Konner heard a knock on the front door of his apartment, letting him know Aaron arrived. He opened the door to find Aaron dressed in a stunning men’s suit. “Come in. Goddamn! You’re so handsome! And I thought you were gorgeous in blue jeans. But shit! I’ve never seen any man look so beautiful. You’re breathtaking!” The color of his suit fell somewhere between a medium blue and dark gray. His blazer had pockets and lapels trimmed in what appeared to be black velvet piping. The dress shirt was a deep lilac with French cuffs, cufflinks in black onyx surrounded by gold and rhinestones, and a tie that could be best described as a black and white checked, herringbone pattern.
Coming through the door, Aaron leaned forward to give Konner a soft kiss. “Hello,” he greeted, wanting nothing more than the taste and feel of those supple lips. He was sporting a dark stubble beard, which prickled Konner’s lips. A sensation and look Konner never tired of.
Konner felt dizzy, from what most would consider being a gay man’s slice of paradise. “Fuck, between your black hair, blue eyes and the sexy face stubble, I’m ready to tear your clothes off and drag you straight to my bed!”
Aaron glowed. To him, Konner was the entire package. Good looks, great personality, amazing in bed, and a joy to be around. He said, using his most amorous voice, “Oh, really! So, does that mean I’m going to get lucky tonight?”
“I’d say the forecast looks promising.” Konner shook his head in amazement, “You’re gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous!” He grimaced, “Though, I’m afraid my one-bedroom apartment doesn’t compare to a home in Bel Air.”
“This apartment has you in it. So, for me, this address is more palatial than all of Bel Air.”
“What did I ever do to deserve you. David Kirkman in the flesh. Tell me I’m not dreaming.”
“No, no, no. Remember, I’m Aaron Kirschenbaum. Your long, lost cousin who couldn’t be happier to have been found.”
Konner’s heart was ready to burst. Not in a million years did he ever imagine a man of such status or wealth would ever want to go out with him. “Where are we going for dinner? Am I even dressed well enough?”
“The place is called 71Above. Have you heard of it?”
“Sure, I’ve heard of it. It’s so expensive! I appreciate being asked out and the way you’re treating me, but I don’t want to take advantage of your generosity. Then again, if you really want to go there, I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to afford it,” said Konner.
“First of all, it’s my treat, and you’re worth it. You asked for a perfect gentleman, and so that’s what I’m trying to be. Also, I wanted to use this opportunity to make up for being a complete ass toward you. I hope you’ll forgive me. Please, let me do this for you.” Aaron gushed a river of sincerity.
Konner melted under his unwavering charm. “Okay, let’s go then. Lead the way.”
Konner and Aaron arrived on the seventy-first floor of a tall high-rise building in downtown Los Angeles. The restaurant’s name, 71Above, was derived from the fact it was on the seventy-first floor. Views from the surrounding windows offered a three-hundred-sixty-degree, panoramic view of the city’s skyline. The restaurant’s manager and host greeted them. “Good evening, Mr. Kirkman. We’ve been expecting you. I noticed you had a 7:45 reservation. It’s always a pleasure to see you again. And who is this handsome gentleman you have accompanying you?”
“This is Konner O’Flattery, he’s my date.” He introduced Konner to their host. “Ralph is the manager of 71Above.”
“Pleasure to meet you,” Konner greeted. “This is my first time dining here and I have to tell you, the views from up here are unbelievable. Magnificent!”
“Thank you, I can’t argue with that, the views are something else. Especially when you come up here at night time, and all the city lights appear. Let me see you to your table, gentlemen.” He escorted the two men to a table right next to a window. Ralph placed menus in front of each of them. “Enjoy your dinner.”
“I guess everybody recognizes you wherever you go?” Konner asked.
Aaron rolled his eyes. “A great deal of the time, but not always. Remember I explained, it feels like I can’t get off the stage.”
“Are you okay with that? Obviously, being recognized on a constant basis is an issue you can’t get away from.”
Just then a young woman, who appeared to still be a teenager, came up to their table. Her eyes illuminated with a distinct sparkle and gleam. “Excuse me, Mr. Kirkman, could I get your autograph, please.”
Aaron smiled at her, “What’s your name, sweetheart?”
“My name is Michelle, but most people just call me Mish.”
Aaron took the pen and autograph book from her and signed his name. “Here you go, Mish.”
Tears of happiness spilled down her face showing off her dimpled cheeks from the wide grin she wore. She said, “Thank you, thank you, Mr. Kirkman!”
“You’re welcome, sweetheart,” Aaron said returning the smile. Then she sped away back to her table with a pronounced bounce in her step.
“Sorry about that,” Aaron said to Konner. “I’m afraid that’s part of the package with me. I don’t have the heart to say no to autograph requests. Like I always say, I’d be nowhere without my fans.”
“Oh, please,” said Konner. “Look how happy you made her. Why should you apologize for making that sweet, polite girl feel special?”
“I can’t lie to you, I had boyfriends in the past who couldn’t take the constant interruptions. It’s one thing I always worry about when I date someone new. Will they be able to handle the attention?”
Konner reached over to hold Aaron’s hand. “I’m not deluding myself. I know that’s all part of the package, and I accept those terms. It’s fine with me; I don’t mind sharing you. Just put those concerns out of your mind.” A lightbulb switched on in Konner’s head as he realized, “In the brief time I’ve known you,” he shrugged his shoulders. “You’ve made me feel so comfortable. I mean to me, you’re just Aaron. There’s a Yiddish word I learned a long time ago, for people like you.”
Aaron was puzzled. “A word for people like me? I’m not following. Because I’m a singer?”
“No, that’s not it. It’s a word that means you’re a good, decent, upstanding person. I think it began with an M.”
“Oh—you must be thinking of the word mensch. Is that it?” asked Aaron.
“That’s it! A mensch. You’re a mensch.”
Aaron leaned forward wanting to steal a kiss. Konner asked, “Out here in public? You’re okay with that?”
“Would I be asking for a kiss if it concerned me? If some bigoted asshole wants to have a cow over two men kissing in public, they can go fuck themselves!”
Konner’s eyes shone, and he leaned forward to accept his kiss. “Thank you for bringing me here. I can’t imagine anything more romantic than right now.”
Aaron responded, “You’re welcome.” Their waiter came to see if the two men wanted something to drink before ordering. “A glass of White Zinfandel.” Looking across the table, Konner gave a telling nod. “Make that two glasses.” The rest of the evening went off without a hitch. Their dinners were delicious, the service wonderful, and Konner couldn’t tear his eyes away from the spectacular views. Not only the views out the window, but also seated across from him.
While the two gentlemen split a piece of chocolate-chip cheesecake for dessert, Konner made a suggestion, “Why don’t we go back to your place.”
“My place?” Aaron questioned. “Why go back to my place?”
“For one thing, your house is a lot closer than my apartment. And I’d like to spend the night with you. As long as you’re okay with that? I don’t want this evening to end, and I can’t think of anything more special than spending the night with you.”
“Nothing would make me happier. So, ummm, I guess this means you’re okay if we have sex?”
“Yes, it’s fine with me. I was just giving you a hard time. Wait. Let me rephrase that. I do prefer holding sex off on the first date. There’s a difference between a date and a hookup. I’m sure you understand what I mean by that. Besides, who am I kidding. We’ve already blown my no-sex-on-the-first-date rule.”
Aaron, a bit bashful, said, “True, but I feel like I’m to blame.”
“You’re darn right! You are to blame. You’re not getting off the hook for what you did. But—you had the integrity to be honest about what you’d done. That takes a lot of guts! I guarantee you, most men wouldn’t own up to it. Isn’t that what being a mensch is all about?” Aaron answered yes with a positive nod of his head. “At least I won’t freak out by you shoving your dick in my face!”
“I am sorry,” Aaron offered. Konner grinned and leaned forward to ask for a kiss. Aaron complied with the request, and he took this gesture to mean Konner forgave him.
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