Kenji is a third-generation Japanese-American and a gregarious fellow. He’s also gay.
When he buys a new condo, he meets James, the somewhat heavy-drinking ass who lives next door. Even if the guy were gay, Kenji wouldn’t date him in a million years.
Despite their differences, Kenji and James form a friendship which slowly moves into the bedroom. Kenji is falling for James, but can James come around to accept he’s really gay? Does he love Kenji, or will the relationship die out before it even begins?
James finished his wine. Kenji refilled it. “I normally don’t like people to feel sorry for me.”
“Neither do I, but it happens.” Kenji patted James’ leg. “Thank you for the wine. I’m afraid to drink it, so expensive.”
“I can afford it, and my dad is worth it. So what good news did you get today? You’re pregnant?”
“Hey, your sense of humor is improving.”
“It is, eh?”
“I met with Mr. Talbert from your dad’s law firm. He said he’s going to kick the ass of the contractor who built these units, and he’s arranged for a reputable roofer to begin making repairs. They won’t get paid until we settle the suits. He’s going after the inspector you and I hired. We’re also suing the city of San Jose because their inspector was on the take. I didn’t figure that stuff still went on.”
James laughed. “Oh, my naïve little neighbor. Graft makes the world go ‘round.”
Kenji opened another bottle of wine. “I like being naïve. Otherwise, I get depressed. My dad told me of the extra money he made getting paid in cash to pick up things he shouldn’t.” Their gazes met, and they toasted again. “To life!”
James repeated, “To life.” He drank. “So, there’s something I want to ask you, and I hope you’re not offended.” Kenji nodded. “When I first met you, I thought you were a class-A asshole, a left-wing do-gooder.”
“I am a left-wing do-gooder.”
“Right, well, I’m pretty far-right-wing myself. Anyways, over time, I’ve changed my opinion of you. I not only like you now, but I respect you. I’ll always be indebted to you for coming over that day Dad had his heart attack.” He coughed, looked around, and drained his glass. Kenji poured more. “You’ve said you’re not dating anyone. I was wondering if you’d consider being in a relationship with me where we have mutually beneficial sexual relations? I hate to jack off so much at my age. I should have a lover.” He pursed his lips and shrugged.
Kenji blinked, a lot. He finished his drink and poured more. He was feeling it and wanted to take himself further. “Are you asking me to be your fuck buddy?”
James’ voice weakened. “Yes, but I can tell I shocked you. It’s also obvious it was a stupid idea. Forget it.” He stood to leave.
“Please don’t go. Yes, you shocked me, and I need time to digest it. I’m a lightweight with booze, and I’m feeling the wine. I had a rum and coke before you got here.”
“Oh, I love rum and coke.” James sat.
“Are you clean sexually?”
“Oh, yes, very clean. You?”
“Yes.” They finished the second bottle. “I’m going for another rum and coke. Want one?”
“If I’m not imposing.”
“You’re insecure, huh?”
James nodded. “Not as bad as I used to be.”
Kenji said, "Yes.”
“Yes, I’d like to be fuck buddies with you, but I’m not putting you in my will.” He slapped himself. “Wait, I don’t have a will.”
“My dad will write one for you, no charge. It’s one of his specialties. He wants to see you, by the way.”
“I’d like that.”
James relaxed in the couch and took the rum and coke Kenji offered. “He has his own plane, twin-engine turbo-prop with a commercial pilot to fly it. He’d like to take all of us to Lake Tahoe for dinner one night. That’s you, me, Mom, and Dad.”
“Sounds wonderful.” Kenji slid closer to James on the couch until their knees touched. He finished his drink in two gulps and put the glass on the coffee table. “Do you kiss?”
“Normally not. I might still be in a bit of denial, or so says my former therapist. I figure, if I don’t kiss a guy, I’m not really gay. Sorry.”
Kenji took James’ drink, set it aside, and straddled him, kneeling. He ran his hand through James’ crew cut and put a hand behind James’ head. He leaned ever so slowly and brushed his lips to James’. “Was that okay?”
“Not too bad.”
Kenji kissed him again, soft, quick, and did the same thing a few times. He sat next to him.