Saturday March 6th
“I wonder if this was a good idea after all.” Michael said looking around himself, when he and Tony arrived to the hotel lobby.
“Don’t worry, everything will be fine.” Tony assured him with a smile. They walked over to the bar, where most of their old class mates already were.
“A drink, I need something to drink.” Michael said as all their eyes were turned on him. Some of them looked really surprised, some very interested and few were already too drunk to notice. “Oh gods this really wasn’t a good idea, not at all.” Michael kept saying as he saw Tom, Mark, Sean and few ofter other friends standing near the bar counter. All eyes were on him, and Michael didn’t know what to think of that look that they were giving.
He glanced quickly to his left side and saw five young woman and with each of them, he had, at one point in his life, more or less made out with. The women were smiling to him, giggling like bunch of school girls.
“Oh god…” Michael breathed out. Tony took his hand in his and smiled encouragingly.
“Just calm down.” He said.
“You do realize Tony, that this; you holding my hand, makes it seem like we have more going on between us than just friendship?” Michael asked.
“Let them think what they will, you’re the most beautiful person in the room, so I’d only be flattered.” Tony grinned. Michael looked at him, smiled and shook his head.
“Michael!” Jenny called out with joy as she approached them. “I’m so glad that you came!” She said and threw her arms around him to give him a hug.
“It’s nice to see you Jenny.” He replied.
“It would be nice Jen, if you would find the sight of me equally delightful. If I remember correctly, we were once too quite close to one another.” Tony grinned.
“Oh, of course Tony, I’m always happy to see you. It’s just, well…it’s been such a long time since I’ve seen Michael.” Jenny smiled and then hugged him as well. “Why are you holding hands? Are you two…? Oh no, please don’t tell me that my ex-boyfriends have found each other?” Jenny asked with worry.
“As lovely as that would be, I’m sorry to say that Michael is already taken, engaged no less!” Tony sighed and looked at his best friend who was smiling back at him.
“Engaged? But the last time I saw you, you said that you were with no one? That’s pretty quick.” Jenny wondered.
“My boyfriend returned home from Paris, we were broken up for a while.” Michael told her.
“Oh, then I think congratulation is in order.” Jenny smiled.
“Thank you Jen.”
“Well, I’ll go now, to get something to drink. One can’t go through these reunions without a drink.” Jenny laughed in a slightly nervous manner and then left.
They went to get drinks for themselves too when Tom, Mark, Sean and Collin approached.
“Michael; long time no seen.” Tom said coldly, looking at him from head to toe. Michael looked back at him: Tom was even chubbier than he had been before, and looking just as big of an idiot as always. Michael thought.
“Tom.” Michael acknowledged nodding his head towards him.
“So you’ve finally admitted your true feeling towards each other?” Tom smirked, looking at them both.
“Are you trying to be funny Tom, or what? Please help me out on this one?” Tony asked receiving a puzzled expression from Tom.
“I thought that you were engaged Mike, what happened to your fiance?” Sean asked, a sly grin playing on his lips.
“My fiance is visiting London, how come you’re asking?” Michael asked looking straight at him, he felt a little more confident knowing that Tony stood by his side.
“I was just thinking, you seemed so close with Tony here.” Sean grinned.
“The reason why we look close, is really very simple; we are close, because we’re best friends.” Tony answered calmly.
Mark and Collin began to look bored, when they couldn’t think of anything clever to say, so they left the scene without saying a thing.
“Well have a nice evening you fags!” Tom said with mean voice and turned to leave. Michael and Tony started to laugh.
“Is that the best that he can do?” Michael wondered. Sean looked at him once more, with that strange way of his that made Michael feel uncomfortable.
“Not bad…” He muttered and winked at him.
“Sean’s acting weird…” Michael noted when the other man left them. Tony looked at him and then at Sean, who now stood a little farther away, talking with his friends.
“I think it’s best that you’ll stay away from him. Promise me that you will?” Tony asked.
“I promise, besides; I don’t even have anything to say to him.” Michael answered and tasted his drink.
The hours went by, Michael didn’t know how many peoples he had already talked with, telling the same things over and over again, but leaving many things out. New York, Paris, working as a waiter, nothing much; these were the things that he had told them and that yes,that he was still gay and he was indeed engaged with a man.
“Michael, could we talk? Somewhere more private.” Jenny came to ask him, she was already quite clearly drunk. Michael glanced at Tony, who was currently chatting with Annie.
“Tony, I’ll go with Jen, I’ll come back soon.” He said and Tony turned to look at him.
“Well okay, but don’t be long alright?” He asked.
“Where are we going?” Michael asked when Jenny lead him up the stairs holding his hand in hers.
“To my hotel room.” Jenny told him.
“Why?” Michael asked. He couldn’t really understand why she would have booked a hotel room, when as far he knew, she was living in Plymouth where the hotel was.
“To talk.” Jenny answered. They stood in front of the door to the room and Jenny opened it with shaking hands. She giggled as she stumbled into the room.
“Jenny, are you alright?” Michael asked. Jenny close the door after them and looked at him.
“I’ve missed you, so much…” She sighed and pressed her body against his. She kissed him and it was a drunken, sloppy kiss. Michael took a hold of her wrist and pushed her away.
“What’s this?” He asked in confusion. Her body began to shake, tears ran down on her face.
“I love you! I’ve loved you since we were fourteen! And you…” Jenny swallowed hard, her voice almost drowning.
“Jen, I think you’ve just had too much to drink and um…” Michael started insecurely. Jenny sat on the bed and laid down.
“No one loves me!” She screamed. Michael approached her carefully and sat down next to her.
“What’s wrong? Last time I saw you, you seemed so happy; you said that you were engaged and getting married…?” He started and brushed her hair gently away from her face. Jenny rose to sit.
“He cheats on me! All men do! What’s wrong with me?!” The girl cried and wrapped her arms around him. Michael stroke her back gently.
“There’s nothing wrong with you Jen, not at all.” He spoke. She lift her head up and looked at him, a bit of her mascara had ran down on her cheeks and under her eyes.
“There has to be! You’re gay, and Tony; is he one too? And then all the men that I meet are nothing but arseholes that do nothing but cheat and lie. Taking advantage and… Make love to me Michael, please, just this one time.” Jenny cried and leaned in to kiss him.
Michael pulled away.
“I’m still only interested in men that way, I’m in love and engaged.” Michael tried to explain.
“What is it? Am I not pretty enough? Am I not sexy enough?” Jenny asked, tears were still in her eyes. Michael sighed.
“Jenny, you are a beautiful woman, who has a great body, but for me, well; the problem is just that you’re a woman. I’m gay, remember?”
“But you could try? We never went all the way, but I could make you hard, I know that I could do that now too. Michael please! I need it, I need you, onlfory this one night, that’s all I’m asking…”
Jenny had gotten close again, she kissed his neck and massaged his cock through his jeans.
“Jen, honestly; no! I really am gay and above all, I’m already taken.” Michael snapped, making the girl cry again.
“What’s wrong with me…” She kept asking. “My life is just full of shit…” She continued. Sighing Michael placed his hand on her shoulder.
”Jenny, there really is nothing wrong with you, you are really beautiful and half of the guys in school were jealous of me because I had you. Yes, I did love you, but I loved you as a friend, I still do. I’m sorry the way that things turned out back then, I’m sorry that I didn’t tell you myself, I never wanted to hurt you and I hope that you believe me.” Michael told her.
“You love that man? Are you happy?” Jenny asked.
“I am happy with him.” Michael answered.
”Why can’t I have that? Why does everyone else get love so easily? If I really am so beautiful and great, then why am I not happy?” Jenny was crying again.
“Trust me Jen, you do not know the half that is my life. Yes, now I do have a man that loves me for real, but I have not gotten that easily. My life is and has been hard. More so than you can ever even imagine… We’re still young Jen and trust me, you’ll find happiness, you’ll find the true love that you seek.”
He sat beside her a moment longer.
“Will you be alright?” He asked. The girl laid down, and wipe the tears away. She nodded her head carefully. “Are you and Sara still friends?” He asked next.
“Yes.” Jenny replied.
“I’ll go and get her here, I think you could use some company now.” Michael said and stood up.
“Michael?” Jenny called faintly. Michael turned to look at her. “Thank you and I am sorry of the way that I acted. Who ever that man is, he is very lucky to have you.” She said and smiled weakly.
“Thank you Jenny.” He said and smiled back, he was about to leave, but then he turned back to her, he took piece of paper and a pen from the table near by and wrote his phone number on it. He gave it to her. “I’d still like to be your friend, you can call me if you need me.” Michael whispered, Jenny looked at him with surprise and then at the piece of paper in her hand.
“I will…” She whispered. Michael smiled gently, kissed her forehead and then left the room.
Michael close the door after him and sighed. He walked alone down the empty corridor, to get back to the others, to find Sara and then Tony. Suddenly someone clutched his arm from behind and pulled him to the near by men’s room.
Michael cried out in pain as he was being slammed against the cold tile wall.
“Sean, what the fuck do you want?” He asked and looked with slight worry as the other locked the door. “What do you think that you’re doing?” He asked and tried to get to the door. Sean, however, forced him against the wall again. He kept a hold of his shoulders.
“I just want to talk with you.” Sean smiled.
“In here?!” Michael asked not hiding his irritation.
“What? Bad memories?” Sean grinned.
”Look, I don’t know what game you are playing at, but I do not wish to have any part of it.” Michael said trying to push him away but failing.
“This a perfect place for our little chat.” Sean said, pressing himself hard against him. Michael felt his heart bead speeding up, he was beginning to panic, bad memories were indeed starting to fill his mind as he tried to free himself with no succeed.
“Let go of me, I am not interested in talking with you. There’s nothing to say.” Michael tried struggling, but once again Sean managed to stop him. He brought his other leg between his thighs, holding his arms on his side against the wall.
“When did we meet for the first time Michael?” Sean asked, Michael frowned
“What are you playing at?” He asked in confusion.
“Don’t remember? Well, I do… me and Tom, we were left behind from our class, so we ended up in yours, you were twelve at the time. Sure I had seen you before at the school, but that was the first time that you and I talked. We were quite close friends, were we not?” Sean spoke and Michael looked at him as though he would have gone mad.
“Of course I remember when you came to my class… god… And yes, we were pretty close friends, or so I thought, before all of you turned your backs on me.” He snarled. Sean only leaned in closer if that was even possible.
“You always flirted with me, right from the first day.” He whispered, and Michael felt his tongue licking his ear, he flinched and pushed him away with all his strength.
“Flirted with you!? If you’re trying to say, that I was flirting with you at the age of twelve then you’re more messed up than I thought you were. I’m leaving now!” He screamed and walked towards the door. Sean grasped him again and pulled him against himself. Sean was strong, Michael realized, stronger than he himself was and he was beginning to tremble at that thought.
”I’ve always wondered, what it would be like with another man; with you Michael. You have a gorgeous figure and a beautiful face. You’re nothing like the others, I’ve never in my life seen someone so…” Sean ran his fingers on his startled face, touching his lips softly. His eyes held that glimmer that Michael knew all too well by now. “..so breath taking, so sexy as you are Michael. Tell me…” Sean licked his neck, his hand was moving down on his buttocks, squeezing. “…What is your prize?” Michael was able to move few steps backwards from him.
“Excuse me?!” He cried out, looking at him with confusion and loathing.
“What is your prize? For a blow job? For a fuck?” Sean asked with a smile as he stepped closer.
“You’ve obviously gone mad. I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m leaving, Tony is waiting for me.” Sean pushed him against the wall again.
“Don’t play so Innocent Michael. Once a whore, always a whore… Perhaps you give it for free to an old friend…” Sean said and kissed him fiercely. Michael struggled in despair, Sean was tearing his shirt open, his jeans. When Michael tried to push him off he slapped his face.
“If you play along, I won’t have to hurt you.” Sean told him.
The rage inside Michael overcame the fear.
“Do you really think Sean, that you can scare me? I lived four years with the devil and you are nothing compared to him.” Michael hissed. He brought his knee up with speed and hit it against Sean’s crotch. Sean shrieked from the sudden pain, he gasped for air and brought his hand to comfort his sore organs.
“Fuck!” He cried and despite of his pain he tried to knock out his former friend, but Michael was faster. He hit him on the face, straight to his nose which then began to bleed. Sean swore and moaned on the floor.
“You fucking whore, I’ll fucking inform this to the police.” He moaned, he held his on hand on his bleeding nose and the other on his crotch. Michael looked at him and then at himself, his shirt was slightly torn, his jeans open and missing one button, he felt tingling on his left cheek where Sean had slapped him.
“You can do that Sean…” Michael said calmly looking down at him. “…But I can go to them as well, and knowing my history I think they would be on my side. I think they’d understand my need to defend myself from someone who tried to rape me.” He continued and bend down closer to him. “Don’t you ever touch me again, or even speak to me, because if you do I swear that the pain you’re in now will be nothing to what would follow.” He whispered and stood up. He left and never looked back. Someone would find Sean eventually, he thought.
He found another bathroom, knowing that he would need to clean himself up. He took the torn shirt completely off and thanked his luck that he had a black tank top underneath it. He buttoned his jeans up, luckily his shirt covered the fact that he was missing one button. He ran his fingers through his hair, looked at his face from the mirror; great; his lips were slightly bruised, his cheek was slightly red from the spot that Sean had hit him. And now that he was missing his shirt it would be quite easy too see what had happened, at least Tony would probably guess it. Michael was glad that Sam wouldn’t see him like this. He sighed, feeling tired, depressed and irritated. ’Once a whore always a whore…’ Sean words were repeated in his mind. But he didn’t cry, he felt numb, he was tired of crying, tired of everything.
He left, found Sara downstairs and asked her to go to Jenny. Then he found Tony, who did indeed notice.
“What happened? Where were you? I was so worried!” Tony asked.
“Lets just go Tony, please, I can’t stand being here any longer.” Michael spoke and Tony understood, he led his friend out of the bar, got their coats for them and then the two of them left outside. Tony was thankful that they got taxi quite easily. They headed to his place.
When they got there, Michael sat down on the couch.
“Could I have something to drink?” He asked. “Something which has plenty of alcohol.” He added.
”Yes, of course.” Tony replied and disappeared into the kitchen. He returned with two drinks and sat down next to him on the couch. He tasted his drink.
“So, what happened with Jenny?” Tony asked carefully. Michael looked at him briefly, before looking down into his drink.
“She was depressed, needed some comfort…”
“What happened after that? And don’t you try to lie to me, because I can see that something did… My God; your lips are swollen, and your cheek? Did someone hit you?“
“Sean, that’s what happened. He… apparently he knows about my past, knows what I really was back in New York… He would have wanted to try me out himself, but I managed to break his nose… ” Michael said and he swallowed hard as he thought about what could have happened if he hadn’t gotten away when he did.
“God, I want to kill that bastard. Are you alright?” Tony asked with worry.
“Oh I’m bloody perfect. My life is such a joke, All the fucking perverts somehow manage to find me…” Michael sighed darkly and continued. “One thing I can promise Tony; I’ll never again go to one of those things.” Tony looked at him with serious expression on his face. He then pulled him close to his chest, stroking his back to give him comfort.
“I would have liked to see Sean’s face when you hit him.” Tony said with a small smile.
“I also kicked his genitals with my knee.” Michael grinned.
“Ouch, that must have hurt, he deserved it though.” Tony laughed. Michael snuggled closer, his head was resting on Tony’s shoulder. Tony stroked his hair softly. They were quiet for a moment, Michael had close his eyes. Tony looked at him, wondering. Michael was so close and it felt so good to hold him like that, perhaps a little too good.
“Michael…” Tony started. Michael lift his head up to look at him. Chocolate brown eyes met the deep green ones. Tony touched his cheek gently and leaned forward slightly. For a moment they just looked one another. Tony leaned even closer, his lips brushed his friends softly. Michael almost fell into the situation, but then he remembered and pulled away quickly.
“I’d like to have more to drink, may I?” He asked, standing up. Tony sighed.
Michael returned with two beers, gave him the other and sat down on an armchair.
“Michael, about that, I’m sorry if…” Tony started.
“It’s alright Tony, we just need to be more careful with each other… If we were to act on these feeling that obviously are still there, not only would we risk our friendship, but I would end up loosing Sam, and I do not want that. I can’t loose him Tony. It would break my heart completely. My life is quite complicated enough.” Michael said looking at him.
“I understand, you are right.”
”May I ask something personal from you?” Tony asked after they had been quiet for a moment.
“Go right ahead, you’ve asked me before.” Michael grinned.
“Well, you and Sam, how are things going with you two? I mean with sex and all? You don’t have to answer, I understand completely if you don’t want to.” Tony asked insecurely. Michael took a deep breath before answering.
“Well, one step at the time. It’s starting to get better. I can trust Sam, I enjoy being with him, close to him… There are days that are better than the others. There are times that I won’t let him touch me at all and times when I long for it, when I ask him for it. I can’t really explain this… At times I feel nothing but loathing for myself, I feel disgusting and dirty and not worth him. Like I’m dirty and bad for wanting to have sex with him so badly. It’s hard, but luckily Sam has been very patient and understanding with me and slowly I’m gaining more confidence in myself.” Michael told him, and took another sip of his drink. “Anything else you want to know?” He asked and smiled carefully.
“Well actually, yes there is… I’m so sorry in advance, I know I shouldn’t be asking this, but I can’t seem to be helping myself. Let’s just blame the alcohol, alright? But I, um, what kind of… What do you do exactly when you have sex?… And again I’m really, really sorry.” Tony leaned back and drank his beer, feeling like an idiot.
“Um…What do we do? Quite many different things, um…” Michael hesitated.
“Is one of you always on top? I mean do you even do that?” Tony asked cursing himself mentally. ’You’re such an arse Tony, you can’t ask him that!’ His mind screamed, but the words just seemed to slip out of his mouth without any kind of control.
“Well we, we um … Sam likes more to be on top, you know the one who, well you know?… But sometimes he lets me do that too, he’s the first one who has… And it’s not like it’s the only thing that we do in bed… “
“Thank you for answering and again I am sorry.” Tony said.
“It’s alright. Why are you asking by the way? Are you perhaps thinking of trying it out yourself with someone?” Michael asked curiously.
“Perhaps, if I meet someone interesting enough. I don’t know, I’ll keep my eyes open.” Tony answered and smiled slightly.
“It’s so weird to be talking with you like this, why weren’t you like this all those years ago when we were 17?” Michael asked, smiling faintly. He wasn’t sure if he liked the idea of Tony with some other man, somehow it seemed it easier to think of him with a woman than a man. He was quite sure that he would get somewhat jealous when Tony would be with someone else and he knew that he was being silly for thinking like that.
“Well, you tell me. I was stupid back then, really stupid.” Tony sighed looking at him.
“You know what I’ve been wondering?” Tony asked then, thinking that it would be best to change the subject.
“What?” Michael asked.
“Well, Sam grew up in rich family and he is rich too, right?” Tony started.
“Yes…” Michael answered and looked at him slightly puzzled of where he was getting at.
“Well, he’s a personal trainer or something like that. He’s rich and works at some gym, I mean what’s the deal there?” Tony asked.
“What’s so odd about it?” Michael asked.
“Um, Aren’t the rich kids usually more like doctors or lawyers, or just spend their life’s in luxury, swimming in their money or something like that? At least hire their own personal trainer rather than become one themselves?”
“Those are stereotypes Tony. Sam has always loved exercise and he isn’t the kind of a person who could just live on with their parents money or sit in some dusty office all the time, doing paper work. He has the job that he loves, and I respect him even more for his choices. If you want a better answer, then you need to ask this from him. And it is slightly different now, his job I mean, now that he owns that gym.“
“Indeed… And loves exercise, well that shows…hm…” A smile played on Tony’s lips.
”What hm?” Michael asked slightly amused.
”Oh nothing. Sam loves exercise, you love exercise. It’s nice.” Tony said seeming to drift into his own thoughts.
“Tony, are you imagining what my boyfriend looks like when he’s naked?” Michael grinned.
“Who me?..Er… Well, only a little and then I imagined the two of you naked together.” Tony admitted. “I’m sorry, I’ve drunk too much, I’m way too tired and it’s been a long time since I had sex.” Tony laughed.
“It’s alright, it’s nice to undress Sam in ones mind.” Michael grinned. ”Well, even nicer if it’s for real, but only I get to do that!” Michael added with a smile.
“Of course, only you.” Tony grinned back.
Sam walked into the room and looked at his boyfriend with a smile. Michael laid on the bed, on his side fallen asleep. On the bed next to him were a few open books and a notebook, his right hand still held a pen in a loose hold. Sam thought that nothing had ever looked as adorable.
They had come to spend the weekend with Lisa and her family. That afternoon they had spend couple of hours horseback-riding. They had had a splendid dinner and after that Michael had played with Lisa’s four year old son, who had grown quite fond with Michael.
Few hours ago Michael had excused himself and told them that he would have to do some schoolwork, so he had left to the guestroom prepared for them. Sam knew that he had been very tired, so it didn’t surprise him to find him fallen asleep on the bed.
Sam sneak closer to the bed. He carefully took the books, the notebook and the pen and placed them on the near by table. Sam knelt in front of the bed and touched his lover’s face gently, he leaned forward and kissed his forehead. Michael made a small noise and moved slightly.
“I must have fallen asleep, what time is it?” He muttered. Sam looked into his sleepy eyes.
“It’s half past eleven, it’s alright, just go back to sleep love.” He whispered.
“I haven’t brushed my teeth yet, I’m tired…”
“I don’t think that the world will end, if for one night you don’t brush your teeth.” Sam smiled.
“It won’t? Promise?” Michael grinned, his eyes were close.
“I promise. Now let me help you to undress.” Sam said sitting on the edge of the bed. He started opening Michael’s belt and the buttons of his jeans.
“You just want see me naked.” Michael said yawning. He lift his hips up slightly so that Sam could pull his jeans down.
“Right you are.” Sam grinned. “I can’t help the fact that I love your body so much… but don’t worry you will get your sleep tonight.” Sam helped him to remove his over-shirt and then tucked him in carefully. “I’ll go back downstairs to talk with Lisa and Charles.” He whispered and kissed his lips lightly.
“Alright, good night Sam.”
“Good night love.” Sam turned the lights off and close the door after him. He was just about to return downstairs when his cellphone started to ring.
“Who the fuck calls at this hour.” He growled as he took his phone.
“Samuel Grey.” He answered.
“Good evening Sam. I’m glad that you haven’t changed your number.” Sam recognized the voice instantly.
“Jean… What the fuck do you want?” He hissed. His hand was shaking, his whole body was shaking from anger he felt towards the man.
“What do I want? Isn’t it quite obvious what I want?” Jean answered with cold and amused tone.
“Stay away from him Jean, stay fucking far away, if you want to keep on living.” Sam threatened.
“If I want to live Sam?” Jean laughed. Sam could hear from his voice that once again the man was drunk.
“I want that whore and when I get him, this time he won’t be able to get away. This time, I won’t believe his lies.” Jean told him.
“You won’t get him never again! And don’t you ever call him that!” Sam snapped.
“Oh Sam, you can keep trying to cover the truth with roses, but in the end, it’s never enough; Michael is a whore and that is the truth… Haven’t you noticed how others look at him? How they want him? Can you honestly tell me Sam, that it never bothers you how he flirts with them?” Sam tried to swallow his rage, it was obvious to him that Jean had finaly lost the last thread of sanity.
“The cops are on to you Jean, you won’t be able to get anywhere near him.” Sam said trying to sound as calm as he could.
“You are in my way Sam, you just don’t get it, do you? Michael is mine, only mine and I will make that whore understand, what ever it takes, I will get him to understand. I can hardly wait to be able touch him again, I can’t wait to hear him beg for me… He will be mine.” Jean whispered and then, without another word, Jean hung up on him.
Sam was breathing fast, his hands were still shaking. Everything Jean had said to him, were repeated in his mind; over and over again. Something had to be done to stop that man, but Sam didn’t know what he could do that hadn’t been done already. ’Jean won’t be able to get here, he won’t get him.’ He tried to comfort himself, but still, there was always that small doubt.
“Sam, what’s wrong?” Lisa’s concerned voice asked from behind him. She had come to look for her brother when he hadn’t returned downstairs like he had promised.
Sam looked at her, his blue eyes were glimmering from un-shed tears. Lisa walked closer and placed her hand on his shoulder.
“What’s wrong?” She asked again. Sam swallowed hard, trying to get himself back together, trying not to cry. He was suppose to be stronger than this. Lisa pulled him into a hug. “Tell me, what’s happened?” She asked. Sam led out a trembling sigh.
“Jean called, Michael’s ex, one of the men who…” He started. “He can’t get here, right Lisa? He would have to come here by plain or by the train and the cops or the guards would notice. They would arrest him before he would even have the time to step foot in the airport or the train-station.” Sam tried more to convince himself about this.
Lisa looked at her brother, she saw that he needed the reassurance so she thought it best to give it to him;
“Yes Sam, I’m sure that he won’t be able toget here.” She said and tried to smile. “Come now little brother, lets get you a glass of wine, lets talk more downstairs.” Lisa urged him.
“Just a sec, I need to go check on Michael, I’ll calm down soon, I promise.” Sam told her.
He knew that he was over reacting, that he was being silly with his sudden worry, but he needed to see that Michael was alright. He needed to see that Michael was where he had left him.
He didn’t turn the lights on, he walked over to the bed and knelt down onto the floor just like before. His eyes adjusted to the darkness and soon he could see his lovers face more clearly. Michael was sleeping; a quiet, restful sleep. Sam looked at his chest that kept rising and falling. ’Everything is alright.’ Sam thought and finally he stood up.
“I love you.” He whispered before he left the room.
”Those bastards have been free for five months and still the police doesn’t have a clue where they are! There has to be something we can do!” Sam spoke with agitated voice. He looked at Michael’s father who sat in front of the kitchen table and then at Tony who stood in front of the window looking out into the dark night. Henry had just told them about a new letter that had arrived and after that, Sam had told them about the phone call he had received from Jean.
“We have to come up with a plan.” Henry pointed out staring at the wall infront of him. “We have to be careful, we have to make sure that he’s never alone, that there’s always someone with him.” The man continued.
“And just how are you going to do that? Follow him to the bathroom too?” Tony snorted and turned to look at his friends fiance and his father.
“Tony, this is serious.” Henry said looking at him.
“I know that, of course I do, it’s just… Well, you’re still not planning on telling him what’s going on, are you?” Tony asked looking at the two older men.
“No, it is for the best. Why worry him for nothing? There’s enough stress in his life as it is.” Henry said.
“I have to agree with Henry.” Sam admitted.
“Worry him for nothing? If you ask me, then this certainly isn’t nothing. Do you honestly think that he won’t notice that you’re keeping things from him? Call me crazy if you like, but I think I know my friend quite well. I am his best friend, I’ve know him since we were infants and believe when I tell you this, if Michael will find out just what you are hiding from him, then he won’t like it, not one bit.” Tony said glaring at them.
”I can understand that Tony, but Michael has gone through a whole lot of shit during those six years that you weren’t there with him. If we were to tell him that his fucking crazy ex is still determined to hurt him in the worst possible way that he knows, I’m sure that it won’t help him one bit! He doesn’t have to know because we won’t let anything bad happen to him!” Sam snapped. They were glaring each others with Tony in anger.
“Well Sam, what if for some reason or another your clever plan, what ever that might be, isn’t going to work. What if Michael does end up alone, unaware of the possible threat, what if Jean really gets him? Wouldn’t it be better for him to know, so we can start preparing him? So he can learn to protect himself better?” Tony snapped back.
“Alright boys, lets calm down now shall we?” Henry interrupted them. “I do see your point Tony, but as Michael’s father my decision is final; he does not have to know and I ask of you to respect my decision.” Henry spoke with calm voice. Sam had a victorious smile on his lips, a little too victorious from where Tony stood.
“As his father? Bloody hell… Michael is a grown man!” Tony screamed.
”He is a young man, who won’t need another reason to stress himself over. He won’t have to know.” Sam said firmly.
“Argh! And just how much more older you are Sam? Three and a half years? Oh my. That sure is lot!” Tony snapped, he wasn’t quite sure why he had said that, why he felt so angry. That rich, handsome blond just got to his nerves at times. The fact that, that said blond was engaged to his best friend, a friend that Tony loved more than he should love a friend, might have had something to do with it. Tony folded his arms against his chest and pouted. Sam looked at him with amusement, a little unsure of what was going on anymore. Henry was even more confused of what was the issue between these two young men.
Michael sneaked downstairs quietly. He had woken up to the voices of arguing. He looked at the time; 9.30pm, once again he had fallen asleep so early. He sighed. He stood behind the kitchen doorway and listened quietly. “As his father? Bloody hell… Michael is a grown man!” Tony screamed. ”He is a young man, who won’t need another reason to stress himself. He won’t have to know.” Sam’s voice answered. Michael listened a little while longer before he stepped in.
“I won’t have to know what?” He asked. He looked at his father, his friend and his fiance with suspicion. They all looked surprised to see him standing there.
“Michael…” Sam started. ”We, um, we were just talking…” He stuttered..Michael, who had, for awhile now, felt like everyone was acting somewhat strangely around him, was now sure that something was going on.
“You are planning something.” He said then. “You’re hiding something from me, what is it?!” He insisted.
“We’re not hiding anything love, honestly, we were just chatting and Tony and I got a little carried away.” Sam told him. Michael looked at him and then at Tony who had just happened to roll his eyes to what Sam had said. And then there was that worried look that his father and Sam exchanged with each others.
“So you really are hiding things from me! Well for once it would fucking great if you started treating me like the adult that I am, but apparently it’s just too much to ask!” Michael shouted and rushed out of the room. He took his coat and left outside, the front door was slammed shut with a loud pang after him.
“I hate to say this; but it told you so.” Tony said looking at the other two men. Evelyn, who had just walked into the kitchen looked at them with worry.
“Someone has to go after him!” She said. Sam was already about to leave when Tony stopped him.
“Let me, I think I know where he’s going.” He said and quickly threw his coat on.
Michael walked down the street with quick steps. He was angry, really angry. Why didn’t they tell him things? What did they think of him? That he was some poor, fragile creature who needed to be kept inside cotton? Well he wasn’t! He was grown up, why couldn’t they see that? And did they think that he was totally witless? Apparently.
He stopped walking when he had reached far enough from the house. He tried to calm himself, looking at the dark evening around him. Few cars drove by, other than that the street was quiet, perhaps a little too quiet. Only now did he stop thinking about the situation more carefully. He looked at the dark forest beside the street, he thought of the dangers that might be lurking in the shadows. ’Oh my God, I am childish, aren’t I?’ He thought. ’I’m 24 soon and I’m acting like some god damn kid! Oh this is just fucking perfect.’ He looked around himself once more and the fear started to fill him. It was so dark, so quiet. He could see a new car coming from behind the curve and it made him almost jump when it drove by him.
He wrapped his arms around him and looked to the direction where his home was. What if he would just swallow his pride and go back home? Return to the safe arms of Sam? He shook his head. No, his pride wouldn’t let him do that so easily, so he kept on walking forward. ’Isabella, I wish Isabella would be here’ He thought. His grandmother would have understood him, she would have known what he should do.
’This is why you always get in to trouble.’ His inner voice told him, when he once again, was startled by the dark shadows of the forest. ’Tony asks you; don’t go with that man, and what do you do? Go anyway. Kitty says; I can give you a lift home, and what do you tell her? I can walk. And now you are walking here, all alone, late at night, only because…? Oh…You’re such an idiot Michael.’ The voice told him, when he finally reached the gate of the cemetery.
He walked through the lanes of the cemetery, until he found what he was looking for. He knelled onto the moist grass.
*William George Harris, B: 4.2.1932 D: 8.24.1986.* Michael read from the tombstone and looked at the one next to it. *Isabella Maria Harris, B: 11.16.1935, D:10.25.1997* Michael touched the engraved letters and felt tears in his eyes.
“I miss you, the both of you…” He whispered. “Why aren’t you here Bella, I need you… You would understand me, wouldn’t you? You would know what I should do…” He looked at the stone carefully, almost like thinking that if he would look at it long enough, then she would appear to him. “I’m so tired, do you think that it will get easier with time?… Will it ever stop, do you think? I’m beginning to doubt.” He sighed and looked up to the sky. “I should have listened to you, shouldn’t I? You were always right, why didn’t I listen to you back then… Why me? Why does it have to be me? Couldn’t God give me a break already?… I know, it’s not up to God… I just want it to stop, I want them to stop.” He touched the grass with his fingers.
“They are keeping secrets from me, did you know? I think it has to do with Jean. They think that I don’t see it, that I don’t know, but how could I not? I’ve grown to understand, that I can never have an easy life. I accept that, but that doesn’t mean that I like it. I don’t ask much, only that I could live my life with Sam fairly happily. I don’t care about the money, not anymore… I love Sam, with or without his money…” Michael sighed.
“ I’m so tired of hearing how beautiful I am, of how sexy I am. I’m just so tired. It’s only the outside and it seems that my appearance defines everything about myself… I’m glad to have people in my life who can see past my looks…I know you would understand.”
”I had a feeling that I would find you here.” Tony’s voice said from behind him. Michael turned his head to look at him. He then stared back to the tombstone. Tony knelt on the ground beside him. “You always went to her, when ever someone or something bugged you. So I thought you might come to her now too.” Tony continued.
“What are you hiding from me Tony? And don’t lie to me, I’m not stupid.” Michael asked, looking at him. Tony sighed.
“They say that it’s better if you don’t know.” He told him.
“It’s about Jean, isn’t it?” Michael asked. Tony looked at him with little surprised expression on his face. “Did you really think that I wouldn’t know? I haven’t forgotten that letter. I was with him for two years and I know that he is not the one to give up, just look what happened the last time… You are my best friend Tony, please tell me what’s going on? I want to know and shouldn’t I be allowed to know things that concern me? The last time I checked I was a grown up and it would be nice if people started treating me accordingly.”
“Maybe if you started acting accordingly.” Tony grinned.
“What do you mean?”
”Well you shouldn’t be running outside on your own when you know that he’s still out there. Even if he would be just threatening you, you should be more careful. Sometimes Michael, sometimes you’re still acting like a teen-ager.”
“Well I lost some of my teen-age years being treated like a whore, so I’m terribly sorry if I sometimes act a little childish.” Michael muttered. “But can you please tell me now what’s going on?”
“Jean has sent you some new letters, he even called Sam. Your parents and Sam thought that it would be best if you wouldn’t know about this.” Tony explained and looked at him carefully. Michael squeezed some grass into his fists, he was trembling slightly.
“What was on those letters?” He asked, his voice trembling. Tony hesitated. “Tony, I want to know what was in those letters.” Michael insisted.
“He wants you. The same that was in that letter, that you received from him earlier.” Tony told him. Michael felt tears in his eyes.
“It never ends, does it?” He cried, Tony pulled him into a warm hug.
“He is just trying to scare you, he won’t get you, I promise.” Tony whispered.
“Don’t promise things that you can’t be sure to keep.” Michael whispered. For a moment they stayed silent.
“Sam should have told me, he thinks that I’m too weak.” He muttered.
“I agree that he should have told you, but he only did what he thought was best for you.” Tony whispered.
”What can I do Tony? Move away? Hide from him? What if I would change my name? If I would take my middle name and Sam’s surname to use; Benjamin Grey, how does that sound?” Michael looked at him.
“It’s sounds okay, but I don’t think that I could get used to calling you with a different name. And to be honest, I don’t think that it would help anything.” Tony told him with a soft voice.
“I guess you’re right. But why didn’t Sam tell me, he should have told me about Jean calling him. I wonder what Jean said to him.” Michael sighed.
Tony decided to try and lighten the mood.
“Do you know what your boyfriend needs Michael?” Tony asked with a grin.
“I am afraid to ask, but what does he need Tony?”
“He needs to get some, in his arse.” Tony whispered. Michael started to laugh.
“Oh does he now?”
“Yes, trust me, that is exactly what he needs.” Tony grinned.
“I’m not sure if this is appropriate thing to discus at my grandparents final resting place.” Michael shook his head.
“Oh, Isabella wouldn’t mind, right Isa? And I’m sure that William would understand too.” Tony looked at the two tombstones. “Yes, Isabella just told me that she doesn’t mind and that she agrees with me.” Tony smiled brightly. Michael nudged him at his side.
“Please forgive Tony. I’ll take him now with me, away from disturbing your peace.” He said and stood up.
They walked back to the house.
“So, are you going to give your boyfriend what I suggested?” Tony asked with a grin.
“Why do I feel like you find this idea strangely fascinating?” Michael asked with amusement.
“Well, that blond just needs it, give him a good ride.” Tony smirked.
“Hey, that’s my fiance that we’re talking about here.”
“Yes, of course, give your fiance a good ride.” Tony grinned and started walking to his car whistling happily. When he was opening the car door, he looked at his friend once more.
“Oh, and tell Sam that I said hi!” He winked at him.
“Oh, okay, I will…”
Michael came in and took his coat off.
“Michael, thank God! I was worried sick!” His mother told him when rushing to him, to give him a hug. “Don’t you ever run off like that.” She said looking at his face closely.
“I’m sorry that I got you worried mom.” He said and then looked at his father. “Why didn’t you tell me?!”
“I’m sorry son, I thought that it would be for the best.” Henry said quietly.
“Well it wasn’t! And from now on I want to read my own mail thank you very much!” He snapped.
“We were just thinking what would be best for you.” Henry told him.
“We can talk more in the morning. Now, where’s Sam?” Michael asked.
“He’s in your room.” His mother told him.
“Well, good night then.” He almost ran up the stairs. When he reached the door to his room, he forced an angry expression on his face.
He opened the door. Sam sat on his bed and it appeared that he had just gotten out from the shower, because his hair was slightly wet. ’Perfect.’ Michael though, trying to keep the grin from forming to his face. Then he noticed that his cat was resting on Sam’s lap. ’Not good.’ He thought and walked further in.
“Thank God you came, are you still mad at me?” Sam asked with worry. Michael took the cat to his arms, but didn’t say a thing. He walked back to the door and lowered the cat onto floor of the corridor. Cleo looked at him in a way that made him always feel somehow guilty.
“Not today Cleo, I’m sorry.” He whispered and closed the door, locking it. He turned to look at Sam, who was following his every move with his eyes. Michael walked over to his cd-player and turned some music on. He looked at Sam once more.
“I’m sorry.” Sam said carefully, noticing that Michael still seemed mad.
“Take you pants off blondy, the shirt as well.” Michael said looking at him closely. Sam raised one eyebrow. ”Well, I’m waiting.” He was still standing at the other side of the room. Sam took off his t-shirt and then his pants. He sat back on the bed and looked at Michael with curiosity.
”I believe you missed something.” Michael noted, gesturing to his boxers with his hand. Sam smiled slightly and undressed the final piece of clothing that he had on.
“Sometimes I feel like you forget that I am a man as well.” Michael started, removing his own shirt. Sam had a goofy smile on his face.
“Oh honey, I do know that you’re a man, I wouldn’t be with you if you weren’t. Your cock has been in my mouth and in other places, so…” Sam grinned looking at Michael’s naked upper body with lust.
“I still think that you need a reminder.” Michael continued opening his jeans. He took the lube from his drawer and approached the bed. He undressed himself completely and urged Sam to lie down on the bed. He then climbed on top of him. He kissed Sam’s lips, pressing himself closer to the warm body beneath him. He started rocking his hips, feeling Sam’s cock massaging his own. Sam moaned, his hands wrapped around him, trying to turn them so that he would be on top.
“Oh no, not this time Sam.” Michael grinned, keeping Sam firmly under himself. He knew that if Sam really wanted, he could very easily get on top, Sam was, after all, the stronger one of the two of them.
Michael kissed his neck and his chest, moving down on his nipples. He licked one, took it between his teeth’s nipping slightly, he repeated the same action with the other one. Sam was moaning, panting, his body twirled under him from anticipation. Michael spit on his hand and took a firm hold of Sam’s rock hard organ. He kissed Sam’s lips once more. He moved down on his body, finally reaching his destination. He gave a lick to the tip of Sam’s cock. He smiled when he saw how Sam’s breathing quickened and his lips parted. He started sucking him slowly and opened the lube while doing this. Once he had his fingers moistened with the lube, he moved the first finger inside him. Sam moaned from pleasure.
“You like this, don’t you Sam?” Michael asked with a whisper.
“Yes…” Sam needed more, he wanted more, his cock was throbbing, the finger inside him found that lovely place that made his whole body quiver with need. Soon another finger moved in, stretching him.
“Oh gods, Michael, please, more…I want more… I want you, please…” Michael smiled, he took his fingers out and slicked his own member. Sam lift his hips up and Michael placed a pillow under his pelvis. He moved up on Sam’s body with kisses, positioning himself against his opening. Slowly he started moving in. Feeling the tight muscles around his cock felt amazing. Sam was so tight, so warm. Michael laid his forehead against his and started moving. Sam was squeezing his buttocks.
“Faster…” He begged and Michael filled his wish by taking a firm hold his hips and starting to speed up his thrusts. He moaned from the pleasure that moved through his body. He could only wish that his parents wouldn’t hear them.
He took a hold of Sam’s cock and started stroking it, while pushing in and out of him.
“I’m going to cum…” Sam whispered, looking at Michael’s eyes. Michael smiled, kissed his lips.
“Then cum for me honey…” Michael whispered, feeling his own orgasm nearing. Sam’s muscles tightened around him, his cock started pulsing in his hand, erupting the thick, warm liquid on his hand and on their stomachs. Only few last thrusts and Michael came inside him. He laid down on top Sam’s body, trying to catch his breath. Sam was stroking his back, he kissed his shoulders, his neck, his lips.
“Felt good…” Sam whispered.
“So did you.” Michael whispered back, pulling out of him. He laid down next to Sam and wrapped the coverlet around them both.
“Oh, and before I forget; Tony says hi.” He grinned.
“Tony says hi?” Sam repeated with confusion. Michael laughed softly at his confused expression.
“Yes, you can ponder about that my love.” He said and kissed him again.
“So your not mad at me anymore?” Sam asked quietly.
“No, I just wish that from now on, you wouldn’t keep hiding things from me.”
“I just thought that it would be best, you’ve gone through so much lately. I didn’t want to add on your stress.”
”I know that you were just looking out for me, but I needed to know. I don’t want any secrets between us, I don’t want you to cary all the worry on your shoulders. I need you Sam, I need you to take care of me, but not by hiding important things from me.” He whispered and took Sam’s hand in his.
“Alright, I promise that from now one there will be no more hiding things. And I promise that everything will be alright. I promise that I’ll always protect you.” Sam told him, pulled him close to his chest, and kissed his forehead.
“I love you Michael.” He told him, receiving a loving smile.
“I love you too Sam.”
The nightmares had started again, just when he had thought that he had gotten rid of them, they returned. Every night, he would wake up to the sound of his own scream, sweating all over. Sam would wrap his arms around him, whisper to him soothingly and hold onto him as long as it would take to relax him. And Michael didn’t understand why the nightmares had to return now, when he had thought that he had gotten over them already.
“This is what I was afraid of.” Sam had whispered quietly, after the first nightmare. Michael hadn’t said a word, he had just sobbed quietly in his arms.
“He’s coming and this time I won’t survive, this time I’ll die.” Michael had finally whispered in his shocked state of mind. Sam had taken his face between his hands and looked at his eyes firmly almost angrily.
“Don’t you say that, don’t you ever think like that! You’re not going to die because I won’t let you. Understand?!” All the while Sam had looked deep into his eyes. “Do you understand?” He had insisted, Michael had cried and finally nodded his head. They had held each other for a long time.
He placed their books onto the bookshelf. Sam sat on the floor going through their CD collection. Michael glanced at him, Sam glanced back, and they smiled to one another.
The day was sunny, and unusually warm, the birds were singing and they were finally moving into their new home. The furniture were already been arranged to their places so all they had to do was to arrange all the little stuff.
“Are you hungry?” Michael asked once he had finally arranged all the books in to their places.
“Yes, a little.” Sam answered while standing up and going to the stereo to put a CD on instead of listening to the radio’s hit songs.
“What would you like to eat? Is chicken salad okay?” Michael called from the kitchen.
“Yes, it’s perfect!” Sam shouted back to him. “Michael, you have mixed all the CDs again!” He shouted after that. Michael came back from the kitchen and looked at him with innocent face.
“What?” He asked.
“You have mixed these again.” Sam told him and showed him the Eminem CD-case which had a Madonna-CD inside it. Then he opened a Spanish-music case that had an Irish music CD inside it, there were plenty of examples like that.
“How can I ever find the right CD that I want to listen? Couldn’t you finally learn how to place these into the right cases?” Sam asked and looked at his boyfriend with slightly amused expression.
“Oh Sam, this is really very simple, look;” He took out the Madonna CD case opened it and showed him the Eminem CD inside it. He opened few more CDs while telling Sam, according to himself, a very logic explanation. “And this Spanish CD is here in the Irish CD case. You see? As simple as that.” He smiled.
“Why? Because the Irish wanted to visit Spain and the other way around?” Sam asked still feeling amused. He simply couldn’t stay mad at Michael, about this very annoying habit of his, he thought that it was simply endearing in some strange kind of way.
“Yes, sometimes the CDs might also want some change, don’t you think?” Michael said and flashed him the most charming smile ever.
“Oh, indeed?” Sam smiled back, shook his head and finally placed the CD that he wanted, into the player.
”Sam, what could I do for a living, where I wouldn’t have to meet with people much, and the kind of job that I could do at home maybe?” Michael asked while they were eating in the kitchen.
“Why do you ask?” Sam looked at him.
“Well, why do you think? I can’t work as a waiter anymore, or a chef, or… well I can’t pretty much do anything that I used to dream of doing. When I finish high school. I need to think of something new.” Michael explained, moving his food around with his fork.
“You do know sweetheart that you don’t need to rush? I think it’s better that you just take your time to get well. In all truth, there’s no need for you to go to work of any kind. We have enough money, so you do not need to worry.” Sam smiled gently.
“I need to do something; I want to live, not just be.” Michael sighed looking at him.
“I understand that love, but you don’t need a job just to do something… You can paint, write, study languages, or help me do some paper work. As I said there’s no rush. Just remember that.” Sam looked at him. Michael smiled slightly.
“I could try painting and writing, my therapist actually suggested it.” Michael said then.
They sat on the couch kissing, Sam held Michael tighter against himself, nipping and licking his earlobe. Quiet moans mingled with the voices coming from the tv. Two half full wine glasses on the table, opened bottle of wine, the night had already darkened. Michael opened Sam’s shirt without a rush, they kissed.
Sam took a hold of his hips and moved them so that he was now laying on top of Michael, Michael’s legs each side of him. The kiss continued. Their upper body’s were naked, jeans still on. Sam kissed his neck. Michael moaned, closed his eyes. The soft light coming from the fireplace lightened the room that was otherwise dark. Few candles on the near by table.
“I hope you know, what would happen if you ever cheated on me Michael?” Michael snapped his eyes open and looked around himself in confusion. He wasn’t on the couch with Sam anymore, he was laying on a bed of a dimly lighted bedroom. A hand moved under his shirt, on his stomach, he looked down. A hot breath on his neck, a gentle bite. He was breathing uneasily, his heart was racing.
“I would never cheat on you Jean.” He heard his own fearful voice answer.
“Wouldn’t you cherié? You were out with Sam today, for quite a long time. I am not a happy man if some one cheats on me.” Jean’s face above his own.
“I was mad at you Jean, you told everyone. Sam merely gave me some comfort. Unlike you, he doesn’t care what I was, he wants to be my friend despite it.” He answered with an angry voice. Jean slapped him on his cheek and he cried out.
“You insulted me today, in front of them. And if you think that Sam, or anyone else, doesn’t care about what you’ve been in the past; that you’ve been a whore, then you’re wrong. I had every right to say what I did, but you…” Jean’s voice hissed, as he cried silently. “There, there… Don’t cry cherié. Let me kiss the pain away…I’ll forgive you. I’m always going to be here to take care of you, you just need some discipline mon amour.”´The older man climbed on top of his younger body, kissing his cheek softly.
Lips were pressed on his owns, into a violent kiss. He took a hold of the man’s wrist attempting to push him away but failing. The taste of alcohol and cigarettes mixed into his mouth.
“I’m tired Jean.” His own voice whispered quietly, when the kiss ended.
“You’ve used that same excuse for far too long cherié. You’re my boyfriend, so start acting accordingly.” Jean hissed as he teared his jeans open in a violent manner. The man forced him to lay on his stomach, pulled his jeans down to his ankles.
Cold oily fingers moved inside him, a quick, hasty preparation, a zipper was opened.
“Shh… Don’t cry cherié, I’ll forgive you when you give me what I want…” The man whispered into his ear. He didn’t say a word to stop the man. A muffled cry as the man shoved his hard organ inside him. Quiet tears on his cheeks, moaning, the sound of Jean’s balls slamming against his cheeks, the nails dug into his flesh.
“Good boy, very good…” The man whispered when he was done. He was brushing his hair gently, wiping his tears away. Kissing his lips so softly, pulling him close, holding him. “I love you Michael. Don’t ever cheat on me, otherwise I’d have to hurt you, and you don’t want that, do you?” Jean whispered, still holding him.
Michael shook his head.
“What?…no…” He started.
“Michael what is it? Why did you stop?” Sam’s voice awakened him into the reality. He looked at him in confusion, into Sam’s blue and worried eyes. What on earth just happened? He asked himself when standing up. He took his shirt from the floor, dressed it on and buttoned his jeans back up. Sam rose to sit, he took Michael’s hand, looking at him with worry.
“What’s wrong?” He asked.
“I’m sorry Sam, I need a shower, I’m sorry…” Michael said quietly and walked upstairs quickly.
He stood under the shower and thought of Jean. The man was one big mystery to him, so many things that he tried to forgot, things he didn’t want to remember. Perhaps he had always known what the man could do? Perhaps he had seen it, but just ignored it?
He hated Jean, with all of his being, and at the same time… He remembered another man, a man in that same body, who had… Who had loved him? Who had kissed him gently, who had smiled with tenderness. Brought him tea when he had been sick and gently covered him up with a blanket. He hadn’t thought about that man for ages, he had been afraid to think about him, because somehow, it always hurt him to remember. In some strange way he missed the person that Jean had once been, and felt wrong to miss him, because at the same time, that man was a monster that he despised. Michael sighed and let some of the memories to return.
“Thank you Jean.” He whispered quietly and snuggled closer to the man’s chest.
“Thank you for what?” The man asked with a smile, while stroking his hair gently.
“For bringing me here, for taking care of me. I won’t have to pretend anymore, I can just be with you. I had already lost my hope before I met you. I love Paris… I love you.” He whispered and looked at Jean’s grey eyes a little shyly. Jean smiled, touched his cheek gently, brushed his hair lovingly.
“You love me? You have no idea, of how long I’ve waited to hear you say that. Oh Michael, I love you so much… You’re the best I’ve ever had, we’ll always be together, I’ll always take care of you.” The man said when pulling him closer. He kissed the boy gently, moved his hands down on his back and stopped to look at him. “You’re so young, so incredibly beautiful. I’ve never seen anything more beautiful than you…”
That night they had made love and Jean had been more gentle than ever before, more gentle than he ever would be.
Michael leaned his back against the cold tile wall of the shower. He felt tears running down and he was so tired of crying. Jean confused him. With Ricky everything had been simple; the man was pure evil to him, Michael had felt nothing but fear and anger since he had gone to New York with him, but Jean? What could be said about Jean? Sure, with all his heart, he hated the monster that had later revealed himself, but the memories of a better time… He couldn’t help but to think if they had ever been true. Something inside him told him that right at the beginning, despite the lie, Jean had cared for him. That he had seen a glimpse of a man that Jean had once been, long before Ricky.
“Tell me about your childhood Jean, what were your parents like? Do you have any siblings?” He asked looking at the man. “There’s nothing to tell about my childhood, those stories are only depressing, what’s gone is gone, so are my parents, so are my brother and my sister. I do not wish to talk about them.” The man answered and turned away.
The same had happened when ever he had tried to ask something about his past. Had the man ever been in love? How had his old lovers been like? Always dodging answers, but never the truth.
Michael didn’t want to think about Jean, he just didn’t know how to stop. He feared the encounter, that he now knew would come for certain. Jean would come for him, it still wasn’t over…
”So how have you been doing?” Jack asked as they walked down the Hyde Park together.
“Well, I’ve started having nightmares again, but other than that I’m doing okay.” Michael answered and gave his friend a weak smile.
“How about you? It seems like forever since the last time we saw each others.”
“Well, it’s been almost five months, so it is a long time, I’m happy that we live in the same city now, so I can see you more often. And I’m fine too, I’ve never been as happy as I am now. Things are going great with Brian.” Jack told him, Michael smiled.
“You deserve to be happy Jack and I am glad to hear that you are… I’ve missed this; seeing you, being able to talk to you in person…” They sat down on the park bench. Jack looked at him.
“Are you happy?” Jack asked suddenly. Michael looked at him with surprised expression.
“Yes, I am happy. I’m happy with Sam, but… I do worry and I am scared.” Michael admitted.
“No one can blame you. You can talk to me, you know that. After all I know what you’ve been trough, better than anyone else I’m sure.”
“Yes I know. Thank you Jack, I’m so glad that you found me when you did. ” Michael said and then hugged him.
“We have a small house warming party with Sam, on this upcoming weekend. Would you and Brian like to come? I know that this is a late invitation and I’m sorry about that, but there’s been a lot on my mind lately.”
“I understand it completely. I would love to come, but we already have plans, we’re going to Scotland to visit Brian’s family.”
“Oh, okay, you’ll come some other time then, won’t you?”
“Yes of course Michael. I want to see your new house.” Jack smiled.
“Okay, I’m going to hold you to that promise. You can come on some weekend to spend the night, we have quite big house, and more rooms that we ever need to use I’m sure.”
“Sounds good to me.” Jack grinned.
Michael lay on the bed, he laid down the book that he had been reading and looked at Sam who was standing in front of the mirror doing his hair. It was the day of their house warming party and Michael would meet more of Sam’s older friends.
“Okay, how do I look?” Sam asked, turning around. Michael looked at him from head to toe; Sam had a midnight blue silk shirt on which brought out his eyes, he also wore tight black pants that fitted on him perfectly.
“You look absolutely amazing honey, come here.” Michael said holding out his hand. Sam walked over to him, took his hand in his and sat down on the bed next to him. Michael sat up slightly to kiss his lips and his neck. “You smell good too, a new aftershave?” He whispered. Sam nodded his head.
“I’m glad that you like.” He whispered back.
”I need to change too, I think your friends would look at me a bit funny if I were to walk around in my sweatpants and in too large t-shirt. I don’t wish to embarrass you in front of them. Michel smiled.
”Honey you would look great even if you had a big trash bag on, you could never embarrass me.” Sam told him and gently stroked his cheek.”
“I think I’m still going to change into something more decent.” Michael grinned. “Could you fix my hair?” He asked.
“Of course, I’ll just go and get the wax from the bathroom.” Sam kissed him gain stood up and left the room.
Michael stood up as well to find some better clothes. Sam returned into the room.
“I don’t know what to wear.” Michael said, smiling to him. Sam came closer to him.
“Hm… Wear these, you look great in these.” Sam suggested, handing him a black button up shirt and a pair of nice fitting jeans. Michael nodded and put the clothes on.
“Alright, turn around so I can fix your hair.” Sam smiled. Michael turned to face him and smiled back. He loved when Sam did his hair; he loved when he played with it. Sam warmed up the wax between his hands and then ran his fingers through his lover’s hair mixing it up. “I’m more than pleased, what do you think?” Sam asked. Michael turned to look from the mirror; his hair had been done in a way that made it look like he had just had some wild sex. He looked at Sam through the mirror and grinned.
“I like it, thanks. I’ll go and find my aftershave now.” Michael turned to kiss him. Sam pulled him closer, deepening the kiss. Just then, the doorbell rang.
“Why now? They weren’t supposed to arrive just yet.” Sam sighed. “I wouldn’t want to let you go from my arms.” Sam whispered close to his ear.
“No can do love, you better go and see who it is.” Michael smiled kissed his cheek and removed himself from his lovers embrace. Sam sighed deeply once more before he could get himself moving. He walked downstairs without a rush; the doorbell rang for the second time.
“I’m coming, I’m coming.” He muttered when reaching the door.
“Sam, long time no see!” Caleb Harker Sam’s former friend, fuck buddy and ’idol’ said when coming in. Sam stared at the man with confusion. He was the last person that he had expected to see when opening the door. He hadn’t invited him, he was sure of that. “Cat got your tongue baby?” Caleb asked winking at him. He stepped further into to the hall.
“I just didn’t expect to see you here, you could have called me first you know?” Sam said with rude tone of voice and shut the front door.
“Well, I happened to be in the neighbourhood and heard that you were having housewarming party tonight. I’m sure that you just forgot to invite me.” Caleb smiled raising one of his brows. “Haven’t you missed me at all baby?” Caleb asked and slapped his bottom. “Mmmh… still so firm.” The older man grinned.
“Stop that.” Sam hissed. ”You could have called.” He muttered after. The older man looked around himself while taking his coat off.
“I heard a wild rumour, well Mark told me, that you’ve gotten engaged. I told Mark, that it would be a cold day in hell before Samuel Grey would take such a big step in a relationship, but Mark insisted this to be true.” Caleb started, placing his coat on the coat-rack; he looked at Sam with question. Sam looked back at him with annoyed expression.
“It is true, I am engaged and I don’t see what’s so strange about it.” Sam said finally.
“I remember a young, wild boy who swore to the name of partying. I remember a boy who never stayed with one person for a long period of time without cheating on them. I remember a boy with whom I spent the most heated nights of my life.” Caleb told him, smiling with that flirting manner of his, that Sam remembered all to well from his younger days. The man stepped closer.
“That boy looked hell of a lot like you.” Caleb looked at his figure up and down. “I sure would love to meet with that person who has managed to capture your heart.” Sam took few steps away from him.
“People change Caleb, they grow up.” Sam said with steady voice.
”I’ve never seen people changing just like that. Are you going to tell me that you’re a loyal boyfriend? You have a nice house for sure, fit for a family. Is this some kind of game perhaps? Maybe you’re just fooling yourself?” Caleb asked studying his expression. He remembered that expression; the younger man was on the verge of loosing his nerves. Caleb wondered for a moment of how much he could say before Sam would throw him out.
“I’m in love, love changes a person. Perhaps I was fooling myself before; I thought that I was having fun when all that time I was just waiting to meet with him. Now I’ve finally found him and I’m happy, truly happy.” Sam told him, looking straight into his green brown eyes.
Caleb laughed, looked at him and laughed.
“Oh this is priceless, have you stolen that line from some romance novel? I really need to see that other half of yours, where is he?” The man asked. Sam gnashed his teeth together. He had already forgotten how annoying Caleb could be, or maybe he only saw it now? When Sam had met Caleb, he had just turned 18, Caleb had been 22. Sam had had a huge crush on him. Caleb had been handsome and wild; bad boys sort to speak. He remembered his black leather jacked and his motorbike. He remembered his own desperate urge to shake down his own good, rich boy image once and for all. He had felt like he could do nothing to shock his parents with, but getting together with a man who spoke, acted and looked like some kind of criminal had finally been the trick to shock them.
His parents had always hated Caleb Harker and they would always go on hating him. Sam had worshiped the man whose whole life and being was so different from his own.
Sam had lost his virginity at the age of 16, but Caleb had brought him into a whole new level in the act of sex. Sam had been an eager student, he had wanted to see and he had wanted to learn and Caleb had been more than pleased to teach him. Sam had had sex with men that he hardly even remembered anymore, at times with more than one at once, always thinking that there would be something better out there, that there had to be something better. That life hadn’t suited to him, but he had continued, somehow. Lost, somewhere drifting and then there had been Caleb, who had always managed to talk him into new and stupid stuff.
Suddenly the man stopped laughing, he looked over Sam’s shoulder and a sly grin rose on his thin lips. The man looked at something with keen interest.
“Sam…” Sam turned when he heard his boyfriend’s soft voice from behind him. Michael looked at him and then at Caleb.
“So you’re the one to have stolen Samuel’s heart I believe…” Caleb smiled and walked closer to Michael. “Caleb Harker, a pleasure to meet with you.” Caleb took the young mans hand in his and kissed him palm. Michael looked at Sam with a bit of a stunned expression on his face, looking like he didn’t know whether to laugh or to run away quickly.
“Well, now I understand perfectly.” Caleb grinned looking back at Sam.
“You must be in a hurry Caleb, it was nice to see you, do pop in some other time.” Sam said quickly, trying to urge the man to leave.
“I’m not in a hurry, I though that I’d stay for your party.” Caleb grinned and stepped further in. “I’d like to see more of this beautiful house of yours; you’ll show me around, won’t you?” Caleb asked looking at them both. Sam glanced at Michael, who looked back at him with question. Sam sighed, he didn’t know how to make Caleb leave, he really didn’t like the idea that Caleb would stay. Knowing Caleb, the man could do something to upset Michael and Sam sure didn’t like the way that the man had looked at his boyfriend.
It was seven o’clock in the evening. There was now Caleb, Mark, Adam, Julie, Chris, John and his girlfriend Emma in their apartment. Michael sat in the living room with their quests, trying to stay calm and smile. Outward he looked perfectly calm, inside, his whole being was trembling. He glanced at the doorway every once and awhile, hoping that Sam, who had left only moments earlier to open the front door, would soon return back to him.
“What do you do for living Michael? Or are you still in school?” Emma asked. Michael glanced at the woman who stared at him as did everyone else. Emma smiled; a polite, but forced smile, the kind of which Michael had always hated.
“I’m still studying.” He answered shortly and smiled back to her.
“And what do you study?”
“I’m finishing senior high school by home studying.” He told her and noticed that he was slightly embarrassed of the fact. Emma’s expression, when hearing his answer, only increased his embarrassment.
“What are you going to do after that’s done? You’re not working at all? How old did you say you were?” Emma asked and smiled with unpleasant manner.
“I’m 23, I haven’t thought about that yet. I worked as a waiter before, but now…”
“It’s very convenient for you that Samuel is so rich.” The woman interrupted him. Michael looked at her with confusion, realizing then what the woman was implying. John whispered something to her, looking at his girlfriend with an angry expression. Mark who was the only one in the room to know what the situation with Michael really was, decided to change to subject quickly.
“Sam told me, that you’re very keen on history and that you’re an excellent cook.” He said and smiled to the younger man.
“History was one of my favourite subjects in school and I do enjoy cooking greatly.” Michael smiled back at him.
“You’re a former dancer too, am I right?” Mark asked. Michael noticed Caleb’s expression changing oddly. He was looking straight at him in a way that Michael didn’t like.
“Former is the key word; my dancing was more like a hobby to me when I was younger.”
”And as I understood correctly; you also won a contest?” Mark added.
“Yes, but that was a long time ago.” Michael answered quietly, hoping that all the attention would be soon drawn to somewhere else or to someone else.
Sam opened the front door and met with smiling Daniel and his new boyfriend.
“Hi Sam, I brought my boyfriend with me, I hope that you don’t mind?” Daniel asked and Sam noticed that it seemed like he was hoping that it would bother him even a little bit.
“Not at all, you’re both welcome… Samuel Grey, nice to meet you.” Sam shook the man’s hand.
“Julius Shawn, nice to meet you too.” The man answered, seeming slightly bored somehow.
”Julius? I had a hamster, when I as a young boy, who’s name was Julius. Julius Caesar.” Sam said thoughtfully, he hadn’t meant to say it out loud. The man’s expression turned slightly sour. Daniel smiled, he probably thought that Sam’s hamster comment meant that Sam slightly jealous of him.
“A nice hamster he was, Julius I mean.” Sam continued and then shook his head slightly. “Oh well, where are my manners, do come in. There’s some wine and beer in the kitchen, there’s also some small snacks if you’re hungry.” He smiled and then left back to the living room.
He looked at Michael and saw his face immediately lighting up when he saw him. He smiled in a happy and a relieved manner. Sam sat next to him and wrapped his arm around his shoulders. Michael laid his head down against his chest, feeling better straight away.
”You know what I just realized; I had a hamster whose name was Julius Caesar and your cat’s name is Cleopatra; now that’s some coincidence, wouldn’t you agree? It’s clear that we’re meant for each others. We are a couple, whose pets have the most ridiculous names ever. We could get a dog and name him; Marcus Aurelius.” Sam whispered Michael lift his head up and laughed quietly.
”Perfect idea, some cute little pug that snores… It would be so gay; a pug, whose name is Marcus Aurelius.” He whispered. They looked in each others eyes; Sam smiled and gently brushed his hair away from his forehead. Adam cleared his throat.
“There’s still other people in here.”
“Oh, sorry, we try to behave.” Sam said and grinned to his friend.
Michael remembered all the other people in the room again. He felt their eyes on his body. He tried to concentrate on Sam, on how good he smelled and how warm his body was. Sam was chatting with Adam, aware of how everyone was looking at his fiancé. Daniel’s and Emma’s gaze however, was different from the others. They looked at Michael, seeming a bit jealous. Sam felt Michael’s heart racing, when he was so close to his body. He also felt him trembling slightly. If Michael did everything he could to make him seem calm, the others wouldn’t notice how nervous he really was.
”I’ll go get something to drink from the kitchen.” Michael said finally, stood up and left. Sam looked after him feeling worried. He was about to go after him.
“Tell me Sam, where did you find that hottie?” Caleb asked pulling him back to sit on the couch. Adam sat on his other side.
”Damn he’s gorgeous.” Adam commented. Sam looked towards the kitchen, still worried, slightly irritated about these two men beside him.
“I’m sorry, I’ll go and…” Sam started, but once again he was being pulled back. He looked at Mark who mouthed the word’s; ’I’ll go’ silently to him. Sam smiled to him with gratitude
”Sam would you be interested in sharing him tonight? Having more fun; like back when we were younger.” Caleb suggested with a quiet voice.
“No I’m not interested in sharing.” Sam hissed.
“Didn’t your mother teach you to share your toys?”
“I share toys, not the man I love, not my fiancé.” Sam answered and looked at Caleb coldly, with despise. He stood up and Caleb stood up after him grasping his arm.
“Sam… Don’t you remember how much fun we used to have? When you and Daniel were together he used to love it when we took him together. That hot Spanish lover of yours might enjoy it as well.” Sam pulled his arm free.
“It was forever ago and Michael differs from Daniel like night does from day. You can suggest that to Daniel and Julius; see if they’d be interested.” Sam told him.
Michael came in to the kitchen and poured himself a glass of wine. ’Just breaths, easy, just remember to breath.’ He told himself. His heart was beating wildly. He leaned against the counter and closed his eyes.
“Hey, how you’re doing?” He heard Mark’s voice asking. Michael opened his eyes and looked at the man.
“I’m fine, thank you.” He answered quietly. He felt ashamed when he remembered Sam’s birthday party and what he had screamed there. Mark knew.
”Better than in November?” Mark asked. Michael smiled carefully.
“Yes, better than in November.”
“That’s good to hear.” The man smiled.
”Look, I’m sorry for the way I acted back then, I…” Michael started. Mark raised his hand up and smiled.
“Hey there’s really no need to explain, I understand. And I’m sorry for the way that the others have behaved tonight. Try not to care too much, Emma for example, is a rich brat, who’s used to getting all the attention. She gets jealous when ever there’s someone to steel that from her. No matter if the object wants it or not.” Mark told him smiling with sympathy.
“Thank you Mark. And no worries, I’m quite used to people like her, one can not escape from them.” Michael said and smiled little weakly. The doorbell rang. “It must be Tony or Kitty. I’ll go and see.” Michael said and looked at Mark who nodded his head.
Michael opened the door and looked at Tony from head to toe; Tony had a very traditional Scottish outfit. He was wearing a kilt.
“Don’t say a word.” Tony warned him when stepping in. Michael nipped his bottom lip and tried hard not to laugh. Tony looked at him sighing.
“Hey I couldn’t help this! I came straight from my cousin’s bachelor party, I had to wear this, and I didn’t have the time to change and…” Tony started. Michael nodded his head, still biting his lip. “Then there were those bloody tourists on the subway, who apparently have never seen a man wearing a kilt. Giggling school girls, and perverts who…” Tony looked at him again. “Alright, alright. Go on then; laugh, just let it out.” He gave up.
“Do you have any underwear?” Michael asked snickering. He looked at his friend with curiosity. He had definitely drunk too much wine; he thought about how fun it would be to lift Tony’s kilt up and check it himself.
“Oh, you want to see, do you?” Tony grinned and started lifting the hem up slightly. “You want to see my equipment, I knew it, and you perverted Irish.” Michael laughed and took few steps away from him.
“You crazy Scottish, stay away.” He screamed laughing and ran away from him. Tony moved closer.
”Maybe if I flash you a bit, uh, Mmmh, yeah I know you’d like that.” Tony fooled around, trying to catch him. Michael ran, still laughing. He loved the fact that Tony still treated him like he had before, that he wasn’t so overly careful around him like so many others that knew about his history. With Tony, he could act normal, he could joke and just fool around.
Someone cleared their throat. Tony had just lifted his hem up so that Michael could see what he wore under the kilt. Tony blushed slightly, looked at Michael and smoothed down the hem of his kilt. He turned around. Mark and Sam were looking at them both with amused curiosity.
“What’s happening here?” Sam asked, raising his brow. He looked at Tony.
”I was just, uh…” Tony stuttered.
“Tony just showed me something.” Michael smiled and walked over to Sam.
”Nice legs.” Mark grinned looking at the other young man. Tony blushed even more, other men had hardly ever looked at him the way that Mark did.
“He showed you what?” Sam asked with curiosity.
”It’s a secret, I won’t tell.” Michael grinned and looked at his friend. Tony looked sweet when he blushed, which didn’t happen so often.
”Tony?” Sam asked. Tony tried hard to pull himself together from his embarrassed state; he looked at Sam and smiled.
“I won’t tell.” Then he collected more courage and looked at the older, dark haired man. Tony grinned to him in secretive manner and then winked at him. Michael looked at the scene with surprise.
”Is it just me, or is Tony flirting with Mark?” He whispered to Sam. Sam looked at the other two, who were still staring at one another and smiling.
“Hm… I’d say that there’s something going on between them. This should be interesting.” Sam whispered and looked at his boyfriend. “You’re not jealous, are you?” He asked with a grin. Michael looked at him.
“No…Of curse not, why should I be?…” Michael answered and turned his gaze back to Tony.
Michael returned into the kitchen happy of the fact that it was empty and quiet. Sam was talking with his friends in the living room, Mark and Tony had disappeared outside for a smoke. He heard the laughter coming from the living room; everyone seemed to be quite drunk already. Michael poured himself a glass of wine and filled the sink with warm watter. He started to wash some dishes. When he had been younger, he had hated dish washing, hated the fact that his hands would get all wrinkled and dry. He smiled at the memories of the past with amusement, after all, he had also dreamed of becoming an archaeologist and what would his hands have looked like then?
“Is everything alright dear?” Michael turned his head to the voice. Sam walked behind him and wrapped his arms around his waist.
“Yes, everything is alright.” Michael assured him and kissed Sam’s lips.
“Then why are you hiding here?” Sam asked.
“I’m not hiding; I’m just washing up some dishes; so that there wouldn’t be so much to clean tomorrow.”
“We do have a dishwasher, right there, if you haven’t noticed.” Sam noted with amusement.
“I know, I just… I like washing dishes.” Michael tried.
“No you don’t.” Sam said and looked at him with curiosity. Michael looked back at him frowning. He was about to open his mouth to protest.
“My skin will dry, hands get all wrinkled – I hate it.’ That’s what you once told me in our old place.” Sam reminded him with a smile.
“Well, I just…”
“Others are making you feel uneasy and washing dishes is a good excuse.” Sam stated calmly.
“I wouldn’t want to be dull, I just…” Michael started with a low and apologetic voice.
“Don’t worry, I understand. And I’m sorry that some of my friends are such jerks, especially Caleb, I don’t know how to make him leave.” Sam sighed and kissed his neck.
”Go with your friends, I’ll join you later, I promise.” Michael urged his boyfriend
“Alright, but if any of my friends say or do something stupid to you, then promise that you’ll come and tell me about it, alright?” Sam asked. Michael gave him a faint smile and nodded his head.
After drying up the dishes and putting them into the kitchen cabinets, Michael thought about returning to the others. He walked towards the living room, but didn’t enter the room. He stayed in the shadows that the doorway provided and watched the others silently; Sam was talking with John and Kitty, laughing at something that Kitty had just said. The music was playing and the guests were drinking, talking and having fun.
He noticed that he couldn’t find the courage to step inside the room and join them, he felt scared somehow. Especially Caleb made him feel unease. The way that the man had looked at him, the way the man acted and the way that he talked… Something in him, reminded him of Patrick. He wouldn’t want to be left alone with that man; his instincts told him that it would be a bad mistake. Although nowadays; his instinct seemed to think that way of many strange men.
He knew what was being said about him, he knew that some thought that he was strange. “Is your boyfriend afraid that we might eat him?” Someone had asked with laughter. “Sam’s probably with him only because of his good looks, I can’t think of a better reason.” someone else had whispered, and the words may not have been indented for him to hear, but he had heard it all the same and he couldn’t deny that it didn’t hurt.
He felt lonely. He wished that he could have been the person that he once had been; a confident, cheerful boy who loved being the center of attention. He hoped that he could just go to them and act like all the others, but he couldn’t, not now anyways. Those looks made him feel uncomfortable, too much attention was hard for him to handle and he always got plenty of it where ever he went. It was funny in a way; that something that he had once loved so much had now become so uterly repulsing to him.
His eyes fixed on Daniel, who was desperately trying to get Sam’s attention. Daniel was kissing and touching his own boyfriend, all the while looking at Sam with longing and desire. Julius might have missed this as well as many others, but Michael saw it clearly. Michael smiled with satisfaction as he noticed Sam’s total lack of interest towards his ex.
Suddenly Daniel’s eyes met with his own. Michael was a bit shaken by this and Daniel only gave him an evil smirk. Michael turned away quickly; he wanted to be alone for awhile.
He walked towards the stairs, but stopped as he saw Mark and Tony through the window, they stood on the back porch; kissing. Michael stood still for a moment, his hand reached out to take the support from the rail of the stairs. Something inside him seemed to break, he was hurting and at first he didn’t quite understand why. Michael shook his head and turned his eyes away. He walked upstairs, the image of Tony kissing Mark firmly on his mind.
He closed the bedroom door after him. He looked at the photos on the shelf, a picture in which he and Tony were under the age of ten and a picture where they were 15. Tony kissed him, in his room, in front of the mirror. Said that it was disgusting when he had revealed his feelings. Now he was kissing another man in their back yard.
Michael sat on the bedside and squeezed the wineglass in his hand. “Are you really jealous of Tony?” He asked himself with a whisper, a cold amusement in his voice. He felt himself silly and somehow oddly deceived. But why would he feel jealous when he was happy with Sam? When he had and would still choose Sam over Tony. Perhaps no one could really escape the feeling of jealousy completely, Michael wondered. He just needed time to learn to get used to it, life continued on and Tony wouldn’t always remain single.
He tasted his wine and accidentally managed to spill some on his shirt. Cursing quietly he stood up, placed the glass on the table and walked over to the wardrobe to find a new shirt to wear. Michael unbuttoned his shirt. The door opened and he thought that it would be Sam.
“I spilled some wine on my shirt; I must have drunk too much.” He laughed and heard the door closing after the comer.
“Have you really been raped?” He heard Daniel’s voice asking. Michael froze for a moment. He looked at the other man, he felt nervous, not knowing what to answer or how to react to such a straight question. “I find it hard to believe, I think you just made it up to get some attention, maybe to keep Sam with you out of pity.” Daniel continued eying him.
“I do not care what you believe Daniel; I do not want to talk about this with you.” Michael told him still trying to find a decent shirt to wear.
“I don’t understand what everyone sees in you, I wouldn’t want to sleep with you, like everyone else seems to.” Daniel said next. Michael took his shirt off; Daniel looked at his naked upper body. “I wouldn’t, not at all…” Daniel repeated, sounding more like he was trying to convince himself of it. Michael put the new shirt on quickly.
“Well, congratulations Daniel, I would not want to sleep with you either, so; don’t worry.” The other man had seen a glimpse of the scar on his side, the scar from the gunshot wound. Daniel stepped closer and touched it. Michael startled, took few steps back.
“Can you give Sam what he wants? What he needs?” He asked quietly and looked at the younger man evilly. Michael looked back at him with anger, clearly sensing the others hate; his jealousy. He lifted his left hand for Daniel to see, he looked at the ring on his ring finger and then back at him.
“Sam gave me this; I think it should answer to your question.” He told him, wanting to hurt Daniel as much as he wanted to hurt him.
Daniel looked at the ring and then at the face of the younger man. He wanted to hit him; he wanted to destroy the beauty that was greater than his own. He was bitter, incredibly bitter. He loved Sam; he had loved him from the moment that they had first met. He had been 19 at the time, Sam had been 21. Sam had told him that he wasn’t looking for a relationship, they had slept together and Daniel hadn’t given up on the idea of seeing him again. They had finally ended up dating each other, Sam had been unfaithful, and Daniel had forgiven. Sam had left him, Daniel had managed to get him back and time after time Sam had left, but eventually always returned. Daniel had told him that he loved him, over and over again, but never had Sam returned those words. “I like you Daniel, I do, but… I’ve never said those words to anyone and I do not plan on saying it before I’m absolutely sure, which I doubt will ever happen. I think people say it way too easily to one another, without really meaning it.” Sam had often told him, but Daniel had always hoped maybe even believed that one day he would hear those sweet words from his lovers lips. But then, in the end, came the day when Sam hadn’t return to him anymore. Sam had moved to Paris; Daniel’s heart had been broken.
“You will find someone else Daniel, someone who can commit to you, someone who can be the man that you seek, and he will love you in the way that you deserve to be loved. Our relationship never really worked, and it never will, no matter how hard we would try. I’ll always be your friend though.” Sam had explained, when Daniel had come to the airport, trying one last time to change his mind and stay. Daniel had wept when he had watched the airplane taking off, taking Sam far away from him.
And now Sam was engaged, living with this ’perfect’ creature, whose mere existent felt like thousand stabs in his heart. Earlier that night, he had seen Sam hugging Michael in the kitchen, they had kissed and Sam had whispered those words to Michael, that Daniel had always waited to hear from him ; I love you.for a moment, Daniel had actually thought that he could die, when at the same moment, this brunet had smiled his perfect smile, his eyes brightening, whispering back the same words. Daniel was more than annoyed and he hated Michael for getting Sam, he hated Michael because he had Sam’s love.
Daniel couldn’t hide his jealousy when he looked at the ring. Michael was smiling with satisfaction as he saw that he had managed to hurt him. Daniel’s anger grew.
“What Sam sees in you, I’ll never know. You may be beautiful for the eyes, but what’s the use of it, when the beauty has been spoiled? Gang banged slut who’s afraid of his own shadow.” Daniel hissed approaching Michael, who looked at him with shocked _expression, taking few steps back. “Sam is with you, because he pities you, maybe blinded by your looks, but how long will it last? What can you give to him?” He continued.
Michael bit his teeth’s together, his eyes were glimmering from tears, but he managed to hold them in before they would show. He was hurt and angry, tired of people who thought that they could speak to him anyway they pleased.
“Sam never loved you Daniel, that’s what really bothering you, isn’t it? Sam loves me and not only for my looks. He loves me and he wants to be with me and he tells me that often. He shows his feelings to me so openly; he never did that with you, did he?” Michael looked at him, smiling cruelly, well, as cruelly as he could. “I, on the other hand, have never managed to understand what he ever saw in you. You’re just annoying, whining excuse for a man; no wonder Sam left you. I wouldn’t dare to spend even one day with you; even a day would be pure torture, and believe me, with my past that’s a lot being said.” He continued with defiance, it was his old self who did the talking for him, his younger self. He could clearly see how badly Daniel wanted to hit him.
“You stupid slut, your looks are not forever and sooner or later Sam will become bored of you like he does with everyone else.” Daniel hissed and turned to leave.
“We shall see Daniel.” Michael answered calmly and watched him leave the room. He was trembling and he had to sit down on the bed to gather his strength. Maybe he shouldn’t have been so mean to Daniel? He wondered, but came into the conclusion that what ever he had said to him was right after what Daniel had said to him.
“What was his problem?” Michael turned his head towards the door and saw Tony. He gave him a weak smile.
“Daniel’s? He’s jealous of Sam.” He answered. Tony stepped closer and finally sat on the bed next to him.
“Is everything alright?” Tony asked.
“Yes, we just had a small fight, nothing serious. I can’t stand that man.” Michael sighed and leaned slightly backwards on the bed.
“Ex boyfriends or girlfriends can be troublesome sometimes.” Tony smiled with sympathy.
“You can say that again, but why do we have to have the most troublesome ex-boyfriends with Sam? On the other hand, one can not compare Daniel to Jean in any way. Daniel may be annoying but other than that, his quite harmless I think.”
Michael looked at Tony. “Anyway, let’s talk about something else.” He sighed. Tony was silent and Michael could see how much he wanted to tell him something, but hesitated. “Well Tony, you and Mark?” Michael asked smiling. Tony smiled back and stared at the beer can in his hand.
“We kissed.” He said then and looked at his friend briefly. Michael studied his smiling _expression.
“From that smile of yours, one comes to the conclusion that the experience was enjoyable.” Michael noted, smiling as well.
“Mmm… Yes it was…” Tony admitted.. “Whats wrong with me? Here I am; a man at the age of 24, smiling like some god damn school girl, after her first date or something. I feel so silly and so… so odd; I don’t know what to think.” They were both silent for a moment, Tony looked at Michael and he looked back at him.
Slightly hesitating Tony took Michael’s hand in his own. “It feels odd in a way because I thought that I couldn’t…” Tony started, he looked into his eyes. “…I thought that I couldn’t feel the same desire towards any other man beside you.” Tony admitted.
“I saw you and Mark when you were kissing and I found myself feeling jealous. It felt strange to see you two like that, but now as I listened and watched you telling me about it, it doesn’t feel so strange anymore. Life continues on and I want you to be happy… Mark seems nice and he is not bad to look at.” Michael grinned.
“I’ve been jealous of you too… You and Sam, gods you two can be so cheesy at times. So sugary; it’s almost nauseating.” Tony laughed.
“We’re cheesy? Too sugary? Nauseating? Oh those are fine words to say to ones best friend.” Michael laughed with astonishment.
“Well just sometimes, other than that you two are quite hmm…stimulating together.” Tony grinned.
“Cheesy but stimulating? Interesting.” Michael raised his eyebrow.
Tony drank some more. “Some are going to a club near here; Mark asked if I’d go, but…”
“Why wouldn’t you go?” Michael asked.
“Well firstly; I’ve never been in a gay-club before and secondly; well just look at what I’m wearing, I’d never go wearing these.” Tony laughed.
“Well, it may not be the best choice of clothes to a place like that.” Michel admitted and stood up. “But if the only problem is the clothes then you can borrow some of mine or Sam’s.” He continued, stood up and walked over to the wardrobe. Tony stood up as well; Michael measured his body with his eyes. “Hm…” Michael searched through some clothes. He took his boyfriends blue, tight fitting jeans and handed them to Tony. “You and Sam are about the same size.” He told him and started looking for a shirt.
“What if Sam doesn’t like me borrowing his clothes?” Tony asked with slight worry.
“He won’t mind, I promise.” Michael smiled and handed him his own black tank top and black button up shirt with it. “I’ll charm him with my flirting and then he’ll be so drunk with sugar loving that he won’t mind a thing.” Michael snickered.
“Thank you.” Tony smiled and rolled his eyes at his friend’s last comment. He started changing his clothes. Michael sat back on the bed and politely turned his eyes away.
“Are you going?”
“Me? No, I don’t think that I’m ready for clubbing yet. The class reunion was hard enough for me and even tonight I’ve been mostly hiding myself from others. I might get a panic attack, start crying or something as stupid as that. I don’t want to spoil everyone else’s fun so…” Michael answered and glanced briefly at Tony.
“I understand. It would have been nice if you and Sam would have come, I wouldn’t feel so nervous, if I knew that you were there too. After all, I don’t know Mark or the others so well.” Tony said, took his shirt off and changed the one that Michael had given him.
“If I’m not coming, it doesn’t mean that Sam couldn’t come either.” Michael told him smiling.
“And you would stay home alone?” Tony looked at him as thought the mere idea would be completely crazy. “I think not Mike.” He added then and walked over to the mirror to check himself out. “Hm… This shirt you gave me is quite tight for me.” Tony noted.
”I know, that’s why I gave it to you.” Michael grinned winking at him. “And why couldn’t I stay home by myself? I am not a child, I can manage just fine.” He asked with a more serious tone of voice. Tony looked at him through the mirror.
“You know perfectly well the reason why Michael. And the name of that reason starts with J.” Tony told him. Michael looked at him quickly, frowned, and then looked away.
“We have a very good security system, I can manage.” He tried.
“You shouldn’t relay on those things blindly, even the best kind of technology can sometimes fail you. You know that. If Sam goes, then I’ll stay here with you.” Tony said with firm voice turning around to face him.
“Well I can sleep with a phone in one hand and a knife on the other.” Michael said, Tony looked at him with one eyebrow raised. “Honestly Tony, I do not need a babysitter; we can not let that crazy ex of mine control all of our live’s like this.” Michael sighed.
“But the situation is what it is and of course it will affect us all because we care for you, because we love you and we do not want to see you get hurt anymore.”
Michael stood up and smiled. “There’s a handsome man downstairs, who is quite obviously smitten with you Tony. You have a chance to have mind blowing sex with that man, are you really going to pass that opportunity just so you can stay here and feel sorry for me?” Michael asked, he took the hair wax from the table and fixed his friends hair with it. He guided Tony to look back towards the mirror. Tony looked at him through it and then at himself.
“I would love to see Mark’s _expression when he sees you Tony, you look really good.” Michael told him, he wrapped his arms around him from behind and rested his chin on his shoulders. Tony touched his arm.
“I’ll be alright Tony, I want you and Sam to go out and have some fun. I want you to have a chance with Mark.” Tony close his eyes, feeling the warmth of his friends body against his own, smelling Michael’s own scent under his aftershave. Tony opened his eyes and looked at him again. Michael smiled and stepped back from him. Tony immediately missed his warmth that had felt so secure.
“The sex thing kind of makes me nervous a bit.” Tony admitted.
“What makes you nervous about it?”
“Well, I’ve only been with women before and it’s bound to be different with another man.” Tony explained. “I’m not ready for any arse things; I mean no one is going to push anything up my arse, that’s for sure.” Tony said and laughed in a slightly nervous manner. Michael smiled gently to him.
”You don’t have to be ready for that. I think it’s best to avoid that on your first time. That’s what I would have done, had I been given the choice.” Michael said and Tony looked at him with sadness, in somehow apologizing manner.
“It could be that Mark doesn’t even like that sort of thing.” Michael continued then before Tony would have time to say anything to the previous.
“Your first time…?” Tony started carefully. “…It was forced too?” He asked, Michael was silent for a moment.
“Tony, what happened then, happened, and it can not be changed… Let’s talk about something happier, talk with Sam about his first time or mine and his first time.” Michael said and tried to laugh in a carefree manner. Tony, however, saw through him and was about to open his mouth.
“Come; let’s go downstairs to the others.” Michael said quickly sensing that Tony was about to ask more questions.
“I borrowed your jeans to Tony.” Michael whispered to Sam’s ear. Sam glanced over at Tony who stood little farther away with Mark. Both men were smiling to each others, Mark touched Tony’s thigh and whispered something to his ear, which made Tony blush slightly. Michael found it odd to see a blushing Tony; he remembered a young, confident and quick tempered boy, who was easily picking up a fight with someone, hardly ever blushing from other than anger. On the other hand, Michael understood Tony’s reaction completely. The situation must have been odd for a man, who had gotten used to flirting with young women, when now he was faced with an older more experienced man.
“Alright. Tony and Mark look quite good together actually. I just thought that Tony was more into women.” Sam whispered back and wrapped his arm around his waist.
“He just hadn’t met someone interesting enough before, to try it.” Michael answered. Sam looked at him with a thoughtful _expression.
“Except you.” Sam said then.
“Yes, well, but I am not available anymore.” Michael whispered and kissed Sam’s cheek. Sam took Michael’s left hand in his and looked at the golden ring on his finger; he touched it with his thumb. Michael looked at their hands, smiled and snuggled closer to his chest.
“Feels so good to think that you’re mine.” Sam whispered. “I mean; not that I own you or anything, but…” Sam hurried to explain. Michael laughed softly.
“I know what you mean. I feel the same way about you.” They kissed.
“Are you going to the club with the others?” Michael asked then as Kitty approached them.
“I’ll stay here with you.” Sam answered.
“Just go Sam, I know that you would want to go. When was the last time that you were out?” He asked. Kitty stood next to them and looked at them with curiosity. Michael smiled to her and then looked at Sam who for some reason or another was staring at the nails on his right hand.
“Um.. on New Years Eve.” Sam answered quietly, still looking at his nails. He felt a shamed when he remembered the night with that French man. It had been so stupid. Sam lifted his gaze up to Kitty, who stood there her arms folded against her chest, looking at him like saying; ’I know what you did.’ Then he looked at Michael, who looked between him and Kitty seeming a bit confused about what was going on.
Michael put two and two together, knowing well that this was the face that told him that Sam had done something that he regretted. Sam had slept with someone else that night, he realized as he looked at his fiancé. “We were separated.” He pointed out after he had been quiet for awhile. The thought of Sam with someone else wasn’t all that pleasant, but the truth was, that they hadn’t been together then and he had left him in total insecurity that their relationship would ever continue.
Michael looked at Sam who stayed quiet; embarrassed, like waiting for some kind of judgment from him.
“We weren’t together back then.” Michael repeated and wrapped his arm around Sam’s waist. Sam looked at him wondering if he should explain it in some way, if he should say something, but as he met with Michael’s eyes, he knew that he didn’t have to. He kissed Michael’s lips softly.
“I’ll stay here, with you.” Sam whispered again.
”No, you can go Sam, even if we are engaged, it doesn’t mean that we always need to be where the other one is. Go, have fun, just come home to me, to spend the night.” Michael smiled.
“I won’t leave you alone!” Sam almost shouted. Michael looked at him, sighed.
“I’ll be fine, really.” He assured. Sam was about to open his mouth in protest.
“I can stay here with Michael. Gay-clubs only depress me; lots of good looking men whom I can not have, no matter what I do.” Kitty laughed.
”Alright Sam, that’s settled. Besides you have to take care of Tony; after all he’s a virgin in gay stuff.”Michael grinned.
Sam looked at them both with doubt. “Well it is so comforting thought that you have a woman who weights like 50kg as your bodyguard.” Sam commented with sarcasm.
“I weight 57kg!” Kitty corrected and looked at her friend’s amused face. “Hey, I might be small, but I’m spicy!” Kitty told him.
“And I’m not completely helpless either Sam, honestly.” Michael pointed out with a smile.
“Well alright, but make sure that the alarm is on, keep the doors locked and call the cops if you hear anything suspicious.” Sam demanded them.
“Yes daddy.” Michael and Kitty answered the same time and burst out in laughter.
Daniel looked at the couple; his mind filling with jealous rage. Julius tied to touch him tenderly, to kiss him, but Daniel shook him off of himself. Julius looked at him in confusion.
“What is it love?” The man asked, he didn’t always understand the others mood swings. One moment Daniel might be all over him and the next he could be pushing him off like now. “I’m getting tired of this Daniel.” Julius told him.
“Oh? Well honestly Julius; I don’t give a shit.” Daniel snapped and rushed away from the living room towards the hall. He took his coat, opened the front door and slammed it shut after him. Julius looked after his boyfriend not knowing what he did wrong now.
“What’s up with Daniel…” Sam wondered out loud after witnessing the scene.
“I had a fight with him earlier.” Michael admitted quietly.
“A fight about what?” Sam asked looking at him.
“He said that I was…” Michal tried to gather his courage to say it out loud. “That I’m a gang banged slut and that you’re with me only because of the way I look.” Michael whispered.
“Dammit, I’ve had enough of his behavior.” Sam cursed. “Wait here.” He told them and went after his ex.
Daniel kicked a tire on a car that was parked on the side way.
”Fucking Spanish Irish whore; ’uu I’m so fucking perfect, everybody wants me, look at my arse’ Argh!” Daniel screamed and kicked the tier once more.
“What the hell is wrong with you Daniel?!” Sam asked once he had reached him, he grasped his arm. Blue eyes looked into his in an angrier manner than ever before. Daniel looked at him and folded his arms against his chest refusing to answer.
”You have no right to talk to Michael that way, if you can not handle us being together then our friendship has to end, do you understand?” Sam snapped. Daniel remained silent. “Do you understand?!” He asked again with firmer voice.
“Why him? What does he have, that I don’t? Don’t you get it Sam; I love you!” Daniel said clutching into him. Sam looked at him with surprise.
“I thought you had gotten over it by now.” He said.
“Well obviously I haven’t, I lied.”
“You know what Daniel; I think that you just think that you love me. Don’t you remember what our relationship was like? I was only hurting you, cheating on you. You’re with Julius now, his much better for you than I ever was.”
“Are you cheating on him too?” Daniel asked.
“No, I’m not. I love Michael; he is the one for me. You know what he’s been through and you have no right to hurt him in the way that you did. If you want to keep our friendship then you’ll come and apologize to him.” Sam said calmly. “Think about it.” He added, turned around and left to go back inside.
Daniel looked after him moping. The thought of apologizing didn’t exactly appeal him.
The man had sat in his car for a few hours already; watching, waiting. Every night for a week he had waited in his dark car in the same spot. He stretched his limbs and poured some coffee from a thermos into a little cup. He drank. ‘Patience was good, patience was everything’ he reminded himself after cursing his buttocks that was starting to feel numb.
A light was turned on to the upstairs bedroom. The man became alerted, he hoped that he could see at least one glimpse, but only saw the shadows moving. He would have to think of some way, some way to see him. Some way to get him.
The man smiled at the thoughts and ideas that his mind quickly came up with. And some said that alcohol destroyed your brain cells? If any thing, alcohol had helped him to see the true picture, no more helplessness, no more abuse, no more was he easily guided by others. No, he was his own man now, who had stopped believing in lies, and who would take what he wanted with no remorse.
He longed to see his target, who had managed to hide inside too well for now. The previous night he had seen him in the garden alone and the man had to fight with himself so that he wouldn’t reveal himself to him too early. He smiled when he thought of how the brown eyes would look at him with surprise and disbelief, maybe with a hint of fear? And what would he say? Would he scream? The screaming wouldn’t be good, it might alarm the neighbors and that would be bad for him. It also seemed that his love was never alone in the house and he was quite sure that there would be some kind of alarm system, should anyone try to brake in. He would have to find away to go around it.
He kept his eyes on the house, now looking more closely with binoculars, he had a good view to the kitchen and he had seen him there few times that night. That annoying blond had been touching and kissing his pet and he hadn’t liked what he had seen, not one bit. Now the kitchen, however, was empty.
He was awoken from his thoughts when someone rushed outside from the house, a young man, who was in his mid twenties. The young man was kicking a car tire, a car that was parked in front of the house.
“Fucking Spanish Irish whore; ’uu I’m so fucking perfect, everybody wants me, look at my arse’ Argh!”
The man smiled. “Oh Michael, what have you done now?” He asked from the quietness surrounding him, while looking at this man with interest. Then he saw Sam. He frowned and his hand reached the handle of his gun by instinct. He heard how Sam rampaged and thought about how easy it would be to raise his gun and shoot him right then and there. He stroked the cold steel in his hand. ’No, it would ruin everything if I did it now.’ He though silently.
”…I love you!” The younger, shorter man shouted, seeming somehow desperate, clinging on to Sam, who backed away from him. Sam spoke to him calmly, too quietly for him to hear, but apparently the answer was not what the younger one had hoped. They spoke for a moment longer, then Sam turned and left. The other didn’t seem happy at all.
The man came up with a new plan quickly, now that the opportunity presented itself. ’It could work, perhaps?’ He wondered and knew that there wasn’t a time to waste. He had to make quick decisions, this one could either ruin all, or help to quicken and ease it even more. He had already made it this far, his confidence was high. He got out of the car, lifted his jacket collar high and approached the young man.
Daniel looked up as he saw someone approaching his way. The man had a black leather jacket, un-shaved beard, short, black hair and sunglasses. Daniel thought it strange that someone would wear sunglasses that late at night. The stranger kept coming closer, his face meeting his, his _expression somehow determined. Daniel took few steps back; something seemed to tell him that the man was up to no good.
“Bonsoir.” The man greeted him.
“Who’re you? Do I know you?” Daniel asked with insecurity. The man smiled to him in a secretive manner and lifted the sunglasses from hiding his eyes.
“You might have heard of me.” The man said. His accent was French. He smiled, his cold grey eyes searching Daniel’s.
“I’m here for Michael.”
Daniel sighed deeply, rolling his eyes. ’Just great, like that slut didn’t have enough admirers already.’ He thought darkly.
“I am afraid though, that Michael wouldn’t be as happy to see me as I would be of seeing him.” The man continued then, now getting his attention. Daniel looked at him with surprise, but clearly wanting to hear more.
“We both seem to have a problem where we could help each other. I’d like to have a talk with you…”
After Daniel had remained silent for a moment, he nodded his head carefully, his curiosity had been growing.
Sam was feeding him chocolate cake, his body pressing his own against the counter. Michael laughed. His mouth was already full, but still Sam tried to feed him more. He took a hold of Sam’s hand and swallowed his mouth empty.
“You’re drunk Sam.” Michael laughed.
“As are you.” Sam smiled, kissed his lips. The piece of the cake was left forgotten on the counter.
Someone cleared their throat. They stopped kissing and looked at the arrival with surprise.
“I didn’t mean to interrupt.” Daniel started looking at them both. “I just wanted to tell you that I’m sorry… Michael, I acted like a total moron, I had drunk too much and I said some things that I really didn’t mean. I hope that you can forgive me.” Daniel looked straight at Michael, looking sincerely sorry. Michael quickly glanced at Sam and then back to Daniel.
“I accept the apology.” He answered and smiled to him. Daniel smiled back, stepped closer and stretched his hand out to him.
“Friends then?” He asked with hope.
“Friends.” Michael answered and took the offered hand.