He stood by the corner, hugging a bag of films and lenses as he watched me posing shot after shot. I couldn’t look away. He had the most arresting eyes. [Those swirling depths of brown]. He’d always stand by the side, watching the photo session silently with the most penetrating gaze.
“Christian! Can you please concentrate!” Ruben Anders, my photographer, chided.
I mumbled an apology, only to be answered with a heavy sigh. “I don’t think you’re up for the shot right now, Chris. Take a break. We’ll get back in thirty.”
I blushed and nodded, very well aware of his disappointment in my distraction the entire day. I got off the set, watching him walk up to Ruben, assisting him with the equipments.
[Him.] It was just a few days ago that I was able to put a name to that beautiful face. [Him; Jesse Anders,] the son of the famous photographer Ruben Anders. They didn’t look anything like father and son. Whilst Ruben had auburn hair, Jesse had light blonde. While Ruben’s eyes were green, his were hazel brown. His face was the most delicate that I’d ever seen, with a build that leaves on-lookers breathless with desire: not too muscular, not too skinny. Standing at 6’1″, he was lean and supple, just right.
I flopped onto the sofa with an arm over my eyes as I continued to obsess over that face. Oh, yes. Jesse Anders had me twisted around his little finger the moment our eyes met. Ruben had always been my principal photographer; my face wasn’t plastered across billboards, but I was good enough to have a steady income and to have Ruben photographing me. He had always felt that he can bring out my potential, and he liked our rapport on set. I was partly because of him that my career was growing into the positives. Ruben was set on me not long after I started out, but it was only till now that I know of his son.
I felt the sinking of the cushion of the loveseat and I glanced over to find Jesse sitting there. I blushed.
“Mr. Anders thought I might help get you out of your funk,” he said simply. He had no idea he was the cause of my “funk”.
He handed me a bottle of water and stared at me intently.
I was puzzled. “What?”
He growled impatiently. “Will you at least concentrate? God, I wonder why my father… I mean, Mr Anders bothers with you!”
“I…” I avoided his angry gaze. “I- I- er… I’m sorry.” I stuttered stupidly. Jesse Anders hates me with a passion. As much as I lust after him, his reaction towards me shot the total opposite direction. He never calls me by my name: it’s always “hey”, “you over there” and “kid”, though he was just a year my senior.
“Anyway, just… Just straighten things that are bothering you out. I want to get off set on time.”
Ah, a date. With Miss Wonderful, Danielle Perkins, his model girlfriend. Don’t get me wrong, just because he has a date and wouldn’t want to be late for it, it didn’t mean that he wasn’t dedicated to his work. He heard over the grapevine that his photography skills were top-notch, as expected of the son of Ruben Anders. He started his photography career, following his father’s footsteps while in high school as a part-time. His devotion to his job was second to no one else. Well, maybe to his father, who’s well over his “hot-and-heavy-dating” phase.
I got back on set, doing my best to bring out all that I’ve got. [To show him.] Although I know it would not be anything significant to him. Knowing that he was watching me as his father snapped pictures of me was compelling enough.
This continued for months. I wanted nothing more than to be close to him. I’d settle for friendship with him, if that meant anything. He was friendly towards everyone else except for me. My attraction towards him increased day by day, as I jacked off to him night after night, imagining how his hands will feel against my skin, how he would sound like in bed, how will it be like inside him or him inside me. Watching Danielle Perkins with him wasn’t helping my situation. I would always see them kissing, laughing, or just kidding around flirtatiously during breaks and feel my heart wrench.
Jesse, on the other hand, though still evident of his apparent dislike of me, showed up at every shot and watched me with intense interest, the only time when the disdain faded in his eyes. He was getting me so twisted up. The way he watched me; oh, that raises my body temperature. It was like he was trying to fuck me with his eyes alone, and that fuelled my need to be at my best and better all the time. Oh, those gorgeous bedroom eyes.
One day, I was on set with some other models, Vick Jimson and Natalie Cramer, for boutique line, VYX. The shots went smoothly, Ruben appraised all of us for the exceptional performance. We were in synch with each other, and responded to the camera’s every need. The crew decided to grab dinner together randomly and of course, Jesse and Miss Wonderful went as well. I sat as far as possible, not wanting to witness the display of affection between them. Not to mention the frequent knowing glances from Danielle.
Since Vick and I hit it off from the start, we decided to sit together through dinner. We talked a lot and got to know each other more, and I found myself wondering why we hadn’t been friends from the beginning. He was so easy to talk to, only the more-than-often hints that he was hitting on me. Not so infrequently, I glanced over to see Jesse looking my way with that smoldering look of disinterest and something else. We joked and chatted with the other members at the table until Vick suggested we go for a drink after the dinner.
“Sure, I’d love to. Shall I get Natalie and the others as well?”
Vick smiled and threw me this come-hither look and purred, “I meant just the two of us.”
Oh. Crap. I was about to reject when something inside stopped me. A voice in my head nagged, [What are you? Stupid? You’re going to pine forever over a straight man? Look at them!] I turned to see Jesse with his arm over Danielle’s shoulder, the both of them giggling like ditzy schoolgirls. [You’re gonna hang yourself over that?] I swallowed.
“Sure,” I croaked, mustering a weak smile at Vick.
After the dinner, Jesse and Miss Wonderful said that they were going for some “couple time” while the rest decided to retire for the day. Vick and I headed for the club for drinks.
We talked some more, and drank much more. Good thing there was a break tomorrow. We joked, we laughed like we were old-time buddies, but Vick still threw signs at me: from the bedroom-eye looks to the touches on my thighs. We finally got smashed enough when he popped the question. Would I go home with him? I was out of touch with reality. Instead of Vick’s baby blue eyes, all I could think of was those hazel brown eyes staring into mine. I giggled drunkenly as I saw Jesse in Vick’s place, sitting oh-so-close, touching his lips to mine. I pressed into his lips hard, imagining myself kissing Jesse.
“Oh, yes, I want to take you home…” I slurred in my state of delirium. Oh yea, I am a happy drunk, only so rarely that I was a depressed drunk. We both held onto each other for balance as we staggered towards my apartment.
We planted deep, sloppy kisses on each other on the way up the elevator, groping and tugging at each other’s clothes as we stumbled along the corridor towards my door. We were in the middle of face sucking when a pair of arms pulled us apart. I fell on the floor as I heard another loud “thud”, which I assumed was Vick.
In my drunken haze, I thought I saw Jesse grasping me. I laughed. Damn, I must be so smashed. I laughed some more and the laughter slowly turned to tears. I must be so hooked that I’m hallucinating Jesse. God, I want him so bad. Jesse enveloped me into an embrace and cooed soothingly, asking for my key. He opened the door and led me into my room, which I assumed I directed him to. He removed my clothes save for my boxers and tucked me under the covers. The last thing I saw was Jesse’s face closing in and planting a tender kiss on my brow. I must be dreaming.
On the next session, Jesse acted as if nothing had happened, and I wasn’t certain myself of the events that night. I was determined to behave normally if he says nothing of it. Vick was as confused as I was, saying that he got too smashed to remember anything that happened that night. Hell, he didn’t even remember if we fucked. He only remembered woken up by a cabby telling him that he was home.
I formulated stories in my head, so desperately wanting what my memory presented to me to be true, but knowing better. I convinced myself that Vick and I got too drunk that we didn’t go any further than the proposition. Vick somehow just got onto a cab to go home while I stumbled my way back, imagining Jesse with me in my wishful desire for just that to happen.
A few weeks passed, and my agent later told me that I’d been signed for a shot for some big shot company for their new line of clothes and was requested for the snowy background of the early winter to suit the theme.
Like that, I was brought away from Jesse for a week from the shooting. To my dismay, when I got back, Jesse was nowhere to be seen for days. Oh, nice, that just added to the cold I caught from the outdoor shots in the cold, an aching heart.
I returned for the shots for my other projects as per normal, ignoring the aggravating cold, in hope to at least catch a glance of Jesse. It didn’t help bumping into Danielle in the corridors of the studio every so often to see her scowling at me, even hissing, as she walked past.
My curiosity and anxiety finally hit the limit when I went up to Ruben after one of the shots.
“Hey, Rub… er… I’ve not seen Jesse around lately…” I stuttered, uncertain, wondering if I’m giving too much away. I regret almost immediately the question slipped out.
“Oh? You didn’t know? Ah, well, he’s ah… taking a break…” Ruben said, as if unsure of what to say and what not to.
I couldn’t help the confusion on my face and Ruben sighed. “Look, Christian, I can trust you with this, but just keep it to yourself, all right?”
“Jesse just had a messy breakup with Danielle. Someway, somehow, you were involved in it.” I gaped. I was about to say something when Ruben held up his hand to stop me. “Listen, I don’t care what is it between you guys, but Jesse just needs time to deal with things with Danielle, all right?”
“But… Ruben, I don’t get it. Why am I involved? Jesse and I aren’t even friends. I mean, we hardly even talk, and I’m sorry to say that he’s not even fond of me, the way he’s treating me!”
It was Ruben’s turn to be stunned. “Is that so?”
I shook my head in frustration. “In any case, can you tell me where he is? I need to see him.”
“Well, that depends. Are you going to hurt him?”
I felt like smashing something, felt like yelling. “I told you, we’re not even friends! On what grounds am I to even hurt him when I don’t even mean anything to him?” Fuck. That came out wrong. I sounded like some jealous bitch.
Ruben smiled. “So, are you saying that you want to be something to him?”
I found myself standing on Jesse’s doorstep a few hours later. I hesitated. I must have stood on the porch for a good half an hour before I took a deep breath and rang the doorbell.
The door swung open and a dishevelled Jesse stood there, staring at me with that irritated look that I’d grown to know so well.
“What do you want?” he croaked.
“I… I don’t really know. Can… can I come in?”
He considered for a moment before standing aside for my entrance. He indicated a seat in the living room and sat across me with a look of defiance. “So…?”
“I… I ah… heard that…”
“What? I broke up with Danielle? Bet you liked that.” He scowled.
I shook my head vigorously. “No… No! That’s not what I meant! I heard that I was some how… responsible… for the breakup… I’m sorry. Though I don’t know what I did to cause that, I’m sorry. I’d like to help make it right… I-”
“Oh, save it, Warner! Stop playing the saint now! You know damn well what you did! The whole goddamn world knows. You batting your eyes at me, you always try to be within my radar, how desperate can you be?”
I felt anger and embarrassment rising in me. I couldn’t help my downright infatuation towards Jesse, but I thought I hid it well. [He knew.] But how dare he pin all the blame on me just because of that? I started to rise from the couch when I fell back, feeling weak all over. I was burning up.
I woke up in an unfamiliar room, on an unfamiliar bed without my clothes on. Fuck! I bolted right up only to find a wet towel plopping onto my lap.
“Lie down.” Jesse commanded as he came through the door. I just stared at him. “Lie down,” he repeated, pushing me back onto the bed as he sat beside me. He took the towel from my clutching hands, re-wetted it, and placed it on my forehead with tender care that reminded me of that night with Vick.
“You have fever,” he said. He handed me some Tylenol and a glass of water, which I promptly swallowed. “Why are you always giving me trouble? If you want to fall sick, you should have gone somewhere else!” Despite his grumblings, he careful dabbed a wet cloth on my neck and chest to bring my temperature down. I was strangely moved.
“It was you that day, wasn’t it?” I asked.
He stilled for a moment. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“The other day at my apartment when I was with Vick. It was you who stopped us from… going further, wasn’t it?”
He didn’t reply, just continued dabbing the cloth all over me.
He snapped, “What do you want to know? All right, yes, I was the one. I pulled you away from Jimson. Happy now?”
“Why?” I asked, not knowing what to make of it.
He growled. “I don’t want you two to… to… fuck.” The last word came out so softly I thought I heard wrongly.
A slight anger and frustration built up in the pit of my stomach. “What does it have to do with you? It’s none of you busin-”
“I don’t know! I just don’t want you two… fucking. You’re…” he trailed off.
“I’m what? And what do you mean by I causing your breakup? Hell, talk straight for once, will you!” A part of me was actually happy that he actually was possessive enough to not want me with Vick, but the frustration was really building up in me.
He laughed mirthlessly. “Interesting choice of word. Straight. That’s what I’m trying to figure out right now. Why else do you think you’re at fault? You fucking big queer, look what you’ve done! Look what you’ve done to me!”
That was it. I had enough. I pulled the towel off my forehead and thrust it roughly at him. “That’s it. Gay or not, that is your problem. Don’t lay it on me. I’ve had it. You ignore me all the time, shooting me dirty looks, snapping at me every time you even come close to hold a conversation with me. I like you, so what? Now you’re trying to blame me for your confusion? Fuck you!” I made for the door but felt myself go weak again. He was quick to hold me up and guided me back to the bed.
“All right, you rest now. We’ll talk again when you’re well enough. Sleep.” I fell asleep with him patting the wet towel on me like he did before.
I woke up the next morning all alone in the room. I sat up wondering why the hell had I gotten myself into this. I was about to start for the toilet when Jesse came in with a tray of breakfast.
“Oh, no, you buster. I’m not having you faint again. On the bed, now.”
“I need to pee, goddamnit. Don’t use that tone with me. I’m still pissed.” I snarled.
He set the tray aside and helped me to the bathroom in a way that struck me as if I was something precious to him. I laughed at myself silently. The fever must have gotten to me worse than I’ve thought. After I got out, he led me back to the bed. He set the tray on my lap. “Eat.”
I nibbled on the French toast ruefully, glancing at him time to time. He just sat there, watching me. I felt my cheeks heat. After I finished my breakfast, he leaned in to touch his forehead to mine, which just set my face ablaze. “Your fever’s better, but not completely down.” He commented nonchalantly.
I nodded, not trusting myself to say anything. After a few moments of awkward silence, I asked, “Am I well enough to talk now?”
He heaved a sigh. “You just have to talk about it, do you?”
I nodded, “Only if you have talk civilly and not start yelling like you always do.”
He snorted. “I’ll try,” he spat scornfully.
“First, why did you break Vick and me up the other day?”
“I told you,” he bellowed and caught himself, remembering our very, very recently agreement on civility. “I… I didn’t want you two fucking.”
“I know. That’s because…” I prompted.
He didn’t reply for a long time, as if debating with himself. He breathed deeply and wore an expression of that about to slay the dragon. “I was jealous.”
I nodded. “You kissed me.”
He nodded timidly like a child admitting his first mistake. “Don’t ask me why. I ask myself that too, more than you can think.” As if a thought suddenly struck him, he jumped up and got me some Tylenol and water again. I thanked him and popped the pills.
“Ok. And second, what do you mean when you say I caused your breakup?”
He looked up the ceiling and closed his eyes before willing them to meet mine. “I told Danielle that I couldn’t love her.” He stopped there, as if that explained everything. Though I wasn’t that dense to not know what it could [possibly] mean, I wanted everything out.
“So how is that my problem?”
He hissed, “Everything. You have been on my mind ever since I met you, damn it. And I couldn’t keep my eyes off of you, especially on the set. Fuck. I thought I was just studying you as a model, from a photographer’s eye. I thought I was just trying to see what is it about you that have got my father so adamant on shooting you. I thought I was just thinking of how I’ll work you to your fullest potential, as a model should I be the one photographing you. It was only till one day while I was… intimate… with Danielle that I almost moaned your name when everything slammed in my face. I was obsessed with you. I… I think I… I might…” He just couldn’t bear to continue.
“So that is why you’re never nice around me?” I quizzed quietly.
“I-” he yelled and cut himself off. The way he was trying to control his temper around me would have been funny should the tension in the room hadn’t been so tense. “Yes,” he finally replied, subdued. It was like having said that, he finally admitted something to himself that the tension in his entire frame eased.
I nodded. “So what do you want now?”
He scooted tentatively towards me, leaned forward, hesitant. He looked at my face, and slowly closed the gap between our lips. The kiss was chaste at first. Jesse then pressed his lips onto mine harder, lapping at my lips, begging for entrance. The kiss got heated as his tongue plunged into mine and his hands roamed across my chest. He moaned against my lips as he dominated my mouth, kissing me like he’d die if he stopped. “God, I want you so bad,” he groaned.
I slowly pushed away, looking anywhere but his face. “No. That’s not what you want.” I pushed myself off the bed and got into my clothes as he sat there watching me with disbelief. He was half-hard from the kiss, flushing, probably half from arousal, half from humiliation.
“Where are you going?” he finally croaked as I zipped up my jeans.
“Why? What did you mean-”
I shrugged. “You blamed me one moment for ‘turning’ you and the next, you’re all over me. I find it hard to believe. I don’t want to be an experiment to you only to have you satisfied your curiosity and have you running back to Danielle. Hell, I don’t want to be a rebound.” With that, I was out. I got myself home, and I could only pray that I’ll be able to nurse my cold and fever away.
I wasn’t able to go for work the next few days due to the fever, and having Jesse calling me every few minutes wasn’t helping much. I called Ruben to apologize for being unable to make it for the shots and to relay that to the crew. He was great about it, telling me to get better soon. He didn’t want to kick my ass for delaying the shot longer. Ruben tried to worm Jesse into the conversation as well. Apparently Jesse might have said something to his father about what happened between us.
I finally got well enough to go back to work a few days later and I was busy with the sessions, trying to make up for the days lost. I saw Jesse on almost all my sessions and it was affecting me that he kept giving me those heartbroken looks. He tried talking to me several times, but I busied myself constantly. I tried avoiding him, but he finally cornered me in one of the dressing rooms after one of the sessions.
I just finished changing when he stepped in. He walked briskly over to me and before I could say anything, he plastered his lips over mine, sucking air out of my lungs. I pushed him away.
“No, Christian, I should be the one saying ‘please’,” he said. “I’ve been trying to contact you. I needed to talk to you. I… I wish I could make things right with you.”
“And what? You think that just by kissing me, you’ll have me flying into your arms, ready to fuck?” I retorted curtly.
“Christian, please! I… didn’t mean it that way. You gave me a lot to think about. You’re not a rebound; you’re not an experiment. I was wrong to blame you for my feelings towards you. It’s not your fault that I fell for you.”
I stood there wide-eyed, not knowing what to say. I wasn’t even sure what I heard. Jesse must have recognised that look on my face; he said, “You heard me well enough. I’ve fallen for you.”
He tentatively closed the gap between us, watching my response. When I didn’t give any, he swept me into a gentle embrace, cradling me carefully.
After long moments, I choked, “Say it again.”
“I’ve fallen for you.”
“I… don’t believe it…”
He grinned. “Neither did I, but it’s true. Look, we have things that we should talk over. Can I bring you home?”
He drove us back to his place. He sat me at the table and he proceeded to make dinner, all the while without any of us talking. He made two plates of beef bolognaise. We both ate in silence, lost in our own thoughts. I wondered what he would say, and how would everything turn out. I was scared, actually. Jesse seemed to have other plans, though. After we finished and the plates cleared up, he held my hand and led us to his bedroom.
He pulled me into a kiss and slowly trailed down to my neck. He started to undress the both of us.
“I’ve always liked you, you know that?”
I was trying hard to focus on what he was saying. “W- wh- what?” Damn, was so difficult to concentrate when that boy kisses, that it took me a while to realise we were naked.
“I’ve liked you from the start. Took a long time for me to realise and to admit, but I do like you.” He sucked the spot just behind my ear. I moaned loudly. “I never thought myself a gay or even bi. I thought I was as straight as an arrow.” He licked down my neck and started nipping at my collarbone. I buckled beneath him. Damn, my collarbone was so sensitive. He pushed the both of us onto the bed.
“I wanted you so much that it scared me. Plus, I was with Danielle then. Oh God, how I wanted to fuck you, to hold you, to have you all to myself.” He pinched and tweaked my nipple. I screamed with delight.
“I knew you liked me too. I saw you looking. You were always so distracted with my on set with you.” He was now sucking on one nipple while rolling the other between his fingers. I whimpered and begged for more. He chuckled darkly.
“I’d imagined me doing you. I’d imagined you masturbating. I’d imagined you jerking off, moaning my name. I’d imagined you finger fucking yourself while imagining it was my cock deep inside you.” He licked his way down to my navel, kissing and caressing my hipbones. His lips travelled down to the juncture where the torso and my thighs meet and nipped lightly. That sent my body arching.
“Oh, how stupid was I to almost let you slip me by. But you’re mine, aren’t you?” I emphasized his question with a seductive lick of my balls. I jerked wildly and nodded, screaming, “Yes, yes, yes! Yours!”
He seemed satisfied with my response and sucked one of my balls into his mouth, running his tongue over it again and again. I was thrashing on the bed by now, but he continued his tender assault while stroking small circles on the back of my knees.
He changed to the other testis and licked his way up my rigid length. My cock had now grown to its full 8 inches, leaking copiously with pre-cum. He sucked the head into his mouth, licking it the way he had with my balls. I let out a muffled scream, clutching onto the comforter.
“You taste so sweet,” he purred before he took my entire length down his throat. He choked a little, but gained momentum soon after. God that felt good. My hips bucked involuntarily, effectively face fucking him gently. He hummed as he bobbed up and down my length, which only heightened all my senses. I pulled him off. I didn’t want to come so soon. He looked at me with confusion etched all over his face.
“I was going to come… I want to reserve that for us to come together…” I panted. He grinned and pushed me back onto my back. He stretched over me for lube and condom. I took the chance to flick my tongue over his nipple, which was just hovering in my face. He hissed with pleasure and doubled up on putting the rubber on and slobbering on generous amount of lube. That was when I saw him in all his glory. He was gorgeous. He was cut, standing proud at 8 inches, and so much thicker than me. My hole twitched at the sight of it.
He smeared some lube on my hole and I braced myself for the venture. Instead, I felt his fingers massaging and probing my hole, easing it up for entry. I gasped, overwhelmed by the consideration he had. I asked him how he knew what to do. He gave a strangled laugh. “I’ve done my research… How do you think the lube came in so handy?”
My chuckle turned into a wanton wail when he inserted another finger in me, sawing in and out of my hole with untold care.
“Nnng… Uh! Please…”
Jesse’s fingers thrust faster and harder. “Yes?” I could hear a smirk in the question.
“Oh… oh… Please… Please… I need…”
“What do you need?” he purred, pumping his fingers with intent.
“Mmm… I need you…” he leaned up to nip my ear.
He whispered, “How do you need me?”
His fingers slowly withdrew. “You have to direct me…”
Dismayed at the loss of his fingers, I yelled, “You! You! Inside me! Right now! Oh please, please! Fuck me!” My hips buckled in emphasis of my need.
“As you wish,” he growled, positioning his cock at my hole and sliding in, in one fluid motion. My back arched off the bed while he held onto me and held still, waiting for me to adjust. The initial pain I felt was quick to subside, only to be left with the feeling of wonderful fullness, the feeling of being completed by someone you love.
I kissed his neck, indicating I was ready. He slowly undulated his hips, rotating them slowly until his own needs built up when he started to thrust. He thrust into me gently, savouring the moment, savouring me. He whispered sweet nothings in my ear, of how much he wanted me, of how beautiful he thought I am, and that he loved me. I moaned upon hearing the last bit.
“Jesse, harder, please,” I moaned in his ear. “I need to feel more of you…”
He groaned and thrust harder, deeper, faster, riding me to a state of delirium. I screamed and yelled, neighbours be damned, but lucky Jesse lived in a private area where the neighbours aren’t as nearby as those in apartments.
He kept riding me like this for a good five minutes before his hand snaked down to stroke my cock. I yelped. I was so close.
“Jesse… Jesse… I’m gonna… I’m gonna… c- c-”
“Uh… Oh yea, come for me, baby. You’ve got me so hot!”
He thrust harder and we both came at almost the same time, releasing our pleasure, hugging onto each other for dear life.
Jesse slumped onto me as we both fought to catch our breaths. I felt oddly contented feeling my cum between our bodies and the fact that Jesse was still hard in me.
Jesse pulled back and gazed at my face with a goofy grin. “You know what that means, don’t you?”
“What?” I smiled.
“I’ll tell you after Round 2.” He reached for another condom and we started all over again, and again, and again.
By the time we were exhausted and slipped under the covers, he whispered in my ear, “This means that you’re mine and I’m yours. God, I can’t wait for that big boy of yours in me.”
I laughed wearily. “Don’t encourage him. He’s already trying to make a comeback.” Jesse peeped under the covers and grinned stupidly at me. “Tomorrow morning. First thing. No delay.” He growled as his hand skimped down to cup my growing erection. We soon fell asleep tangled in each other.
The next morning, we fucked like animals and made love slowly, switching our roles pitching and throwing, till we couldn’t delay any more and prepared for work.
At the studio, Ruben graced us with a knowing smile and asked if we’re “doing good” and was glad that we got together. I asked him how did he know.
Ruben said that he knew his son from the way he was behaving about me since the day we met and the way we looked at each other. That and well, the fact that we were both rosy-cheeked and looked more than a little worn-out in the morning. He smirked and said that he should have known when Jesse starting snapping at me all the time, for he was usually friendly around others. That had Jesse swatting Ruben on the arm.
Who knew, huh? Meanness might not be that bad a thing.