Henry Kavalauskas spends a ton of time at the Vancouver airport. He works there; he hangs out there; he knows the world is bigger than his fast-food job and his parents' living room, and he wishes he could find a guy to take him out into it. Someone to shepherd him through its teeming cities and sleep beside him in its fine hotels. Someone like Zack Hoffman, to be quite specific, although Henry's first encounter with this short, sexy business traveler seems destined to be his last, seeing as how it takes place in an airport men's room.
But Zack's long-haul flight cancels, and when their paths cross again quite by chance at Henry's job—and Zack produces the key to a hotel room—Henry seizes the moment. The room's gorgeous, naked Zack is gorgeous; it's a dream come true for Henry. Until Reality barges in, chases Henry half-naked back into the airport, and raises some questions about Zack. "Is he who he says he is?" is one of them, sure, but the one that really nags at Henry is "What if I never see him again?"EXCERPT:
Zack’s man-of-the-world air makes Henry feel at once more awkward and more comfortable. He’s well accustomed to the appeal his long-hair, free-spirit look can have for button-down meeting-goers like Zack. And he knows the smell of Zack’s spunk, after all. He’s carried his cum in his hands, and this portable intimacy emboldens Henry, even as he feels self-conscious in his hard-worn work clothes across the table from Zack’s natty suit and shiny shoes.
Zack pushes back his chair. Henry’s ready to spring from his, and Zack stays him with an open palm. “I’m gonna run to the bathroom,” he says.
“Sure,” Henry says. His body’s buzzing. He shifts in his chair, but stays put, casual-like. Watches Zack’s butt bounce to the back of the restaurant. Notices for the first time that the White Spot’s kinda busy. A few groups cluster around the bar, conventioneers and co-workers gather and gab around tables. Henry’s eye snags on a few of the business types as they rotate, this gang in, this gang out, but none exhibit the allure of his bulldog. Zack’s electric vigor zaps the crowd the second he rounds the corner into view. Quacking into cell phones, squawking about sports, the other suits wash out and wither in his wake. Zack smiles at Henry and the other suits smudge from his world like an artificially artsy blurred edge on Instagram. All focus is on Zack, whose shoulders tell the story. He’s getting the attention he wants, and can’t be bothered with whatever scraps these guys are hoping for.
“Hey, so…” Zack says.
He hovers by the table, but does not sit. He finishes his beer and scans the crowd, tics the air with one polite finger for the check. With his other hand he fiddles with a small envelope of a golden color that makes Henry think of a Top Secret file for the world’s tiniest spy, or a prop from the board game Clue. He’s suddenly just the littlest bit nervous, and it turns Henry on. It’s time.
“I got a room at the Fairmont,” he says. “You know, last night when I missed my flight.”
“The Fairmont.” Henry raises his eyebrows. “You do travel in style.”
“Yeah, well, my company, you know…” Zack shrugs it off. “Anyway, yeah, it’s a pretty nice room. If you wanted to come up and check it out…”“Will they let me into the Fairmont looking like this?” Henry asks, only half teasing.
“We’ll tiptoe past the fashion police.”
“Well, if you think it’ll work.” Henry gets up from his chair. “I’ll follow you.”
Not like Henry doesn’t know the way. USA Departures is his turf, after all, and the grand, gilded
Airport Fairmont connects that terminal of prop planes and passport control to the rarefied world of luxury travel. At least, he rather supposes it does. He’s only ever been in the bar, and that maybe only twice. Henry doesn’t make a habit of cooling his heels in the posh spots. Someone’s always keeping an eye on the broke-looking dude with the backpack at a place like the Fairmont.Unless, of course, he’s in the company of a handsome young stud in a suit, in which case everyone’s all smiles and Good evening. The buzz-cut blond bellhop in the elevator even looks like he’s trying to think of a way to wrangle an invitation to the evening’s entertainment, but the most he can muster is, “You fellas have a good night” when they get off on the sixth floor.
“Oh, we’re gonna.” Henry can’t resist.
They take a second to orient themselves in the elevator foyer—these rooms are this way, these other rooms are that way, according to a discrete placard. Henry’s never spent the night in a hotel room, but Zack assures him, “When you stay in hotels all the time, they start to look alike. Sometimes it takes me a second to remember which room is this trip, which room was last time.” He laughs, then shortly sets a firm hand on Henry’s elbow to guide him. “This way.”
Even the hallway is luxurious; quiet, wide, all very understated, everything—the light, the carpet, the tasteful art—buttery soft and inviting. And when Zack slides the door open with a gentle click and ushers Henry inside, he wows like some Saskatchewan hick his first day off the farm. The tiled entry looks like the bomb squad detonated a suspect unclaimed bag—suitcase flung open, clothes everywhere but in the closet, a wet towel and two empty wine bottles clustered in one of the bathroom’s two doorways—but beyond it, the spacious room does indeed invite admiration. The far wall is all window, facing the tarmac, looking beyond the green glass of the terminal, across a slate sliver of sea, to the dusk-purple peaks of the Canadian Coastal Range. The vast bed—they could have invited the bellhop, Henry can’t help but think—is gleaming white, and Henry, who graduated from the crib to the couch, plops to bounce gleefully on the closest corner before he can stop himself. He runs a hand over the snowy expanse of feathers, looks over his shoulder—way over his shoulder—to the opposite corner, and swings back to leer at Zack.
“Good bed,” he says.
Zack loosens his tie, quickening Henry’s bouncing, and saunters into the adjacent tiled vault. “Bathroom’s not bad either,” he says.
Henry sails from the bed on the uptick of a bounce and lands in the doorway. Whew, he whistles. “No kidding, ‘not bad.’” he says.
The toilet is tucked away in its own shuttered cubby, the tub is long and deep, the counter by the sink flows over with complementary product, all very fancy. But Henry stands slack-jawed, entranced by the glass-front shower in the far corner of the room—and, more specifically, by the fact that it is designed to accommodate two.
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