Disclaimer - I do not own any copyrighted material affiliated with Naruto or anything/one therein, 'Never Felt This Way' by Alicia Keys, 'Sweat' by Peter Hadar,

Whew! First Naruto fic EVER, I feel so excited. For those that don't know, there was an entire fiasco that led to me writing this fic. So, for lack of time, just know that this fic will probably be a bit different than what you're used to reading and I'll leave it at that. To those whom it may concern, I've written two fics in the past and deleted both of them. Something always happens that makes me delete it, even if it is a good one. BUT, this time I'm going to definitely finish this one, you can count on it. To all my readers that loved 'Summer', I extend my deepest apologies. I realize that I should have just stuck with it but I've failed you. Think of this as my 'make it up to you' fic. However for everyone else please read and review. One thing you'll notice is that I'm not exactly the speediest updater, probably because I'm an extremely slow writer. I literally change each passage three times before I'm satisfied with it. But enough of my babbling. I've always wanted to write a Naruto fic and now I finally get to do it. Hope you'll enjoy ~


There will never come a day

You will ever hear me say

That I want or need to be without you...

Summertime was not as friendly as expected before football season started. A nationally acclaimed team practiced under the sun's warm gaze as a keen professional coach watched from the sidelines for ways to tweak his efficient machine made of men. The field they were in was barricaded off by a large dome wall and a few bleachers.

LA was their location and home as many of them lived within the vicinity of they place in which they practiced.

I wanna give my all

Baby just hold me

Simply control me

Because your arms

They keep away the lonely...

A tall blonde haired man of 26 years, the quarterback, was the first to leave after practice was over. His shoulders highlighted his masculinity as did his square jaw and hulking form.

He was in a hurry to exit practiceUnusual behavior for his normal tendency to stay behind after everyone had left.

Sweat darkened his hair as he ran and doused his face with a cold bottle of water.

Naruto Uzumaki jumped in the shower as fast as his strong legs would take him without slipping and acquiring a concussion.

The rest of the team poured in at a lackadaisical pace and a few stood and gave him a bewildered look as was already dressed in his everyday clothes and ready to leave, wallet and keys in hand.

"Damn Uzumaki! You late somewhere?" The locker room vibrated with deep voiced laughter.

When I look into your eyes

Then I realize

All I need is you in my life

All I need is you in my life...

"Ha-ha", he retorted sarcastically shooting the bird at the still laughing lineman. "I'm just ready to go home, I'm beat". He said on his way out the other door.

"Don't be beat too long", the lineman yelled out to him in a country Texas accent. "We got a game Sunday".

Cause I've never felt this way about love and

Baby

Never felt this way about love and it feels so

Good...

At a red light he felt his phone buzz in the cup holder next to him. The name above the missed call icon dragged his mind back through memories that he wishes he hadn't realized.

Cars behind him began to honk angrily and shout curses from their windows.

His destination was still unknown as he circled the same block between his loft and Maude's. Maude's was a restaurant where you always came out knowing your sexual identity for sure; whether gay, bi-curious, or straight.

It held true to its slogan. "With food in your stomach and a round young ass in your face, a man's bound to leave with a smile". Vulgar and uncouth, but true.

Naruto Uzumaki was an avid bi-sexual, but only behind closed doors. The boys and men around the country that looked up to him and admired his ability as a football player would be crushed at the news of their beloved pig-skin hero sporting a twink in his lap.

The restaurant, although popular, was heard about in secret by a closeted gay halfback.

When he pulled up to the parking garage, it was already getting dark; He could see a few of his team mates coming down the street, packing themselves in one SUV. The gold-diggers (men and women) foamed at the mouth at the money bags driving down the street.

A few women in a small group primed their hair and checked their make-up before walking in the club highlighted in neon lights to work their magic.

In lieu of not being seen he floored into the garage and parked in the section in the back with the rest of the more expensive cars. A Lamborghini sitting in the middle of a horde of whoopties and hatchbacks would be a little suspicious.

Walking to the elevator, his phone started to buzz again.

Charlotte

A feeling inside of him wanted to throw the device at the wall and marvel at its many pieces scattered across the concrete floor.

The elevator door opened and much to his relief, it was empty.

When the two doors opened, they revealed a circular bar/strip club/restaurant. In one third of the room were booths and tables, on the next two thirds were seats in front of a stage laced with lights and a shiny pole extending from the floor of the stage to the ceiling

On the stage was a young and slender boy dancing his rent and utilities away. Below in the stage was a row of theatre-like seats occupied by men of all ages tossing bills onto the stage, whistling and shouting dirty things at him.

To the very end of the place was a brightly lit up bar. Behind it was a bar tender with beautiful long hair down his back, polishing glasses.

"You lost sonny-boy?"

Naruto jumped about a foot into the air as the stern voice of a short woman in a shiny blouse and black slacks. Her hair was free and wild about her head and she peered up at him above the brim of her bi-focals.

Her name tag read 'Chloe'.

Naruto snapped out of his frightened stupor when she proceeded to snap in his face.

"Oh! No I'm not lost, I just...uh heard about you guys through the grape vine and uh...thought I'd check it out you know?"

She looked back up at him again and sighed. "You bi-sexuals trip me up sometimes".

"I'm not bisexual".

"Mmm Hmm. And I had tea with the Queen this morning. Sweet lady", she said sarcastically scribbling something on her notepad. "Right this way".

She led him to a booth closer to the front of the stage. He took a look around and made sure that there was no one there that could recognize him. He knew men were football fans; regardless of sexual orientation.

"One of our waiters will be right with you", she said in a feigned polite voice.

What the hell is with her?

The stage lights dimmed a little. Another dancer wouldn't be coming out for a while.

Like a breath of summer air, a boy of about 19 years was exhaled out of the back room. Naruto's jaw seemed to roll out of his skull and onto the floor below his feet. He couldn't speak.

Sweatin like this feels so damn good...

His hair was a fiery red, only it didn't look dyed. It was definitely real. His eyes were lined with a dark and thin line. He walked as if he were on a run way yet his bare feet, like the other waiters, were light and dainty.

On his forehead was the kanji for 'love', also in red.

His hips and thighs were thick and full, they rocked at the pace of his stride, acting as a hypnotist for Naruto as his eyes followed his every step.

The features of his face appealed to a darker side yet his bright smile lit up the difference and conflict.

As soon as he saw that the table behind him was finished with the bill, he passed a nearly drooling Naruto's booth.

"I'll be right with you sir".

His voice was a soft as fresh linen. It was as if he were hypnotizing the quarterback without even having to try.

He leaned over the booth to grab the wad of bills the previous man had left for a tip. Naruto, on the side of the booth facing him, nearly exploded in his pants. His ass was round, full and beautiful.

All the waiters were wearing tiny clothes that revealed nearly everything. The said waiter had on a tight t-shirt and a pair of extremely short spandex shorts. He was the only one who complained as Naruto had to clean the saliva hanging from his mouth.

He walked back to Naruto's table and took out his pad and pen.

"Good evening sir, can I start you off with something to drink?" His voice, again made the athletes skin tingle. He had to stop the nervous act. Naruto could tell by the bright smile on his face that this would be a tough one.

He gave a sly laugh. "Yeah, I'll just have some coke and rum", he said in a sultry voice sending chills down his spine.

The waiter laughed to himself a little, well aware of what was going on. "Okay, and would you like an appetizer?"

Fuck yeah I would.

"Actually yeah, I'll have the browned calamari". He looked the red-head in his eyes. His face held a confident smirk. It was as if for a moment, Naruto was communicating to him in some sort of sexual language.

He scribbled a few things on his notepad. "I'll get that right out to you", he said in a sweet voice and disappeared done the isle. Naruto turned his head to watch him walk away; biting his lips at the way his ass swayed to the motion of his feet.

Damn, that ass is gonna get me in trouble

His buzzing phone awakened him from his dirty thoughts. His raging erection began to die off at the name on the screen.

Sakura H.

He had to answer.

"Yo"

"You're late"

"For...?"

"Your father wanted to meet with you before Sunday"

"...OH! THAT! SHIT!"

"Yeah"

"Can you tell him I'm sorry and we'll meet tomorrow morning?"

She sighed. "Fine, but this is ridiculous. Where the hell are you anyway?"

The waiter walked back out with his drink and appetizer in one hand on a round black tray. He leaned over the table to place the items down giving Naruto a direct sight at his rear end. Forgetting his sports manager was on the phone, he let his naughty eyes wonder up and down his back.

"NARUTO!"

He nearly dropped his phone in his drink. He asked the waiter to wait for a few seconds until he could get off the phone. He nodded with a softer smile than before as he tried to use this time to figure out the obviously interested customer.

"Sakura, I just stopped to get something to eat"

"Eat?...EAT! That's kind of why your father wanted to meet you at a RESTAURANT!"

"Look, I'll call you later", he hurried to hang up before she started another long rant.

"Sorry about that"

"That's okay, you're good"

He got his pen and pad ready again.

"Before I order, can I just say", he looked the younger waiter from head to toe. "You're the finest thing I've ever seen"

The red-head simply chuckled softly. A pink tinge appeared on his cheeks. He still couldn't give in.

"What would you like?"

You

He skimmed through the menu for the second time. "I'll take the House Hamburger, the Steak, Done, a plate of sour crumbs, another plate of fries, the Grilled Salmon with the southern rice and two bowls of ramen", he said with a big grin on his face.

The waiter gulped heavily at the whopping order for just one person. "Heh, I see we have big eater"

"Yeah, you do"

"Well one of chef's is getting married so the steak might have to come out a few minutes behind everthing else but-"

"No no, I've got nothing but time", he said raising his brows at him.

The waiter had to control his urge to laugh as he slipped into the back of the restaurant again, He was almost convinced that tonight was going to end up being one of the most interesting nights in a while.

Sakura Haruno had been his sports manger ever since she graduated from college with here Bachelor's degree in athletic management. They'd been friends since middle school already and he didn't have much of a choice in the matter.

There was no one else his father could trust to act as the bridge between the all-star son and himself.

After a while the food came out and as the athlete devoured it viciously, the red-headed waiter periodically came by to refill his drink and ask if he needed anything. All the while Chloe behind the reception desk stared at his eyes following one of the restaurant's most prized employees.

Once all the plates, saucers and bowls on the table were empty, which wasn't very long, the waiter stopped by once more.

"All done?"

"Yeah, I don't wanna eat too much, you know, trying to stay lean", he said with a smirk making the waiter laugh.

"Can I get you any desserts?"

"No, but you can give me your number", he said with a sly smirk. The waiter turned and laughed a little to himself.

"You never give up do you?"

"Nope"

Smiling softly, he handed the leather book for the check to Naruto. He pulled out his wallet after wiping his mouth and pulled out a shiny blue card and put in the book letting the waiter take it away for a few minutes.

He brought back his credit card in the leather black book. "Well, you have a good evening sir", he said in a sweet manner, turning to leave.

"Hey" Oh fuck what's his name?

"Red"

The waiter turned back around.

"Did you just call me red?"

"You never told me your name"

"Gaara", with that he turned on his heal to leave.

On his way back to the back of the restaurant he turned around and gave Naruto a wink before disappearing behind the double doors.

Gaara

As the athlete drove down the street to his loft, the pictures he saved from vision of that peculiar waiter flooded his mind to the brim. He'd never met anyone like him, in looks or personality.

He pulled up to the parking garage for his loft and drove around to his parking spot.

He could still smell the candy green apple scent of his beautiful red hair. He just had to find a gorgeous waiter in a pub just 48 hours before on of the biggest games of the season.

His father had been talking to him, as well as his manager, about how important this was.

All he seemed to want after that day was to dive head first into his bed.

Once he reached the elevator to take him up to the 12th floor he jingled his keys next to the old man that dreaded him with a passion. Henry Weimer lived in the loft right under him and had to hear many women who thought themselves fortunate enough to make it up up there.

When Naruto first started playing professional football, sex wasn't something he had to work for anymore, especially because of his looks and money. And every woman that walked through his door and landed in his bed screaming Naruto's name could be heard directly below.

Needless to say the seemingly eternal elevator ride was a bit awkward.

When he reached the inside of his loft, he tossed his football bag on the floor and pressed the glowing red button on his answering machine as he prepared to listen to the crazy shit that polluted his mail box everyday.

'First Voice Message'

'Hey, slacker! It's Sasuke. Pick up your fucking phone'

Naruto laughed to himself as he stripped down to his underwear, about to get into the hot shower.

'Next Voice Message'

'You know what? I am so sick of you and all these women. I don't care if I am just your sports manager, PICK UP YOUR DAMN PHONE!'

He shuddered at Sakura's shrillness when she got angry; which wasn't too rare.

'Next Voice Message'

'Hey Baby, It's me Charlotte'. Naruto halted in his tracks at the soft voice on the machine. He was used to her texting him but he never thought she'd call him, no one hardly ever tried to reach him on his cell phone, as that was reserved mostly for his brief lovers, as many as there were.

'I know I'm the last person you wanna talk to right now, but I just wanna hear voice again. I miss you. Please believe me, I'm so sorry for what I did. You know I never meant to hurt you, darling. Please call me back. I need you. Life just hasn't been the same without you. I mean, I can sleep, I can't eat a bite without thinking about you. I know you dont wanna hear this but I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't at least try to cal you. I miss behind beside you baby. Please call me sometime'

'End of Voice Messages'

*Beep*

He sighed heavily and hopped into the shower once again, just to feel the hot water cleaning his skin. He liked to think of the water washing away all the dirt that he accumulated from being in the public's eye.

And yet he still couldn't get that red-headed waiter named Gaara out of his mind.

After he got out of the shower he found the receipt from the restaurant crumpled up on the bathroom counter as he dried his hair with the large towel. He realized that he had been too wrapped up in the server of the food to pay much attention to the food itself.

The bill was only $178.54, unusual for him at any place that offered food.

He noticed a note written in cursive at the bottom of the tiny slip of paper.

Maybe next time, papa ;)

The note melted the ice that formed over his thoughts from that haunting voice message.

Damn, what is he doing to me?


Across the city limits, a rough neighborhood

The sun rose slowly over the set of apartments in one of the roughest neighborhoods on that side of town closest to the university.

There were a few men on the porch smoking cigarettes on the balcony in front of the apartment's doors. The establishment had been there for about ten years and the city refused to waste money on renovations.

When it rain the roofs acted as a pitiful shield a rain dropped through certain units like sand paper. During the hot summer months, the loud A/Cs provided a weak source for cool air.

There never was a time living in this small complex when the residents didn't have something to complain about or the land lord didn't have something to ignore while he took his 24 year old wife shopping in the city.

On top of the conditions of the apartment, the people weren't exactly saints either.

The majority of the residents were strippers, hookers, drug dealers, drug users, dancers, or grocery sackers. Most of them weren't ever home because of their jobs and this made this one of the most peaceful bad apartments ever.

Next to Gaara Sabaku's bed, a tiny Dachshund/Toy poodle mix scratched at his hand that hung off the side of his bed.

Today was one of two days he had off from work. He went to school 4 days a week and worked Monday through Friday. Needless to say by Saturday he was ready to fall out and die.

The tiny dog began to lick his hand vigorously.

"Leave me alone, Fred", he said groggily as he turned over in bed.

The dog simply pounced into the bed and began to lick the waiter on his face causing him to push the small canine on to the floor. After rolling on his back he stood up and simply began to whimper loudly.

"Ugh! Fine, I'll take you outside!"

In a pair of short gym shorts and a tank top that hung low enough to see a lot of skin, he attached Fred to his leash and opened the door. Waiting in front of her door was an old lady sitting in a rocking chair that had been stolen twice.

"Good morning Mrs. Patterson", he said politely as he walked pass her on the way down the stairs to the small lot of grass behind the apartments. She looked up from her photo album to waive back at him.

"Good Morning!" her face seemed to like up the block. "As cute as you are some nice man should be sweepin' you off your feet by now, huh?"

It never failed. Every morning she would ask him if some man has come to sweep him off his feet. And his answer was always, "No ma'am, not yet". It was a daily routine that surrounding people looked forward to as they looked forward to the singing birds on the roof tops.

As he stood in the grass while Fred relieved himself he wondered for the first time in a while, would someone come to sweep him off his feet one day? The question seemed to be so engrained in daily ritual that it didn't stand out anymore.

Throughout the course of his life, he became convinced that people were only swept off their feet in fairytales.

Flashback

A woman of about 28 fell with a loud thud to the floor. Her aggressor stood above her with a nasty sneer on his face looking down at her.

This was the third time that week that they'd gotten in a fight.

He reached back down and grabbed her by her deep brown hair. He looked her in her eyes.

"You filthy slut"

He slapped her, receiving a loud scream. Her cheek stung after the harsh blow.

He hit her again and again, each blow increasing in force.

She fought him with all her strength but she just wasn't strong enough to break free from his painful grip.

It was a reoccurring theme for him to get like this when his paranoia of her cheating on him fueled this rage.

She cried as loud as she could, but it seemed like nobody could hear her.

His family tried getting help for him, but the beatings only got worse afterwards.

She called the police. That didn't do much good after his ten years as a police officer himself.

After the last blow her voice was too hoarse to yell.

She was forced to bear the pain in silence. Her face felt like it was on fire.

He yanked her to the floor and kicked her with his boot on his way out the door. He headed to the refrigerator.

He drank excessively.

She lay on the carpet next to their bed, broken, tired. She put a hand to her face. Blood came back to greet her.

Struggling to get up from her position on the floor, she grabbed the side of the bed and looked behind her.

Her husband slammed the front door. A sense of relief came over her when she heard his truck speed off.

A little boy of about 4 years old stood in the doorway to the bedroom with tears in his eyes.

"Mommy", his tiny voice called out. "Are you okay?"

The woman wiped her face with a nearby cloth and reached out for her precious child. He scuttled over with a big stuffed bear in hand and ran into his mother's arms.

He found himself engulfed by her arms.

She rocked him slowly as they cried together.

"We'll be fine"

He closed his eyes as his mother spoke.

"Always"

Gaara looked with all his might at the sun as he walked back up the stairs. When he opened the door he realized what time it was. The clock on his wall read 8:00 a.m. Class started in an hour.

He moved as fast as he could to get in and out of the shower, dressed and in enough time to stuff a bagel in his mouth.

He decided to be a little edgy that day and wore his favorite tiny pair of black shorts that came up to the base of his ass, and red t-shirt that read 'Schrei so laut du kannst' which was 'scream as loud as you can' in German.

He grabbed his bag from the corner, his keys from the glass bowl by the door and his phone from the charger next to the sofa.

"Be good, Freddy", he said as he blew a kiss to the pooch sitting content on the sofa on his back in front of his favorite game show. Gaara laughed to himself at his dog's antics as he locked the door behind him.

On his way to the bus stop, the blonde haired man who took an interest in him the night before began to dictate his thoughts.

His syntax was what struck him as the most odd. Never in his life had he been called 'fine'. Gaara had always thought of the word 'fine' as a term used as a synonym for 'satisfactory' or 'acceptable'.

If not so, then it was supposed to be directed at women. And not only 'fine' but 'the finest thing he'd ever seen'.

He'd been called many other things, in his life but never 'fine'. It was a compliment not to be brushed off but pondered upon. Something about that man made him feel like he hadn't felt in a while.

Only, he didn't have time to waste his time on feelings that lead to no where. Or so he thought.

The bus stop was empty and he took a seat on the bench under the big covering over it. His foot tapped at his own anxiousness. It was already 8:30 and the university was quite a few blocks away.

The direction of his attention changed when a black car, modified with giant sliver rims stopped in front of the curb at which he waited.

When is this motherfucker gonna leave me alone?

The window rolled down to reveal a Caucasian man in a black shirt under a large silver chain ending with a medallion covered in diamonds. He took off his glasses to look at Gaara who was trying his hardest to ignore him.

"Don't act like you don't see me baby", his voice was low but not as low as most men.

Gaara took a peak at the time on his phone. "Leave me alone, Paul". His voice was indifferent.

"Don't be like that babe", he said turning his blaring stereo down. "Get in; let me drive you to school".

"How about you drive into a ditch somewhere", he said sharply still not looking into the car. The older man laughed a little with his hand on the steering wheel, not letting these usual harsh words faze him.

"You still like playin hard to get"

"There isn't any thing for you to get"

"Come on baby, don't you remember?" He bit his lip at the student and got no such reaction.

"You mean the one time you asked me to suck your dick in the grocery store, I said no, you got mad and tried to hit me and security dragged you out?"

His sly smirk disappeared from his face.

"Then yes, I remember", he said with a sarcastic smile.

"You know what? You just a bitch", he said adjusting the gears to his car. "Fuckin' cum slut", he said speeding off, the sound of his tires screeching echoed off the walls of the raggedy buildings around them.

Oh trust me; I'm not too interested in Chlamydia either, buddy.

Finally the bus pulled up to the stop and he jumped on as if it were a chariot leading to heaven.


A busy street downtown

The streets were particularly busy that afternoon. It was already 2:30.

Many people from business occupations were eating lunch at expensive venues before they had to return to the drudgery that was their niche in the corporate world. There was only so much to complain about, though, when money was discussed.

A black town car pulled to a stop under a roof of an entrance to Le Fait de Manger Sophistiqué, a restaurant that was commonly attended by people who didn't exactly blend in with the normal crowd.

Celebrities, politicians in question etc, came here to eat and escape the viciousness of paparazzi.

Not only were there cameras watching every angle of the restaurant but there were men all around in black suits guarding nearly every entrance and every exit. In other words, if you didn't have a reservation you couldn't get in.

A black town car pulled around the corner under the large roof at the entrance of the establishment. The outside and inside were decorated with beautiful French architecture even for a restaurant that wasn't exactly big.

The car stopped momentarily and the door opened unleashing first Naruto Uzumaki and then a woman with hair a bright blond, to a certain extent it looked almost pink.

He wore an Armani suit and the shiny black shoes to match. His silver watch gleamed in the lights above them. She wore a Prada suit with the black pumps to match. To some they looked frightening.

"Be back here by 4:00, Martin", Sakura barked at the driver before they were greeted at the door by a tall doorman that politely held the door open for the two.

It was official that Minato Namikaze was a proud football dad, and he had been that way ever since Naruto asked him to throw the ball around with him at age 5.

He himself owned one of the most successful oil companies in the world. Needless to say he made a good living for his family. Money was something available during Naruto's childhood, which kept away many problems.

It was also official that Naruto and his athletic manager met with his father before a game or two throughout the entire season.

The man in a black vest at the front of the restaurant lit up with delight when he saw that his presence was graced with the presence of one of the most acclaimed athletes in the country.

"Welcome back Mr. Uzumaki, your father is waiting for you", he said as he led them to a table further in the back.

A few people in the place raised their glasses and waived at them on their way to their seat.

The older man of about 57 got up to greet his son and his manager.

"Well if it isn't 'the bullet' himself", he said grabbing his beloved son in a hug calling him the nickname that his fans dubbed him. He the kissed Sakura's hand like he always did when he met up with her.

She smiled down at him as much as she wanted to puke.

"Sit, sit", he said motioning to the two golden chairs across from him. Naruto sat down and immediately began looking through the menu even though he would end up getting the same thing; Salmon and blackened mushrooms.

"You won't believe who called me yesterday", Minato said hinting at something.

Naruto's expression grew grim at the statement. "Yeah I do, the same bitch that left me a long voice-mail yesterday. And to answer you next question, no, I'm not gonna call her".

Sakura hit him on his arm. "Don't talk about Charlotte like that".

"No no, Sakura", he said clearing his throat. "I completely understand if you're still mad, but I mean one of these days; give the girl a call, will ya?" He said as a statement more than a question.

"You mother and I just want you to find suitable woman".

"Can we please change the subject?"

"Fine", he said taking a sip of the wine the waitress had just placed in front of them.

An awkward silence drifted over the table of three as neither of them had much to talk about since the main subject at hand was already being swept under the rug for the remainder of lunch.

Sakura decided to speak up. "So, Minato, guess who just became an underwear endorser", she said as she gulped down an entire glass of wine.

Naruto hand his hand through his blonde hair. "Can we please not do this?"

"Oh we're doing it", she said laughing. "I didn't know you were so photogenic". Minato turned his head to see a beat red Naruto shooting a dirty glare at the laughing woman next to them.

"Oh really", Minato took another sip of his wine.

"Yeah and they didn't even have to stuff the crotch either", she said downing another glass in one gulp. "I guess he has you to thank for that Minato".

A sly smile graced the older man's face. He may have been close to 60 years old but he had the mind and body of a man half his age.

"Drunk ass", Naruto mumbled under his breath.

"Whatever", she said taking another gulp.

The dinner seemed to drag on that way until Sakura excused herself to go to the lady's room.

After the embarrassing lunch filled with Sakura's drunken laughter, Martin picked them up in the front of the restaurant. She was one of the biggest hard-asses one would ever meet until she got alcohol in her system, which wasn't always a bad thing.

Munching on a few crackers to sober herself up, she drank a bottle of water as the driver drove them back up to her office.

"Take your ass home and get some sleep". She pointed at him before she closed the door. "No women, parties, sex, NOTHING but rest, now go". She slammed the door and walked up the steps to the tall building.

As the driver drove him back to his loft, a certain red-head over powered his fear of his manager.

Yeah, sure thing


A back room at Maude's

The owner of Maude's, Angela, named the restaurant after her grandmother Maudina-Louise, an old woman with a passion for serving people.

As a little girl, Angela had admired the way her grandmother connected with people. Originally her and her mother worked along-side her grandmother when Maude's was called Gina's (named after Maudina-Louise's grandmother) and it was a sexy pub that catered to straight women during the feminist movement.

When Angela's mother got re-married to an investment banker, much to her mother's dismay, her and her husband moved back to Portugal to be closer to his side of the family. This all happened when Angela had just graduated from college.

Maudina-Louise gladly passed down the same building to her granddaughter on her death bed, giving the young girl the ambition to make it every bit as grand as her grandmother had made it.

As hate crimes against gay men grew in number she re-opened it to cater to gay and bi-sexual men of all financial backgrounds.

After being greatly inspired by the way her grandmother connected with the customers, she also grasped from her grandmother the idea of the way employees should be treated.

She treated all her employees like they were her sons and daughters. Gaara, in particular, was one of her favorites.

When he applied for the job she scrutinized the hell out of him because of her uncertainty of whether he was old enough. All her employees had to be a certain age and he looked barely legal.

After much begging that day, however, she got him to come in a work over time.

As he sat in the back room putting lotion on his tip-winning legs his phone buzzed on the dresser next to him. He threw the bottle of pomegranate scented moisturizer to one of the strippers across the room.

It was his mother. He fumbled with the touch screen with slippery hands.

"Hello"

"Hey Gaarbie-chan"

Gaara laughed a little. "Mama, I'm almost 20, I'm not your little Gaarbie-chan anymore"

"And who the hell told you that", she said in a half stern voice. "You'll always be my little Gaarbie-chan"

"Tell mom I said hi", one of the queens said next to him as he put his make-up on.

"James says hi"

"Tell him I'm sending his birthday present in the mail"

He mouthed 'I heard' before he went into behind the screen to change into his dress.

"So how's life in the big city"

"It's...busy", he said unsure of the words to describe Los Angeles. "I'm either at school or at work, and if I'm not there then I'm asleep"

"Meet any cute guys yet?"

Gaara rolled his eyes. "You asked me that a few days ago, and no, again".

"I can't believe, as beautiful as you are, you haven't met not one none man yet"

"Weren't you the one who told me to come down here and act like I had some home training?"

"I didn't tell you to become a monk"

"Well there was this one guy who asked for my number yesterday", Gaara thought about the tall semi-hulky man who took the time to flirt with him the day before.

"Well, did you he call you?"

"I never gave him my number"

"WHAT?" she yelled. "Why not?"

"I was nervous! Nobody ever called me 'fine' before"

"Well in case you didnt know, that was a compliment", she said sarcastically.

"Mama"

"Hmm?"

"Why do you want me to meet somebody so badly?"

"Because, you're on the other side of the country and I just feel safer knowing that somebody a little older looks out for you"

"..."

"It just aint fittin' for a boy your age to be in another state with nobody lookin after him"

He sighed deeply looking at the clock. "Yeah, guess you're right".

"Mmm-Hmm"

"Well my break's over, I'll call you when I get home"

"Alright baby, talk to you later"

"Bye", he said wistfully as he pressed the red button on the screen ending the call. He put his phone in his bag under the vanity counter lit up with Broadway style light bulbs.

Tonight was their weekly 'Don't-Be-A-Drag-Just-Be-A-Queen' show.

The young student/waiter expected tonight to be another night of plastering on a smile for the men at that restaurant and inside ponder the things his mother told him. That was always something that fascinated him about his mother.

She could say the simplest things that would make you think about them forever.

However, when he opened the double doors into the restaurant he was greeted with the same gaze that graced him the night before. The same blue eyes that met with his green, met again.

What the fuck? I didn't think he was gonna actually read that.

Feigning a confident smile he walked over to his first customer of the night. "Welcome back". He noticed his suit. "You're dressed up today"

"Well, I had lunch with my manager and my father today"

"Interesting"

"Not really"

Gaara chuckled. "Why not?"

"Well it all started to go downhill when my manger got a hold of the wine, and then came the penis jokes. It was just awful".

Gaara laughed a little harder. "So you're back".

"Well, I didn't exactly leave satisfied last time", he said with a smirk.

Oh, two can play at that game. "Oh, really?"

"Yeah"

"Well what can I do to make you experience more...satisfying?" Gaara's smile was like a naked body under a transparent garment. He got his pen and pad ready as he did with his mind.

"You can give me your number"

Gaara laughed. "I think I remember your order from last night", he said scribbling something on his note pad while maintaining eye contact with the smirking athlete looking up at him.

"I'll be right out", he said softly and slinked into the back room. He could feel Naruto's warm gaze devouring him completely from behind.

He looked around the restaurant as he waited for his food, until he caught sight of a woman sitting close to the stage talking to one of the queens rehearsing for the show. She stopped her conversation to look at him.

Is that...no it couldn't be.

He brushed the familiarity off in his mind and his thoughts went back to the sport being played off the field with the same waiter that intrigued him so the night before.

Even as he continued to drink the free water before him coke and rum came out, those eyes turned away from their conversation every now and then to gaze across the room at the subject in question.

After about ten or fifteen minutes the young waiter came out with a tray on both of his arms while balancing one on his head. Naruto's jaw hit the floor once again. Oh, shit.

Gaara pulled out a collapsible stand and placed the food on it then on the table, tray by tray.

"Well I hope you enjoy the food, again, and just call me if you need anything", he said politely. Suddenly Angela called him over to the band's area for a moment.

He scuttled over to her before she got impatient. "Yes?"

She looked down at her clipboard. "Gaara, what was that?"

"What was what?"

She looked at him as would a mother at a naughty child. "You know what. The giggling and laughing and the playfulness etc."

"I thought I was supposed to do that!"

"Yeah with all the other customers as well"

"I thought that was what I was doing". He pointed back at him. "And he was flirting with me!"

"Don't get snippy with me!" She popped him on his head with her pen receiving a yelp from the red-head. "Can you please get the band something to drink?"

"Yes ma'am".

He disappeared with an embarrassing blush on his cheeks to the back of the establishment to follow the request given by his seemingly second mother. He suddenly became aware of how his attitude toward the peculiar man had changed in the last few hours.

About a half hour later after he returned with a shiny silver tray of beer for the musicians that were to plat behind the queens' act, Naruto was finished with his food and ready for the bill, again.

Gaara walked up to the booth and held out the leather book with the check inside.

"Would you like to look at our dessert menu?"

"I think you know the answer to that one".

Gaara smiled. "I'll be right back", he said as he sashayed away with the blue card and ran it through the computer. Naruto's foot tapped anxiously as he waited for that slip of paper to com back.

Then, he returned with that same book. The same book that held the results to how well he played.

"You have a good evening", Gaara said leaving the book at the booth. He walked to the back trying his hardest not to let his excitement show.

Naruto waited until he was gone and took out a wad of 20s amounting to about $400 and left it in the bind of the little black book. Making sure nobody saw how much he left for the waiter, he made his exit after receiving an waive and 'come back sometime' from Angela.

A few minutes passed and Gaara peeked from behind the double doors to see that Naruto had left already. He came up to table to see if he'd taken the receipt and found a giant wad of money amounting to $400.

He nearly dropped it.

I must have done something right I guess.

Little did he know; that was the understatement of the century.


About 10:45 an apartment complex

The night air was warm on Gaara's bare legs as he struggled to unlock the stubborn lock on his door.

Once opened, Fred jumped of the sofa like a mad dog and started to scratch at his owner's legs. He quickly threw his bags down and took the dog outside to relieve himself.

The mixed breed dog squatted for about five minutes. "Hurry up and take a shit Fred, there're flies out here!"

When the dog finished his business he had to work his short legs extra hard to keep up with his anxious owner who was running up the stairs as if somebody as if someone were chasing him.

He scrambled into the house only to remember that he forgot to turn on the lights. He turned to flip the pillar lamp on in the corner but his foot got caught in the cord sending him tumbling to the floor.

Turning the light on and pulling himself together he placed his hand on his now sore buttocks. The old lady downstairs got her broom and beat the ceiling with it, shouting curses up at him in Spanish.

"Sorry", he said down at her.

He pulled the leash off of the canine and he waddled tiredly to his water bowl.

Gaara leaped into the cramped bathroom and got into the shower as fast as he could, got out, dried his hair, slipped into his tiny white t shirt and tiny night shorts just in time.

His phone buzzed on the counter.

He stared at its lit up form and the n looked at the confused dog below him. "Should I answer it Fred?" The pooch stared up at him and cocked his head to the side.

"You don't know either, huh?"

He grabbed the buzzing device and sat down on the sofa/bed and answered it.

"Hello"

"Hey"

"Hi"

"You know, when I found your number on the receipt I felt like I'd won the lottery"

Gaara laughed. "Sorry about that".

"You don't have to apologize. It was kind of fun"

"You should hear my mother. She says I should be more free-handed with my number"

"Mama knows best"

"Yeah, right. Last week she asked me how many guys have I given oral sex to since I've been in LA"

Naruto laughed. "You're not from here?"

"No, actually I'm from Bienville, Louisiana, and then my mother moved to Atlanta when I moved here about a year ago to go to college".

"That must be tough on your mother. Her son being on the other side of the country and all"

"She keeps telling me how she wants me to find someone a little older than me who knows 'the city' to look after me"

"That's understandable"

"I'll be 20 in January and she still treats me like I'm 15"

Naruto snickered.

"What's so funny?"

"You still kinda are close to your teenage years"

"Oh really, and exactly how old are you"

"I'll be 27 in October"

"Yikes"

"I know, I'm an old geezer", he said jokingly

"But still is it so wrong to want to be treated like an adult. I have a job, go to school, pay bills for my own apartment; it may be a shit-hole but its mine"

"Speaking of shit, why'd that fat lady hit you with her pen?"

"That fat lady's name is Angela and she hit me because she thought I was flirting with you and not the othe customers"

"I could've sworn that I was the one doing the flirting"

"That's what I said!"

"I mean I had to come back a second day just to get your number. I call that playing hard to get"

"Again, sorry"

"No trust me, its... refreshing to actually have to try again"

"Refreshing? Interesting choice of words"

"In my line of work, women and some men aren't exactly subtle. I mean, nothing turns me on like a good chase"

"I just don't feel right throwing myself on anybody that I've just met"

"That's another thing; you haven't asked me once what I do for a living"

"That's probably because I don't even know your name"

"Uzumaki, Naruto Uzumaki"

"I just lied; I did know your name I just wanted to hear you say it"

"How did you know my name?"

"I ran your credit card up, twice. I thought I'd be a little nosy for a change"

The athlete smiled. "You're pretty rare, Gaara"

"I am?"

"I've never met anybody like you, to be honest. I've never seen anybody who looked like you"

"My mom always used to say I had a unique face", he said putting a hand over the kanji on his forehead.

"Just for laughs, what exactly do you do for a living? I mean, it would suck if you were a drug dealer or something"

Naruto laughed."Well 'just for laughs'. I play for the Raiders. I hope that clears up the whole drug dealer confusion"

"Well that would explain the $400", he said. "By the way, thanks"

"It was just a little pocket change I had on me"

"Pocket change? Dude, you just paid my rent"

Naruto gave a hearty laugh. "You're welcome"

"What position do you play?"

"Quarterback"

"Oh, so that's why you didn't tell me what you do"

"Yep"

"Well you gotta weed out the gold-diggers somehow"

The QB chuckled. "I hope you didn't think I was flirting with you just for sex"

Gaara felt a tinge of guilt. "Well, what else can I expect waiting tables half naked"

"I wasn't kidding when I said you were the finest thing I've ever seen"

His face reddened madly in the comfort of his own home. "Thank you"

"Don't get me wrong, sex...heh...sounds pretty good right now but I'm gonna do this the right way"

"What do you mean?"

"Ever since I've made it into the NFL it's all been about getting what I want, when I want it"

"..."

"I know you just met me but, I wanna get to know you"

"..."

"I knew there was something about you when I first saw you; it drove me mad all night"

"..."

"So how about you come to the game tomorrow night. I can put you up in the box"

Gaara suddenly found his voice. "Oh... um... I-I'll have to see if I'm free tomorrow"

"Well if you can just text me your address and I'll have the ticket delivered"

Gaara took the phone from his ear and looked at it incredulously. "Did you just say 'delivered'?"

"Uh... yeah"

"Ok just making sure", he looked as if he'd swallowed a frog. "Hold for one moment please", he asked as he brought the pillow up to his face and screamed as loud as he could.

"Ok um I think I'll be able to make it"

"Great!"

"But wait, are you sure about the 'box'?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, not only have I never been able to afford to LOOK at a box, let alone sit in one, but I don't think I have any 'box seat' type clothes", he said matter-of-factly holding up a pair of shorts

"Oh, don't worry about that. Just wear what you normally wear"

"Positive?"

"Yeah, I could use a little motivation", he said before a sultry laugh.

"Heh oh you", he laughed nervously

"Well, I better let you go. You know, big game for you tomorrow. Don't wanna steal any sleep from ya"

He chuckled at his nervousness. "Goodnight, Gaara"

"Goodnight, Naruto"

When he hung up the phone he pulled his beloved pet into his arms. He hugged closer than he had time to in a while. His warm hair caressed his face. About a million doubts, hopes, wishes and fears rushed through his mind at once.

He jumped up at the thought of something he'd forgotten.

He pressed a few areas on the touch screen on his phone and put it up to his ear. Please still be awake.

"Hello?"

"Mama?"

"Baby what's wrong"

"Well..." he struggled to find the words.

"Well What? What's wrong?"

"I gave him my number and tomorrow I'll be sitting in a box seat a Raiders game"

"..."

"..."

"EEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!"

"It's funny. I had the same reaction"


A massive football stadium full of cheering fans around 5:00

The stadium was filled to capacity with screaming fans, grotesque men without shirts painted gray and black, little boys dreaming to be on that turf, gold diggers wishing to be on the players.

The sports announcers were giving their commentaries on how they expected the game to pan out.

There were large vehicles going around the turf below the fans making sure it was nice trimmed and green. The concession stands were followed by people grabbing beers by the hand full and fries, corndogs, nachos etc fly out of conventional ovens.

The way the entire stadium prepared for that game made the players and all apart of the game (on and off the field) feel apart of something grater the n themselves. It was almost uplifting.

The players huddled around the coach in the locker room as he spoke words of encouragement to them before they went out to the field.

The fans were nearly pulling their hair out. The big tubes surrounding their exit exploded with smoke as they ran out onto the field, making the crowd go bananas.

Naruto was at the front of the pack and peered up to the box to see if his prized companion had made it or not.

He had no time just yet.

Up in the box Minato walked into the large glass room with a beautiful woman with an ashy red hair and dark green eyes. Kushina Uzumaki had attended every game since his little league days.

Every grabbed whatever type of finger food or wine they wanted and took their seat in the comfy suede theatre chairs.

When the first ball was kicked, signifying the start of the event, the men and a few women started cheering and shouting commands at the players as if they were only two feet away.

Just when everything seemed to be in place, a 'glitch' in the wave of setting arrived in a pair of skin tight black jeans that were ripped in all the right places, showing off remnants of his legs, the tears wear covered with fish net for the inside.

He wore a tight t-shirt that hugged his slim torso but his jeans traced his thick lower body.

A few women went as far as to gasp when he showed up. The tall and bulky guard stopped him roughly with his strong hand, unusual force used for a guest not causing any trouble.

"Ticket please?"

Gaara took the piece of paper and shoved it in the rude man's almost hitting his nose. "See?" The man let him pass and Gaara rolled his eyes.

What the hell is wrong with him?

Kushina tapped her husband on his shoulder and he turned around to give Gaara one of the foulest stares he'd ever gotten from anyone.

Gaara sat on the opposite side of the room and could hear the whispers about him under the chatter concerning the game.

"Who let a call-boy in here?"

"I don't know"

"Can't they kick him out?"

"I know, can't they?"

"No, as long as he has ticket he can stay"

"Who in their right mind gave it to him?"

"I'll bet he stole it"

"Sounds about right"

The rest of the first and second quarter went on like that, which made Gaara feel like silly putty in his seat. It felt like their words were a heat lamp and he were a sculpture made of ice.

Part of him wanted to leave and just forget about Naruto altogether. And part of him wanted to stay under the protection of Naruto's words to him the night before on the phone

"I knew there was the something about you when I first saw you"

Those words still rang in his head and still made his stomach swell with butterflies.

He held on to those words like precious jewels. No one could steal them from him.

During halftime when the players were about to exit the field Naruto spotted a figure with red hair far up in the box and waived with all his might at him, jumping up and down like a wild man.

Gaara saw him down below and waived down at him.

"Oh look honey he's waiving", said Kushina waiving back at him.

Minato looked over and his eyes nearly fell out of his head when he saw the young boy in the corner waiving down at his son. It was as if a wave of rage overcame him with a newfound ferocity.

"Who is that?"

Kushina looked at the red-headed youth still waiving at Naruto down below. "Beats me. I've never seen him before"


A press conference after the game

Hundreds of cameras flashed at Naruto Uzumaki sitting next to Jiraiya Gama Sennin, his coach.

"Mr. Uzumaki you've been accepted as one of the greatest athletes in the world, do you think that this is a valid statement?

"Football is what I live, breath, wake up to every morning. That and all my fans are what are important"

"Mr. Uzumaki, what is you outlook for the success of the team this season?"

"I think we'll have a lot more control as far as where we want to be around the end of the season"

"Mr. Gama Sennin, is it true that you plan on selling the Raiders at the end of the season?"

"Mr. Uzumaki, since you've cancelled your engagement to Charlotte Manassey, is there another person in her place?"

Naruto chuckled a little. "Actually yes, there is but I'm keeping them under wraps for the time being"

Gaara stood behind all the reporters.

As he looked out at the sky above him all the butterflies that settled in his stomach began to awaken and catch wind. Was this real? Was he dreaming? Would he soon wake up back in Bienville with no connection to the life he currently lived?

It all seemed so unreal.

In a little over a years time he'd come from a small town that nearly no one had heard about to one of the most famous cities in the world, gotten hired at a historic pub passed down from generation to generation, and caught the attention of one of the most acclaimed athletes in the world.


Somewhere in the inner city lofts, on the 7th floor, a woman sat on her sofa before a television, watching the same press conference.

She and Naruto were the only ones who knew who this mysterious lover was.

Wherever you are, I'm gonna find you bitch.

And I'm gonna make you wish you never left Bienville, Louisiana


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