Josh berated himself a bit after their Monday night encounter in the hallway, faulting himself for the tension between the two of them. He had promised Sam that there would be no weirdness—that everything between them would be the same, no matter what, and he planned to make good on that promise. So the next day, despite the fact that his mind was still rolling over and over the weekend's events, on the outside it was business as usual. He treated Sam the same in senior staff; before he went out to get lunch he popped by Sam's office to see if he wanted a sandwich; and he called him to let him in on the latest practical joke that he and Toby had conjured up for CJ.
He wasn't sure whether it pleased or unnerved him, but Sam seemed 100% normal as well. Josh had paid careful attention for any signs of tension, but Sam continued to be Sam--smiling at him in conversation, throwing him expressive glances in that Josh-and-Sam language only they could understand, not shying away from touching him or being close to him. Since Sam had a notoriously bad poker face, Josh was sure that he was genuinely comfortable with all of this.
As the week wore on, Josh's view of the situation shifted, and he began to feel strongly that maybe Sam really was right about Josh being repressed. Sam was clearly in touch with his sexuality, and Josh was clearly not. The fact that Josh had effectively propositioned him was more or less evidence that Sam had already won the bet. As he wondered, for the hundredth time, what Sam must think of him now, he felt embarrassed, but also confused, wondering what, outside of his sometimes irrational competitiveness and a general inability to say no to Josh, Sam could possibly be getting out of this.
Rather quickly, Josh had come to terms with a few facts. For one, he was more than a little curious about being with a man and had been for a long time. His attempts to do so—the gay bar and porn he had told Sam about—had been more honest attempts than he had ever admitted at gaining an understanding of his attraction, and the lifestyle that went with it. He'd always written it off to whimsy and the fact that he was drunk when he explored both, but he now saw clearly that this was more than a whim.
So now—now that he was being a little more honest with himself—he allowed himself to indulge in thoughts of how men smelled, and how they looked in expensive suits, and the depth of their voices. It didn't escape him that Sam was absolutely gorgeous, and he'd often, sometimes jealously, admired his beauty. Now he entertained thoughts—dare he call them fantasies—of what it would be like between them. And for the first time, his thoughts crossed a line from detached wonderment to the beginnings of arousal.
So he waited for Sam to make the first move, and on Friday, he did. In the early evening, following a meeting with Leo and the President, Josh returned to his office to find an envelope penned to him in Sam's hand. The note read as follows.
1. You will not be party to the scheduling of the encounter. I
will choose the time and setting, and when the moment comes, you
2. You may ask me to slow down or pause at any time. However, the safe word, to make everything stop, is `Geronimo'.
3. The winner will announce his prize on the night following the encounter, where we will convene at Wolfgang's for drinks at 8PM. Any final business pertaining to the bet or to the encounter will be settled that night.
For the first time ever, Sam was thankful for his grueling hours, which had worsened in the weeks following he and Josh's bet. They were writing the State of the Union address, which meant that Sam spent long hours holed up in his office, making it so that he didn't have to see too much of Josh, and when he did see him, they had plenty of White House business to discuss, and little danger of things turning personal…or weird.
Not that things *were* weird, at least not yet. Josh had a terrible poker face, and was making good on his promise that nothing would change. Sam had studied him carefully for subtle signs of tension that he was sure, as his best friend, he'd be able to see. But Josh was acting perfectly normal—seeing if he wanted anything at lunch, rolling his eyes and giving him pointed looks at various developments (that only they would thing were funny) in meetings, letting him in on the latest office hijinx…he didn't know whether to be relieved or disappointed that Josh was so okay with all of it, and he began doubting his initial reaction.
This idea—that he had it all wrong—consumed every free moment of his thoughts. He was under so much pressure to work on the speech at the White House that he was able to get in the zone and focus on the address, but at random times—in line at Starbuck's or in the car on his way home—he could not stop himself from wondering whether he'd projected his own feelings so hard that the idea of Josh being gay was an invention of his own mind. He wracked his brain, wondering if small gestures he'd taken as signals over the years, like Josh letting his eyes linger sometimes when Sam was in a tux, or him touching him longer than anyone else did when they hugged goodbye or posed for a picture, he'd taken too seriously.
He did not miss the irony in the fact that he'd spent years—their entire friendship, in fact—lusting after Josh, entertaining vivid fantasies about him, and wishing for an opportunity, even if only just once, to have him. But now that the situation had presented itself, Sam didn't think he knew how to suspend his immaculately exercised restraint for just one night and then go on as if it were all okay. Still, now that the ball was rolling, he knew he would not back out—that it was only a matter of time before he made it happen and everything changed.
Some two weeks had passed since their initial drunken conversation at the reflecting pool, and Sam was developing a plan that was, so far, half-baked but unfolding more every day. It would happen at Josh's house. Sam would pick a night he knew Josh was home alone and use his key to get in. Given the 90%-plus probability that Josh would freak out in some way, shape or form before they even got started, getting him to relax would be the first order of business. And from there, Sam would just do his thing, and hope their friendship could survive.
"Do you think he's seeing anyone?"
Startled out of his reverie by Donna's voice, Josh suddenly realized that he'd been caught staring at Sam. With greater horror, he wondered whether Donna, who seemed to have a nose for just about everything, somehow knew about he and Sam. He studied her eyes for clues. When he didn't answer her question, she asked again. He finally found his voice.
"I…don't think so. I mean, nothing serious that I know about. Why?"
"Do you remember my friend Jessica? Well, she's been bugging me to get her a date with Sam."
"Why are you asking me? You're friends with Sam too," he almost whined.
"I know, but Sam gets asked out every ten minutes. Just look at him… he's the hottest thing in the west wing…"
Josh shouldn't have, but he did look. And Donna, who continued to prattle on despite the fact that Josh no longer heard his words, was exactly right. Presently, a small handful of women from NOW swarmed about a tuxedo-clad Sam, all smiling flirtatiously as he smiled charmingly, his blue eyes shining. Sam was so irresistible that he could woo feminists! Man, he was in trouble.
"That rhymed," he managed weakly.
She'd completely lost him. Suddenly his bowtie felt too tight.
"Donna…why are we talking about how hot Sam is?"
"Because, Josh…you are his best friend and I'm sure you have some influence over who he goes out with. Do it for me?" she pleaded.
"I'll see what I can do—who is she again?"
Quiet and pensive, Sam was leaning on a wall that separated one of the White House ballrooms from its outer garden. The air was crisp and cool, and his tuxedo jacket was just enough to keep him warm. Through the open doors he looked in at the party, still in full swing.
"You always did like lingering in the shadows, didn't you?"
He smiled, recognizing the voice of the man who had walked up behind him. He didn't look up as Josh leaned his forearms on the wall, looking in at the party, mimicking Sam's own posture. It was true, Sam could play the part well enough, but he really had tired of these affairs. He preferred doing what he was doing now—people watching from the sidelines—to mingling.
"I'm a behind the scenes kind of guy," Sam said, his smile carrying
to his voice.
"Don't worry—I won't tell any of the girls from NOW where you are."
"Yet another reason why I hide."
They both smiled. Josh handed him a glass of champagne, and even though Sam had been stealing glances at Josh all night, this was the first time he met his eyes. A combination of that and the way their fingers brushed together as the glass was transferred sent a small shock of electricity through him. Though it had become easier over the years to hide his feelings, their bet had dredged up a host of long-buried emotions, and it had once again become difficult to mask the truth. Now that they'd worked in the White House together, and Sam felt that in some ways Josh knew him better than ever, he feared that his eyes would give everything away.
"Thanks" he managed, struggling, as always, to keep his voice even and nonchalant.
Both men looked back in at the party. After a moment, Josh slowly, agonizingly for Sam, pulled apart his bowtie and let it hang loosely around his neck. They stood in otherwise comfortable silence for a few minutes, just sipping their champagne.
"Donna sent me" Josh said finally "…she has a friend she wants me to
fix you up with, and she thinks I have influence over who you date.
I told her I don't."
"Why doesn't she just ask me herself?"
"'Cause you're the hottest thing in the west wing"
He thought he heard wrong. He looked at Josh in alarm just as Josh looked at him in alarm.
"Those were Donna's words" he explained, "Apparently you get asked out so often that she wants me to get her friend on your VIP list."
They both turned back to the party. Sam's heart was still pounding in his chest from what he thought Josh might've meant by his comment, and he finally realized that this was all too much to handle. Since they'd made their bet he'd spent way too much time being careful about his words—not wanting Josh to read double entendres into anything he said lest he sound too flirtatious. On top of that, he'd been reading too far into almost everything that Josh said. Now he found himself hiding, not from the NOW women but from Josh himself, who looked too good in his tuxedo for Sam to trust himself not to say or do anything that wouldn't be noticed by Josh, or worse, somebody else. He had to get it out of his system. Tonight was the night.
"I think I'm gonna get out of here soon—I've got some work to finish
up at home. How `bout you?" Sam offered finally, making sure to
sound casual. He did not want to tip Josh off to his plans.
"I'll probably go home, watch TV, go to bed…"
"Want to walk out together?"
So they did, like they'd done a thousand times before. Except this time, after they picked up their stuff from their respective offices and parted ways in the parking garage, Sam followed Josh home. He drove slowly, making sure not to arrive any sooner than fifteen minutes behind him. When he reached his block, he drove around it until he saw Josh's car parked nearby. Sam parked his own car a couple blocks away and walked to Josh's street, leaning against a broken streetlight as he looked up at Josh's windows. At first the living room light was on. Then, for just a few minutes, the bedroom light was on. Thirty minutes after the room went black, and he was sure Josh had fallen asleep, Sam finally made his move, using his key to let himself into the building, then into Josh's apartment.
Josh awoke to the sensation of strong arms around his waist and something warm nuzzling at his earlobe. If he'd been more coherent, he would have heard the first soft moan that originated from deep within him; but he was still half asleep, and it took him a few minutes to realize that this was not a dream—that he was indeed enveloped in a full body spoon that started with soft but urgent lips at his neck, continued with a hard mound grinding in to his behind, and extended to their entangled legs and feet—and realized with considerable alarm that this was it.
This time he did hear his own voice and recognized a tone of insistency and hunger he didn't think he'd ever used before. This felt unbelievable. Without stopping to think about it, he shifted his hips, grinding back into Sam, wanting more of the new sensation of an erection pressing against his body. He heard a little sound escape his friend's lips, and a wave of heat pulsed through him as Sam pushed back. A moment later, he felt Sam's warm, skilled tongue lapping lusciously at his neck, then his ears, then biting the juncture between the nape of his neck and his shoulder. He whimpered in ecstasy—felt himself in sensory overload—this was better than anything he'd felt in a long, long time.
Sam's hand moved down from its firm hold on the middle of Josh's chest, and Josh was suddenly reminded of their bet—reminded that he'd bet Sam that their encounter wouldn't even arouse him. He didn't know whether he was terrified of or aching for Sam to touch his engorged phallus—it was probably a lot of both. He was more than a little disappointed when the straying hand found its way under his shirt and began moving back up in the other direction.
Suddenly, Sam's fingers were brushing over his scar and rolling an erect nipple, which sent a delicious stab of pleasure through Josh. He lifted his arm, bending it backwards so that his hands were in Sam's hair. Turning his head as far as he could and lifting his chin, he strained to make their lips touch, needing to taste him immediately. Lifting his lips from the nape of Josh's neck, Sam came to meet him, kissing him deeply, thoroughly, expertly, causing Josh to groan lightly into his mouth, disarmed by the sheer delectability of it all.
In one swift movement, Josh's aggressive nature kicked back in, and he sat up and pulled Sam with him. His body was now acting of its own volition, his rational mind nowhere to be found. Being the impatient soul he was, and as someone accustomed to dominating in bed, Josh lifted himself and a seemingly surprised Sam to their knees until they faced each other. Josh slid his hands up Sam's body until they rested firmly on Sam's neck and chin, forcing them to look at each other for the first time. Both men were out of breath; and the only light in the room was the tiniest hint of streetlight, which illuminated their eyes just enough to let each man see what he needed to know.
Even in the darkness, Josh could see that Sam was gorgeous as ever, his face beautifully flushed. For several moments, they stared at one another, living their habit of communicating without words. He hadn't known how he expected Sam to be in this situation, but as he looked into his eyes he saw flashes of many emotions—love, fear, reassurance, more fear. As Josh imagined what he must be thinking, he realized Sam was undoubtedly trying to read him, and finding the same emotions behind his eyes. Not breaking their gaze, Sam lifted his hands to Josh's elbows, and slid his fingers up Josh's forearms until they covered his hands. He lifted one of their joined hands, turning his head slightly until his lips kissed Josh's palm tenderly. Josh's heart did a special flip-flop at that—one that was different than all the flip-flopping it had been doing since he'd found Sam in his bed.
And the next thing he knew, he was pulling Sam in for a kiss—one that was still rougher and harder and more distinctly male than he was used to, but one that was more soft and expressive than the others. It was in that moment that Josh felt their relationship shift at its core—sex was one thing, but whatever was happening between them now was something else completely.
Within that kiss—that beautiful, gentle kiss—Sam felt himself careening over the edge of a cliff he'd barely dared to step up to much less look over a few weeks before. It wasn't a bad kind of falling—it was more like flying—like being free for the very first time. He'd known that if Josh managed not to freak out, and went with it, that their encounter would bring him a degree of specialness and pleasure he would never find with anybody else. But he'd never imagined it could be like *this*—never imagined that Josh's response would be so lustful and so intimate at the same time.
He wanted to lose himself—wanted to surrender to what both of their bodies seemed to be telling them to do. But a little voice in the back of his head reminded him that he was supposed to be in control; that he was supposed to be guiding Josh; that for Josh, this was experimental, and Sam was supposed to be making the experiment safe; that regardless of how right this felt now, this was only one night, and Josh would undoubtedly wake to discover he was still straight.
He felt Josh deepen their kiss, and pull him closer. But when Josh's lips left Sam's, he felt empty, disappointed, and waited for the inevitable "Geronimo". It wasn't until he felt Josh's hands at his sides and realized that his shirt was being pulled off that it registered, perhaps for the first time, that Josh really was going to go through with it. He opened his eyes just in time to feel Josh's arm slide around his waist and see his lips descend upon a taut nipple. Sam barely swallowed his moans as Josh worked one, then the other nipple with his teeth, and let the hand that gripped his waist move down to grip his ass. Josh worked his lips back to Sam's neck, sucking and biting greedily, causing Sam to bite his lip.
"Surrender" Josh whispered in a voice that was duly loving and commanding.
Was it really natural for any one person to have such an effect on another person, Sam wondered? Josh had always been able to disarm him, so it was no surprise that Sam did as Josh told him, releasing his hips, their boxer-clad erections finally touching. The sensation made Sam's already raging hard-on positively painful. They rubbed themselves together that way for only a few moments, Josh's mouth still affixed to Sam's neck, before falling onto the bed in a mutual haste to disrobe themselves completely. By the time Sam was removing Josh's shirt, both pair of undershorts lay discarded on the floor, and Josh's hands were already traveling down to Sam's cock. When he got hold of it, it was Sam's turn not to recognize his own voice. He had never been a loud, but feeling Josh stroke him, tentatively at first, but then like someone who had done this to another man a thousand times before, caused him to let his head fall back and emit a small cry as he began thrusting into Josh's hand.
He reopened his eyes, wanting to take a mental picture of Josh pumping his cock—a picture that would undoubtedly become the object of all future fantasies. As soon as he did, he knew it was only a matter of seconds before he could no longer contain his release.
"Surrender, Sam…" Josh whispered again.
It was Josh's voice that sent him over the edge. His body quaked with orgasm as Josh continued stroking, his cum shooting onto his stomach as soft whimpery moans echoed through the room. He must've lost a couple of seconds after that, because the next thing he knew, his breathing was slower and Josh was bent over him, wiping his stomach clean with a soft hand towel. He looked straight at Josh's groin—to the turgid cock he still hadn't had a chance to touch but was now desperate to worship—and lifted his hand to cup Josh's balls. This caused Josh to drop the towel and let out a little sound. Sam's heart skipped. Now it was his turn.
With one of Sam's hands working at his balls as the other one lightly, teasingly, stroked his cock, Josh found himself utterly unable to perform any function other than enjoyment. It felt so good that he ached for more, but at the same time so perfect that he was almost afraid to move. His eyelids were heavy with his pleasure, but he kept them open in order to look at Sam, who was staring up at him beatifically. He could see that Sam was receiving pleasure from seeing Josh's pleasure; moreover, he could see that the mischievous part of Sam relished the control he held over him. His movements intensified, and Josh saw his eyes darken with desire.
Before he could process what was happening, Sam had pushed him off of the bed onto his feet, and was slamming him forcefully against the bookshelves that lined the wall opposite the bed. Despite the shelves that dug into his back (or maybe because of them), Josh decided that he really liked being manhandled. Sam was almost never rough or aggressive and seeing this darker side of him was incredible.
When Sam dropped to his knees and Josh realized where this was going, he gripped onto the shelves with both hands and closed his eyes as he felt the wetness of Sam's mouth slide in around him. The initial descent was slow—painfully so—but when he opened his eyes, hoping to urge Sam's ministrations with a silent, pleading glance, the sight of Sam's mouth sliding off of him, with his swollen, pouting lips still connected to a silky thread of pre-come, Josh felt that he wanted this delicious pain to last forever.
Sam's blue eyes, now so, so, dark, held Josh's gaze for a long, long moment, before he lowered his long lashes and went back at Josh's cock. Unlike the women who had done this to him before, Sam's touch wasn't too light, or hesitant, nor his mouth too small to take him in completely. On the contrary, Sam enveloped him firmly and completely; and, as he allowed his sucking to become rhythmic, then faster, he gripped his behind, as if to drive Josh deeper and deeper into him, as if he couldn't get enough. By that time, Josh was growling in pleasure, thrusting into his mouth, and rather close to coming when Sam stopped abruptly.
"Ohgodsampleasedontstop…", he pleaded.
Sam just looked up at him wickedly—evilly, Josh imagined—as air that felt cold stung his all-too-recently warm and wet cock. Sam licked his index finger, slowly, dramatically before circling it around Josh's anus. Surprised and a bit afraid, he froze up a little bit. Then he heard his own words escape Sam's lips.
"Surrender, Josh…" he soothed.
So he did. And the sensation of Sam's finger sliding into him turned out to be amazing. Just as he became accustomed to the feeling of Sam's finger moving in and out of him, slowly, wonderfully, Sam took hold of his cock once again and slid his lips around it. This was almost too much. Sam steadied his movements into a synchronous rhythm and Josh felt his orgasm begin a hasty descent upon him. He resumed his uncontrollable moaning, which was now louder and more urgent.
"Imgonnacome…", he managed, unable not to slur the words.
And with that, Sam did something—touched some different spot that sent the most intense lightning bolt of pleasure he'd ever experienced throughout his body. In an instant, he came violently, crying out in earnest as his hot semen squirted down Sam's throat. As he made his final thrust, Sam took him in even deeper, which felt indescribably intimate.
When it was all over, Sam gave him some space, and he slumped onto the floor, where they collapsed into one another's arms. He didn't know which one of them ushered them to bed, or which one held which throughout the night. But he did know that it was the most gratifying experience of his life, and that, despite his cocky assertions that this wouldn't happen and nothing would change, he would never, ever be the same.