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"If you can't love yourself, how the hell are you going to love somebody else?" ~RuPaul Charles
Justin's journey to self-acceptance and personal transition is long and winding. Will he learn to love himself as others love him?
A/N:I started writing this series back in December 2015.
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Disclaimer:I own nothing but this story.
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~ Liberty Diner, Later That Afternoon ~
"So are you coming or going?" I asked him.
He looked back at me, but didn't answer, which took me by surprise. Usually when I approached a random guy at a bar or a club I didn't even have to speak. A mere lift of an eyebrow, or a nonchalant shrug of a shoulder on my part would always do the trick. Guys were simply not able to resist me. Any guy would gladly fall to his knees – literally – and then from there it was in and out, quick and fast, no questions asked, no strings attached, just as I wanted it to be.
So sitting across the table from Justin, waiting for him to answer my question – that was a whole new thing for me.
"I honestly don't know what to say," he finally replied.
"I don't think you have to say anything," I said. "Well, I mean I don't think you have anything to apologize for,” I explained.
"No apologies, no regrets; do you really believe that?" he asked, and I could see doubt in his eyes, something that I definitely wasn't accustomed to.
"Why wouldn't I believe in it?" I countered. "And why wouldn't you?"
He looked at me again, still apparently skeptical. "I don’t know; it's just that self-doubt has been such a big part of who I’ve been for the longest time that I don't know how to shake it off," he explained, fidgeting with the food on his plate. "Listen, Brian," he then continued. "I don't think it would be a good idea for me to go with you to the loft. I have so many things I still need to process, and…I wouldn't want to put us both in an awkward position." He stopped in mid-sentence as he realized what he had just said, pulling his lips inward shyly. I watched as his face turned bright red. "Ironic choice of words, I suppose," he noted wryly, taking a gulp of water.
"I really can't tell you what to do or how to feel," I replied honestly, staring at him and trying not to look too eager as he put the water glass down. "Just so you know, I've never asked any other guy back to my loft. But I'm asking you.”
"I can't believe this," he murmured as if in disbelief. But his eyes – two, clear, deep blue pools – were fixed on me intently. "I can't believe I'm actually…" his voice trailed off. He cleared his throat, and I can see the indecision written all over his face.
I was prepared to just sit there and stare at him the rest of the day if that was what it took, but then he flashed a bright smile towards me and nodded quietly.
"Okay, let's go," he simply stated.
I took out my wallet and pulled a few dollar bills that were enough to cover everything we'd ordered for lunch, even though we hadn’t even touched our food. I'd hoped Debbie would still be around by the time we left the diner, but she wasn't there.
We went out the door and started walking towards the car park where my Jeep was. I paused for a moment, taking out my car keys.
"Are you sure about this, Justin?" I then asked him, noticing him biting his fingernail as if he were nervous. Hell, I guess under the circumstances, I would have been, too.
He peered over at me for a few moments before he nodded, his expression changing to one of determination. "I trust you, Brian," he answered simply.
That's all I needed to hear from him.
_ _ _ _ _ _
-Early Evening, Brian’s Loft…-
Are you sure about it, Justin? His voice rang in my ear as we entered the quirky elevator up to his loft. I trust you, Brian, I could hear my own voice answering him.
I trusted him, because I could see his belief in me, and how I wasn't just a curiosity to him right from the start, but at the same time I was scared shitless. I was still overwhelmed by how unfazed Brian was after I'd literally came out to him as a trans man earlier over dinner, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't feeling apprehensive and very triggered by what was about to happen.
We entered the loft, and I couldn't help but let out a gasp over how impressive it was as my eyes widened like a child in a huge toy store. From the outside, you would never guess that it looked like it did: simplistic in design, but everything top-of-the-line and elegant.
The first night Brian brought me here, it was the night we met at the club. I ended up crashing on the rug in his living room, and then woke up and left in a hurry the next morning. The loft had been shrouded in dimness then, the lighting subdued, and everything that night had all been like a blur to me. I had been so fucking scared and confused that I had no idea Brian's place actually looked like this. Peering around now to study my surroundings more closely, then, it was like I was actually seeing Brian's place for the first time.
Brian smirked. “Everyone has that reaction to seeing this place for the first time. Well, most people only SEE it one time,” he added dryly as he turned to face me and then slowly closed the distance between us as I stood near an ivory-colored, leather couch facing a wall of windows.
I could feel how my whole body was starting to react to how close he was to me; in fact, it was causing so much emotion to boil up inside of me that I had to step back just a bit. It wasn’t that I expected Brian to peel all my clothes off me right there and then, but I was obviously getting restless and anxious just thinking about it.
No one other than Cody and Blake has seen me with my shirt off at this point. I have been working out in the gym quite a bit, and I'd even stopped wearing the binder about three months before, because my chest was getting flatter at that point; so much so that the binder became more restricting than helpful. But still…I didn't really know how I would react if Brian saw me without my shirt on, or what he would do once he noticed my pin, or the fact I'm actually using a packer inside my boxer briefs.
"Brian, wait!” I held up my hand. “I…I think we shouldn't…" I hesitated. What was I trying to say? I wasn’t even sure.
"What?” Brian asked me softly as he walked a little closer. “We shouldn’t be attracted to each other? Shouldn’t feel anything for each other? Are you afraid?”
I took a deep breath and let it out before finally nodding with a half-smile. “Yeah…you might say that. Petrified, in fact. But I’m not afraid of you. Just afraid…of the unknown, I guess.”
Brian nodded. “Well, how do you know unless you try?" he asked, leaning closer as he whispered in my ear, "How would WE know unless WE try? Come on," he urged me gently, pointing toward an elevated bedroom that was hidden from view by some decorative wooden shutters.
"Go on, lie down," he urged me. Staring into his eyes for reassurance, he offered me a small smile and a nod as I turned and walked over to the room he indicated, noticing the massive-sized bed. Taking a deep breath, I climbed onto the soft mattress and lay on my back, closing my eyes and trying fervently to calm my rapidly-beating heart and relax.
"Open your eyes," I heard him say from a few feet away, but I couldn’t do it; I was still apprehensive. “Come on, Justin. It’s okay,” he told me softly. His voice sounded so reassuring and soothing that at last I complied, slowly opening my eyes as I peered up at him. He was so magnificent, simply standing there, that my heart began to pound once more at the ramifications of what we were about to do.
"What would you like to do?" he then asked me.
"Do?" I looked at him, a bit puzzled.
"In bed," he clarified, flashing an amused, crooked smile at me. He crawled onto the mattress to lay down beside me before turning his head to gaze over at me curiously. “We’ll go as slow or as fast as you want to go. You set the pace.”
"I guess you could say I like to do what every guy likes to do," I answered candidly, feeling my face warming at the thought. "But…I’ll need to make some adjustments, you see…" I was very touched by Brian's attentive remark. My limited sexual experience up until that point hadn’t consisted of guys who were that considerate. I stopped and took another deep breath as I informed him, “You can touch my chest, but not my nipples, because it could trigger some of my anxiety.”
Brian nodded silently and started to unbutton my shirt. I was lying on my back, staring into his eyes the whole time, feeling all sort of sensations flooding my body as I let myself be touched by him.
I could feel his fingers – light as a feather, yet strong and masculine – caressing my torso, trailing along my ribcage, but avoiding any contact with my nipples as I had requested. My breath quickened as I watched him slide off the bed to stand and take his shirt off, his eyes on me the entire time as he gave me an assured smile. His upper body looked amazing from up close, but it didn't leave me anxious or stressed.
“Sit up,” he softly commanded me; as I did as he asked, he knelt on the bed next to me, and I tentatively reached out to touch his chest for the first time, feeling how firm and warm his smooth skin was. My breath caught in my throat as I let my fingers glide across his toned biceps, marveling at the strength there.
He smiled and moved to take my shirt off. Once the discarded garment was out of the way, he spotted the tattoo on my arm. He brushed his fingers along the bold yet intricate floral design, and then leaned over to ever so gently press our lips together in a deep kiss. Now that we were both shirtless with nothing between us, we lay down of one accord as we continued to explore each other's upper bodies with new-found lust.
"Briaaaan…" I groaned a few moments later when I felt the palm of his hand moving further down my body toward my crotch.
"What is it?" He asked in a coarse voice, caressing my face, my forehead, and my hair.
"If you only knew how I want you inside me…but…I think you need to know that I'm…dysphoric in that area," I told him, thinking he might not fully understand what I meant by that as he frowned back at me; after all, it wasn’t a word most people used on a regular basis. "What I mean is, I’m extremely self-conscious about it, for obvious reasons," The room fell silent for a few moments as he continued to lightly caress me in an attempt to reassure me that he wouldn’t pressure me to do anything I wasn’t ready to do. My mind made up, I began to pull my pants and my boxer briefs down to my ankles, tossing them onto the floor as Brian did the same with his. I quickly lay back down on the bed, biting my lip as I tried to regulate my breathing. I had never felt so bare and exposed in my life – physically as well as emotionally. I swallowed hard as I dared peer over at Brian, who was studying me quietly. It was disconcerting in a way, but not in a bad way. But my vulnerability made me anxious all the same.
"Roll over," he urged me softly. "Lie on your stomach.”
I started to comply, but then stopped; my body tensing up somewhat. "Wait! We need to use protection," I reminded him, feeling a little foolish that he no doubt already knew that, but wanting to make sure. "And lube.” Lots and lots of lube, I couldn’t help thinking; no one could miss how well-endowed Brian was. Shit. Could I really do this?
"It goes without saying," Brian told me soothingly as I watched him procuring the needed items from the bedside table next to the bed. "Trust me, okay?"
I nodded, swallowing hard. "I do trust you, Brian," I finally whispered as I stared into his eyes. “But please take it easy,” I pleaded before turning over as he asked.
"I'll go slow, I promise," he reassured me. I shivered then as I lay there, not sure if it was due to the coolness of the air on my bare skin, or the realization that Brian was getting a look at me naked for the first time. I heard him suck in a breath, then, as he hovered over me, the suspense of what he would do driving me crazy. I then heard the tearing of the condom packet and some soft rustling noises as Brian no doubt prepared himself, and then I gasped as I felt his fingers lightly trailing down my spine and then teasing the crack of my butt cheeks. I jumped when the fingers disappeared, only to reappear with the cold gel of the lubricant now coating them.
“Shhh….” He soothed me. “I know it’s cold. But it won’t stay that way.” He paused. “Ready?” he asked, and I nodded, touched by his concern.
“Yes,” I croaked out, my voice hitching at the thought. But I wanted this. I needed this. “Do it,” I told him. I lay my head on my folded arms, and squeezed my eyes tightly shut, waiting for that first, initial burn I knew would be coming.
I felt Brian's torso pressing against the curves of my shoulder blades and then his lower abdomen against my back, my skin felt like it was on fire from his touch as his dick teased my opening. “Try to relax,” he whispered, sensing my anxiety as his hands grasped my waist. “It’ll help ease the discomfort.” I nodded, my eyes still shut, which only served to increase the sensory overload flooding my body. I tried to do as he said, forcing my body to relax and slow by breathing, while my heart was threatening to burst from my chest.
I gasped as his cock pressed slightly inside my incredibly tight opening. I couldn’t help moaning at the initial intrusion, causing Brian to pause. “Justin?”
I shook my head. “No,” I told him, quickly explaining, “Don’t stop. Keep going,” I demanded breathlessly. “Just…”
“…go slow,” Brian responded as I nodded, grateful he remembered what I wanted. I tried once more to relax my muscles as Brian pressed in a little more, his girth enveloping me with a fullness I could never have imagined. Rising a little, he pushed in even more, making me hiss. He hit a particular spot, however, and suddenly my pain began to transform into something much more pleasurable. “Oh, fuck,” I breathed out in amazement as Brian pulled out and then pressed back in, this time all the way until we were skin to skin. He repeated the action as this time I pushed up to meet him this time, eagerly and hungrily, my eyes now open in amazement and awe. It was the way I wanted it; the way I knew it could always be.
There was nothing that could truly compare it to; it was nothing like my previous experiences with other men. I couldn’t really explain it; it was mind-blowing and stunning in its intensity. It was loud and it was quiet; intimate and revealing. It was our first time.
_ _ _ _ _ _
The Next Day, Early Morning, Brian's Loft…
We ended up fuckin, sucking, and making love all night, with the only light in his bedroom coming from a fixture that hung above the headboard.
"I want to see your face this time, Justin," he whispered at me when we woke up tangled in each other's arms, the sheet crumpled between us.
I smiled at him and flipped onto my back under the cover.
"Not like that…I want you…with us facing each other," he pleaded in a husky voice.
I took a deep breath and looked at him. "I’ve loved every minute of what we've done, Brian," I began. "It’s been amazing and beautiful and has exceeded everything I could have ever hoped for, but…I'm not ready for THAT stage yet. Not until after I've had all of it done, that is," my voice almost trailed off.
"I understand," he replied quietly.
I shook my head. How could he really know what it was like? "No, I don't think you do.”
"Then tell me; I want to know," he urged me, kissing me deeply.
"It's too complicated," I struggled to explain once we broke off our kiss.
"Try me," he countered in a raspy voice, his fingers brushing against my scruffy jawline.
"It's my parents…they're not…It's not...shit! It's SO difficult; I can’t really talk about this now," I told him, fighting the tears. I really didn't want to ruin the rare, beautiful moments Brian and I had shared last night, but I knew that if we were going to have any kind of relationship, I would have to confide in him about the rest of my journey towards transition.
I tried to breathe deeply and slowly, in and out, so I could relax and calm down, but it was fruitless. Thoughts about my parents – how they had always stood in the way – began to fill my brain, followed by even darker, disturbing thoughts. I felt I needed to get up and walk out of Brian's bed, out of Brian's loft, and out of Brian's life before things got way too complicated for me, for him, for both of us.
"I've gotta go, Brian," was all I could tell him, suddenly feeling smothered and almost desperate to escape.
"Justin, wait!” Brian cried out in alarm. “It's fucking six in the morning! At least let me drive you back to your place," he offered, but I felt I HAD to leave.
I shook my head. “Last night was amazing, Brian, and I’ll never, ever forget it, but I really have to go now," I told him, barely able to pull myself off his bed and away from his tender, smooth, strong touch, his warm embrace, his distinctive scent, his taste on my lips; away from everything we shared last night. I picked my clothes off the floor, covered my lower parts with my shirt, murmured a quick apology, and asked if I could use the shower.
He nodded absently, but seemed frustrated and hurt.
Once inside his spacious bathroom, I took a quick shower, dried myself, and put my clothes back on. When I stepped out of the bathroom, I noticed him lying on his side with his back to me.
My heart went out to him and I wished I could explain to him what was going on and why I needed to leave so abruptly.
"Later, Brian," I called over to him softly. He didn't answer, and didn't turn to face me as I left the bedroom and quietly walked myself out of the loft.