Deciphering the Bloom

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Babes

This is my first submission so constructive criticism is welcome.

My gratitude to nomoretears00, who sent the email encouraging me to post, and did so much more you are awesome!

Thanks to Cari Z.

Blackstallion21 is my amazing, talented editor. If there are any errors it’s on me, I keep rewriting.

This is a copyrighted work of fiction by the author seeker71. All rights reserved.

Nicolao scanned the occupants of the bus looking for his usual seat. His mouth quirked sideways in disappointment, the bus was unusually full and he would have to stand until something opened up. Perhaps he would have to forego his morning snooze to work. He grimaced again at the idea, adjusted his bag and began to make his way to the first open pole towards the rear.

“Um, you can sit here.”

Nicolao turned to meet the eyes of the speaker it was the kid on the first seat behind the driver. That was not just who he was today, it was how he identified him in his mind. The small young man sat there every morning, his ears covered by headphones, a cap pulled low over his eyes and his things sprawled next to him, preventing anyone from sitting beside him.

“Sure, thank you,” he responded as the seat was cleared. Once the backpack was snugly settled under the seat Nicolao eased his large frame down and placed his own bag at his feet. He caught the bus driver looking at him in the rearview mirror. He recalled one of his first times catching this bus; a boy got on and motioned for Kid on the First Seat to move his things. The woman’s voice was too forceful as she barked a loud no, and directed the other male to open seats in the back.

Maybe Kid on the First Seat is her son, he thought.

But that did not seem right to him. The clothes were clean but threadbare, and that backpack had seen better days. Since the driver had no objection to his sitting there and he was getting nowhere with his own musings, Nicolao decided to go fishing.

“Thank you again for the seat, I am Nicolao,” he flashed him his friendliest smile and extended his hand.

“No prob… I mean you’re welcome,” the young man sighed, flustered, “I’m Davey.” He tried to keep his breathing under control. He had offered the god of his fantasies a seat, but he did not think it would lead to actual conversation.

Thinking is not your strong suit idiot, he chastised himself mentally.

As they shook hands he met Nicolao’s eyes and dropped them quickly to his lap. That small movement gave him hope that Davey was interested in him after all he liked what he saw thus far. Davey was about five foot and seven inches, almost foot shorter than Nicolao, slim, with pouty, pink lips and sad, dark blue eyes he pictured briefly all of the ways he could drive the sadness from his eyes, and had to shake himself to reality. He had to know how old he was before he got ahead of himself.

“So Davey, do you know why it’s so crowded?”

“Oh, it’s orientation down at Tech. It gets like this at this time of year. Time for the schools to dump the dead weight, and most people like me scramble to Tech to finish up. It won’t last long. Most people will lose interest in a week or two then things will go back to normal.” Davey’s voice was low, he would go weeks without speaking, and his vocal chords strained to perform when they were called upon.

Nicolao leaned in closer causing the smaller man to swallow nervously.

“I don’t quite understand, what is dumping the dead weight? I have only been here a few months and am not quite familiar with all things local.”

“Oh, well um,” Davey shrugged, somewhere in this explanation he was going to reveal to Nicolao the god, he was a loser, but at least he could look into those liquid brown eyes for this one morning. “This county has the best school system in the tri-county area based on standardized test scores and stuff. They keep on you about attendance and making improvements on your tests, cause the better the scores the more money and recognition.”

Davey furrowed his eyebrows as he paused, Nicolao still appeared interested. “If you miss more than ten days or are not up to your yearly improvements you are either dumped from the rolls, encouraged to transfer to another district, get your GED or do one of the alternative trade schools. This is the week after interim, people know whether they will make it this semester or if times up, so folks are looking at their options.”

“The dead weight dump is the district dumping kids.” Nicolao was disappointed, not only was Davey apparently a high school student, but his new home town was as mired in class division as he suspected. “I suppose those with disabilities are also dumped.”

Davey looked at his companion the big man’s expression had darkened. “No, actually those with disabilities have a file and their scores are not counted. It only affects people with no diagnosed disabilities.”

“And you are one of those dumped kids?”

Davey wished he was invisible, his common prayer to an uninterested God. “I’m in my last year of school and I’m twenty years old, not really casino şirketleri a kid.” He looked out of the window, he couldn’t make out things in the distance without his glasses and he preferred it that way. His eyes naturally obscured the world from him, and the world never took him under scrutiny, so they were mutually blind to one another in his reckoning.

“But you kept going and soon you will be finished.”

Davey returned his gaze to him, unsure if the man was having fun at his expense. He had been talking to a twenty year old high school senior, and still didn’t appear fazed. Davey could not process that he still wanted to talk to him, even as Nicolao filled the silence.

“I have a younger sister, Nieves. She was what, my family just called slow,” Nicolao looked upward, visually picturing his sister, the corners of his mouth lifted in a soft smile.

“I tell you she tried so hard to understand what came easily to the rest of us, and the neighborhood kids were not always kind.” He shrugged his broad shoulders, brought his gaze from the past, and winked at Davey.

“The taunts never went too far, I made sure of that. But what I was always so proud of the way she never quit trying, never stopped, even when it seemed to be a waste of effort and time. Nieves was diagnosed with Visual Processing Disorder when she was fourteen. You should be proud you didn’t quit.” Nicolao held Davey’s eyes, and was rewarded with dimples as he smiled.

He could hardly believe it. The object of his crush was not only gorgeous, but he was kind, had protected his sister, and was actually telling him, he should be proud.

He doesn’t know I’m a fag though, Davey told himself.

Davey was naturally small, which most of the worlds a-holes equated with him being gay. He was not twitchy, but somehow the a-holes always knew, like it was tattooed on his forehead.

“Did Nieves finish school?”

“No, actually she got her GED, she got knocked up her senior year, but that had nothing to do with her disability.”

Davey cocked his head to the side, not knowing what to say, then joined Nicolao as he laughed out loud; he noted the laugh was near soundless.

At least he is looking at me now, and he is not jailbait, Nicolao thought.

They were quickly approaching Davey’s stop, he wished he had more time. Nicolao was probably not gay, but maybe he could be a friendly face on the bus.

“Nicolao and Nieves what kind of names are those?”

“Spanish, my mother is Argentine and my last name, Evangelista, is courtesy of my Italian father. There are five of us kids all with names beginning with N.”

Davey liked the masculine rumble of his voice, and the slight accent.

“My stop is next.” Davey reluctantly shifted to get his backpack. Nicolao did not move, and the slight man’s body pressed against him. A vision of him bent over for another reason, caused Nicolao’s chest to tighten. The contact was something he definitely wanted more of. He reached over and pulled the collar of the young man’s jacket up.

“I know I am new to the weather, but aren’t you cold?”

Davey’s heart caught in his throat. The look from those warm, brown, pools was unmistakable, Nicolao was checking him out.

“I don’t get that cold,” Davey muttered, dropping his eyes.

Nicolao saw that the headphones were attached not to an mp3 player, but to a walkman.

“Well, maybe I will see you some time Nicolao.” Davey said as he slid past him.

“Yes, I will see you tomorrow Davey. Have a good day my friend.” He replied.

Davey blushed as he descended the steps. Of course he would see him tomorrow. They saw one another five days a week. Davey braced against the bone- chilling cold and swung his backpack over his shoulders. His heart fluttered as he thought of Nicolao, and made his way to his first class.

Nicolao was pondering what he wanted from the man that had just left his presence, when her voice intruded on his musings.

“Davey don’t have a coat.” The bus driver offered; she did not wait for a response, “that’s why he sits behind me, so he can warm up with my heater.” She made eye contact via the rearview mirror, and inclined her chin toward the small heater, pointing mostly to the vacant seat.

“He’s a good kid mister… “

“Nicolao.”

“Nicolao, I’m Addie. I look out for him best I can.”

If that is true, why let him run around without a coat? He posed the question to himself.

As if she heard his thoughts, Addie shook her head, “The wind breaker he has on I gave him three years ago. I give him coats but the ass who’s ‘sposed to look after him takes them, to wear them or sell them. Either way he won’t take any more from me, it’s not like I haven’t tried, but he’d rather be cold than have me taken advantage of.”

Nicolao waited for Addie to say more, but that was the extent of what she wanted to share. She wanted to him to know Davey was a good kid, a good, cold kid. He looked down at his own coat. He had paid three hundred for it, an investment he could not regret, the coat fit his muscular casino firmaları frame, was warm, and he looked damn good in it. The cold of February chilled him to the bone. He wondered how Davey made it, every day with only the thin jacket.

“Well, Miss Addie, I’m a good guy, so we have that in common. But actions speak louder than words. Have a good day.” He called out as he exited the bus. The days ahead were full of promise now, and all it cost him was his morning shut eye.

*****

A pattern formed in the following days. Nicolao would get on at his stop, sit next to Davey, and would inquire about how his day had unfolded. Davey would answer, but rarely initiated further conversation. He would either launch into an anecdote about his family, or observations about the city. Once he exited the bus, Nicolao would get more information from Addie.

She had been driving Davey for six years. He lived in the worst part of town, deemed the Under, as in under the poverty line. He had transferred to the better high school, Wilson, his freshman year, which was why he was on her bus. Addie had two boys of her own, and had taken a liking to the shy teen. She said he would not make it to school for weeks on end, but at the beginning of every school year, he would be back. Things had never been good for the kid, but she noticed it got worse three years ago. He never dressed well, but he had less clothes, and he got skinnier. Then Davey just stopped showing up that winter, and did not reappear until he started the program at Tech, the next fall. Addie offered the theory, that Davey’s uncle had gotten more strung out on drugs, but warned Nicolao that he never spoke ill of the man.

There was only one day until the end of the week, and Nicolao had watched Davey, in the cold, for long enough. He made plans to meet Addie’s bus not far from his office on his lunch break. Addie, he thought, was a middle aged woman who had never been pretty, but when he shared his idea her green eyes illuminated. He chided himself.

Addie is quite pretty, you just have to see her filtered through joy, he thought.

Nicolao shook his head, as he wondered when his mother had taken up residence in his brain.

Friday morning Nicolao resisted the urge to smile when he saw Davey.

“Looking good in that coat, now I don’t have to worry about you getting to cold in this weather,” he fingered the sleeve of the brownish orange coat.

He blushed, “I don’t get that cold really-“

Nicolao raised a well formed eyebrow halting the obvious untruth.

“Thanks, it’s a loaner coat from Addie, but is sure feels nice…but you should never have worried. The cold isn’t that bad.” Davey offered.

Of course the coat was his, he had instructed Addie to offer his purchase to Davey, and have him leave the coat with Addie, since he was on her afternoon route as well. The coat would remain out of the uncle’s hands, and their little friend would be warm for at least part of the day.

“Does it really look good? I mean the color…” Davey faltered.

“You don’t like the color?” Nicolao could not keep the amusement from his voice.

“Oh, no…I mean, yeah, I like the color…but you said I looked good. I would never think of orange is all.” Davey wondered why he brought it up, he was happy for the coat. Nicolao was being nice when he said he looked good.

“It’s a contrasting color to your hair and blue eyes. It makes your features stand out, and in my opinion you look very good.” He allowed his eyes to dance over Davey’s body. Davey imagined he could feel Nicolao’s gaze on his skin, and his dick responded to the phantom caress, becoming full with each passing second. He was all the more grateful for the coat so evidence his arousal could not be seen. When he got home, it was his daily practice to go over every word Nicolao had spoken, his laughter, and the deep, baritone pitch of his voice was a hypnotic melody he pleasured himself by.

Nicolao observed with satisfaction, the quickening breath, and pupil dilation of his intended. Davey was reserved, but he was responsive. He enjoyed a good seduction, but that did not explain the other emotion tugging at him, as he saw him in the coat. They completed their ride in comfortable silence, as he pondered the nature of his feelings.

*****

It was another week before Nicolao asked Davey out on a date.

Davey paused so long he thought he was going to be rejected. He wanted to just agree to anything, as long as he got to spend more time with Nicolao, but he had no clothes to wear on a date.

“Some nights I work on floors… ” It wasn’t a lie he did earn money occasionally, helping Mr. Ernst, but not that weekend.

“Well, how about lunch? There is an Italian place I love, not far from my apartment, Vesuvius.”

Davey nodded, “Yeah, I have seen it.”

“How about we meet there tomorrow at noon?”

Davey beamed at Nicolao, showing his dimples, and he could not help but return the brilliant smile.

“Here is my card in case anything changes it has my cell, and business line.” He handed güvenilir casino him the card and his own cell, “just dial your number and I will save it.” He ordered casually.

“I don’t have a phone.” Davey ducked his head, as he returned the phone.

“Oh, well there just can’t be a change in plans. I will see you tomorrow, have a good day.” Nicolao called out his usual valediction.

When Nicolao arrived at Vesuvius’, Davey was there waiting, without a coat.

“Have you been waiting long?”

“No, I got here a bit early on the bus.” Davey had on a button down, white shirt, and his best jeans.

Nicolao was glad to see he had ditched the hat, and he could see his hair was a light blond halo of curls, but perched on the bridge of his nose were glasses. He wondered how he had missed that, he looked even more adorable. Without preamble, he grabbed Davey’s hand, and led him to a table in the corner. Davey followed mutely, watching the perfect ass in front of him.

If I die now I would have no regrets, Davey thought.

After they seated themselves, Nicolao waved at the waitress, and pushed his hair behind his ear. For work he kept it neatly pulled back, and tucked in his jacket, but it hung freely, past his shoulder blades. The firm he worked for did think he should have a professional cut, but he claimed it was cultural they dropped the matter, and even offered him an apology.

“I come here a lot, this is officially my table.”

The waitress brought menus and water. When she returned, he asked if Davey was ready, but he shrugged, and asked Nicolao to order for them both, since he had never been there. Nicolao took the opportunity to order everything he loved from the menu. It was lunch, and he would work it off in the gym later.

“I didn’t know you wore glasses Davey.”

Davey chewed his calamari, “I’m near sighted, so I only put them on once I’m headed to class.” He decided to not mention his congenital cataract it was not a winning conversation.

“Speaking of class, you will have all of your credits in few weeks. What will you do once you are finished?” Nicolao regretted the question before he finished posing it.

Davey’s blue eyes took on their familiar sadness. “I have to get full-time work. There are lots of jobs for drivers, and things, but I don’t know how to drive. I have never been good with my hands in fact I am not that good at anything really. I have applications out, but I haven’t gotten one email or anything. Uncle Ben isn’t trying to make me move, so I will figure it out.”

“How long has it been you and your uncle?”

“Fourteen years? My mom died when I was seven. She got pneumonia. I remember the paramedics came, wheeled her out, and I never saw her again.” There was a distance he could feel as Davey spoke. His voice was detached, as if hollowed out.

Jesus, bad topic, way to start a date bring up his dead mother, Nicolao berated himself mentally.

“Your dad?”

Davey shrugged.

Nicolao’s large hand encompassed Davey’s hand, and squeezed. “It’s okay, you don’t have to talk about it. I was just trying to get to know you better. Why don’t you try your eggplant parmesan, and I will tell you how I know it can get better for you.”

Davey picked up his fork, but was surprised Nicolao did not let go of his fingers. “I am not the most successful guy I know. But I am making a comfortable life for myself, as an interpreter, and paralegal.”

Davey wanted to tell him he was the most successful person he knew, but only nodded in agreement.

“When I was twenty I had completed high school, but,” Nicolao blew a breath out, and paused.

He’s nervous. Davey realized.

“I was in prison.”

Davey wanted to snort, and tell him to stop lying to him, but he could see the sincerity in his eyes.

“Why?”

Nicolao relaxed a bit, Davey had not removed his hand from his.

“Ultimately, DUI and cocaine possession, my mother has some displaced warrior theory, but the truth is I was just destructive. I came from a solid family, there is no excuse for what I put them all through, I liked dabbling in dangerous things. After graduation I did not want to work in my father’s auto body shop. I took classes at the local college, but I stopped going after one semester. My friends and I would go drinking, and race. Pretty soon, I was using drugs…I never got addicted, but I just kept pushing my limits. One night I was really wasted, I had gotten dumped by my girlfriend and my boyfriend.”

Davey’s eyebrow shot up at that statement, he smirked. “I used to only date in pairs…I was such an ass.”

Nicolao paused to drink, “I drove and tried to straighten out a curved road. I wrecked, totaling the car Pop and I had restored together. I was arrested for DUI, reckless endangerment, and when they inspected the Impala they found coke, mushrooms and weed.”

“Were you hurt?”

Nicolao let out a mirthless laugh, “No, hardly a scratch, I only destroyed the barrier and the car. But I could have killed someone, someone who unlike me, cared if they lived or died, and that is why my parents would not help me. My family showed up for all court dates, but refused to hire an attorney for me. Ma said the only way I would get better would be for me to go through the challenge I had created on my own, I did two years in jail.”

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