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Liminal

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It all starts because Caleb has to pee at four am. One of the most important rules of LA is always stay hydrated, stay fresh. There’s a reason Freckle puts on moisturizer with a trowel. Side effects like needing to pee thirty times a day are just to be put up with. When he comes back to the bedroom it’s hard to get on the bed without jostling his sleeping companions. A queen mattress is not meant for three. It’s even harder to fall asleep. It’s just dawn enough that the room is starting to be distractingly bright. His half closed eyelids keep springing open and noticing an interesting shadow, or the blank patch of wall that’s eternally blank because he keeps changing his mind on what sort of art to purchase for it.

Impatient for sleep to come Caleb rolls onto his back. It doesn’t help. He rolls onto his side next. It doesn’t help. He waits a few annoying minutes, then rolls back onto his back. Not only does the third change in position still not work, it’s enough to get a more asleep than awake “guuuh?” from Billy.

If Caleb was a good friend he’d say nothing, let him drift off again. But Caleb is a man who likes drama. Freckle is his bestie, after all. So he says “nothing, just can’t sleep,” and pitches it in the exact right tone to get Billy to react.

Sure enough, the man opens an eye and asks, “are you alright?”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“Well, do you want to smoke a bowl? It’ll help you get right back into la-la land.”

Yes, Caleb wants that. There’s a certain way pot feels to him, like trying on one of Benicio’s slinkier dresses. It’ll feel sexy to do it with Billy. It’ll feel like he’s doing something sexy with Billy, again, even if that’s not how Billy feels about him and their one off.

By mutual silent agreement they sit up carefully. Caleb goes and gets his makeup bag full of recreationals. When he gets back Billy has opened the window. He hadn’t thought of that, but it makes sense. Sort of rude to hotbox Karen while she’s still asleep. They sit on the edge of the bed, frameless box spring making their bodies sink low, requiring them to cross their legs so their knees aren’t in their throats.

The spark of the flame is a flash of orange in the periwinkle blue that the open window is bathing them in. Caleb’s eye flare makes Billy seem to glow black. He’s art, in a Michelangelo’s David, eroticism of the male form kind of way. Next there’s the faint noise of Billy inhaling and the fire consuming the weed. Caleb watches Billy’s chest quiver to hold in the smoke. He wants to put his mouth on Billy, lick his collarbone. Finally comes the sound of Billy’s exhale. The accompanying whitish smoke billows through the air.

Billy passes him the pipe. It still has a glowing ember of burning weed, so Caleb quickly puts the tip in his mouth and sucks in all the sweet smelling smoke. It fills his lungs and he struggles to hold steady, keep the smoke in as long as he can so it has the most affect. He exhales with tightly pulled lips, blowing it out in a small stream. Thank fuck for his Malibu dealer. It’s strong shit, one minute in and it’s already starting to affect him.

They pass it back and forth, rapidly turning the beautiful green nugget into grey ash. Caleb can feel himself get more and more high. It transforms from the base level of hungry and feeling annoyed about itchy eyes to noticing every small detail around him, like the pilling on his blanket and an odd crinkling sound. He feels like his skin is vibrating at a different speed than his muscles and bones. He feels like his soul has an erection, rather than just his body.

Caleb checks that the bowl is cashed and puts the pipe on the floor. He wants to start stroking the skin of Billy's hand and wrist, see how far up the sleeve he can get, but real life isn't like that. Billy might get pissed. What he can do is lay back and open the belt of his pants. He starts rubbing his hand over his cock, only the thin fabric of his underwear stopping him from getting skin-on-skin satisfaction.

After a moment of brave debauchery, he risks glancing to the side. Billy is looking at him like he's fire, or a lion, or a siren. A violent beauty, luring someone to a pleasurable death. Caleb soaks in the magnificent feeling and doesn't stop moving his hand for a second. He’s so fuckin’ hard for Billy, and this heightening of his senses.

What he’s doing now is the perfect coy, submissive shit to get Billy interested. Maybe he has gender role issues, considering that he’s attracted to dominant women and weak men. If Caleb exploits that the smallest bit, so be it.

Sure enough, after a minute of watching from half-lidded eyes Billy rolls on top of him. He clamps his hand down on Caleb and Billy sucks Caleb’s lip between his teeth, and bites down. The miniscule point of pain goes right to Caleb’s dick. Billy switches then to a messy, open mouthed kiss. He’s squirming non-stop, their shirts getting rucked up by friction. Billy’s hands are both up, adjusting Caleb’s head to the right angle, pulling on his soft, newly showered hair. Caleb's never made out with someone so frantic. He wants to soothe him, but not if it means giving up this kiss. Billy tastes like caramels which, come to think of it, was probably the crinkly wrapper noise. Thanks to living the studio apartment life, Caleb’s kitchen cupboards are right beside his bed.

They're interrupted by Karen sitting up. Caleb's not sure if Billy's hand on his head knocked her ankle too. Or maybe the smell of smoke has permeated her unconscious senses. Whatever the reason, there’s no question that they are outed once and once again. The queer shit or sneaking drugs, what’s going to be more of a problem to her?

Billy stiffens and won't look up, like there's a firing squad. Caleb doesn't have enough room granted to him to look up, or even move. He’s not sure if he would, if he could. The pot is making this feel so tense Caleb can barely stand it. He's got a million things to say, and enough paranoia to think every single one of them would make things worse.

"Why don't you come up here, Billy, Billyboy?"

Billy pushes himself first off Caleb, and then scrambles up to the top of the bed. If it wasn't for the weed Caleb might start screaming in frustration. Every single goddamn time he’s about to get what he wants, it gets ripped away from him. A fucking miracle taken back hurts more than not getting it in the first place. It’s not fair.

Well, fuck all his LA therapy bullshit, Caleb's not about to accept Karen stealing Billy from him. With a carefully crafted attitude Caleb goes up the bed too, and spoons closely behind Billy. It's like all the driving around in the car yesterday. Earlier today. Whatever. Holding Billy's hand while he kisses someone else is only one of many humiliations Caleb will put up with.

There's nothing that says he can't get his own attention, however. Caleb starts slowly undulating his hips into Billy's. He's still wearing underwear, and Billy's wearing jeans, but he must at the very least feel the shape of Caleb's erection. It falls somewhere between surprise and glory when Billy starts rocking backwards, driving his ass into Caleb's groin. Aware that Karen is really dominating Billy’s mouth, Caleb wants to even the playing field a bit more. He uses his left elbow to prop himself up higher than the two bodies with heads on pillows. The height gives him the ability to start licking and kissing Billy's neck. Gently. Sexily. They're all too mature for hickeys. Splotchy bruises would mess with auditions, the bread and butter of half the people he knows. Lord does Caleb want to anyway.

Suddenly Billy is levering himself out of both of their grips. Caleb’s pulse spikes for a moment, fearing the moment wrecked, but thank god, Billy doesn’t actually leave them. He rests on his knees and sets his open shirt on the ground, then pushes his jeans and boxers to his knees. It's not until he's laying back down that he gets them kicked all the way off.

This time he rolls to face Caleb, not Karen. Caleb doesn't waste any time with hesitation, maybe because he knows Billy might take him up on it. Instead he grabs the blond's face and starts kissing him like he's proving something, while stroking his bare hairy thigh. This is more personal than a blowjob. Caleb wants to take it slow.

It’s the first time he’s ever imagined Billy bottoming. Even Caleb’s jerk-off fantasies haven’t dared to be so ludicrous. But Billy is moaning as Caleb is jerking him, chest to chest, and he’s almost positive both of Karen’s hands are on Billy’s ass.

“I want to fuck you, Billy,” Caleb says, voice only the slightest bit artificially lowered. Is it still acting if it’s what he’d want to do anyway? “I promise you’ll like it.”

Whether Billy reacts to Karen licking his ear, Caleb’s promise, or Caleb’s husky tone he’ll never know. But like some sort of Christmas miracle -especially miraculous considering it’s May- Karen and he are switching spots, climbing over Billy like he’s the Dukes of Hazzard car. Caleb’s lube is within reach, and opening the bottle and pouring it on his hand feels like vindication for withstanding years of an unrequited gay crush. Billy’s warm ass riding against his wet hand feels like victory.

Meanwhile, Billy’s doing his own moving. He fusses with the pillows until they’re supporting his turned head and Karen is climbing onto his face, bracing against the wall for balance. Because Billy can only turn his head so much she’s got one knee in the bed, one up around headboard height with her hip cocked out. Caleb’s definitely got the most comfortable position of the three of them.

Caleb works a finger into Billy, then another. Whatever Karen’s doing, Caleb can still hear it when Billy gasps, right on the edge of pain and shock. Caleb goes slower still. It takes a while for Billy to relax, but he never says stop, never pulls away. In this moment Caleb can’t remember a better time he’s had while stoned. He’s had a full life, but nothing compares to the way Billy feels on the inside. Nothing compares to actually getting what he wants from the world, for once. Not to mention the part of the experience that’s truly the drugs. His sensorially-fixated mind is telling him he can feel things that aren’t even senses. The dawning sky is warm velvet coating him. Karen’s presence is radiating yellow and purple. He gets a sudden detailed flashback to the first time he topped another man, and can’t help the rush of joy-hope-benevolence that Andy is married with kids right now, like he wanted even when they were both seventeen.

Eventually Caleb starts pushing his way into Billy. The room feels taut with energy, like the sexuality of the scene is physical matter. He stills when he gets all the way in, concentrates on the texture of Billy’s hairy legs tangled with his so he can resist the urge to pound away. There’s no way Billy’s ready to be fucked hard, as much as Caleb’s entire body is throbbing with the need to drive into him.

When Billy reaches an arm back to grab his hand, Caleb takes it without hesitation. It’ll impede his power-positioning, but really, who fucking cares? Billy wants to be romanced, that’s way more important than drilling him like an xTube star. And finally, finally Billy squeezes, and Caleb takes it for the invitation he’s positive it is. Billy can’t exactly speak it out loud, mouth buried in Karen and all. Honestly, the likelihood of Billy begging for it in any scenario is low anyway. Between the anxiety causing reluctance towards asking for what he wants, and the drive towards masculinity, it’s one of the last things Caleb can imagine him doing. So Caleb starts his thrusting, and trusts in Billy to want it.

Caleb’s gotten about three strokes in when Karen announces to the room, “I can’t fuckin’ hold this pose any longer. I do not have this much yoga under my belt.” She follows it up with collapsing to the side, briefly Britney Spears’ing herself at him before settling in a crouch at the top of his bed. Jesus, he’s going to have to wash those pillows. There’s no way they aren’t smeared with girl-juice.

In this moment, Caleb hates Karen. Hates her for breaking the pure sex that’s going on. What if the interruption wakes Billy up from the enchantment of lust and he changes his mind? What if Billy asks him to leave? It’s dangerous for a second, Caleb’s guts dangling on a tightrope. He legitimately feels like his intestines are being sliced with wire. Then Billy says, “you can ride my face easier if I’m on my back, and Caleb can hold my legs up. That’s a thing, right?”

Holy Christ in heaven. Billy is lucky he doesn’t fucking nut in him right now. The mere idea that Billy’s contemplated ways to get fucked is enough to make Caleb want to die. It’s jerking off fodder for months, imagining Billy looking up bi-guy porn, shyly biting his lip and closing his eyes as he shoots into a hastily grabbed kleenex, clearing the cache like he’s not going to search the exact same phrases next time.

The bed faces a transient flurry of action as all three of them move into better positions. For a second Caleb’s stoned enough to laugh at the idea that they’re more knees than anything else; Billy’s draped over his shoulder, spine curled up, Karen’s folded and tucked against Billy’s ears, his own digging into the bed. But the humour is short-lived, because Billy’s already eating Karen out again, if the complete filth coming out of her mouth is anything to go by, and Caleb can’t help but be competitive with everyone he loves. He picks up the bottle of lube with a tacky hand and flicks open the lid with a thumbnail so he can pour more on to himself. No one has ever complained about too much lube, millions of people have complained about too little.

He fucks into Billy, pushing him up the bed by increments. Each thrust is followed by a moan of Billy’s, half muffled as he does it into Karen’s cunt. Even if Caleb’s not attracted to Karen, he can acknowledge it for the hot thing it is. The closest he’s ever been to pan is when he’s been stoned, when even making eye contact with someone makes a shiver shoot down his spine. So no, his dick doesn’t like Karen, persay. But it loves this room that smells like wild primate lust, and Billy’s soap-fresh skin close to his nose, and the way Karen’s luscious red hair keeps hitting his face when she throws her head around because Billy’s driving her crazy. He’s gay, but the weed is making everything around him gay too, including the woman banging her open hand on the wall as she comes for the first time, immediately demanding Billy keep going.

Caleb thinks about Billy’s dick. Well, he does that a lot, actually. He’s kind of a slut, and the world is full of men that should touch and be touched. He’s also kind of a lecherous friend, and Billy’s the type of person to change in front of others without questioning the modesty of it. It’s hard to imagine the kind of alternate universe in which the combination of those factors doesn’t result in Caleb thinking about Billy’s cock at least once a day. The difference now is the strategy involved. Does he want to jerk him off, really guarantee he’s enjoying the party? Or does he want to make Billy come untouched minus the dick on his prostate, get him to understand the wonders of dude sex? It’s a serious decision, one that he feels a little too high to be competent in making.

In the end Caleb goes with the safer route. Overwhelming him with sensations will make him look back on this experience with only positive memories. If future-Billy’s having an internalized homophobia moment the memory of pure gay anal isn’t going to get Billy to sign up a second time. And there is literally nothing Caleb wants more in the world than for Billy to be willing to fool around more than once.

Billy whimpers when he comes. It’s so hot Caleb has to bite his own wrist so he doesn’t comment and embarrass Billy. He knows Billy won’t take the observation like the compliment it would be.

Technically, it’s his turn to orgasm now. Billy’s taken care of, and judging by Karen’s flushed skin, and the fact that she’s no longer straddling Billy, she’s completed her portion of the evening too. It’s just that Caleb doesn’t want to. This is an impossible moment in time, real Doctor Who shit, and when he comes, everything ends.

Still he has to let loose eventually. He can’t stay in Billy forever. Right now the guy is kind of distracted with Karen playing with his wet hair. Caleb’s not sure if it’s sweat or Karen’s come, and when he’s this high, the question’s not nauseating at all. Karen won’t be stroking him forever though, and sooner or later there will be chaffing. Causing discomfort is like the opposite of what Caleb wants.

Caleb closes his eyes and lets all the thoughts fall away. All that matters is the way Billy feels around his cock, and the shiny candy veneer of desire coating the whole room, spent or not. He manages a few more thrusts, rhythm getting wilder as he gets closer, before pulling out to come on the bed sheets. Sure he wants to revel in the filthy idea of Billy squirming as come leaks out of him, but his logical brain beats down on the sinner his soul is comprised of. That will freak Billy out, and not in a good way. Better a wet spot than Billy sprinting to the bathroom, showering for twenty minutes and calling an Uber to get home.

Both Karen and Billy shift over without being asked. It’s a reverse of the positions they went to sleep in; Billy still in the middle, but Karen nearest the window, Caleb on the left. Not that he’s being spooned the way he was earlier spooning. On the contrary, Billy is lying stiff as a board, arms crossed over his chest. To be honest, if Caleb was sober this would be killing his buzz. Good thing for the weed, then. Quickly glancing at Karen is confirmation she’s satisfied too. She’s only wearing her striped shirt, sitting with her back against the wall, with a sort of smirk on her face. Caleb wouldn’t be surprised if she took a #GoodLifeChoices selfie in the next ten minutes.

“Was that weird? That was weird,” Billy answers himself. “That was weird, wasn’t it?”

Caleb would like to head this off at the pass, but isn’t quite sure how. His slutty daydreams never quite went this distance. They focused on the first kiss, the first touch, not going to the depth of talking Billy off a gay panic cliff. Even all the panicking this morning didn’t prepare him.

“I think it was hot,” Karen says, strange emphasis on the hot, like a rolled H or something. To prove her statement she reaches down and slaps Billy’s chest. “I think I’m over whatever stress I had earlier and you two are both hot little cocksuckers, and I am into this.”

Billy turns from her to face Caleb, and god, if he doesn’t have the most adorable face in the universe. He extends a hand and Caleb swiftly moves to take it. “What do you think?”

“I am so into this.”

“Are you sure?” he frets.

It’s easy to forget that Billy has OCD sometimes. He doesn’t count, or clean, or touch things in patterns. But he is an obsessive worrier, when given the chance to worry. Before Caleb can craft an answer meant to soothe his mind Karen blurts out "So sure I'd upload a video of us to Instgram. You are. Some. Real. Artistic. Shit.” She slaps his chest between each word, and it's glowing pink when she's done.

"We should try this for real, guys." Caleb's sure it's not the weed talking. His advisors are proof mixed orientation polyamory works. Caleb wants that. It’s important that he show enthusiasm. Billy is a very go with the flow kind of man, when he’s not being anxious. If that means Caleb has to build the dykes for Billy to flow down, he will.

And before his guilty conscience starts up, telling him he’s manipulative or some such overdramatic word, he’s really not. In the car Billy said he loved them both. Caleb is only taking Billy at his word. He’s facilitating Billy’s statement. If you think about it, the weakest relationship here is actually Karen-Billy, and that's the hetero juggernaut side of the triangle. As long as they don't lose their lust, everything will be okay.

“You... you want to...” Billy stammers.

“There are no words for how much I want to, Billy, dearest.” Maybe the epithet is too much. Caleb can’t seem to care though, not when he feels so full of love and affection all of his skin is tingling. He doesn’t want to fuck him again, not right away, but he wants to crawl into Billy and Karen’s bodies both, and never leave.

In the morning -later morning, whatever- he'll have to call Freckle. Benicio is coming and Caleb can't change that, it's too late. But he can get Freckle to claim him. If Freckle can host Benicio, get him out on the town, drinking, dressing up, maybe having an orgy or something, Caleb doesn't have to feel guilty about going for his dreams. Because this is LA, baby, and all the stars have their dreams come true.