My first encounter with our visitor took place the very night he arrived; within the first hour in fact.
He'd not had time to shop and Cynthia had taken upon herself to extend him an invitation to join us for dinner. I honestly wished she'd spoken with me about it first. I felt uneasy as I made my way downstairs and wondered why she didn't just suggest he order a pizza instead.
In all fairness to Cynthia, she probably needed the interaction. It was just her and I for the past few days and I wasn't much of a conversationalist. I would have to meet him soon enough, if not tonight, then probably during tomorrow's morning swim. Applying logic to the two thoughts I'd just had, I'd decided that since Cynthia would be dining with us, it would probably be better to get it over with tonight.
I also decided that Cynthia was more of an ally than I'd previously given her credit for.
When I arrived in the kitchen, he was already there; leaning against the countertop with his arms folded at his mid-section. I'd heard voices as I approached the kitchen but there was only silence as I stepped inside the room. Cynthia briefly introduced us as she continued with last minute dinner preparations.
"Heero this is Duo Maxwell. Duo this is Heero Yuy." She smiled, turning back around to finish her chores.
I smiled politely and Duo offered me his hand. "Hey."
"Hello," I returned, hesitantly shaking it.
He was several inches taller than me and was of a slighter build. His right ear had multiple piercings, each hole filled with a silver loop; gradually increasing in size from the lobe up yet his left had none. What little of his skin that was visible was pale and I looked up to meet his glance; noting his eyes were an odd shade of deep violet-blue. 'So the pool boy doesn't get much sun,' I thought, quickly realizing that perhaps he wore sunscreen, which I decided was wise considering all the time he'd be spending out in the sun. I then paused to wonder why I was even thinking along these lines.
"So, our dads went to the same college," he commented.
I nodded and took my usual place at the table and looked over as he seated himself across from me. "Are you from around here?"
He shook his head. "I grew up in Westchester. Live in New York City now."
"Ahh...." I replied. That explained it.
"It's really nice here. I've never been to this part of Pennsylvania before."
"It's quiet," I replied.
"Heero attends Princeton; as both your fathers did." Duo smiled over at Cynthia as she seated herself at the head of the table. "Help yourselves."
I watched as Duo helped himself to salad and pasta, buttering a slice of Italian bread as well. "Everything looks great, Cynthia. Thanks for inviting me."
"No problem." She smiled.
I served myself a small portion of pasta and an even smaller one of salad. Despite the fact that this was one of my favorite meals, I felt awkward and took solace in the fact that Duo's joining us for dinner would be a one time deal.
"Maybe tomorrow you can show Duo around town, Heero. He needs to do some food shopping too."
I cringed and forced a smile as I looked up at Cynthia. "I can draw him a map."
Duo looked over at me, easily reading my reluctance before turning toward Cynthia. "It's okay. I'll find my way around."
I almost felt bad...almost. I was angry that she had practically volunteered me to give him a tour of the town; once again taking something upon herself that involved me without having asked me first. I had every intention of discussing this with her when we alone.
I pretty much kept quiet during the rest of the meal. I barely listened to what Duo and Cynthia were talking about; though I was aware of the endless chatter. I couldn't help but notice that they had very similar personalities; or at least it seemed that way. They spoke almost as if they'd known each other for years. Their postures were relaxed and their words seemed to flow without forethought.
We'd finished our meal and Cynthia stood to clear the table.
Duo looked around the kitchen and smiled. "Nice place. The guest house is great too."
I nodded. I wasn't being arrogant; it wasn't my house. "You do this sort of thing often?
"Take care of people's pools?" Duo asked. "No. This will be my first go at it."
I inwardly groaned.
Duo continued. "I have a little experience taking care of my own a few years ago though. I'm sure I can handle it."
Cynthia interrupted the short conversation to announce that coffee and dessert were ready. The two spoke at length in between forkfuls, drawing what should have been a ten minute dessert out into a longer than comfortable event.
I didn't understand how they were able to carry on such conversation when they barely knew one another. I faded into the background, once more tuning out the constant drone that was their voices. The fact that I remained silent seemed to draw attention to me; making me feel even more self-conscious than I already did.
Despite the fact that they'd not called me on my silence, I politely excused myself and returned to my room.
I turned on my stereo and laid on my bed, giving the last hour some thought.
Duo's presence in the house would be minimal. The only time I'd need to come in contact with him was when I was out by the pool. I normally swam for an hour in the morning and another at dusk, but used the area surrounding the pool for reading as well as exercising. I would need to find another area on the grounds that would be suitable for any outdoor activities I planned on engaging in other than swimming. I didn't feel comfortable spending all that time out there with anyone...let alone him.
I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was about him that I didn't like. I had had only one brief encounter with him so far and he certainly hadn't done anything during that time to offend me, but I came away from our first meeting pretty much convinced that he and I just weren't going to get along.
I'd skipped my evening swim that night and Cynthia questioned me later about it.
"Not swimming tonight?" I wasn't surprised that she noticed. She, probably more than anyone who knew me, was aware of how I functioned and that I rarely deviated from my routine.
I didn't see any reason to lie. "I don't feel uncomfortable around him."
"You two didn't exactly hit it off tonight."
"Hit it off? I don't plan on becoming his friend," I informed her flatly. I was about to continue, intent on telling her how I didn't appreciate her offering my services to Duo when she interrupted me.
"He's going to be here all summer, Heero. You should at least try to be cordial."
I found her logic to be without flaw and offered her a quasi-candid response, "We'll see."
It had been several days since Duo arrived and I rose at 9:00, as I had every morning since returning back home. It felt almost sinful..stealing those few extra hours of sleep. I'd taken a shower the night before so I dressed in only my bathing suit and slipped a shirt on. I made my way down to the kitchen and grabbed a glass of orange juice before heading out to the pool.
I entered the gate to find Duo just finishing up and putting the vacuum away. He nodded at me, disappearing behind the cabana with his arms filled with white flexible tubing. I took the opportunity to remove my shirt and dive into the water; swimming my standard six laps before resurfacing and finding myself alone.
I made the assumption that Duo had gone back inside the guest house. I really hadn't expected to see him out here, he'd usually finished his morning maintenance long before I arrived. I lifted myself up out of the water and sat on the pools edge, wiping the water and my hair back off of my face.
"I just noticed that you're almost out of chlorine. Is there somewhere special I should go to get more?"
I turned, surprised that I hadn't heard him approaching. "I'm not sure."
He sighed. "Well, do you think you could find out for me?"
I looked up at him. "Cynthia might know." He looked annoyed.
"Fine. I'll go ask her."
I could hear him mumbling under his breath as he made his way toward the house; slamming the gate as he exited the pool area.
At first, I couldn't figure out what it was that I'd said that had irritated him. Perhaps he expected me to ask her, or maybe he thought I was just being uncooperative...which I wasn't. It could have been taken that way I supposed. In either case, I'd pissed him off...at least I think I had.
I gave it no further thought and slid back into the water to finish my morning exercise.
I spent the better part of the rest of the day up in my room working on my computer. It was a time consuming obsession, one that I found both fulfilling and amusing at the same time. I didn't limit my activities to strictly programming as I understood the benefits of diversity, at least in mild doses. There was little time during the school year for hobbies and even if there had been I'm not sure what I would have chosen.
I wondered what Duo did in his spare time. He seemed to be fairly social and yet spent most of his day cooped up inside the tiny guest house. He didn't know anyone from around here and I guessed that he probably felt alienated and perhaps bored as well. I didn't feel responsible for his situation, but if any of my assumptions about him were correct, I certainly wasn't helping the matter any.
Cynthia had taken a real liking to him and it didn't come as a total shock that she'd invited him to join us for breakfast and dinner. I ignored my displeasure and wished I'd spoken with her about my feelings regarding Duo instead of allowing her to turn my quiet reserve against me that first night.
During dinner that night after the pool chemical discussion, I got the distinct impression that he was still annoyed with me; though he hadn't mentioned it..he hadn't even glanced in my direction.
The following morning, I headed out back and had mixed feelings about finding Duo there.
I had suggested to Cynthia that I would make at least an attempt to be cordial, but wasn't sure if that meant that I should refrain from being rude when he spoke to me or if she thought that I should try to engage him in conversation. I came to the conclusion that she most likely meant both, but I'd already fucked up the former twice, making the latter that much harder to accomplish.
I had been taking in his activities for the last thirty minutes from the chaise lounge with my dark glasses hiding my eyes from him. He finished vacuuming the pool and went inside. I waited a few minutes and followed him in. He was in the kitchen, refilling his glass with ice water and turned toward me. "What do you want?"
"I came in to use the bathroom."
"Sure, go ahead. It's your bathroom."
I ignored the comment and used the facilities, finding him still in the kitchen as I prepared to exit. "You don't like me much, do you?" I asked from the rooms entrance. I'm not really sure why I cared, but it did bother me that he'd taken such a dislike to me.
"No, not really," he replied, not even bothering to look up at me.
"Why?" I asked. I was pretty sure I could handle it.
He looked up at me this time. "You are a condescending snotty little brat," he shot back before lowering his head. "That answer your question?"
It was a little more than I expected. "Yeah," I replied, waiting a few more seconds before I left.
I took off my shirt and threw it on the chair, setting my sunglasses down on the table. I dove into the water and swam a few laps, trying to burn off some of the frustration my short but informitive conversation with Duo had brought on.
I wasn't really a difficult person to get along with, though rather limited in social experience. I still didn't know enough about Duo to determine if he was introverted like myself, but I strongly doubted it. I had watched him interact with Cynthia and they didn't seem to have the same difficulty in getting along as we did. As a matter of fact, if I didn't know better, I'd say he was easy going and that there wasn't a nasty bone in his body. My experience with him had shown me otherwise...and on more than one occasion.
I chose to ignore him the next few days, mostly by just staying away from the pool area when there was any chance he'd be out there. He was a creature of habit and after a few days, I knew just what time of day he performed his maintenance; he rarely ventured out of the guest house for any other reason.
Dinner and breakfast presented their own set of problems. Only polite exchanges passed between us and our eyes never met. Eventually, Cynthia noticed it, confronting me after Duo had gone back to the guest house one evening after dinner.
"You don't like him, do you?" she asked as we seated ourselves on the couch in the den.
I chose not to respond right away, instead trying to determine what it was that made her ask me that. "Do you think I'm a condescending brat?" I asked.
She almost laughed, covering her mouth with her hand.
I raised my eyebrows at her. "Well?" I trusted her opinion and I knew she wouldn't lie to me.
"I've seen your behavior leaning toward less then diplomatic," she responded winking at me.
"So, that's a yes."
"No, for the most part you are a nice guy. It depends on whom you are with."
"What brought this up?"
"He said you were a condescending brat?" she asked in shock.
"No, Actually he said I was a condescending snotty little brat," I replied with a huge smile.
"That's rather rude. Not something I think would come from his mouth," she began. "Is that why you are avoiding him?"
She was so observant. "Yeah."
She stood. "I'm sorry to hear that," she told me, picking up her glass from the table. "It would have been nice for you to have some company your own age."
With that, she exited the room, leaving me with more to think about than I think she intended...or maybe not.
The fact that we'd not spoken in days succeeded in helping the whole thing blow over. I'd pretty much still timed my forays back to the pool so that I would have less of a chance of encountering Duo, though I felt significantly less apprehensive about it.
I entered the gate this morning and he was no where to be seen. I put my towel on the chaise and removed my sunglasses and shirt; laying them on the lounge as well. I was checking the temperature of the water and had just laid down when I heard the front door of the guest house open. I looked up to find Duo approaching the pool.
"Morning," I replied. He was dressed in his usual fashion: in a t-shirt and loose pair of cut off jeans.
"I'll be done here in a few minutes," he told me as he reached for the skimmer.
I put on my sunglasses and watched him as he went about his chores.
He handled the ten foot pole with ease, dragging the white mesh net over the surface of the water. He removed his sandals, walking around the perimeter at the very edge of the concrete coping to reach the center of the pool; the muscles in his calves tensing as he leaned precariously over the edge.
He'd spent a great deal of time taking care of it since he'd arrived two weeks ago and despite his lack of experience, he managed to keep the pool in better condition than any of the professionals we'd hired in the past. I decided to let him know.
"The pool looks great. You're doing a good job."
He turned toward me and smiled. "Thanks." Immediately continuing his task.
He was difficult to talk to, at least for me. Cynthia seemed to think otherwise. Our previous conflicts aside, I wondered if it might be because he viewed me as his boss or if the issues were strictly mine. I certainly didn't consider him an employee...at least not completely. I came to the conclusion that telling him he did a good job with the pool probably reinforced that part of our relationship...still the only one we had and a strained one at that.
I figured I'd see if I could engage him in conversation. "Do you swim?"
A silly question perhaps, but in the two weeks since he'd arrived, I hadn't seen him in the water.
"Then why don't you?" I asked. It seemed an strange thing to say. I continued, "I haven't seen you in the pool since you got here."
"I've been in....several times...at night though. When no one else is using it."
No one else...he meant me. I was the only one here. "Oh..."
He finished testing the water and put the kit back in the cabana, seating himself on the chaise next to mine. "All set." He smiled, laying back and still looking toward me.
I felt a little self-conscious going for a swim with him sitting right there watching me, but stood and removed my sunglasses. I thought about asking him to join me, but quickly wrote the idea off and stepped up onto the diving board to enter the water.
When I resurfaced at the other end of the pool, Duo was just opening the door to the guest house.
That night I crawled into bed and, for reasons I didn't quite understand, my thoughts turned to Duo. I'd actually found myself thinking about him a great deal of late...relative to many different things. And while I didn't always view him in a positive light, the thoughts were not nearly as negative as they had been when he first arrived.
He confused me....and he was unpredictable. He was unlike anyone I'd ever met. Every time I thought I had some part of him figured out he would go and do something that totally blew whatever I'd come to accept as fact about him out of the water. Even through my confusion though, there were two things that I knew to be true about him.
First off, he was in many ways very unlike the persona he tried to project. This was something I'd determined shortly after his arrival...perhaps even the first day or two. I didn't get the sense that he was trying to hide who he was, it was more that he chose to veil those aspects of himself he thought that either Cynthia or myself might find objectionable. I made no speculation what it was that he shielded from us.
The second was that as different as we outwardly appeared, the similarities in the way we thought as well as our behavior at times were striking. I knew little about his personal life beyond the fact that his family was very well off. I ventured to guess that there were other parallels in our home lives, not understanding why I got that impression, only that it was a strong one.
Along with the deliberation came a lucid understanding that I was attracted to Duo....in a sexual way. This didn't come as a total surprise; it was more of a yielding to my supressed desire. He had captivated me since his arrival.
It didn't concern me that he was male. He was the first person I really found myself drawn to and oddly enough one of the few people I'd ever met that truly disliked me; and had the nerve to say it to my face.
I became aroused as I allowed myself these thoughts of him; taking the desire one step further as I imagined his hand on my length, stroking me. I'd often seen the way his thin fingers gripped the pole as he vacuumed the pool and it required very little imagination to picture what those same fingers might look like wrapped around my cock.
I turned over onto my back and ran my hand down my chest, stopping to tease both of my nipples, pinching and twisting them until they'd hardened. I slid my one hand further down and into the elastic of my shorts, just grazing the tip of my erection. I ventured a guess at what his touch might be like and finally deciding it would most likely be on the rough side. I wrapped my fingers around my cock, squeezing it as I thought he might and thrusting my hips up off the bed, moaning at the intensity of my own touch. I released myself and slid my shorts down and off, taking my cock back into my hand and rubbing in between my legs with the other, spreading them still further apart as the pleasure built.
I tried to envision what he might look like naked, it frustrated me no end that he always wore a shirt and that his shorts came reached almost down to his knees. I had no doubt he had an attractive body, what little I'd seen of it made me desire him even more. It was a downright tease. I closed my eyes and could almost see him taking off his clothes, slowly stripping as he watched me watching him with unfettered lust. I stroked myself more rapidly, moaning his name as I rocked my hips up off the bed with the vision of his sweaty and aroused form in my head. I wanted to know what his hands would feel like on me. I wanted to feel his hard cock twitching like mine was in my hand.
Easily bringing myself to climax with unrestrained thoughts of him, I opened my eyes and rolled over to look out my bedroom window toward the guest house. "Jesus, Duo...what the hell are you doing to me?"