”I saw him quite accidentally, though who knows, perhaps fate had her hands in it?
Last Friday, I was at one club that plays live music, a popular place among twenty-something straights. You can imagine my surprise when I saw him, I didn’t even have anything planned yet. My sole plan for that evening was to enjoy my first moments of freedom and down a beer or two, perhaps meet old friends. I cannot say that this turn of events was undesirable by any means though, in fact it turned out better than okay.
He was with some friends, a couple of women and a couple of men, one of the men was the little brother of that Russian. Your ex sure is one hot piece of ass, especially when seeing him up close like this! That Russian came to the club too a little later, I saw them when they were alone for a moment, looked pretty eager, if you know what I mean…
You know me, I seize an opportunity when it presents themselves. With the group was a young woman, Eva, you know her? The others left early, Eva and a young man who played in one of the bands earlier that evening stayed alone. This man, Kasper, I also saw talking to your ex before that Russian came to interrupt them. I’m jumping from one subject to the next, but it seemed to me like this Kasper looked at Joni in that certain way, you know? Is there something that you can tell me about this? I think I can also get my information from this Eva girl, like I said, I seized an opportunity and will take her out tomorrow evening. She seemed quite easy, silly young girl, we’ll see if there will be any use of her later.
Hang on my friend, time will go faster than you think 😉
Chris read the letter, his heart beating wildly, images of Joni kissing that Russian came to his mind and brought out the familiar, frustrated jealous rage. Joni continued his life happily with another when he had been robbed of everything. His parents hadn’t kept any contact and later his older brother had written to confirm what Chris had already guessed. His dad had been furious, claiming that Chris couldn’t be his son for he didn’t raise gays; which lead to the only idea that made sense to him: his wife had cheated on him with another when conceiving Chris. Their mother’s desperate assurances hadn’t been enough, the only thing that had finally calmed the man down was that his wife also didn’t accept a man like Chris as her child. Chris had no business to ever again enter his parents’ home.
It didn’t really matter, Chris assured to himself, he had always known that he wouldn’t get his father’s acceptance, and his mother’s readiness to turn her back on him also didn’t come as a surprise. His brother had also given the impression in the letter that further contact between them wasn’t actually desired.
He was nervous about his future, how would he get work with his criminal background? Or a place to rent? It had to work out somehow he guessed, Adam kept assuring him that he would help, Chris couldn’t trust his old friend completely though. Suvi still wasn’t accepting him, could she ever? And Chris didn’t believe that Adam would fight for him in the end to make his wife change her mind.
Aki was on his side though, 100 percent, Chris trusted him. But who in the end led who? Aki had offered his support and listened, understood his side of the incident. Everyone else seemed to think that Chris was the only one to blame for everything gone bad in his relationship with Joni, but Aki understood, assured him that anyone including him would have lost their temper because of Joni’s behavior. Aki had told him that the leader of the group that had beaten him was a friend of Joni’s cousin. He knew this because at one time he had moved in the same circles as them. Doubt that had formed in Chris’ mind had been confirmed and Aki was more than willing to feed his desire for revenge.
”You could give the pictures back to him…” The other had suggested quietly one night the previous fall when they had been alone and Chris had frowned, agitated feelings running through his mind.
”Why would I ease that whore’s feelings? Or the feelings of that new man of his? Let them wonder what I’m going to do with them, let them suffer like I’m suffering.”
Aki had been quiet and smiled when looking at him, his fingers moving slowly up and down on his arm.
”Let them think that you’ve forgotten… It’s easier to attack a careless victim.”
Chris had given the other a confused look. ”You’re forgetting that I’m being deported as soon as I get out.” He had said in a grim tone and the other had grinned.
”I won’t be.” Aki had whispered. ”I could help you if you like. You can’t forget what they did, can you Chris?”
”Why would you help?” Chris had asked and the green-eyed man had smiled before leaning forward to kiss him, the other man’s stubble had tickled Chris’ skin, it had felt odd and at the same time he had missed the closeness so much.
”Because I like you Chris…” Aki had whispered. ”We have to stick together.” He had continued and touched Chris’ cheek tenderly. They had formed a strong sense of companionship, there wasn’t any usual passion of lovers, but sexually they did satisfy each other. Chris couldn’t have admitted out loud, or to himself for that matter, how lonely and scared he felt at prison, how scared he was of the future, it was easier to channel that fear into hatred, easier to roll the blame off onto Joni’s shoulders and Aki didn’t hesitate to encourage that feeling for his own amusement and purpose. Chris believed to be in charge of the situation and Aki allowed him to keep that belief.
Chris sighed before reaching for the pen and began to write his answer.
”Eva used to go out with Joni’s friend, the little brother of his current man to be precise. The girl doesn’t like Joni for some reason, this is what he told me once. Kasper and Joni had something going on in the past, Joni dumped him.” Chris rested his pen on the paper and allowed his thoughts to take him to the past. He had wanted to know everything about Joni, everything about his previous men, but Joni had been silent about them, only when he had been drunk he spoke more freely and Chris had always used that to find out what he wanted. ”Kasper fucked Joni, they had an argument and haven’t spoken since, to my knowledge.” Again Chris stopped in his thoughts, memories of the past caused a deep sense of longing in his chest, most of the time he wanted to go back in time, to moments where he had been most happy, moments where everything had been less complicated, when Joni had been his completely. It felt so wrong that he was now with someone else, Chris couldn’t stand the thought. He wanted to see Joni once more, get him in the same room face to face without stupid walls between them, without guards. Things between them had been left unfinished. How all of this could be arranged was still open, the chance to get caught trying was too high a risk in Finland, it had to happen in some other country and that was why he needed someone who could follow the couple’s moves. One had to be patient.
Sonja was disappointed. Eva had found some new man in the club where they had all been and last time when she had visited with Tea, Eva had bragged about how the man had taken her to a fancy restaurant and paid for the whole treat. The man was 31 years old, Eva said, to which Sonja had instantly commented that he was entirely too old for her. Eva had smiled and claimed that she was only jealous and continued on how wonderful and handsome Aki was and that he had even promised to shave his beard for her! Eva had always had a terrible urge to brag about the men she dated, to list every possible, even ridiculous, detail.
And this story Sonja now ranted to Jami and Joni who she had invited over to spend Joni’s ”farewell party” before he left for Russia. Joni guessed that the woman only wanted some excuse to open a bottle of sparkling wine, for he and Misha would only be gone for ten days.
”And oh, Aki has a hobby of photographing, he said I would make a wonderful model!” Sonja mimicked her cousin’s voice with exaggerated shrillness. ”And then I chirped that oh, but I am much too short! And he said that it wouldn’t matter so much in advertising pictures and uuh.. you should see his biceps! Aki said that I was the most beautiful woman at the whole club!” Joni gave Sonja an amused look and when the woman met his gaze she nodded. ”You were right, my cousin is terribly annoying and – how dare she call you vain when she herself talks like that! Did she forget that Tea and I were also at the club! God… I think she dislikes you Joni, because deep down she is jealous… You’re a model and Dima adores you as a friend and… Well you’re a guy and you outshine her in beauty.” The woman huffed and took a big sip from her glass. Joni didn’t have time to reply anything because Sonja soon continued her rant. ”The Mr. Wonderful also has a hobby of martial arts and works in finance.”
”Calm down Sonja, I think you’re ten times more beautiful than Eva,” Joni smiled and Jami nodded in agreement and sipped from his glass.
”You’re such a sweet liar, Joni, Eva is beautiful, small and annoyingly thin.” Sonja sighed in a resigned tone.
”Well, you have shapes… kinda like Marilyn,” Joni grinned, the woman’s apartment was filled with Marilyn Monroe related stuff and pictures. Sonja smiled.
”Still… Very sweet… But now boys, I need some Edward!”
”Excuse me, who?” Jami asked confusedly.
”Edward! Twilight!” Sonja sighed and started going through her DVD collection.
”OMG, you’re not serious?” Jami asked in a horrified tone.
”Sparkling vampires? God, I need alcohol if I intend to endure it.” Joni nodded, though originally he had planned to stick to water or soft drinks.
”It’s good! Edward is so wonderful…” Sonja sighed. ”Why doesn’t real life have anything as exciting?”
”Oh, I dare say that real life offers enough excitement without vampires that glitter in sunlight. Can’t we rather watch like… Interview with a Vampire or something?” Joni asked. ”And what happened to Mr. Darcy? Really, I’d even rather watch a period drama than twilight…”
”You can’t judge something that you’ve never watched or read. And Mr. Darcy will always have the first place in my heart.” Sonja nodded.
”Is it true that they have a kid at one point? How is that even possible?” Joni wondered. ”Shouldn’t the sperm be dead stuff too or is it some kind of special vampire sperm? – Which by the way sounds kinda scary.”
Jami suddenly started laughing. ”Sperm that bites,” he snickered and sipped from his glass. ”Ouch…”
”Now shut up, both of you!” Sonja huffed. ”I don’t go around bashing the movies that you like,” she took note.
”That’s because we have a good taste,” Jami teased but when noticing his friend’s sour look he smiled in an apologetic manner. ”Alright, alright, let it roll, it can only hurt once.” Sonja rolled his eyes at the comment, placing the DVD into the player.
Joni went to get to get himself a beer from the fridge and then returned to the couch. ”Now I can’t drink more than one though, since I’m driving…” He sighed. Joni planned to go and spend the night at his parents’ because his father had wanted to see him before the trip to Russia, no doubt to give him some sort of speech about safety. Ivo had promised to pick Jami up later.
”Leave your car here and Ivo can take you to your parents’?” Jami suggested. Joni thought about it for a moment and wondered if his dad would give him a lift back to Sonja’s in the morning. ”Then tomorrow you can take a bus back here to get your car.” Jami continued as if reading his thoughts. Joni sighed, public transport was somehow tedious to use.
”I’m sure that dad can give me a lift,” Joni decided and relaxed on the couch. Jami shook his head feeling amused, his own father would have told him to walk rather than give a lift when there was also the option to take the bus and if one would have had the nerve to even suggest a lift, then one would have heard a story about how in his father’s youth, they skied to school even in a snowstorm for twenty kilometers and how today’s youth had simply grown too accustomed to an easy life.
The movie started and neither Joni or Jami could help themselves from commenting. ”It’s true what they say, they do look like they suffer from constipation…” Joni pondered.
”Nooo… No they don’t!” Sonja denied.
”Well, they do in fact.” Jami agreed.
”And I think it’s pretty creepy that this guy just hangs around in that girl’s room when she sleeps, uninvited. I think it’s disturbing rather than romantic, especially when they haven’t even known each other that long. My conclusion is that Edward is a creepy stalker.” Joni nodded. ”Besides, the boy who apparently later will be known as the wolf boy, is ten times hotter, I’d choose the wolf boy!”
”Me too!” Jami agreed.
”You already have your wolf boys or men, so let me enjoy this movie…” Sonja complained.
For a moment both men successfully managed to stay silent. Joni’s attention soon moved to his mobile though and he eagerly texted, snickering to himself. ”Let me guess?” Sonja sighed. ”You’re texting with Misha?” The woman guessed and Joni brought his head up, smiling innocently.
”Maybe,” the brunet answered. The indication to wolf boys had brought their inside joke to his mind, the joke about the white wolf and the little black fox and Joni couldn’t stop himself from sending a message to Misha about the subject, to which his boyfriend had almost instantly replied.
”Let them be cute…” Jami smiled and Sonja was quiet trying to focus on the movie again.
”It would be boring if one could never sleep, not even during the day, vampire or not…I think sleeping is one true pleasure in life… after sex…” Jami sighed after a brief moment of silence. ”For this sleeping reason, Bella should really consider moving her attentions to the wolf boy.”
”I think this movie would turn a lot more interesting if the sparkling vampire and wolf boy found love with each other rather than with Bella… I mean, the sparkling thing is pretty gay already, so….”
Sonja counted silently to ten and got herself more wine. She gave up, she wouldn’t get those two to shut up so she allowed them to keep talking. ”So, when are we watching the next part?” Jami asked when the movie ended and Sonja glanced at her friend cocking her brow.
”Yes, when you so obviously enjoyed this first one,” She retorted sarcastically.
”It was entertaining,” Joni claimed. During the movie he had drunk one beer and two glasses of wine and because he drank quite rarely these days, it was enough to get him tipsy. ”I cheer for the wolf boy!” He declared. ”And I really must know if that sparkling vampire will perform a caesarean section on Bella with his teeth, or if the wolf boy saves her in time. I heard this terrible rumor at work once when two girls talked about those books… Will it really happen?”
Sonja sighed, sipped from her glass and wasn’t sure if she even wanted to answer. Jami and Joni started snickering about the different scenes of the movie, they had to admit to finding it quite hilarious and worth watching for that reason. ”So you’ll make sure to reserve plenty of wine the next time so we can arrange a twilight marathon!” Jami grinned and toasted his glass with Joni’s. ”When you come back home we will watch them, perhaps Ivo and Misha would like to join as well? We could just give them a brief synopsis on what happened in the first part.”
”I think youtube will help us there,” Joni guessed. ”I’ve heard that there are many videos about it and I confess I’ve seen few.”
”Great!” Jami smiled.
”Well, this is something I really look forward to…” Sonja mumbled.
The evening continued with light, happy conversation and Joni decided to drink water for the rest of the evening so that he wouldn’t be too embarrassed to go home to his parents’ and siblings.
At eight o’clock Ivo arrived to pick them up. By half past, Joni was home at his parents’ where his younger siblings had eagerly waited to see him. His brothers had turned ten in spring and Sini would start school at autumn. Sini wanted a pretty doll as a present from Russia and the twins talked excitedly about some awesome computer game that they wanted and which their dad refused to buy for them. Joni supposed that getting that game from Russia wouldn’t be wise though because it wouldn’t have Finnish instructions, and promised to bring them something else instead. Their father seemed pleased because he thought the game was much too violent for ten-year-olds.
Later, when the children had gone to bed and Joni stayed alone with his dad, he did indeed get a lecture on safety.
”It will be different there than here…” His dad started. They had just come from sauna to cool off in the fireplace room, dressed in their bathrobes. Joni looked at his father and smiled, tasted from his beer glass and waited for him to continue. ”Well… When you go out together, I think it’s best than you don’t… Erm… That you behave like friends and not…”
”Like lovers?” Joni guessed. ”You mean that I shouldn’t kiss my man in public or hold his hand?” Joni asked with fake seriousness. His father cleared his throat.
”Well… Yes… They deal with that kind of thing kind… unpleasantly there and I don’t want anything to happen to you.” His dad said and shrugged. Joni chuckled softly.
”Oh dad, I’m not stupid, I follow the news, I know how to behave. Besides, Misha already gave me a similar speech.” He grinned.
”I can’t help but to be worried,” the father said looking at his son with a serious expression. Russia wasn’t the safest country for two homosexual men, Asko was worried that some wrong person would find out about them and it would cause trouble. ”Remember, cops aren’t always your friends there either, you can’t count on them like you can here. Just be careful, promise?”
Joni smiled and nodded, he would have found it strange if he hadn’t heard warnings from his father and had learned to appreciate his caring. ”We’ll be careful, I promise and Misha is with me, he will see to it that I won’t do anything stupid.” Joni assured. His father nodded and gently patted the back of his hand.
”Misha is a good man,” Asko took note. ”You seem a lot more cheerful these days, it’s wonderful to see.”
”I am happy, dad,” Joni replied. ”I can’t even bring myself to worry so much about the past now… or worry about Chris…” Asko looked at his son quietly.
”I’m glad,” Asko said though he couldn’t always feel as calm about the subject. The man had simply gotten too short a sentence, but at least he would have to leave the country as soon as the prison doors would open for him and they all had to keep believing that Chris would understand to stay away too. ”I hope you have fun on your trip, as long as you both return safely.”
”Everything will go alright,” Joni assured once more. ”Though it is cute that you still worry…”
”I can’t stop worrying, can I?” His father smiled. ”I will probably always worry about you, though I know that you can take care of yourself.”
Joni smiled, he knew he was lucky, not every parent cared for their children the same way.
”I will be okay,” he said and got up and on a sudden impulse he gave his father a quick hug. ”You’re a good guy, dad,” he whispered. ”I’ll go and take a shower now,” he added and retreated to the bathroom. Asko sighed smiling to himself, Joni’s words warmed his heart. The time when he had feared that their relationship couldn’t warm up to be as close again as it had been in Joni’s childhood, already felt distant. Asko prayed that all troubles were behind them, that things could continue as they were now, hadn’t they already had their fair share of misfortune and grief?
A/N: Please review 🙂
Web published: November 11th, 2012.
My Secret Shore