They knew it was going to happen. Knew it for some time. Hell, half of their fanbase knew it would happen, sooner or later. Thousands of Clikkies had been holding their breaths for years, eagerly awaiting the moment Tyler and Josh would finally just do it already.
But, although it took such a very long time to happen (And, really! There were blind monks in Tibet who could see it coming…) that didn’t make their first time any less awkward. And, because it was Tyler and Josh, it was made a hundred times more awkward by overthinking it.
“It has to be special,” Josh said with a dreamy look in his eyes.
Tyler was the practical one. “It has to be somewhere we can’t be interrupted,” he grumbled, remembering the time Jordan had interrupted a particularly heavy make-out session.
Eventually, they agreed on a time and place. They made reservations at a fancy restaurant. Josh bought a new shirt for the occasion. Tyler filled his bedroom with scented candles. Together, they counted down the days until their special night.
They never made it that far.
Music, that was the problem. Once the bass got into their blood…
No matter what went wrong – despite falls, missed beats, and technical glitches – the end of every show left them humming with unspent energy. When they took their customary bow at the end of that particular concert, Tyler could feel wild energy buzzing through Josh where their slick, bare skin touched. That same energy raced through his own veins. He felt like he could jump off stage, run a marathon, hop back up on stage, and do the whole thing all over again.
Glancing sideways, Tyler caught his bandmate’s eye. There was heat there, heat that ignited a fire in Tyler – a fire the coldest shower in the world wouldn’t put out. Only one thing could quench it.
“I don’t think I can wait,” he told Josh over the roar of applause.
Tyler turned his face away from the cameras trained on them. “I don’t think I can wait,” he told Josh in a whisper.
Josh’s smile faltered for a moment and Tyler’s heart plummeted. Then, the meaning of his words sank in and Josh’s face lit up with a smile so radiant it was almost blinding. Color spread across his cheeks.
“I don’t want to wait,” he answered.
Beaming, Tyler took Josh’s hand. They ran from the stage together, oblivious to the interested murmurs of the fans in the pit.
Everyone from sound crew to security tried to get their attention as they hurried through the venue’s winding corridors. Tyler didn’t have eyes or ears for any of them. Josh, being the painfully polite person he was, mumbled a general “Sorry, later,” as they passed. When they threw open the stage doors, Tyler and Josh exchanged a look.
The tour buses were parked at the back of the massive parking lot. And it was raining. Absolutely pouring. Tyler looked at Josh, silently asking if he was sure. Josh squeezed his hand. They took off across the lot, laughing with nervous excitement as they slid through the standing water.
They tumbled together through the tour bus’s door, dripping water onto the linoleum floor. Josh had lost his baseball cap somewhere along the way. His hair fell in wet ringlets down his forehead. Tyler reached up to brush them aside and Josh turned into his touch.
He should have been cold, soaking wet in a thin shirt that cling to him like a second skin, but Tyler was anything but. Touching Josh lit a roaring fire in him and there was only one way to quench it.
All their agonizing, their planning... none of it seemed important. How could he have ever imagined the where and how were important? All he needed was Josh. To Hell with the rest. Tyler wanted to find a way to share his epiphany with the other man but, somehow, looking into Josh’s expectant face, all that came out was, “God, you’re beautiful.”
Josh dropped his eyes. “Stop,” he said, swatting Tyler’s arm. He had always been unhappy with his looks. Never saw what the rest of the world saw.
I’ll make him see, Tyler thought.
He hooked a finger under Josh’s chin, urging him to look up. Looking deep into Josh’s eyes, Tyler said, “Your eyes are beautiful.” Reaching up, he dragged his fingers through Josh’s curls. “Your hair is beautiful. Your ears are beautiful.” He trailed his fingers along Josh’s ear lobes, toying with the gauges because he knew Josh liked it. Josh bit his lip. The effect it had on Tyler’s body was instant. “And your lips,” he said, unable to look away, “your lips are so beautiful. I can’t stop thinking about them. I just want to...”
And he did.
Tyler caught the other man’s lips in a kiss so intense it threatened to devour them both. He tugged Josh forward and wrapped an arm around Josh’s waist to press him even closer. They touched; thigh to thigh, stomach to stomach, chest to chest. Tyler’s arousal simmered in the heat their bodies made. He could feel Josh’s body harden in response.
Suddenly, there was too much fabric separating them. He grabbed the bottom of the sleeveless shirt Josh wore and tugged it over his head. Josh reached for the waistband of Tyler’s jeans and popped the button.
This is it, Tyler thought. Excitement made the hands that ran along the hard ridges of Josh’s chest tremble. Finally.
Josh plucked impatiently at Tyler’s shirt. Tyler didn’t want to take his hands off Josh long enough to rid himself of the wet clothing but it was worth it when they embraced, flesh to flesh. Then, Josh’s hand found its way between their bodies and eased Tyler’s zipper down, freeing him from the confines of his tight jeans.
The air wooshed out of him. Gasping, he broke the kiss. Gripping the other man’s shoulders, he urged Josh on with a hot look. Strong fingers closed around him, tentatively at first then harder when Tyler moaned and arched into Josh’s touch. His movements were inexperienced at first but grew in confidence as they found a rhythm, Josh stroking and Tyler thrusting to meet him. The tempo increased until Tyler couldn’t take any more.
“Wait, Wait,” Tyler said, trying to grab the last shreds of sanity before they were out of reach like a lost spool of thread rolling across the floor. Josh’s hand stilled. “Stop, this isn’t right.”
“Oh.” His touched disappeared entirely. The sound of his heart breaking was deafening. It squeezed Tyler’s heart painfully, but he was quick to piece it back together again. Meeting Josh’s stricken face, Tyler caught his hand before he could disappear.
“I want to be inside you when I come.”
Color exploded across Josh’s cheeks at Tyler’s words. His breath caught and he nodded. Josh reached for the button of his own jeans, but Tyler stopped him. He removed Josh’s jeans, worshipping him on the way down. By the time they were both naked, Tyler was dizzy with desire, barely able to resist bending Josh over one of the bus’s sofas and pounding himself to oblivion. But it was their first time and, even if it wasn’t the time or place they had planned, it was going to be special.
He led Josh to one of the long leather sofas that ran along either side of the bus’s communal space and sat, drawing the other man between his legs. Josh started to turn around, but Tyler grasped his hips to stop him. “I want to see you,” he told Josh, who gave Tyler a small smile before rising up to straddle him.
Please, God, don’t let me embarrass myself. Tyler was so close to the edge already he was afraid he would explode before he could give Josh the first time he deserved. But needn’t have worried. Josh, it seemed, had no intention of rushing. His coarse palm closed around the base of Tyler’s hard shaft as he eased himself down around him. It was sweet agony, letting Josh set the pace. The steady rise-and-fall had Tyler gripping Josh’s waist so hard he was sure he’d leave bruises.
Luckily for Tyler, it wasn’t long before desire made Josh grab his shoulders every bit as roughly as he rode him harder, faster. Somewhere along the way it stopped being a slow, leisurely stroll toward completion and became an all-out race to the finish line – and they were both victors. Afterward, Tyler held Josh tight and stroked his sweat-slicked back lazily...
...until a knock on the bus door startled them out of their daze. Josh’s wide-eyed look of surprise mirrored Tyler’s own. They’d forgotten, in their eagerness, that there was a very good reason they had booked a hotel room for their first time: privacy didn’t exist on the road. Tyler and Josh scrambled to find their clothes.
Tyler answered the door at the second knock because he was the only one even close to dressed. Shirtless, he buttoned his black jeans hastily, wondering absently where his briefs had gone, and opened the door a crack. “Yeah?”
Several familiar faces greeted him on the other side. How long have they been standing there? he thought, panic rising in his chest. How much did they hear? He and Josh hadn’t discussed taking their relationship public or what it would mean to the band, their families. It was too soon to have so many questions demanding answers, especially when he could still taste Josh on his tongue.
“Um, we were just wondering if you’re done...”
“Yeah. I mean, you’re kind of in our bus.”
Tyler glanced over his shoulder at the vehicle’s cramped confines. He noticed, for the first time, odd personal effects and random containers of health food that would never have been on their bus. They had been so wrapped up in their own worlds that they’d jumped into the wrong bus.
Usually the confident one, Tyler floundered. Should he try to pretend he and Josh hadn’t been doing what they had been doing? They’d never believe it – they must have heard! Should he tell the truth? Was that what Josh would want? Tyler was spared having to decide when Josh appeared at his side wearing, he noticed, nothing but his briefs.
So that’s where they went...
It seemed their bout of lovemaking had made Josh – shy, anxious Josh – bold. He threw the door open wide (to the surprised gasps of their friends and crew.) “We’re kind of busy here,” he told them, dropping an arm across Tyler’s shoulders, “find another bus.” With that, he drew Tyler back and slammed the door on their startled faces.
Tyler was both impressed and stunned by his lover’s behavior. “Josh!” he exclaimed, half amused, and half scandalized. “They’ll tell everyone! It’ll be all over social media in minutes!”
“Well,” Josh said with a shrug, “you know what that means, don’t you?” He ran his hands along Tyler’s bare arms.
It means countless abusive tweets. It means having to justify our relationship to people who have no business interfering. It means...
“It means,” Josh said, grinning as he urged Tyler toward the sofas, “that we only have so long before our mothers blow up our phones, demanding answers.”
Tyler nearly groaned aloud. “Ugh. Mom.”
Josh nodded as he sat, then pulled Tyler down to join him. “We’ll deal with it all,” he promised. “But...”
“We don’t have to deal with it now. Which means...” a mischievous glint sparked in his eye, “we have time to...”
He let his wandering fingers finish the sentence for him. Tyler did groan then, but it wasn’t a groan of frustration.