A blazing waft of hot air battered Lucas McKenzie as he descended the stairs to the subway platform, and he had to resist the urge to turn around and find an air-conditioned cab. New York City was in the midst of an August heat wave, and although it was hot as Hades on the street, down in the subway it was an absolute oven.
Lucas dropped his shopping bags and paced back and forth a few feet on the platform, staring down the tunnel every few seconds, hoping to see the approaching light. Sweat dripped down his forehead, and he checked his watch for the umpteenth time. He needed to get home.
Home. It was still surreal to think of New York that way; it didn't quite feel like home yet.
He'd been living in the city for two months in a tiny apartment in Greenwich Village and had transferred to NYU. He'd taken almost all science and math courses in his first year at Brookfield, and now he was basically back to square one. Lucas knew he didn't want to be a doctor, but he still had no idea what he did want to be.
Right now, the only thing he didn't want to be was late. Lucas ran a hand through his sweat-damp blond hair and sighed loudly. He'd gone to Brooklyn to pick up a few things at Target, and if the subway didn't come soon, he wouldn't make it back to the Village in time.
Waiting for the subway was bad enough under normal circumstances, but in a hundred and ten degree heat and running late, it was excruciating. Just as he thought he might melt, a faint glow appeared at the end of the tunnel. Lucas prayed the subway would be air-conditioned, and thankfully a cold blast of air greeted him as the doors swooshed open.
Lucas sat beside a wilting woman whose blouse was dotted with sweat stains. He shuddered to think of what he looked like himself and checked the time again. He'd been planning to have a shower and clean the apartment before they arrived, but the trip to Brooklyn had taken longer than he'd anticipated. He was still getting used to the rhythms of the city.
Finally he reached the West Fourth Street station. As he climbed the stairs, the handles of the plastic shopping bags were slick in his hands and he wished the crowd would move faster. Outside, Lucas took in a long, grateful breath. Compared to the heat of the subway platforms, the air on the street seemed positively cool. Of course, it didn't take long for the stench of garbage to settle in, and Lucas hurried home past the Saturday shoppers and dog walkers.
When he rounded the corner onto his street, his heart momentarily sank. A rental van was pulled up halfway onto the sidewalk in front of his building, which meant he was indeed late. Then Nate Kramer walked around the other side of the van, and Lucas's concerns melted away.
His heart pounded at the sight of Nate. It had been two months, and Nate looked just as gorgeous as he had before going to Europe. His dark, wavy hair was a bit longer than the usual cropped cut, and his skin had a golden hue. His lean muscles and long limbs were toned under his T-shirt and jeans.
Lucas somehow resisted the urge to run toward him. Instead, he called over, walking quickly to the van and dropping his bags.
"Lucas! How are you? Hope you had a good summer." Nate's father appeared and smiled kindly as he shook his hand.
Lucas forced himself to focus on Mr. Kramer and tore his eyes away from Nate, who grinned at him. "I'm good, thank you. How was Europe?"
"Wonderful, wonderful. Very ... European. Saw lots of family and you know, all the things you're supposed to see. Museums, art, old buildings."
Nate spoke up. "Great to see you again." He also offered his hand, and Lucas took it, trying not to betray the bolt of electricity that coursed through his body and shot straight to his dick.
"Well, you'll be seeing lots of Lucas now, won't you, dear?"
They all turned as Nate's mother approached from the front of the van. She smiled, but Lucas was sure he could detect some strain. He waved awkwardly. "Hi, Mrs. Kramer."
She softened and moved toward him. "Come here and give me a hug, young man." Lucas obediently opened his arms and grasped her briefly, conscious of his sweaty clothes. She kissed his cheek. "It's lovely to see you. I expect you both for dinner next weekend."
"Mom. I told you we'd visit, okay? Would you lay off?"
"I'm simply extending the invitation to Lucas, Nathaniel."
Nate snorted. "Invitation? More like direct order."
Lucas quickly intervened. "I'd love to come for dinner. I look forward to it, Mrs. Kramer."
She smiled at him. "Now that Samuel's moved out with that ... young woman," she said as her face momentarily pinched with distaste, "you really could have taken his room, Lucas."
"Mom. We've gone over this. It's time for me to move out, and Lucas needs a roommate." Nate's patience with his mother appeared thin after spending the summer with her.
Lucas concentrated on keeping his face passive so he didn't betray his excitement. He couldn't believe it was actually happening. After the bliss of spring break, alone in Lucas's dorm room at Brookfield, they'd had to make do with months of late-night phone calls and furtive sex in Nate's room at Passover and during a few other weekend visits. But now they'd have their own place, where they could be together all the time.
It was going to be perfect.
"I just don't understand why both of you can't stay at the house. Why waste money on rent?" She gazed at the brown, ten-story building. "No balcony, no air-conditioning. It's just so--"
"Deanna, they're students! Don't you remember being young?" Nate's father smiled at her affectionately. "Come on, it's too hot to stand around arguing." He opened the back of the cube van and began lifting boxes out.
Mrs. Kramer patted Nate on the cheek. "Well, at least you'll be closer to the library. Don't start fooling around now that you're not at home. You'll have to fill out your law school applications before you know it."
Lucas coughed to hide his squeak of surprise, and Nate steadfastly avoided his gaze. Law school? Hadn't Nate told his mother he'd transferred to NYU's Tisch School for photography? Or had he actually stayed enrolled in his prelaw classes? Lucas heaved a box into his arms and carried it into the waiting elevator.
He kept his head down as he went back and forth to the van, suddenly anxious as the fears he'd tried to quell all summer boiled up. Nate had spent two months in Europe, which was filled with hot guys who were a hell of a lot more exciting than Lucas. Did Nate have other secrets?
When the elevator was half-full, Nate tugged Lucas's arm and called to his parents. "We'll take this load up and be back down in a minute. Take a break, Dad."
Lucas turned the elevator key and pressed the button for the seventh floor as he wiped the sweat from his forehead, grimacing. Ugh, he was a mess. European guys probably never looked like this. "There's not that much left. Why don't we just get it all done in one trip?"
As the elevator door closed with a thunk, Nate pushed Lucas against the wall. He stared intently, his fingers skimming over Lucas's face. "Because I couldn't wait another fucking second to kiss you." Then he did, and Lucas opened his mouth with a moan, reveling at the sensation of Nate's tongue sliding inside. It had been so long, and he'd almost forgotten how good it was.
Nate reached out and turned the service key for the elevator, which clanged to a halt between floors. His hands roamed under Lucas's sticky T-shirt as they kissed desperately, only stopping to suck in air before tasting each other again. Lucas's insecurities and nagging questions evaporated into the muggy air as he held Nate close.
Grabbing Nate's ass, he ground their cocks together. They were both hard, and they groaned at the contact, even through layers of material. "Oh God, I wanna fuck you," Nate muttered, his hands everywhere, his teeth sharp on Lucas's neck. "It's been so long. I've thought about this every night for months. And every morning." He kissed Lucas again before breathing deeply. "Some afternoons too. A few evenings."
Lucas laughed and his chest swelled with joy and love. Wrapping his leg around Nate's hip, Lucas increased the sweet pressure. They were only dry humping, but his balls tingled and he knew he wouldn't last. Nate pressed him against the wall, thrusting his hips. They both dripped with sweat now in the small confines of the elevator, and they moved against each other frantically, kissing. Then Nate stopped and shuddered, moaning softly as his body jerked against Lucas.
After a moment, he dropped to his knees, yanking at the button and zipper on Lucas's shorts. Nate only had a chance to suck him deeply into his mouth before Lucas came, fingers tangled in Nate's curls. Nate swallowed every drop before Lucas slid down to the floor as well, barely squeezing in beside the stack of boxes.
He kissed Nate, tasting himself on Nate's lips and tongue. "I missed you," Lucas whispered, pressing their foreheads together.
"I'm not sure if I was clear, but I missed you too." Nate sat back on his heels. "Guess we should finish moving me in so we can send my parents on their way."
"Huh? Oh, right." Lucas had almost forgotten. He smiled wickedly. "What will we do with ourselves once they're gone?"
Nate smirked. "Hmm. Nothing springs to mind, but I'm sure we'll come up with something." He glanced down. "Got a pair of shorts I can borrow? I'll tell my parents I was too hot." He waggled his eyebrows. "I'm sure you agree."
Laughing, Lucas kissed him again and they struggled to their feet in the cramped space. Giddy with happiness, he turned the key, and the elevator lurched into life, continuing upward.