I came home around six that evening with one whopper of a headache. After my conversation with Kyle, I had tried to put the things he had told me out of my mind but somehow I couldn't.
The rest of my first day I had spent with Mason and Jodie, and I hadn't seen or spoken to Kyle again, for which I was very glad. The board had been set for the way we would be treating each other on this job and so far I had lost. I definitely needed more information about him, preferably before the next confrontation. He'd been in his office for most of the day, and left at 4pm, but I hadn't been able to fully relax and start work, not in that state of mind. Mason and Jodie had shown me a lot of stuff, ideas they had and completed sound effects they had made. That had partly taken my mind off of it but concentrating on one particular thing proved to be difficult.
So I was glad to be finally home. A message on my answering machine from Ross told me that he'd be late, and part of me was relieved about it. I didn't want to face him yet. I knew he'd be curious and have questions, and I didn't want to answer them right now. I needed a shower first; a long, hot shower. I needed to think.
The shower did help a lot. After, I put on some training pants and a wide t-shirt, and installed myself on the couch, to catch up on email and maybe do a little work. I replied to five emails from friends and started humming an idea in my head, quickly writing down the notes.
From there, the first theme took form and I was so wrapped up with it that I didn't hear the elevator, or the front door. I almost jumped out of my skin when Ross pressed his lips into my neck, causing him to snicker.
"Sorry, I didn't want to disturb you. You seemed to be occupied."
I grinned up at him, receiving a proper kiss this time.
"Hey there. What time is it?"
I gave him a shocked look.
"Christ, I didn't know it was that late. You eat yet?" He nodded, loosening his tie and sat down next to me.
He leaned closer, stealing a glance at the screen and I used to opportunity to wrap an arm around his neck, resting my head against his as he softly murmured what I had written on the screen.
"That's all gibberish to me. How can you read that?" he grinned.
"It makes perfect sense to me but throw me one of your pie charts and I'm lost."
He got up with a light grunt, stretching out.
"To each his own, I guess. I'm going up for a shower. Prep me a drink, will you?"
I nodded and watched him go, shrugging off his jacket as he went.
A few minutes later I heard him begin to whistle falsely under the streaming water. I softly laughed, listening. God, he definitely was tone deaf.
I got up, setting the laptop on the coffee table, and went to the kitchen to get a beer for myself and to pour him a drink. I also took some nibbles from a cabinet, dumping them into a bowl. By the time I was done, and re-installed myself on the couch, Ross came down the stairs again, cleaned up and smelling fresh. He thanked me for the drink, downing it in one go and sighing contently.
"Want another one?"
"Later, perhaps. So how was your day?" I smiled.
I guess he held out as long as he could before actually asking about my day, or Kyle specifically. I told him about Walter, the office and my co-workers, Mason and Jodie.
"Walter seems like a nice guy," I said, carefully.
To my surprise, Ross nodded.
"Yes, he is." He looked sideways when I stayed silent for a while and smiled when I raised an eyebrow at him. "I don't hate him. Well, not anymore. Yes, he stole my boyfriend back then, but that doesn't mean he lost all his good character traits. In his heart he's a good man."
"You still surprise me when I least expect it," I said, giving him a little nudge. "I knew there was something else that I liked about you."
He grinned and bit his lower lip, turning serious.
"How did it go with Kyle?"
He swallowed audibly.
"Let me just put it this way; there's no love lost between us," I said, sitting up. "If you were worried that I'd fall for that horrible excuse of a human being, you can rest assured. But... we had a small conversation about the past..." His eyes met mine but he didn't say anything. "He was very... specific..."
"Like...?" I gave him an account of what Kyle had told me. Sometimes Ross nodded, sometimes he shook his head and by the time I finished, he closed his eyes and leaned backwards, sighing deeply. "Okay. So...?"
"So? That's all you have to say?" I asked.
"First of all, what he told you was completely private, something between me and him at a time we were together. Kyle had no business telling you that. But since he did; it was a solution to the long distances. And at the time, Kyle certainly didn't object; he went along with it, enthusiastically I might add."
"Too much info," I said, holding up my hands.
Ross smiled sourly.
"Well, it's the truth and I bet he didn't tell you that little detail, did he?"
I shook my head again.
"Mark... you know as well as I do that when two people love each other, and they're far away from each other, they try stuff. If that sounds kinky or weird to you, I'm sorry, but that's the way it was. I'm not going to apologize for something that, at the time, felt perfectly normal. <i>Is</i> normal. Many people do it, I'm just not afraid to admit it."
"So it's true, every word of it?"
"Yes, but not in the context he wants you to see it. The way he told it to you, it makes me look like I'm some kind of pervert. Yes, we had some... ehm... erotic conversations over the phone. And sure, we did experiment. Who doesn't?"
I could think of one person; me.
"Would you... you know... ask me to..." I asked, feeling my cheeks warm up.
He turned his head towards me, giving me a smile.
"It depends on the situation. You think it would turn you on? You want to try it, someday?"
He used his fingers to begin caressing my arm. I looked away.
"Oh my god, are you blushing?" He asked, softly beginning to laugh. When I yanked my hand away, chagrinned at my own shyness, he laughed louder and pulled me towards him. "It's okay. No, look at me. Mark... it's experimenting. I said look at me. It's sex. It's normal and there's nothing we can't talk about, okay? I don't want there to be anything coming between us, certainly not Kyle twisting everything to his own purposes. He's trying to get to you. We won't let him, you got that? Promise me you won't let him."
"I won't," I answered, softly.
"He has his own dark agenda. He had no reason to tell you all that, other than to try and create a rift. Is there anything else he said that got to you? Now is the time to ask me." I shook my head. "You're sure?"
"Good." He gave me a long kiss and I wrapped my arms around him, rubbing his back. He grinned and winked. "Now, can we get back to the part where I asked if it would turn you on? You could go up to the bedroom and I'll call you from down here."
"Sorry, couldn't resist," he laughed, kissing the tip of my nose. "You're such a prude."
"I'm not a prude!" I said. "You take that back, right now, or I'll..."
"Or you'll what," he challenged, unable to wipe that smug grin off of his face.
He followed my mouth with his, trying to capture it. I leaned back, just out of reach.
"Or... you're not getting any for a month."
He started to tickle me relentlessly.
"Oh yeah? We'll see about that, mister. Who'd you bring to stop me? Mmm? Mmm?"
"I give, I give,"
I hiccupped, groaning under his weight.
"I thought so. Pffft... denying me my right at your body... as if!"
"Your righ... that's it! Two months!" He tickled me some more. "Three! Four!"
I got to nine or ten before he was able to shut me up.