Previous: There is no answer; there is no question

Four: please let me wake up and find myself found

The alarm went off at 6:30.

Jacob instinctively swatted at the nightstand to his right and pegged his funny bone against a wall. He lifted his head, confused and banged his knee on a windowsill while he rubbed the life back into his right arm.

The dim morning came through unfamiliar curtains.

Someone to his left smacked the shrill alarm silent.

"Sorry about that." A voice murmured from beneath soft gray sheets. "I keep forgetting to turn that goddamn thing off. It always goes off this early on Saturday morning. I'm a fucking idiot."

Jacob was horrified; he didn't know where he was.

He tried to trace back to the last thing he did remember? He remembered going to dinner with Olin and Pete, remembered walking up to Axis with them and going inside. He remembered ordering a few beers, drinking with Olin and wandering. He remembered some guy... Scotch, yes, he remembered that piece of shit. He remembered drinking with Scotch and then it started to get sketchy. He thought he recalled walking back to the apartment and reading... or did he read? No. He started to read and then decided to go out. He vaguely remembered walking into Union Station to drink more.

It seemed to end with more booze.

He looked sidelong at the form beneath the stone colored sheets.

He'd gone home with someone he'd met at Union Station... and had, from his lack of clothes and the presence of lubricant and condoms on the nightstand, had sex with him but he didn't remember any of it.

What the FUCK did I do?

He tried to remember something about who the guy was or what they'd done. He leaned toward the man under the sheet to see something of his face and he realized that he didn't even know what he looked like.

SHIT! Please do not let this be Scotch!

He reached forward and carefully drew the sheet.

The man's face was plain and attractive. He looked in his late twenties, had short, bed-mussed, brown hair. His nose seemed to turn a hair to the left as if it had been broken at one time. He looked normally clean-shaven although, at the moment, his face had a fine, dark shadow.

This was not Scotch. Thank God! But who the hell is it?

Jacob pulled the sheet past the guy's chin. He had deeply tanned skin and a thin blue cross tattooed on his throat, near his collarbone, below the line where a shirt would show.

Jacob leaned back against the wall and broke contact with the stranger's warm skin on his thighs. He searched looked for some way of escape.

The room was small and had unimpressive, worn furniture; it reminded Jacob of the room he and Ryan had shared for the last year. The bed was a double, pressed tightly against the wall beneath the window. At its foot was a narrow chest of drawers with barely enough room to open them. A nightstand sat just to the side of the bed, a computer desk and chair sat against the right wall and a scarred dresser, scattered with pictures in frames, against the left near the nightstand. The door lay on the far side of the room, in a direct line with Jacob and the stranger's tangle of clothes.

It seemed to Jacob as if the best path out would be down the foot of the bed, past the chest and collect his clothes to the door.

He gave another look to the stranger, extracted himself carefully from the sheet, tucked it under the guy and then slid to the end and stood beside the chest of drawers.

The figure didn't move.

Good. He hoped he would get out before he woke anyone. He hoped this guy didn't have any roommates fond of fixing breakfast at 6:30.

The floor creaked mercilessly and he stopped in mid-step. The figure was still. He braved it again, this time he spread out his weight to minimize the noise. He shifted his weight and tested the floor, slowly stalked around the room and located his clothes piece by piece.

He put on a sock then his underwear and looked around for the other sock. It was on the dresser, draped over a blown-up photograph.

Jacob picked up the photo. In it, the guy lying in bed- who looked rather handsome, actually- held his arm around a beautiful blond woman. He held onto her hand that rested on her shoulder. She looked familiar.

He sat down the frame and looked casually back at the sleeping figure. From this angle he could see that the guy was awake and watching him.

Jacob snatched his sock from the dresser and pulled it on in an attempt to act as if he wasn't snooping.

"How are you feeling?" The man asked.

Jacob hadn't really thought about it but he felt like shit. That usually happened when he stopped drinking water between drinks.

"I'm OK." He lied and looked for his jeans.

The guy stretched and propped up on one arm in the bed. His face looked more like the handsome guy in the photo now. He slid his hand over his wild hair in an attempt to tame it and the movement made Jacob notice the small silver bar through his left nipple.

"You don't have to leave so early." He said, "I'm sorry about the alarm, I have to get up early weekdays and I always forget about it. I always forget to turn it back on for Monday, too." He chuckled. "Double edge sword."

"Mmm... hmmm." Jacob mumbled while he pulled up his pants. He zipped them quickly then found his shirt.

The man's eyes narrowed. "Jacob."

"Uh huh?" Jacob pulled on his t-shirt and found the blue button-up he'd worn over it. He was interested in nothing more than getting dressed and retreating back to Olin's place. He wasn't paying attention.

"Hey!" The guy's voice was stern. "Jacob."

Jacob turned to face him; he was annoyed at the insistence in his voice.

"Umm... My name is Kelly." He smiled. "I didn't think you would remember it from last night."

Jacob stared at him then nodded. "Sorry. I guess... I got a little drunk last night." He collected his shoes and sat at the computer desk to tie them. "It was fun." He concentrated too hard on his laces. "I need to go home."

Kelly raised his eyebrows and sat up more.

"Umm... you don't...?" he started as if he were asking a question but stopped and corrected himself. "Maybe I should let you should know that we didn't fuck last night." Kelly held up a connected line of unopened condoms with a dry smirk. "You passed out shortly after we got naked. I was only a little less drunk but I went out shortly after you."

Jacob exhaled loudly and then smiled back at him, relieved, embarrassed. "Would it be insulting to you if I told you that I was glad we didn't?"

"I guess it depends on the reason." Kelly replied and then laughed. "And don't act so relieved - I think a lot of guys wouldn't mind waking up naked next to me."

Jacob held his hands before him. "No, no." He laughed. "It’s not that at all... I just wasn't planning on meeting anyone last night, let alone go home with someone." Jacob sat back in the chair and relaxed a little. "I just don't normally do that. It's just not my usual thing."

Kelly shrugged and shifted to sit up in bed; the sheets covered the tops of his legs and waist. He had a thin, muscular frame and his hands seemed stained with dark ink or paint. "Well, I wasn't expecting guests either - as you'll see when you walk back though my apartment." He stretched; his left arm had a wide, pink scar that ran from his wrist to the fold of his elbow. He pulled his arm back and ran his hand back into his hair. "Damn I hate waking up this early on a fucking Saturday."

The scar on Kelly's arm distracted Jacob and he forced himself to not look at it. Almost any type of scar reminded him of Ryan and this particular one looked dangerously familiar. There were certain protocols Jacob had learned when it came to such things and, while he wanted to ask Kelly how he had gotten this one, he knew that it was one of those questions that would remain unasked - for a while.

He finished dressing and looked at himself in the dresser's mirror.

"You look like shit." Kelly said and Jacob agreed with him. "I think you probably had more to drink than the entire table last night."

Jacob looked back to Kelly. "The entire table?"

Kelly laughed. "Jesus Christ. Were you that drunk when you met us?"

"I don’t remember much..." He paused. "Umm... anything." His mouth was terribly dry. His lack of memory for the night before - save the unfortunate run-in with Scotch - made him feel uneasy about the entire night. His head felt strange and unlike a hangover in some way.

Kelly smiled wide and adjusted the shifting sheet as he moved.

Jacob saw Kelly's dark tan end abruptly below his waist and start again near his upper thighs; it was treacherously appealing. "I guess I may have drank too fast last night at Axis before going over to Union Station... did I seem really fucked up?"

"A little, but not that bad." Kelly leaned forward to grab a pair of red flannel boxers from the floor. "You met us around 11." He paused. "Me, Jan and Aaron." He gave Jacob a dubious look. "You did seem a lot friendlier last night."

Jacob smiled and opened his hands towards the clothes on the floor. "Apparently." He checked instinctively for his wallet and keys.

"I'd noticed when you walked in and sat by yourself by the bar. Jan's the one who invited you over." He motioned to the photo that Jacob had been holding earlier. "She said you looked like you could use some company. It was fun, we were glad you decided to sit with us."

Jacob glanced over at the photo. "Oh! Okay." He understood now why she seemed familiar. "Yeah. Actually, I think I do remember a little of that." He thought of the first question that had come to mind from the photo. "But she isn't your girlfriend, is she?" He was certain, in the haze from last night, the third man, Aaron, was with her.

"No." Kelly replied, amused. "But that photo does makes us look like the happy couple, doesn't it? She's one of my best friends." He said. "I've known her and Aaron for several years. She's with Aaron. Do you remember him?"

"Vaguely." Jacob replied. "I'm sure more will come back to me as I'm reminded." He started to feel anxious to leave again and checked for the key to Olin's apartment.

Kelly hid behind the sheet while he pulled up his boxers and then stood out and collected his other clothes. He removed some cash and his wallet from his pants and set them on the dresser. "Look," he said. "I can tell you're kind of freaked out by this. I understand." He stood before Jacob and held out his hand for Jacob to shake it. "I'm Kelly Lehman."

Jacob smiled and shook Kelly's hand. "You obviously know my name." He was keenly aware of Kelly's bare skin. He forced himself to look away and yawned.

"You know, I wasn't lying when I said you didn't have to leave yet." He thumbed toward the bed. "I promise that I'll let you sleep- I'll even go sleep on the couch."

"No." Jacob shook his head. "I should get back to the apartment." He paused and imagined the look on Olin's face if he walked in during breakfast. "My cousin has an overactive maternal instinct and he will either skin or throw me a surprise 'got laid' party when I get home."

"OK. I understand." Kelly opened his dresser drawer and grabbed a pair of cut-off shorts and pulled them on. He looked up at Jacob as he buttoned the fly and grinned. "It still feels like a one-night stand, doesn't it?"

Jacob nodded. "Yea, it does."

"I'm telling you the truth when I said we didn't do anything last night."

"Ummm anything?"

Kelly blushed and rolled his eyes a little. "Well, we made out pretty heavy and of course we got naked so there was a little of this and that... but... nothing else OK?"

"OK" Jacob motioned to the unopened condoms. "I trust you."

"Good..." Kelly reached up his hand and cautiously pulled Jacob's face to his. He kissed him softly on the mouth. "Do." And he let go.

A smile crept across Jacob's face and he actually blushed. He wasn't expecting that at all.

"I tell you what," Kelly rubbed his hands together and looked across the computer desk for something. "Why don't you come with me to Comfest next weekend. It's all pointless, hippy-trippy garbage, but you might have fun. Or hell, just come out and sit by the lake and we can people watch. My friends and I don't really do much, other than just hang out, but we throw the Aerobe some afternoons as well." He pointed to a fluorescent yellow ring that sat on the chest of drawers. "We play on the north side of Goodale Park. You should join us."

Unsure of how to respond and still buzzing a little from the kiss, Jacob shrugged. "Maybe."

"Well, think about it." Kelly laughed. He found what he was looking for: a pad of hot pink post-it notes and a pen. He wrote his number and something else on the top sheet then pulled it off and folded it. He handed it to Jacob. "Here." He said. "This is my number. If you feel like it, just call me, alright? Or Hell, if you feel like it, just go out there and find us sometime, we go out there all summer."

Jacob picked the slip of paper from Kelly's fingers and tucked it in his pocket. He wasn't at all sure of how to react; but for some reason it felt good. "OK." He gave into it. "I'll call."

Next:Little depth but lots of skin and penis

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