Charlie Winters stood outside the door of apartment 4R for what, at least to him, seemed like the longest period of his life. The nineteen-year-old knew that it had only been a few minutes since he had been buzzed in the front door, but even if he had taken the long way up the stairs instead of the elevator, the person he had come to see would soon be wondering what had happened to him. Staring at the nondescript dull green metal door, the dark haired teen mentally reviewed the sequence of events that had brought him here.
It had been eleven months since he had graduated high school and come to work in the mailroom of the brokerage house. Unable to really decide what he wanted to do with his life, and not wanting to just take some college courses without a clear direction, his father had offered him two choices. Take a job one of his friends had arranged and gain some work experience, or go into the Army. Not wanting to commit himself to the four years the Army would demand, he agreed to the job.
The job at Ross, Mackenzie and Peters turned out to be just what he needed. It gave him a chance to see what the business world was like, and his work responsibilities were easy enough that he couldn't screw them up. Basically, he sorted and delivered outside and interoffice mail every hour, as well as filled supply and copy requests. That and make an early morning trip to a computer firm and pick up a few boxes of computer printouts. Few companies could afford massive mainframes, even in 1978, and outsourced their record keeping.
The people were all pretty nice as well, even those with jobs that were many levels over his. They stopped and chatted with you, shared a joke and treated you, if not as an equal, then at least as a fellow worker. His job took him to both floors the company occupied and he had even become friendly with some of the brokers and secretaries that worked upstairs.
One of those people was David Myers in Research, who, despite being eight years older, shared a common interest with Charlie in comics and science fiction. Many days, the mailroom clerk would stop by the older man's desk to find an old comic David had brought in for him to read.
"Improving your mind?" Kenny Logan, the other mailroom clerk asked in a sarcastic tone when he saw Charlie reading one of those comics on his break.
Kenny Logan, while nominally Charlie's equal, always took a superior air around the younger teen for no other reason that he was a year older and had been there longer. Personally, Charlie was of the opinion that Kenny was an asshole and had, with this mailroom job, already reached his peak.
"I'd lend it to you after I finished," Charlie called back across the room, "but it has words to go with the pictures and I wouldn't want you to strain your brain trying to sound them out."
"Funny, real funny," Kenny retorted feebly, "but you know, people are beginning to wonder about you and all the time you spend with Myers."
"What are you talking about?" Charlie said, looking up from the old Legion of Super Heroes comic.
"You're not going to tell me you don't know."
The look on Charlie's face said just that. He had no idea what the other clerk was talking about. A fact that brought no small amount of joy to the blond haired coworker, because it meant that he had the pleasure of telling him.
"The guy's a faggot!" Kenny said, with all the sensitivity that Charlie would've expected from him.
"He is not!" Charlie said automatically, rushing to his friend's defense.
"He most certainly is," Kenny grinned, "just about everyone else who works here knows it. It's not like he's ever tried to hide it. He even lives with another guy."
"So what if he is," Charlie replied, deciding that not even Kenny would say something like that about someone who could get him fired if it wasn't true. "It doesn't make any difference to me."
"Well it might make a difference to some people," Kenny went on, not letting the matter drop. "People see the two of you all chummy and think, where there's smoke there's fire."
"Well they can think all they want," Charlie said in a tone that said both that it was all he was going to say about the matter and that it made no difference to him either way.
As he went back to reading his comic for the ten minutes that remained of lunch, how the Legion was going to defeat the Fatal Five was no longer on his mind. The idea that Dave was gay stirred some thoughts that the young man would rather not address. While he didn't think he himself was gay, since he had a sexual interest in girls and had lost his virginity during his senior year, there had also been times that he found himself thinking about guys as well.
Not all guys he reminded himself, but there were some that stirred feelings inside of him. Feelings that caused his cock to grow hard and images of what two guys might do together to appear in his head.
When he returned the comic later in the afternoon, he found himself staring at David long enough for him to have noticed.
"Something wrong, Charlie?" David asked as he put the comic back in it's protective plastic bag and dropped both into his attaché case.
"No," the younger man lied, "I just wanted to say I enjoyed the book."
"Next week I'll bring you in some of the early Justice League/Justice Society crossovers," David said with a smile. "They were my favorites when I was a kid, I think you'll like them."
"Thanks," Charlie said before going on to the next department to pick up their mail.
As he wheeled the small mail cart down the hall, and for the rest of the day, Charlie found the image of his friend, and what he had just learned about him never far from his mind.
"Oh shit!" Charlie said to himself as he woke in the middle of the night from one of the most erotic wet dreams he had ever had.
The details of the dream were a little fuzzy, but one aspect of it was crystal clear. There hadn't been a single girl anywhere to be seen. Only a face hauntingly familiar.
Silently as he could, he slipped out of bed and made his way to the bathroom to wash himself and change his underwear. That task taken care of, Charlie crawled back into bed and under his sheet. To his surprise, he soon found himself erect once more.
Without really thinking about it, his hand slipped under his sheet and his fingers closed around his cock. Stroking it softly at first, then with an increasing tempo, he was soon rewarded with a pleasing orgasm. One that brought with it the rewards of sleep and a broad smile on his face.
"Hey Charlie, I've been looking for you all day," David said as he walked into the mailroom late Friday afternoon, a half-dozen plastic covered comics in his hand. "I was beginning to get the feeling that you were trying to avoid me for some reason."
"Why would I want to do that?" Charlie said as he looked up from a tabletop covered with the afternoon mail delivery. "We've just been a little busy today, that's all."
"I was only kidding," David said with a smile as he sat down on the edge of the table and laid down the comics on an empty spot. "I just wanted to drop these off before I left for the day."
"You're leaving already?" Charlie asked as he glanced up at the clock on the wall and saw that it was only half past two.
"I have to drop a friend off at the airport to catch the four o'clock shuttle to Boston," he explained.
"So I'll catch up with you on Monday, okay," the older man said as he slid off the table. "Enjoy the books."
Charlie watched David walk out of the mailroom, and then stared at the empty doorway for almost thirty seconds. Then, ignoring the pile of work in front of him, he took off after him. He caught him in the outer hall, just about to get on the elevator.
"David, wait up a minute!" he called out.
The research assistant stopped at the sound of his name. When he turned his head and saw Charlie running down the corridor after him, he backed out of the elevator and let it leave without him.
"Something wrong, Charlie?" he asked, seeing the look of concern on his friend's face.
"I needed to ... I mean I wanted to talk to you a minute before you left," Charlie said as he caught up.
David glanced at his watch and knew he had to get out of there to beat the rush hour traffic out to LaGuardia. Still, what kind of friend would he be if he couldn't spare five minutes. Whatever was bothering Charlie was obviously of some importance to him.
"What do you need?"
"Are you gay?"
"God, I can't believe I just asked that," an embarrassed Charlie said as he looked up and down the hallway to make sure that no one else had heard him.
"Charlie, why would you ask something like that?" a still stunned David asked.
"I ... I mean Kenny said and I..." he stammered.
"Kenny," David repeated as he slowly shook his head, that single name speaking volumes. "Look, Charlie, I hope it doesn't make a difference to you, but yes I am."
"I guess I should've told you," David said in an apologetic tone. "I'm sorry."
"No, you don't have to be sorry," Charlie replied. "It just took me by surprise, that's all."
"Then we're okay?" David asked.
"Sure," the younger man answered, bringing a smile to the older one's face.
"Great, then I'll see you..." the sandy haired researcher started, then paused when he suspected there was something else. A suspicion he then put into words.
.... There is more of this story ...