puss_nd_boots: (Toya)
[personal profile] puss_nd_boots
Title: The Camera Eye: Just a Number 2/2
Chapter: Installment 68 overall in The Camera Eye series, and the 20th story in Season 3. Links to previous installments can be found here. Cut in two because of LJ's post limits, part 1 is here.
Author: Boots
Rating: NC-17
Genre: Porn industry AU, drama, smut, romance
Warnings: Male/male sex, polyamory, deep-throating
Pairing: Toya (Gotcharocka) x Subaru (Royz) (main), Yo-ka (DIAURA) x Yuuki (Lycaon/Initial'L), mentions of Jui x Jun x Toya (Gotcharocka) and Mahiro x Junji (both Kiryu) x Tomoya (Royz) x Subaru
Disclaimer: Royz and Kiryu belong to B.P. Records, Gotcharocka belongs to God Child Records, Initial’L is property of Battle Cry Sound Company, DIAURA belongs to Ains, I own the story only.
Summary: Subaru has a brand-new co-star for a video shoot in Hokkaido. Things are going wonderfully for them both off- and on-camera – until Subaru finds out something about him . . .
Notes: The Camera Eye returns after having been on hiatus for a few months while I wrote A Sort of Fairy Tale (and then took a hiatus from writing altogether for about a month after I finished that monster)! It seems that these two muses, the stars of Fairy Tale, aren't ready to let go of each other yet! Yes, Furano is a real ski resort in Hokkaido, it really has an ice bar and it's really served by Do Airlines, the official airline of Hokkaido!

The next few days were among the most blissful Subaru had ever known on a video shoot.

When the weather was on the mild side, they filmed outside – not just scenes from the video, but the DVD extra footage with Subaru and Toya shooting each other exploring the resort.

The ice dome, especially, made for some interesting footage. Subaru stood outside, talking directly into the camera Toya was holding. “This structure is completely built of snow and ice,” he said. “Inside? More snow and ice. There's an ice bar in there.”

“Literally, an ice bar?” Toya said from behind the camera.

“You got it!” Subaru said. “They serve drinks in glasses that are literally made of ice. So I guess you'd better like your drinks on the rocks, because they come that way automatically!”

“What are you going to drink?” Toya said.

“Not a flaming drink, obviously!” Subaru said. “That would defeat the whole purpose,wouldn't it? Your glass would melt!”

Toya followed Subaru into the dome. “Now, this is impressive,” Subaru said, gesturing to the bar itself. “Look, the bar is ice, the shelves behind the bartender are ice, the tables you rest your drink on . . . someone spent a lot of time carving all this!”

“That would suck in the spring, wouldn't it?” Toya said, as he zoomed in for a closer look at the bar. “All that work, and it would just melt away . . .”

“I guess you take a lot of pictures of it when you can.” Subaru went up to the bartender. “Can I have a beer and a shot of whiskey?” He looked at the various kinds of beers available. “Um, a Sapporo?”

“Sapporo beer, because we're in Hokkaido!” Toya said.

“Toya, do you want anything?” Subaru said.

“I can't drink and film at the same time!”

Subaru got his drinks and brought them over to the ice table. “Wait a second, I'm getting a picture of this to send back home, they're not going to believe this.” He pulled out his phone and took a shot. “Okay, bottoms up . . .”

He picked up the whiskey – the ice glass was in a sort of metal framework that held it together. “Whoa, cold! Really cold! It makes my fillings ache!”

“Did you expect anything different?” Toya laughed. “You're drinking it out of ice.”

“Wow, it's really cold,” Subaru repeated. “Good, though!” He sipped at the beer, which was served out of a regular bottle. “Okay, that's more normal.”

“So how do you like drinking booze out of ice?” Toya said.

“It's an experience,” Subaru said. “Not sure if I'm going to repeat it, but it's an experience! I'm going to be ready for a hot spring after this!”

They switched the camera off and traded places so that Subaru could film Toya trying the drinks as well, and remarking that it was the coldest booze he'd ever had in his life. “Where are these ice glasses in the summer when you need them?”

On other days, when it was colder, they shot indoor footage – the two characters talking over meals or drinks or in the lobby, dancing together an an apres-ski party, and, of course, plenty of bedroom action – including one scene in the shower during which the camera crew ended up getting splattered with the water.

After shooting was finished, Subaru and Toya would enjoy time together, including dinner every night – usually at the restaurant on-site at the hotel, although a couple of times they took a bus into downtown Furano and explored around for new places.

One night, they found an izakaya where they got a pitcher of beer and platters of bar foods and just settled in for a relaxing evening. “I never thought I'd have so much fun in a place covered in snow,” Subaru said.

“Not a big fan of it?” Toya said.

“I prefer summer weather,” Subaru replied. “There isn't much you can do outdoors in the winter.”

“The JAVAs are in winter,” Toya said. “Well, early March, but that's still technically winter.”

“Have you ever won anything at the JAVAS?” Subaru said.

“No. That doesn't stop me from going there and having a good time, though. Jun and Jui have won – they got a best two-person sex scene award when they were still with Hard Candy.”

“You're technically with our company this year, now, aren't you?” Subaru said. “That means you can sit with us.”

“Maybe we can request sitting at the same table,” Toya said. “We could have a table for seven – your boys and mine.”

“I'd like that,” Subaru said. I just want to sit with you, he thought.

When they got back to their room at night, even if they'd been together in front of the cameras that day, they would have sex before bed – even if it was just rubbing against each other until they both climaxed. Subaru loved that, actually – it was something they didn't do in front of the cameras, and he was really, really starting to love the feel of Toya's body against his.

The end of any shoot was hard – but this one was going to be really rough. He knew he was going to have a very hard time leaving Toya behind.

* * *

Yuuki and Yo-ka arrived during the last few days of shooting.

Granted, they weren't making the trip all the way up to Hokkaido for just an appearance in a single video. No, as soon as they finished their part in The Burning Snow, they'd be shooting outdoor scenes for a co-starring vehicle of their own. (“There had better not be any outdoor sex scenes,” Yuuki said. “I'm extremely open-minded, but even I draw the line at doing it in the snow!”)

They walked into the lounge of the hotel – the same one where the rest of the cast and crew were staying – only to be tackleglomped by Subaru. “I'm so glad you're here!” he said. “I've been enjoying myself so much. So, so much. I don't want this shoot to end!”

Yuuki and Yo-ka exchanged puzzled glances. “Subaru,” Yo-ka said, “you've never been a fan of snow.”

“Quite the opposite, in fact,” Yuuki said.

“Oh, it's not the snow,” Subaru said. “Okay, we've been having fun with the outdoor stuff, like the tubing trail and the ice bar – you HAVE to try the ice bar! – but most of it has been the shoot itself. I have the BEST co-star!”

Uh-oh, Yuuki thought. That set off his Helicopter Parent senses. He knew damn well about Subaru's tendency to develop crushes on guys he slept with on-camera. “Just what have you been doing with him?”

“We've been hanging out a lot, and talking, and filming each other around the resort. Well, when we're not doing REAL filming, that is. He is the sweetest guy! And he's adorable! And . . . and . . .”

“And the sex is amazing?” Yuuki said.

“Well, yes,” Subaru said. “He makes me feel . . .” He rubbed the back of his neck. “Like we were made to fit together, you know? That's one reason I don't want it to end.”

“This guy . . . he has at least one boyfriend at home, doesn't he?” Yuuki said.

“Two,” Subaru said. “But I have three! We're both in the same boat. I need to talk to the other three about him when we go home – I want to co-star with him again. Uruha likes us together, too.”

“I want to talk to him,” Yuuki said, quickly.

“Yuuki . . .” Yo-ka said. “Don't . . .”

“There's no harm in my talking to him, is there?” Yuuki said. “If he's going to be co-starring with you, well . . . I just want to make sure that . . .”

“He's fine, Yuuki,” Subaru said. “There isn't a single insincere bone in his body. Trust me. Although I do want him to meet you. You're like family to me, and . . .”

“Subaru,” Yuuki said, gently, “you've known this guy for what, a week and a half? And you're already talking about introducing him to family?”

“Yuuki,” Subaru said, “I know this isn't a full-blown romance. I know this is just a fling-while-filming. But I want to see where it goes from here, okay? We could end up being close friends afterward – in fact, I hope we do. And if he's going to be a friend, I want him to meet my other friends, right?”

Subaru's phone went off with a text message. He pulled it out and looked at it. “I've got a scene to shoot outdoors in a few minutes – I guess we're going to start doing the stuff with you later today.” He waved at them. “I'll see you later, okay?”

As soon as he was gone, Yo-ka said. “He's grown up a lot.”

“He's still falling in love with guys at the drop of a hat,” Yuuki said.

“So?” Yo-ka said. “Yuuki, none of those relationships have hurt him. In fact, most of his close friendships have come out of those. Remember, I was one of those guys he was crushing on.”

“I'm just afraid that one of these days his luck is going to run out, you know?” Yuuki said. “He's going to end up giving his heart to the wrong guy, and he's going to get hurt. Or he'll get in too deep with someone, and it'll wreck what he has with the three guys at home.”

“You do worry a lot,” Yo-ka said. “Just trust him, okay?”

Yuuki sighed. “I try. But sometimes . . .”

He really did want to meet this guy Subaru was currently adoring. He just wanted to make sure he was everything Subaru said he was, that this wasn't the time Subaru's luck ran out. And if it was? Then heaven help him, because Yuuki would be relentless.

* * *

To Yuuki's extreme relief, though, when he met Toya, he liked the man right away.

Fortunately, they were introduced apart from Subaru – when the latter was filming scenes balancing on a stationary snowboard, which would be intercut with footage of the stunt performer to make it look like Subaru was snowboarding. Yuuki and Yo-ka were hanging out in a snack bar not far from the shooting site, watching Subaru through the windows.

Toya approached them. “Hi,” he said. “You're Subaru's friends, aren't you? He's told me a lot about you.”

“You're Toya?” Yuuki said. “He's told me a lot about you, too.”

“He's a terrific person,” Toya said, sitting down next to the couple. “We hit it off so quickly . . . I mean, we'd met before, but we hadn't had a chance to really talk. Once we did, I felt like we'd known each other for years. He is just so cute – on every level.”

“We think so, too,” Yo-ka said. “We've worked with him quite a bit.”

“We've known him as long as he's been in the industry,” Yuuki said. “He's not like most people who get into this business.”

“Oh, I know,” Toya said. “I've seen plenty – and heard about more. When we first started The Diamond Mine, we ended up working with a lot of people who were, shall we say . . . refugees from the dark side? Like Daisuke D . . .”

“God, you worked with him?” Yuuki said. “He actually frightened me – and not that many people in this business do that.”

“I can't say he frightened me,” Toya said, “but he was . . . unpredictable, shall we say? You didn't know if he'd do exactly what the director said, or go completely off the wall. Sort of like Roji . . .”

They ended up chatting about people they'd both known on the indie side of the business, and Yuuki found himself wondering just how long this guy had been in the industry – he must have started young, he thought, when he was barely of-age. Well, hell, so did I.

But he seemed sweet, and sincere, and his intentions toward Subaru seemed realistic – he was well aware this was a co-star thing, an affair-while-shooting.

“I do want to work with him again, though,” Toya said. “He's just plain fun. Jui and Jun are sick of hearing about him, I text them about 10 times a day and tell them everything he's been doing. Well, Jui will be up here tomorrow, he's shooting some scenes with both Subaru and me.”

“Oh, yeah, I forgot he's playing Subaru's boss,” Yuuki said. “The villain in the film. And he fires Subaru and I hire him.”

“He's really talented,” Toya said. “He'll play off Subaru really well.” He looked up. “Oh, it seems Subaru's done.”

“Hi,” Subaru said, entering the building. He went straight over to Toya and hugged him. “How are you getting along?”

“You're cold!” Toya said.

“I was outside!” Subaru said. “It's always cold here!” He sat down next to his co-star. “We could always go to the hot springs and get warmed up.”

“Oh, yeah, there's a hot spring here, too,” Toya said to Yuuki and Yo-ka. “We've been in it.”

“We shot a scene in it,” Subaru said. “Not one of THOSE scenes, though.”

“I don't think they'd allow that,” Toya said. He bopped the end of Subaru's nose. “You look cute with your face flushed from the cold, you know that?”

“I'd rather be flushed from being warm!” Subaru said.

Yuuki decided that maybe this was good for Subaru after all – the two of them did seem light and playful together, there was nothing that seemed overly intense. Fine, he was going to give the relationship his blessing. It truly looked like nothing was going to go wrong.

* * *

That night, after making love, Subaru and Toya snuggled in bed together, holding onto one another.
“I can't believe it's almost over,” Subaru said.

“It's not,” Toya said. “Not until we get on that plane and go back to Tokyo. And think of it this way – this doesn't have to be the end, even then. We can work together on other videos. And we can even make time to see each other between videos.”

“I'd like to,” Subaru said. “I want to make sure you meet all my other friends. Maybe Tomoya can come up with a video for us to co-star in, he's a writer for PSC. Well, so is Yo-ka, too.” He raised his head. “Hey, maybe you can be in Swashbucklers 2. Do you think you'd make a good pirate?”

“I've never thought of it,” Toya said. “But I'll bet I could!” He screwed up his face into his idea of what a one-eyed pirate would look like. “Arr, me hearties, there's a case of rum blowin' off the starboard bow . . .”

Subaru laughed. “You don't have to try quite that hard!” he said. He hugged the other man closer. “I'm glad I met you, Toya.”

“I'm glad I met you, too,” Toya said. “And I'm going to miss sleeping with you every night.”

“So am I,” Subaru said, cuddling next to him closer. “A lot.”

He closed his eyes, sighing. He was going to hold onto every moment of this shoot while he still could.

* * *

Jui arrived the next day, and headed straight for the lounge where he'd been told Subaru and Toya were hanging out between scenes. He was looking forward to seeing his lover again like nobody's business. It wasn't very often that he, Jun and Toya were separated – they usually appeared in most videos they'd done to this point together, even if one of them would have only a small part.

Except when he walked into the lounge, the first thing he saw was Subaru and Toya, heads close together, whispering and laughing. Neither seemed to notice him.

“Toya?” Jui said. “Toya?”

Toya suddenly jumped – as if he'd been jolted back to reality all of a sudden – and wheeled around. “Jui!” he said, leaping up from his seat and running over to him. “Oh, my God!”

“Not God, just me,” Jui said, hugging Toya tightly. “You weren't kidding when you said there was a lot of snow up here.”

“Didn't you see the pictures?” Toya said. “I sent them to you every day!”

“Well, how did I know you didn't zoom in on a little snow-pile for the sake of drama?” Jui said. He peeked around Toya. “Hi, Subaru! I haven't seen you in too long. Although Toya's been telling me about you. A LOT about you.”

“Hi!” Subaru said. Why did he feel a little pang in his heart seeing Toya hugging Jui like that? He knew damn well that Toya, Jui and Jun were a threesome – just like he, himself had three lovers waiting back home.

Still, seeing them like that was reality interfering in a beautiful dream.

Uruha entered the lounge. “Oh, good, you're here in time!” he said to Jui. “We're going to film you confronting Subaru in the hall outside the restaurant in an hour.”

“That fast?” Jui said. “You don't waste time, do you?”

“Efficiency is everything,” Uruha said. “So guys, get ready and meet me at the shooting location – because we're not going to have it for long. We need to get this in between lunch and dinner.”

Subaru leaned over and squeezed Toya's hand. “I'll see you later, then,” he said.

“I'll see both of you later,” Toya replied.

And so, Subaru went to get ready for the actual scene – which was filmed without a hitch. Jui was very clearly a professional – the kind of actor where you wondered what the hell he was doing in this porn business, he could star in mainstream films. When it was over, he gave Subaru a high-five.

“No wonder they gave you a Best Actor JAVA,” Jui said.

“Oh, that,” Subaru said, blushing a little. “I . . . I was just kind of lucky on that one.”

“Lucky nothing, you've got talent,” Jui said. They walked past the crew, who were breaking down to move on to the next scene – which was going to be a private moment between Jui and Toya. “And you've got chemistry with Toya, too.”

“I like working with him,” Subaru said. Well, that was an understatement.

“I saw the rushes,” Jui said. “Uruha uploaded some of them so I could watch them. You two . . . it's like you're two magnets. You pull each other in. You really bring out the best of him – in all areas.”

Subaru knew precisely what Jui meant – both sexual and non-sexual scenes. “He's really sweet,” Subaru said. “And he knows what he's doing – I mean, REALLY knows what he's doing. I think I want to work with him again.” (Only in porn could you tell a guy's boyfriend, “Hey, your boyfriend is a great fuck, I want to get it on with him again.”)

“You will,” Jui said. They'd reached the main part of the hotel now and were headed for the elevators. “Uruha is really impressed with what you've been doing. He said it's beyond his expectations.” He paused by the elevators. “It's beyond my expectations, too. In all Toya's career, I've only seen him respond this way to one other person – Jun.”

“How long has he been in the business, anyway?” Subaru said. The question was asked out of pure curiosity. He and Toya had engaged in conversations about their past careers, but he'd never gotten a sense of just how long his partner had been doing adult videos.

“He's been in it for a good eight years now,” Jui said. “Almost as long as Jun and I.”

“Really?” Subaru said. “That long? He must have started when he was really young.” Subaru had heard of guys starting in the business when they were underage, using fake IDs – could Toya be one of those?

“Not really,” Jui said. “He was 22. That's actually around the same age you were when you started, isn't it?”

And Subaru just stood there, shell-shocked. One part of his mind did the math . . . and the rest of his mind refused to accept the results.

Thirty? Toya was THIRTY? But . . . but he didn't look that old, didn't act that old, didn't seem that old at all . . .

He's six years older than me, Subaru thought. Six. Years. Older. And we've been sleeping together all this time . . . sleeping in the same bed, even . . .

“Gotta go get ready for the shoot with Toya,” Jui said, pressing the elevator button. “I'll see you later, okay?”

“Okay,” Subaru said, giving a halfhearted wave.

He sank down onto one of the lobby chairs, feeling like his whole body had turned to lead. He'd never liked older men. Never wanted anyone more than a couple years older than him to touch him. And he'd been enthusiastically doing it with a guy who was . . . well, just about as old as Aoi and Ruki, for God's sake!

For the first time since he'd been in the industry, he was flat-out gobsmacked. He had no idea what to think or what to do.

* * *

Yuuki found Subaru wandering around the hotel grounds like a lost soul.

He had gone to scout out the location of the outdoor scene they were filming the next day – the one where he and Yo-ka offered Subaru a job right after Jui fired him – when he noticed Subaru stumbling along a path through the resort, barely noticing the people passing him.

He rushed over to the younger man. “Subaru! What's wrong!”

Subaru blinked. “I . . . I don't know . . .”

“You don't know? Well, SOMETHING happened! You don't normally look like that. Out with it – did any of the crew do anything to you?”

“No,” Subaru said, quietly. “Nothing like that.”

“Is it bad news from home?”

Subaru shook his head. “No . . . no, it's . . .” He looked away, sighing. “Toya,” he said.

“Toya?” Yuuki said. “Did he hurt you in any way? If he did, I will END him. There will be nothing of him left!”

“It's something I found out about Toya,” Subaru said, turning toward Yuuki with a mournful look in his eyes. “He's . . .”

Oh, crap, Yuuki thought, here it comes. He's HIV-positive. He's gay for pay and the whole relationship with Jui and Jun is a sham for the cameras. He's going to quit the industry and he's blaming Subaru.

“He's thirty.”

Yuuki just stood there for a moment. That . . . was it? He was older than Subaru thought? That was IT? Then why the drama? Why the long face? Why the . . .

“I don't like older men,” Subaru continued. “I never have. I don't feel comfortable around any guys that are more than a few years older than me. If I had known he was that old, I would have never co-starred with him. And yet, all this time . . .”

“You've been in love with him,” Yuuki said.

“I can't say that,” Subaru said. “We haven't known each other a lot. But I liked him, Yuuki. I liked him so much. And we had so much fun together. And he was so good to me in bed. And all this time, he was . . .” He looked away. “Something that turns me off.”

Yuuki took Subaru's hand. “Come on – we're going to sit down somewhere where we can talk.” The whole thing sounded silly to him – but he knew it wasn't silly to Subaru. It wasn't the first time he'd heard his friend express his lack of enthusiasm for older men.

It may not seem valid to me, he thought, but the feelings are definitely valid to Subaru.

When they were seated in a back corner of the lounge, he said, “So let me get this straight – you're mad at Toya for not being upfront about his age with you?”

“Not mad,” Subaru said. “Just . . . disappointed?”

“Well, then, did it come up before? Nobody ever asked anyone about their age?”

“No,” Subaru said. “Not at all.”

“So he didn't actually lie to you about his age,” Yuuki said. “You just assumed he was around your age.”

“Well, yes,” Subaru said.

“And you're upset because he was 30, and you didn't know?”

Subaru nodded.

“Subaru,” Yuuki said, “what is it you don't like about older men?”

“It just makes me uncomfortable,” Subaru said. “I knew a couple of guys in college who were dating older guys – mostly so they'd buy them presents and give them money. You know, sugar daddies.There was no love involved – just two people using each other.”

“So you think that after a guy reaches a certain age, he's incapable of real love?”

“Well, no.”

“Do you think he loses his ability to make love?”

“After a certain age? Yes.”

“You think they lose their attractiveness?”

“Well, yes.”

“Subaru,” Yuuki said, “Toya is none of those things. None. You said so yourself – he's sweet, he treats you with respect, he's hot and he's an amazing fuck. He's everything you want. So – he's a few years older. I hate to say this – but isn't your not liking older guys a kind of, well, prejudice?”

Subaru looked shocked. “Prejudiced? Me?”

“I'm not say it's like those guys who hate all foreigners or anything like that. Just, well . . . when you found out his age, you stopped seeing him as Toya and started seeing him as Some Old Guy. But he's not. He's still Toya.”

“But . . .” Subaru said. He sighed. “I wish I'd known. I wish he'd told me before . . . well, before . . .”

“And if he'd told you?” Yuuki said. “You wouldn't have asked for him to be in the video with you, right?”

“Um, well . . .”

“You wouldn't have, trust me. Based completely on his age. And Subaru . . . what would you have missed out on? When I first came up here and saw you, you were absolutely radiant. You were glowing inside and out. It was very obvious you were having the time of your life with this man. In fact, you were glowing so much that I figured I had to check him out – to make sure he was okay.”

“Did he pass?” Subaru said.

“Flying colors,” Yuuki said. “In fact, I was hoping you'd have him as a regular co-star. . . and maybe a part-time boyfriend. If you have time for one, what with your three boyfriends.” He gave Subaru a hug. “Just think it over,” he said. “If you enjoy his company, why does it matter how old he is? Age is just a number. Really. And I wouldn't use a cliché unless it was absolutely true, because I fucking hate cliches.”

Subaru laughed. “I'll think about it. I need a few minutes to be alone, somewhere quiet . . .”

“Of course,” Yuuki said.

“I'm going outside for a few,” Subaru said. “I'll see you later, okay?”

“Okay,” Yuuki said.

Subaru got up and walked out of the lounge, then out of the hotel, then down the path that led to the ice bar and the snow tubing course. He remembered when he and Toya made that video of him drinking the extra-cold drink from the ice glass, how much they'd laughed and had fun.

He really is someone I love being with, he thought. Every moment we've been here in Hokkaido has been wonderful, from shooting the actual video to doing the silly clips for the DVD extras to making sweet, hot love, on-camera and off . . .

No wonder he was so good in bed, he thought. If he's thirty years old with eight years in the business, he's had plenty of practice.

He was passing the snow tubing course. He watched a couple of kids come down together in a tube, laughing. He remembered the day he and Toya had attempted to do “Tube Cam” - having one of them steer the tube down the hill while the other shot video. It was silly and reckless and fun as hell.

Does finding out how old he is change that? Subaru thought. Does it change any of it?

He found himself wondering, where do my views on older men come from, anyway? Part of it is the guys who had sugar daddies, but . . . how much of it is just preconceived notions that older guys can't be trusted?

Subaru thought about the fact that Uruha was about the same age as Toya. Subaru trusted him – with his life, really. But then again, Uruha was a director – not a lover.

He was standing there, still deep in thought, when a voice behind him said, “Subaru?” He turned around. . . and there was Toya, gorgeous as ever, wearing his parka with his hood pulled up against the cold – something that gave him an almost childlike quality.

Subaru turned around. “You're done shooting?”

“Yes,” Toya said. “I was looking for you in the lounge, and Yuuki said you'd wanted some time to yourself, and I figured you'd be out here.” He reached for Subaru's hand. “What's wrong?”

Subaru glanced away. “Toya, do you know how old I am?” he said.

“Um,” Toya said, “you said you were about a year out of university, so . . . 24?”

“Yes,” Subaru said. “And I found out how old you are.”

“Does that bother you?” Toya said. “Because it makes no difference to me at all. I don't believe in being defined by age. If you were 18 or 38, I'd still find you adorable.”

“I . . .” Subaru squeezed his hand. “I always thought, until now, that I didn't like older guys. The idea of being with someone more than a few years older . . . it was kind of a turn-off.”

“Oh.” Toya looked disappointed. “Does that mean . . .”

“But then I met you,” Subaru said. “And, well . . .” He looked down. “I can't think of you as an older man. I just can't. Because you're just you. You're Toya. You can be silly and fun and, well, in bed, you're . . .” He blushed. “You're a dream come true.”

“That's a pretty high billing,” Toya said.

“And I just thought. A lot. And . . . your age may be older than me, but at heart? You're like a teenager. You're young physically and mentally. And I realized . . . I was being stupid, wasn't I?”

“Not stupid,” Toya said, softly. “We all have old attitudes we carry around inside us that we would probably be better off getting rid of.”

“So now, I realize . . . it doesn't bother me. And I'm kind of surprising myself by saying that, but . . . it doesn't. I still find you as gorgeous and sweet and hot as I did when I thought you were my age.” He looked at Toya. “Do . . . do you still find me attractive, since you know I felt that way?”

“Of course I do,” Toya said. “You don't feel that way now, right? I mean, it doesn't bother you?”

“Now?” He took a deep breath. “It doesn't. Not all all.”

Toya hugged him. “Maybe I should have told you right off the bat, before we came here.”

“No,” Subaru said. “Because then I might have let my preconceptions get to me, and, well . . .” He reached up and ran his fingers lightly over the other man's face. “We wouldn't have had what we did.”

“It's been wonderful, hasn't it?” Toya said. “Even Jui noticed it. He said when he first saw us together, we were both acting like a teenage couple. He'd never seen me do that with another co-star before. He was worried at first.” He laughed. “I had to remind him about your boyfriends.”

Subaru leaned his head against the other man, breathing in his scent. Yes, everything about Toya was vibrant and fresh and, well, young. In this case, age really was just a number.

“Toya,” Subaru said, “can we work together again?”

“Of course,” Toya said. “All we have to do is tell Uruha. I'm sure he'll cast us together again. But it doesn't have to stop when we're off-camera. If you have time, and I do, and it's okay with both sets of boyfriends, I'd like to get together sometime.”

“I'd like that, too,” Subaru said. “A lot.” And suddenly, the idea of him and Toya having a few hours to leisurely explore each other was, well . . . just as appealing as it was before he found out his secret.

Toya hugged him closer. “We've only got a couple more days together, you know. Tonight and tomorrow, and then we go back.”

Subaru raised his head. “I . . . I shouldn't be sleeping with you, should I? I mean, your boyfriend is here . . .”

“Jui and I already had that talk,” Toya said. “He said that it's okay if I stay with you. He likes you – he has ever since he rescued you from that thief – and he approves of me being with you. And he likes the idea of us sitting together at the JAVAS.”

Subaru quietly wondered if that was going to extend to the after-after party. He hadn't gone to that last year, of course, because he and Tomoya had gotten together with Mahiro and Junji for the first time. But if they went this year, and Toya was there . . . he could very well end up upstairs with him.

“Come on,” Toya said. “We have a few more scenes to do, remember?”

Subaru nodded, squeezing the other man's hand. They headed back for the main hotel.

I'm so glad I had that talk with Yuuki, Subaru thought. What might I have missed out on if I decided I wasn't going to be with Toya anymore just because of how old he is . . .

Preconceptions were just that – preconceptions. Once you got to know a person, you could find out how wrong your pre-formed opinions were. Subaru had overcome his – which meant he had a few days of being with Toya.

Not to mention what they could do together in the future.

* * *

Yo-ka came into the lounge and saw Yuuki sitting alone. “Where's Subaru?” he said. “You said he was here with you . . .”

“He had some things to talk over,” Yuuki said. “And, well, we talked them over. He went outside.”

“Just what did he have to talk over?” Yo-ka sat opposite Yuuki. “Is he falling too much in love with that guy?”

“He found out he was 30,” Yuuki said. “He was having a hard time digesting that. So we talked, and he went off to think it over, and . . .”

He raised his head. Subaru and Toya were walking toward the lounge, hand-in-hand, seemingly in conversation with each other. No, more like they looked lost in their own world.

“Well, damn,” Yuuki said. He waved at the couple – but they didn't see him. No, they headed straight for the elevator.

“What is it?” Yo-ka said.

“Guess they had that conversation,” Yuuki said. “Subaru and Toya . . . it looks like they're going straight upstairs.”

At that moment, Jui walked into the lounge, looking at his phone – until he glanced up to see Yuuki and Yo-ka. “Oh, hi,” he said to his co-stars. “Have you seen Toya?”

“He went upstairs with Subaru,” Yuuki said.

“Oh, yeah, I'm supposed to be up there, too,” Jui said. “Dialogue scene.” He put his phone in his pocket. “I was just talking with Jun – my other boyfriend. Neither of us have ever seen Toya like this before. It's like . . . when Subaru is in the room, the rest of the world falls away.”

“Subaru has that affect on guys he falls in love with,” Yuuki said.

“I mean, Jun and I both know Toya isn't the type to throw away a long-standing relationship for a pretty face,” Jui said. “We wouldn't have brought him into our relationship if we thought he was. But, damn . . .” He shook his head.

“We've seen this plenty of times before,” Yo-ka said. “Believe me, we know. It'll last a little while, then it'll settle down and he and Subaru will become close friends.”

“It happened with both of us,” Yuuki said. “And MiA. And Hayato. And . . . well, Mahiro became his boyfriend, so that doesn't count.”

Jui shook his head. “He's got some kind of magnetism, I'll tell you that. It's a talent. No wonder he became a star so fast. Okay, I've got to get to this shoot before Uruha fires me.” He waved at them and headed for the elevator.

Once he was gone, Yuuki said, “So much for that.”

“Is this shaping up into just another typical Subaru affair?” Yo-ka said.

“I don't know,” Yuuki said. “There's something that seems different about this one . . .”

Maybe, he thought, it was the conversation he'd just had with Subaru about age. Maybe it would, indeed, be a few weeks of passionate fling followed by a close friendship. Right now, that was all wait and see.

He was just glad he was able to help the boy come to his senses about age. He did like thinking, sometimes, that he could be a good influence on Subaru's life.

* * *

Uruha sat in the hotel room that had been his temporary office throughout the shoot. Most of his things were packed up and ready to go – in about an hour, they were going to head back to the airport and Tokyo.

Everyone, it seemed, was sorry to see this shoot end. The Hokkaido atmosphere had been good for them all – they'd enjoyed having a change from the usual. He'd gotten fantastic performances from his two leads – he knew he was going to have to edit this video under the gun, because he wanted to be able to submit it for consideration at the JAVAs. (Every year, it seemed, he was rushing to get a video ready in time for the judging).

Right now, he was watching the rushes of one of their sex scenes – and it was positively electric. He'd heard it often said by critics and bloggers that what was so hot about a PSC video wasn't necessarily the mechanics of the sex. It was the genuine emotions between the actors.

That was definitely true here. You could sense the connection between those two. They went at each other with such passion, as if they couldn't bear to keep their hands off one another. When they gazed into each other's eyes, it was as if they were looking into eternity.

In short, they looked, for all the world, like real lovers.

You just don't see this every day, Uruha thought. You couldn't buy chemistry like this.

He knew he was going to have to use them together again – and in not just another project. No, it was a super-project he'd been talking about with the writers – something they had never done before. It was a series – not just a movie and a bunch of sequels, but a genuine, TV-style series, shown in weekly installments on their streaming service, then collected on DVD. The writers had even jokingly referred to the project as “Game of Bones” and “The Fucking Dead” – even though it wasn't a fantasy or horror series. No, it was something else.

Uruha picked up his phone and dialed. “Jin?” he said. “Look, remember the thing we were talking about? You know – Game of Bones? Yes, I've got the perfect two romantic leads for it. We HAVE to get these two on video again. I've got some ideas for casting the other parts, too.”

He listened for a moment, then said, “Really? You think we can get him? I mean, I know that whole bunch isn't associated with Adonis anymore, and they started their own company, but I don't think he's done any outside work before . . . if we can, God, yes, write him in! Okay, I'll talk to you more when I'm back.”

He hung up, and went back to the screen. Yes, he definitely had award material on his hands – and a pairing to build on. Together, they were going to create something that was going to set the industry on its ear – and that Heavy Hitter wasn't going to be able to duplicate.

It's times like this, he thought, when I'm very glad I'm in this business.
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