I had been looking for a new roommate for almost a month and I was becoming desperate. I began my search extremely picky, looking for the perfect person--someone I could easily envision being friends with and someone I could count on being financially secure. After weeks of searching and a lot of disappointing and untrustworthy applicants, I reluctantly decided that I would settle for just the latter.
This afternoon another potential roommate would be stopping by and so I was tidying up. I lived in a fairly large apartment, with two big bedrooms, a large living space, an office and even a patio. I kept it extremely tidy and also installed a new oven and fridge with my own dime. I loved to cook so the custom range and trustworthy oven temperature was imperative, as was the extra fridge space.
Jennifer was over as usual, lounging on the couch watching TV. It was really probably for the best that she would be there for this given that she was practically a roommate as well. She slept over most nights at this point. It also probably wouldn't hurt my chances of the roommate being interested - she was quite easy on the eyes.
I'd met Jennifer (she hated "Jenny") two years prior through mutual friends. At the time I was 28 and Jennifer only 21. Truth was, she was arguably out of my league. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fine looking guy. I have dark features and a thin, delicate face with good bone structure. My thin body wouldn't make the cover of any "manly" magazines but at least I don't carry around any extra weight. My skin is flawless as well, something that women frequently complimented me on. All in all, I was considered exotic and attractive by many women (or so I've been told). But Jennifer, she was a fox. A body even thinner than mine, she managed nonetheless to have lush curves around her waist and chest (size "D"). Her fair skin was pale against mine and she had the face of a sexy college student (which she had recently been) - big innocent eyes and a mischievous grin. Jennifer had helped draw me out of my shell these past years, bolstering my confidence and helping me move past my timidity and self-consciousness. I loved her for many reasons, but more than anything, I loved her for that.
I looked over at Jennifer, who glanced back at me with a flat stare. "You don't need to say it."
I clenched my jaw.
"Relax, babe." She said soothingly.
"There it is....." She sighed. "Yes, I suppose he is."
"Not a great way to start a relationship I'd say."
"You know what I mean."
"Babe, so he's a little late. It's fine."
"Ten minutes is more than a little."
"It's really not."
Just then there was a loud knock on the door. Her eyes widened and she smiled. "Be nice!" she whispered as I got up.
I opened the door and suddenly was looking at the top of another guy's chest. I looked up. Damn this guy was tall.
"Hello, you must be Michael, yes?" The giant said in a smooth voice with a heavy russian accent, extending an arm towards me.
"Uh, yeah. And you're Gabriel?" I replied, taking his hand. He had a hard, strong face. Dark eyes, serious and brooding. They were narrow and topped by long thick eyebrows that angled down on the outside, giving him a contemplating look. His cheekbones and jawline were very pronounced and framed a symmetrical nose and large lips. His hair was shaved short and he had light stubble on his face. My immediate thought was that this is what girls might think of as classically handsome, in a dark and brooding fashion.
"That's right. So, shall we see what we work with here?" He gave my hand a strong couple pumps, squeezing far harder than I expected, and then he was stepping past me and into the apartment.
I turned around and glanced at his back, surprised to see it filling most of the doorframe.
Gabriel was probably 6'5'' and broad as hell. He wasn't gym-rat muscular, but judging by the way his t-shirt pulled at his shoulders, a good amount of his bulk was certainly muscle. He was also younger than I expected--closer to Jennifer's age or maybe even younger.
I already had a bad feeling about this. However big he was, it wasn't an excuse to be a jerk.
"Oh, hello." I heard Gabriel say to Jennifer, who had stood up and was striding towards us.
"Hi there, I'm Jennifer!" she said in a friendly tone. I noticed she quickly flicked her eyes up and down, taking in the size of Gabriel. But it was very subtle.
Gabriel, meanwhile, was grinning, looking Jennifer up and down very carefully. "So Jennifer" he said her name smoothly, almost softly, and I saw Jennifer's eyes widen at the sound of her name coming from him. "...how do you...fit...here?"
"Oh, well.......I'm...I'm..." she stumbled her words, which was unlike her, "Michael's girlfriend," she finally finished. That statement had taken a bit too long for my liking.
"Really." Gabriel said bluntly as Jennifer walked to my side, glancing at us back and forth.
For some reason, Jennifer slapped my ass, hard. I yelped. She did have a tendency to do that (she loved my ass) but never in front of people. "Yep!" she smiled as I rubbed my ass and shot her a glare.
Gabriel chuckled. "You are very cool, Jennifer" He said to her, then glanced at me, as if excluding me from the compliment.
He continued. "So, Michael, shall we take the look?"
"Yes, lets." I answered sullenly. Following this big dude into my own apartment, I frowned at Jennifer. She just looked at me brightly, the very image of innocence.
We walked from room to room as I showed Gabriel around the apartment, describing various aspects of it.
"Ahhh, a very nice couch" he commented as we passed the living room.
"Thanks," I replied. "That's actually made from synthetic wool. I don't believe in using animal products."
"Yes, okay." He replied absently.
I saw Jennifer roll her eyes at me. I suppose I didn't have to come on so strong.
We walked around the rest of the living room and kitchen. I had customized both to my liking quite a bit but held my tongue other than some general descriptions.
We walked down the hallway and entered a bedroom. "This would be yours." I said simply.
"Hmm.. It is not so bad. It could be bit bigger....but not so bad"
I clenched my jaw. The room was pretty damned big by city standards. Not to mention that it was already furnished (quite well I might add), on which he didn't comment.
He shrugged and kept going down the hall. I followed, ignoring Jennifer who was giving me soothing gestures. She could sense my mood.
Unbelievably, he stepped into my room without even asking. "Ahh! This is more like it!" he exclaimed. My room was bigger, and the furnishing a bit more elaborate. I also had my own patio. Hey - there was a reason I was the subletter and he the (potential) subletee.
"Thanks, this is my room."
"Hmm..." He walked around the room, glancing onto the patio as well, "can that be changed? I think maybe, yes."
I looked at him, confused. I replied slowly. "No...It's my room. I am subletting the first one you saw."
"Very well. Anyways, the room - it is a bit too....what is the word?....feminine? for me."
My eyes widened in anger but he had already turned his huge back to me. There was ONE purple chair in the corner, it was very stylish. And the yellow duvet cover on the bed was certainly not feminine.
We wandered back to the living and he sat down. Jennifer sat down too and they started chatting, Jennifer asking him about himself.
I grabbed a few drinks from the fridge and brought them over.
He glanced at the can I handed him. "Diet? Do you have anything straight?"
Straight? What the fuck did he mean by that.
Jennifer chimed in. "Honey, he just means not diet."
I raised my eyebrows sheepishly. "Sure, right. Yeah I'll grab you something." I wondered off without a thanks from Gabriel.
When I returned Gabriel and Jennifer were chatting easily. Jennifer turned to me.
"Babe, Gabriel is an artist!"
"Oh really, that's nice." I replied flatly, handing Gabriel his "straight" coke.
"No, like a legit artist. His pieces have been sold by barneys for hundreds of thousands!"
My eyes widened at that.
Gabriel just grinned and shrugged modestly. "Only a few for so much."
"Thats...that's really cool, man." I replied.
"It's amazing!" exclaimed Jennifer. "How old are you even!?"
He just shrugged. "I am 20 year old."
Jennifer shook her head in amazement. She an excited look on her face, her eyebrows raised. I sighed inward. He was financially stable, even if young. I would actually need to consider this guy now.
"So...what do you paint Gabriel?"
He turned to me, his intense gaze finding mine. Suddenly I felt uncomfortable, though I couldn't say why.
"Women, of course." he responded. "What else? I capture the beautiful shape and allure of the woman's body. Always live models."
I stared at him blankly, raising my eyebrows slightly. Jennifer had come to stand next to me. I turned back to him. "Would you...be working here if you lived here?"
WHACK, Jennifer backhanded me on the chest.
"Oww..." I exclaimed, rubbing my chest tenderly. "I'm just asking. I mean it's relevant, right?"
Jennifer was glaring at me but Gabriel just looked amused. "I mean...mostly no, I have a studio. But the models will probably come over sometimes."
"Right, of course." I replied, a bit too quickly for Jennifer's liking. "Anyways..." I needed to change the subject before Jennifer bore a hole through my skull with her stare. "...what else do you do with your time?"
"Hmm...well I read. And I work out very much."
"Clearly...." Jennifer said airily. It was my turn to glare.
Gabriel grinned at Jennifer. When he smiled, his hard face softened dramatically. A handsome smile for sure.
Still a bit on edge, the latest comment didn't improve my mood. "If you don't mind me asking Gabriel, why are you even looking to sublet? Surely you could afford your own place?"
"Michael, that's none of our..." Jennifer started to say but Gabriel cut her off, his heavy Russian accent cutting through her words.
"No, no, it is a fine question." He regarded me but then turned to Jennifer. "I like a roommate, someone to hang out with, do you understand? A healthy...how do you say....give and take, relationship." For some reason he winked at me at that point. "Also I prefer sublet because I prefer not to manage the household."
I had to admit to myself that seemed like a pretty legitimate answer. It even ticked a few boxes in my mind for what I was looking for. And I definitely wanted to retain control of the place.
After we spent another few minutes chatting, I tried to bring things to a close. "Okay, well this has been good. Thanks for stopping by, Gabriel. I'll be reaching out." I said.
"Hold on, Michael." Jennifer put in. "Gabriel - do you have any questions?"
"Ahh, yes. May I bring in my own furniture?"
I replied. "What do you mean? You saw the room is furnished."
"Yes, I know. But I like my own."
"But what would I do with my own things?"
"No problem. I could rent out space." He said simply.
Storage space? I didn't really have a basis on which to object but it was a weird suggestion. And it left me feeling almost as if I was in HIS debt. As if I should show him thanks. I shook off the feeling.
"Well, thanks for coming by." I said, dismissing him.
He grinned and shrugged. "No problem. You will discuss with the beautiful Jennifer," he flashed her a grin," then let me know when I can move in."
For some reason Jennifer went slightly pink in the cheeks.
For myself, I glared at Gabriel's wide back as he opened the front door and left.
Jennifer turned to me. "He's perfect!" she exclaimed.
I rolled my eyes. "Too cocky. And he's practically a child."
She let out an exasperated sigh. "Come ON. He's financially stable, wants to be buddies with his roommate, and he can move in right away." Then she grinned mischievously. "And he didn't look like a child to me."
"That's it, huh? You just like him because he's hot." I replied dryly.
Jennifer cocked an eyebrow at me. "Hot?"
I blinked, flushing a bit at the realization of what I'd said.
"You know what I mean." I replied sullenly.
She rolled her eyes. "I like him, because he's nice, financially sound, and looking for a friend. All things you wanted, Michael."
I knew she was right, but stubbornly, I insisted we continue to interview people.
After a week without any promising interviews, I reluctantly offered Gabriel the spot. He was moving in today.
"So are you excited?!" Jennifer asked me.
"Not really." I answered honestly.
"Oh come on! It's gonna be great!"
I just shrugged.
"Listen, Michael. I know you have your doubts about this guy, but you already made your decision. May as well try to make the best of it, right sweetie?"
As usual, she was right. I looked at her and gave her a sheepish grin. She kissed me lightly and I kissed her back, appreciating her as much as ever.
"Thanks, Jen." I said quietly. She smiled at me beautifully.
Just then, a hard knock at the door came.
I opened the door and found Gabriel carrying a huge coffee table.
"Zdorovo!" He declared, and gave me a one-armed hug even while holding onto the huge table with one arm. His hug was like a vice.
"H..Hi, Gabriel. Welcome." I said into his broad chest.
He released me. "Spacibo. Thank you, Michael. It is good to be here." He pronounced my name a bit softly, halfway to "Mishel".
Jennifer strolled over. "Hi Gabriel!" she said eagerly.
"Ahhh, my light has arrived! Hello Jennifer!" He pulled her in as well and gave her a peck on each cheek.
As he released her, I saw Jennifer was blushing just a bit. It was hard to fault her though, I may have been blushing myself. His jubilance was a bit much.
"So...are the movers downstairs?"
"Oh no, how could you suggest such a thing?" Gabriel answered, stepping into the apartment. "You are looking at the mover."
"You're moving all your stuff in yourself?" I gaped. "But you said you had a ton of furniture and things you were bringing." He certainly could afford movers, from what we'd heard.
"Yes, yes. But moving is a man's job, yes?" He slapped his biceps with both hands. "Why do I need another man?" He continued to carry the thick wooden coffee table towards his bedroom, seemingly with ease.
Jennifer glanced at me then glanced away, grinning. I turned red again. I had hired movers the prior day to move the things out of the room into the storage room Gabriel had rented for me.
"Well..." Jennifer said as Gabriel returned from the room. "We would be happy to help." I glanced at her. I would definitely not be happy to do so, though I admitted to myself that it was necessary to offer.
But Gabriel cut off the notion immediately. "Oh no, of course not." He glanced from me to Jennifer. "As I said, a man's work."
I didn't know whether to take it as an insult, or whether he meant a man should move his own things. I bit back a retort as he exited.
Jennifer and I resumed watching "The Bachelor" (Jennifer had gotten me hooked). The next trip up, Michael was somehow moving what looked to be a kings size mattress - on his own. We lived on the 3rd floor of a walk-up!
He gave us a wide grin and again waved off any offer of help. As he proceeded through the day, it took him a full 2 hours to bring everything upstairs, each time refusing help. At first his white t-shirt was clean and dry. Then it developed gross perspiration stains. But soon the stains spread until his entire t-shirt was soaked through with sweat, practically transparent.
It clung to his body and revealed for the first time just how large Gabriel was. In addition to his height, he may have been the broadest man I'd ever seen. He wasn't as thick as a bodybuilder, but he wasn't far off. His pecs jutted out strongly with hard muscle - and sloped back into a flat, shredded core. I thought I could make out his abs but I wasn't sure. When he turned, the breadth of his back made even this thick muscled torso look thin, all revealed through the slick transparent t-shirt.
More than once, I caught Jennifer eyeing Gabriel from the corner of her eye, and sometimes blatantly head-on. But she snuggled up closer and closer to me as she watched him pass by. With the warm feel of her body against me, I let it slide.
Finally after somehow carrying a cushioned lounge chair stool in one trip, he stood in front of us, hands on his hips. "It is done!" he announced. He was breathing a bit hard but he had a proud grin on his face. His almost see-through shirt revealed an impressively built and shredded physique that made me glance down at Jennifer. I couldn't see her eyes but I could suspect where she was looking. I couldn't help glancing back at his body myself. He was so big....
"Well, congrats man." I said. "Welcome to your new place!"
He gave me a nod. "Thank you, Michael."
Over the next couple weeks, Jennifer and I started getting to know Gabriel. It wasn't good. I soon regretted ever doubting my first impression of him.
He was clean, and I guess somewhat friendly in a brooding fashion. But god he drove me up the wall. When he wanted to watch something on the TV in the living room, he seemed to expect he would always get his way, no matter what I wanted to watch. He was practically a kid for christ's sake. When he wasn't commandeering the television, he always had some hi-minded art philosophy topic he wanted to discuss.
And his artwork, man he flaunted it. The guy constantly came home from his studio covered in paint and would describe in minute detail the girl he had been painting that day (always nude). It got to be a particular interest to Jennifer, who would sit for long periods of time listening to the minute details of the small of the model's back or the way her hip bone was visible just so (or some crap like that). He was extremely serious about his work and his face always took on an intense and focused cast when discussing it.
The worst of it was that he constantly commented on Jennifer's body and insinuated that he wanted to paint her. Fuck this guy.
It wasn't that he was a bad guy, I grudgingly admitted to Jennifer one night. He was just so cocky and overbearing. And self-involved. And his accent was so thick as to be distracting.
"There's a difference between cocky and confident, Michael." Jen scolded. "He is extremely confident. He may be the most confident and self-assured man that I've ever met."
"Uh huh" I replied doubtfully, and not a bit jealously.
"And he's not obnoxious, Michael. He just knows who he is. Honestly you could learn a thing or two from him. Also - his accent is sexy as hell and you know it."
Sexy? His accent was so harsh and hard.
"Oh fuck off. Why don't you just go hang out with him then."
She quirked an eyebrow at me. "Well...maybe I will."
Fuck. I didn't want her to do that. But, stubbornly, I also didn't want to back down from the fight. So I just stayed silent and looked back at her.
She stood and I looked her up and down. After a nice dinner out, she was in a thin white dress that hugged her tight figure and hinted at the tan bra and panties she wore underneath. She looked fucking good and I realized I really didn't want her to spend any time with Gabriel looking like that.
I was about to back down and beg her to stay when we heard a knock at the door. We glanced at each other questioningly then walked out of my room and towards the front door. Gabriel reached the living room at the same time as we did, and he wore nothing but his boxers.
"Ahh, hello my friends! I will get the door! She is a...what is the word?...a colleague of mine."
He went to the door, taking long strides as Jennifer and I stared after him. Why wasn't he wearing any clothes? And holy shit. I knew he was large but he was so much more. He was incredibly fit. His muscles, while perhaps not overwhelming on their own, were massive when added on his large frame. And he was so cut. He didn't appear to have an ounce of fat on his body, giving his muscles a sinewy appearance despite their size. The being that strode past us what a thing of rippling muscles shifting the hard edges and lines of its body all over.