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The Rumor Mill

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Naruto let out a breath as his craving for a cigarette got a little worse. He was trying to quit, really he was, but the stress his body was under made it hard to stick to his guns. And by stress, he particularly meant the constant state of arousal he seemed to be in over one sweet piece of ass he couldn’t stop thinking about.

Oh, for sure, when he’d woken that morning in his hotel room after the wedding, and the haze of – uh, three? – rather full glasses of whiskey had worn off, he could think rationally about what had happened and realize that one night of fucking probably wasn’t worth all the drama that, in this instance, came with it.

But here he was a week later, constantly jerking off to the memory of that goddamned sexy smirk and glancing more than once a day at the carefully smoothed-out napkin that had a place of honor on his dresser as he mentally counted down three months one day at a time.

Fuck, he was so screwed. And not in the fun way.

Yet, anyway.

He smiled sharply at the thought. Yeah, the situation might be little fucked up, but after a few days, Naruto had come to the decision that he didn’t give two shits about what happened between now and three months from now. When the time came, he was going to have that (hopefully) tight ass around his cock, and he was going to love every fucking second of it.

Finally, the craving got to be too much, so Naruto heaved himself up from the couch and shuffled to his balcony door, grabbing his smokes and lighter on the way. He opened the sliding door and stepped out onto the balcony as he shook a cigarette loose and grabbed it with his lips. He brought his lighter up and flicked the wheel to spark the flame, bringing it to the tip of his cigarette and puffing to get it lit. Then he shoved the pack and lighter into his back pocket and leaned on the balcony railing watching the sun set as he inhaled his first hit.

Shit, that’s good.

He exhaled and watched the smoke dissipate in the air. His mind was quiet in this moment, and he embraced it gratefully. There wasn’t his past or his recent break up. There wasn’t a hot as fuck man plaguing his thoughts. There was just a man, his cigarette, and the sunset.

Yep, a man, his cigarette, the sunset…

…And the sudden, loud chime of his phone. Followed by four additional chimes. Letting out a sigh, Naruto clamped his cigarette between his lips and walked back into his apartment, bending slightly to grab his phone off the coffee table. His brow furrowed, he unlocked his screen to see a notification from Hinata. He opened his messaging app and saw five unread messages from her.

Naruto! Come to dinner with me tonight!

As an apology for ditching you at the last minute.

You can meet some of my friends. We’re just chilling tonight.


Gianni’s at 7:00. Be there!

Naruto had to smile. All of that could have been sent in one text, but Hinata was clearly part of the majority that sent ten small texts instead of one big one. He brought his hand up to place his fingers around his cigarette, taking a puff before removing it from his mouth. He exhaled as he considered her request.

He was kind of hungry, and now that she’d planted the idea in his head, a slice or five of Sicilian pizza sounded fucking amazing.

He looked at the clock – 5:45. Plenty of time to shower and get there. He replied that he’d meet her there and tossed his phone on the couch. He bent over and stubbed out his cigarette in the ashtray on the table and walked back to the balcony to close and lock the sliding door.

He headed into his bedroom and stripped off his ratty jeans and tee, tossing them in the general vicinity of his hamper, then walked into his adjoining bathroom and turned the tap in the tub. As the water warmed, he hooked his thumbs into his boxers and let them fall to the ground.

He stepped into the tub and pulled the curtain, immediately pulling on the diverter to start the shower. The water that hit him was cold at first, making him flinch, but it warmed soon enough, and he reached for his shower gel as it sluiced down his body.

As he closed his eyes, Sasuke’s words – in that goddamned sexy voice – from the other night flitted through his mind – As much as I would dearly love going upstairs and having you fuck me into the mattress, the floor, the wall, and the shower – and he bit his lip as his soaped-up hand traveled from his abs to his thigh, brushing his dick as it went.

With a grunt, he opened his eyes and moved his hand to his cock, soaping it with firm strokes and imagining it was Sasuke’s hand… or his mouth. Picturing that devastating smirk broken around his engorged dick had him swelling in his hand, and he groaned as his cock thickened and pulsed and his hand practically blurred in its up and down motion.

He could see it so clearly when he closed his eyes – Sasuke on his knees beneath the spray, his mouth working Naruto over, his thighs splayed wide as he jerked himself off in time to his ministrations on Naruto’s cock; water falling in rivulets over his pale skin, and his black hair plastered to his head. But nothing distracted him from sucking, swallowing, and bobbing up and down on Naruto’s dick.

God, he wanted that so fucking badly!

Naruto leaned forward on his free arm, panting as he felt his muscles tense. With a low groan, he came hard, working his dick through the orgasm and picturing his spunk filling Sasuke’s mouth and leaking from his lips.

He let himself breath for a bit, the warm water hitting his back, before standing up and rinsing his hand off under the spray. Then he reached for his shower gel again and rewashed his body, quickly followed by his hair and face. He shut the water off and let out a breath, pulling the curtain back and stepping out into the steamy air of the bathroom. He grabbed a towel from the rack and rubbed it over his hair as he went back into his bedroom and then rubbed it over his body before tossing it onto his unmade bed. He walked to his dresser and opened the top drawer, pulling out a pair of boxer briefs as he eyed the napkin right in front of his face.

Eleven more weeks.

He slipped his underwear on, then opened a lower drawer to pull out a pair of jeans – nicer than his laze-around-the-house pair – and an orangish-brown, long-sleeved Henley. He pulled them on and ran his fingers through his still damp hair and then picked his wallet and keys up off the dresser.

He walked back into the living room and grabbed his phone from the couch, seeing the time – 6:37 – and that he missed a text from Hinata – Can’t wait!

Shoving his wallet and phone into a back pocket, Naruto walked to his front door and slipped on his Timberlands before opening and exiting the door. He locked it and slipped his keys into his front pocket, then took the stairs down to the lobby of his building and out onto the sidewalk.

Gianni’s actually wasn’t that far from Naruto’s apartment, so he stuffed his hands into his pockets and walked the short distance to the restaurant. When he got there, he pulled the heavy door open by its wrought iron handle and held it open for an elderly couple just exiting. They thanked him, which he responded to with an automatic “No problem,” and he entered the restaurant, letting his eyes sweep across the open space trying to spot Hinata.


He looked to his right and saw Hinata at a back table, standing and waving to get his attention. He put his hand up in a return greeting and made his way to the back. Hinata hugged him before they both sat down.

Naruto took in the other occupants of the table and thought he recognized them from the wedding, though, he’d been sort of distracted and couldn’t swear by it. There was a blonde, her hair long and in a ponytail, and next to her was a man with an incredibly bored look on his face – his brown hair also up in a ponytail.

“Well, Hinata, look what you brought!” the blonde said.

Hinata laughed. “Oh, hush. This is my friend, Naruto. Naruto, this is Ino, and that’s Shikamaru. We all went to school together through high school.”

“Nice to meet you,” Naruto said, reaching across the table to shake their hands.

Shikamaru muttered a reply and quickly let his hand fall back against the table, but Ino latched onto his hand and pulled him forward slightly. “My god, you’re quite a sight. Look at these muscles,” she said smoothly as her eyes roved up his arm and focused on where his bicep stressed the fabric of his shirt. “I bet you could bench press me with this much muscle.”

Hinata pulled his hand out of Ino’s. “You’ll have to forgive her, Naruto. She’s complete trash.” Naruto eyed the sweet smile on Hinata’s face and heard the genuine laughter from Ino at the comment.

“Shut up, Hinata. I’m sure he’s heard worse.” Ino flipped her hair over her shoulder and perused the menu. “So, you and Hinata a thing? How come you didn’t bring him to the wedding?”

“Ah, no,” Naruto said as he put down his own menu. “Hinata’s just a friend.”

“I actually did invite him to the wedding, but he said he didn’t feel comfortable attending because he didn’t know Sasuke and Sakura,” Hinata continued before sipping at her wine.

“Really?” Shikamaru said, his brow lifted pointedly.

Naruto sent him a questioning look. “Um, yeah. It seems like an intimate moment, so I didn’t think it appropriate to be there.”

Ino laughed and waved her hand in front of her face. “That wasn’t an intimate moment, Naruto. That was a statement.”

The waitress chose that moment to stop by their table for their orders, and when she left, Naruto looked at Ino, silently encouraging her to continue. She nodded as she sipped her own wine, then leaned forward as she sat it back down on the table.

“That was a travesty. It was merely the Haruno and Uchiha CEOs telling the rest of the business world with a big ass wedding that a merger was going to happen and that it would suck for their competitors. Most of the 400 people there were business associates and competitors.”

Well, that didn’t sound any different than what Sasuke had told him.

“So, did you also go to school with Sasuke and Sakura?” Naruto asked.

Hinata nodded as she twisted her wine glass back and forth. “Yes. Sasuke was the top of our class. Sakura was just behind him.”

“As usual,” Ino muttered. Hinata frowned at her, but Ino scoffed. “Please. Sakura got wet if Sasuke so much as sneezed in her general direction. She did everything she could to be wherever he was. I wouldn’t be surprised if the merger was her idea just to get him to marry her.”

Naruto’s brows furrowed at that.

Shikamaru clicked his tongue. “I wouldn’t put it past her either. But Sasuke would have just strung her along for years if she hadn’t gotten pregnant.”

“Is Sasuke really such a guy?” Naruto asked. Not that it mattered. He wasn’t planning to bang the man because he was an angel.

Shikamaru shrugged. “Not really. He usually kept to himself. Him even dating Sakura probably happened from him being pressured into it by his father.”

“There’s no escaping the evil Uchiha Corp,” Ino said dramatically, and she and Hinata giggled into their wine glasses while Shikamaru smiled.

“So, Sasuke works for his father?” Naruto asked. He hadn’t really planned on asking all these questions about Sasuke – who needed to know all this information for a one-night stand? – but it was proving to be an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

The waitress returned with their food, and Naruto’s mouth salivated at the heavenly smell of five different meats and cheeses piled high on a slice of Sicilian, just like he’d wanted. He bit into the gooey slice and nearly moaned. Oh, yeah, like, a whole pizza was going home with him tonight.

Ino buttered a roll from the basket in the middle of the table and set it on her plate as she picked up her fork. “He does. But that’s probably by force, too.” She shrugged as she twirled noodles around her fork.

“He didn’t want to work in the family company?”

“He actually had an interest in being a concert pianist in high school. He practiced for hours a day, voluntarily,” Hinata added. “And he was good. He used to play this one sonata – I can’t remember which one – that had me in tears every time.”

Shikamaru nodded. “He kept it up in college. But then one day,” he trailed off and shrugged. “He stopped playing piano in his free time and started working at the company.”

They continued to make small talk through the rest of dinner, and Naruto found that, jaded and cynical they might be – though how they were so when they were so young, Naruto didn’t know – he kind of liked them, Ino and Shikamaru.

When the waitress brought their checks, the conversation turned to continuing the evening. Ino wanted to go to a club, which Hinata and Shikamaru agreed to easily enough, and she begged Naruto until he gave in.


The club was nothing special, but Naruto hadn’t really let himself have fun a in while, so it was pleasant enough. The drinks and dancing really put him at ease, and Ino certainly was fun to be around. Especially when she made Hinata fun to be around. There had been some interesting things going on at the club between those two – and they would have been extremely hot if Naruto swung that way.

What wasn’t so fun was trying to get Ino home. Somehow, despite having just met her, Hinata and Shikamaru thought it was only natural that he take her car and drive her home and manhandle her up to her apartment. Of course, it didn’t help that he was the only one sober enough to do so. Even Shikamaru had been three sheets to the wind, which had surprised Naruto since he’d pegged the man as even too lazy to drink himself to oblivion.

“Okay, which one is your apartment?” Naruto asked as they walked off the elevator. Ino had her arms around Naruto’s neck and was probably sucking the biggest hickey he’d ever had onto his skin, and Naruto just let her because it seemed to be the easiest way to get her to their destination.

“Hm, last on the right,” she murmured against his neck.

He put his hands on her hips and guided her backwards to the door she indicated, and when they got to it, he pulled her keys from his pocket and spent a minute or two finding the right one. When he had the door opened, she chuckled and pulled him in by the belt loops, slamming him against the entrance wall and paying more attention to his neck. He was going to look like he’d been fucking mauled in the morning.

“I think we should get you to bed,” he said as he gazed at the wall across from him.

“That is an excellent idea,” she said with a laugh and pulled him to her bedroom. When they slipped in, she immediately turned and reached for his zipper, backing him up against the door until it clicked shut, and he quickly caught her hands and brought them up between them.

“Okay, that’s enough of that,” he said. She looked at him askance before pouting and pulling her arms from his hold. She backed up and laid out flat on her bed.

“You’re no fun. I thought you’d be up for something when you agreed to take me home.”

Naruto sighed. “I just wanted to make sure you got home all right.”

“How chivalrous,” she muttered.

An awkward silence settled between them, and Naruto looked around the bedroom. She’d left a light on, so he could make out all the furniture and decorations, including several photos on the dresser of her and a man that seemed quite close to her.

“Do you have a boyfriend?” he asked in disbelief.

“Yep. Sai.”

He turned his eyes to her prone figure. “And you were about to sleep with me?”

She pushed herself up on her elbows and arched a thin blonde brow. “Yeah, and? You looked like you were going to fuck Sasuke where you sat the other day at the reception.”

Naruto’s eyes widened. “You… you saw that?”

She shrugged. “I’m sure everyone saw. When the groom disappears for a couple of hours, I’m sure everyone notices and starts to look.” She smirked at him. “I admit, I didn’t recognize you at first, but when you were dancing tonight at the club, there was this look on your face that triggered my memory. It said you were in the mood to fuck. So, I thought I’d try my luck. You’re a fine piece of ass.”

When had he…? Oh. Yeah. There had been that moment, when he’d been so lost in the music, that he’d imagined what he and someone as limber-looking as Sasuke could do on a dance floor. Or in the darkened corner of a club. Uh…

“Yes! That look, right there!” He snapped his eyes opened, and Ino laughed at him as she fell back on the bed. “Ah, I kind of wish you had taken him somewhere and fucked him hard. It would serve Sakura right.”

Curious, Naruto leaned against the wall and crossed his arms. “Jealous of Sakura?”

Ino made a rude noise. “As if. Don’t get me wrong – Sasuke’s hot as fuck, and I’d bend over in a second for him, but he’s a dick. He’s not boyfriend material. Or husband, for that matter.”

“So… you hate her?”

“Why would I hate her? She’s my best friend.”

Naruto didn’t have an immediate response to that. How was that kind of dynamic even possible? Ino started humming and kicking her feet where they hung off the bed. “I’m sorry – she’s your best friend, but you think she deserves to have her husband cheat on her?”

Holy hell. He’d thought as much at the reception, but these people were cutthroat.

Ino sighed like he was the stupidest person on Earth, and it was her misfortune to have to deal with him. “There’s a reason we all think this marriage is already circling the drain, you know.” She sat up completely and crossed her legs. “Sakura cheated on Sasuke. And the poor bastard is the only one who doesn’t know. I put my money on right after the baby’s born, when it becomes blatantly obvious that the baby isn’t his.”

Oh, it already is.

Naruto narrowed his eyes. “And no one wants to inform Sasuke? Wanted to inform him before the wedding?”

Ino had the decency to look ashamed. For five seconds. Then she shrugged. “Sasuke’s father makes magical things happen. Most of the time, though… it’s dark magic, and all we can do is hope Sasuke survives.” She looked down at her fingers, her right thumb picking at the polish on the left. “This is just how we are.”

Naruto sighed and pushed himself off the wall. He hadn’t wanted to hear that, but what’s done was done. And it wasn’t any of his business. Sasuke was a grown man, and from what Naruto could remember, he’d walked into this with eyes wide open. Because he’d known there was an out.

He looked at Ino, and she gave him a watery smile. “You sure you don’t want to fool around? If girls don’t do it for you, I’m sure Sai wouldn’t mind giving you a go.”

“I’m good,” he said with less anger than he was feeling, and he turned to open her door. He glanced back at her. “It was nice meeting you, Ino.” And he meant it.

“You, too, Naruto,” she said quietly, and he quickly left her bedroom, stopping only to drop her keys on a table before also leaving her apartment.

When he hit the pavement outside, he grunted angrily as he remembered Ino’s apartment was in the complete opposite direction of his place, and he had no idea what the bus schedule was like. With a sigh, he pulled out his phone and dialed the only person he could really count on at - he glanced at his phone - three in the morning.

The call connected on the fifth ring, and he was greeted with an angry, “What the fucking hell do you want?”

“Hey, Karin,” he breathed out. “Can you come pick me up?”