didn’t.”
“Me too.” He bit at Alessandro’s lower lip. “I don’t mind that I never had to kiss a frog.”
Alessandro lifted his head, eyebrows knitted together. “What is the obsession with frogs tonight?”
Jaime laughed. “I’ll explain in the morning.” Right now he had his very hot boyfriend to take care of. "Happy New Year, babe."
"Happy New Year."