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About mastershakeme

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  1. Reconnect

    @Shadow086 @drpaladin @Stephen I love your discussion guys!!! It's making my brain ooze with plot!!! You are my fricken inspiration Yeah, it was pretty dumb to go back to SD, but he's thinking of Hannah imo. We'll see how his homecoming will go next chapter... Honestly, Hannah is the only one I foresaw him talking to again, but it might be interesting for him to run into a few old acquaintances. The baby situation... @JayT You better believe it's happening! Or run away and don't look back And perhaps I didn't explain what M is like in alien form, but in my head he's tiny, small, and able to connect directly into the brain centers of larger beings with little tentacle sensors (Did anyone ever read Stephanie Myer's The Host? I'm such an idea stealer )The baby won't look like him at all. It'll be a mash-up of M's BODY and Connor Other than that, M's not even sure he's with child atm. He suspects. Stuff's been done to him (I'll have him spill the beans next chapter) but Connor is just so super sure its impossible, M's slightly convinced it won't happen. Yep. He's gonna be excited, Connor will not be. And how come they can't go to the doctor?!?! I want that to happen, it'll be funny! I'm such a dork, addicted to drama M will have his say about what happened on the alien ship next chapter. Connor was indeed irrational, but I agree with drpaladin, Mother overestimated Connor and thought he could be calm. She was trying to break the news to him that M's expecting, but quickly realized that since he could barely handle the PLANNED alien abduction, he wasn't going to handle the news of pregnancy with any rationality. They will meet again at another juncture....
  2. Reconnect

    Chapter 16 - Reconnect It was getting close to 10:00 pm when Connor angled the Hummer into Julie's drive. He hadn't wanted to see this place again, but Greg had fucked everything up with the credit cards so the Red Roof wasn't an option anymore. Not that the hotel wanted to put up with them anyway… Connor hit the garage opener on the visor and guided the vehicle inside. Nathan and Jamie hopped out once he'd parked. They grabbed their bags and went through the door into the house. The dog whined from the back seat. Connor glanced in rear view mirror to see him squirming impatiently, a miserable look on his face. "Shit, I didn't walk the dog," he sighed heavily. "Goddamnit!" "I'll take him around back," M said in a little voice. "Are you sure it's safe?" "I'm just going into the backyard," he said. Connor huffed, but he kept quiet as the blond climbed out of the back. "C'mon Jack," M called sweetly and the dog bounced after him. They exited the garage and disappeared around the side of the house. Suddenly, Connor was alone with his mother. They sat in the dark, silence stretching between them. "How about I run you a hot bath?" Julie started. "No thanks." "Well, how about we clean up your hands," she said and they both glanced at his battered knuckles as they rested on the steering wheel. Connor shook his head. "What about you mom? He got your face," he said viciously. "Again." "I can take care of it," she said, looking away. "Let me help," Connor insisted. Julie sighed. "Let's bring the bags in first." Connor got out and started grabbing everything. His stuff, M's, Julie's little suitcase… he wasn't letting her take anything. Julie watched with a nervous look on her face. She peered out of the garage, at the houses across the street with their cheerfully lit windows. Connor wondered if they were being watched. "That's everything," he said and Julie nodded tightly. She led the way inside, shutting the garage door as they entered the laundry room. The door creaked ominously as it made its slow descent. "If you want to leave your things in the wash, I'll start a load in the morning," she said. Connor shrugged and dropped the bags by the washing machine. They went through into the kitchen. There were a few dirty plates stacked on the counter, some beer bottles upended in the sink, and a smashed bag of chips in front of the pantry, but nothing that a couple minutes of cleaning wouldn't take care of. Julie started for the mess on the floor, but Connor took her arm and steered her towards the downstairs bathroom. "We'll get it later. Your face is more important." "I hate that you have to keep seeing me like this," she said tiredly. "I hate it, too. But maybe it's over now," he said as he directed his mother to sit on the edge of the sink. He ran some warm water and grabbed a clean cloth from the rack. Carefully, he began to wipe up the dried blood she hadn't bothered to tend to since this whole debacle had started. "I can't believe Greg's in jail," she said, and then winced as Connor dabbed at her mouth. "I can," he said. "It was long overdue." A tear tracked down her bruised cheek. "I'm so sorry you had to go through all that," she said. "I shouldn't have put Nathan through it either. He's been dealing with this for years." Connor pressed his lips together, thinking of his similarly rough upbringing with his father, but he reigned in his anger and gently wiped her tear away. "It's over now," he said. "Yes," Julie said softly. Finally, she looked into Connor's eyes. "I'll go see the lawyer on Monday. I'll have her draw up the divorce papers." Connor smiled a little. "Jesus, mom… It's for the best. You know that right?" She nodded. Connor finished cleaning the blood away. "There," he said. "I think you should grab some ice and lay down." "I'd love a cup of tea," she said as she slid off the sink. "I'll take care of it." Julie smiled and rubbed his shoulder. "You and M are free to move back in," she said. "You boys can stay forever, if you want." "Thanks," Connor said awkwardly. He stuck his scraped up knuckles under the warm water. It stung, but he wasn't bothered by it. He knew Greg's face was stinging too, and that idiot probably wouldn't get to wash up any time soon, the stupid fucker. M suddenly appeared behind Julie in the hallway. "I hooked Jack up to the chain," he said and Julie turned to him, startled. "How'd you get in?" she asked. "We locked you out… Goodness, I wasn't even thinking when I shut the garage door." "The glass door was open," M said cheerfully. "The porch light was on too." Julie shook her head. "I'm going to get that ice." She moved around M, stroking his hair in passing. Connor rolled his eyes. "Greg's useless," he said. "He can't even lock up." "Nobody's in here but us," M said helpfully. Connor didn't ask how he knew. He was too tired to get into it. "I'm going to make mom some tea," he said. "Why don't you go upstairs and wait for me. I won't be long." "OK," M said. Then he leaned up and kissed him on the mouth. Connor hugged him tightly for a moment, but then the blond was retreating, his eyes twinkling with affection and overly sentimental words better left unsaid. Finding the tea was quite a challenge, but on the fifth cupboard he checked, Connor found the box of Lipton tea. He'd already grabbed a mug from over the stove so he filled it with water and put it in the microwave to heat up. He didn't know what went with tea, so once he had a cup of hot water and a tea bag, he gathered up the sugar and a creamer he found in the fridge and took it to the living room. "Thanks honey," Julie said as Connor slid everything onto the coffee table. "I don't need the creamer though." She smiled. Connor took it back. "Um, can I get you anything else?" Julie lounged back on the couch, a pack of ice over the right side of her face. Strangely, she looked pretty content. "No, baby. Why don't you get some rest. I'm sure you had a long day." Connor bit his tongue. Nobody but M knew he'd been fired and had spent the majority of the day playing pool and drinking. He decided to keep it to himself for awhile longer. "I'll see you in the morning," he said. "Goodnight," Julie said pleasantly. Connor trekked back to the kitchen and returned the creamer to its rightful place. He was standing in the middle of the kitchen, taking in the mess his tub of lard step father had left behind when his phone started ringing… Only, it wasn't the normal ring he'd picked specifically because it was normal and plain. It was just… different. He fumbled his phone out of his pocket and checked the screen. Then he double checked it, because he'd never seen a screen like that before. Hannah's picture was in a little bubble and Connor could swipe one way or the other to either accept or dismiss her. After staring at his phone in confusion for a couple seconds, he swiped green and accepted. "Hello?" "Connor! You're on Facebook!" Hannah said excitedly. "I accepted your friend request hours ago! How are you doing? Where are you?" "Uh." Connor stumbled over to the island and sat on the nearest stool. "Good?" "Where are you? You disappeared off the face of the earth," she said. "I've been so worried." "I'm in Florida," Connor said. He was numb with surprise. He'd forgotten he'd friend requested her awhile back. "Florida?" "It's… a long story," he said with nervous chuckle. "Does it have anything to do with the blood in your trailer?" Connor swallowed. "How do you know about that?" "This is why I called you," Hannah said firmly. "Obviously, we need to talk." "What? Am I in trouble or something?" Connor bristled. "No," she said. "But there's a lot of unanswered questions floating around. I just about had a heart attack when I logged onto Facebook this afternoon and saw a friend request from you of all people. Mr-I'll-Die-Before-I-Touch-Social-Media." Connor smirked. "You didn't… chop M into little pieces did you?" "What?! No!" he cried and then he looked wildly around the kitchen, waiting for an eavesdropper to pop out of a cupboard or something. He got up and slipped into the dark laundry room. "He's upstairs, in bed," he hissed. "Well, ok, that's good, I guess," Hannah said though she certainly didn't sound convinced. "But what about the blood? We talked to your Pizza Hut coworkers. They said M showed up at the store, covered in it. They said you ran off with him and that you took a bunch of delivery money." "Who's 'we'," Connor scowled. Hannah was quiet for a minute. "Don't freak out, ok?" "Oh OK!" Connor clenched his teeth. "Go on!" Hannah hesitated and Connor struggled to keep his cool. Finally she spoke: "The police opened a case on you…" Connor rolled his eyes. "Is that all? I was just surrounded by cops a couple hours ago. I was in jail the other night, too." "What?!" "It's not important," he said. "But the cops aren't after me. That I know." Hannah huffed impatiently. "We've got a lot of catching up to do, obviously." Connor laughed. "Fine." Hannah sounded like she was pissed now. "I did more research on Michael Thomas. I think I finally found him." "Yeah?" "He was declared dead. About a year ago," she said. "In Detroit." Connor pressed his lips together. That… fit perfectly with what little M had told him… Michael had been stabbed by some deranged black guy in an alley. "They say it was murder. But they never found a body. Just a pool of his blood behind a liquor store," Hannah said. "There was no suspect either. They opened and shut the case in a week." "Hmm." "Well, obviously that isn't true," Hannah said forcefully. "He's obviously alive and… and has amnesia!" "I'm not really worried about that at the moment," Connor said. Hannah made an impatient sound. "So, who's blood's in the trailer, Connor? A police woman came to my new place and questioned me… I didn't give her anything good, though. I told her we'd broken up recently and that we hadn't been in touch." "No one's looking for me," Connor said. "They would have nabbed me by now if they were. That stuff at the trailer isn't important anymore." Hannah scoffed. "What the hell is going on?!" "Nothing you need to worry about," he said. Hannah sputtered on the other end of the line. Connor imagined her getting red in the face, frustrated with him, as usual. He smiled a little. "Calm down, alright?" "I'm perfectly calm!" He rolled his eyes. "Yeah, I can hear your brain melting through the phone." "Maybe I'm not your girlfriend anymore, but that doesn't mean I don't care about you!" she cried. "What are you doing, Connor?" "Just barely getting by," he said grudgingly. He felt obligated to answer her, but he honestly didn't think now was the best time. "But there's stuff I'd rather not talk about on the phone. OK? It's as simple as that." Hannah was silent for a long minute. Connor was about to check his phone and see if the call had ended when she finally spoke. "When am I going to see you again?" "I don't know." Hannah sighed. "I'm going to find that police woman. I'm going to find out what she knows." Connor didn't say anything. "You have Facebook messenger now, so I'll be in touch," she said. "Don't shut me out. I can help you." "Ok." "Bye, Connor," she said sadly. "I've got a lot of papers to grade in the morning, and then I guess I'm going to find that cop." "Alright," he said, at a loss. "Goodnight Hannah." The call ended, but Connor stayed in the dark, scrolling through his phone until he found Facebook messenger. He didn't remember installing it, but he must have. He slid out of the laundry room and stood in the silence of the kitchen. He spotted the unended bag of chips for a third time and he strode to the pantry to grab the broom. He swept up the mess methodically, thinking about Hannah and the unexpected call. He had lots to tell her about, and he wondered if they'd ever find the chance to meet up again. She'd been a good friend…. He missed her. Once the floor was clean, he emptied the beer bottles out of the sink, and ran some hot water to start on the dishes. He had a headache, but he worked through it. He checked on Julie when he finished. She was asleep on the couch, so he covered her in a throw blanket and took the ice pack and empty tea cup back to the kitchen. Connor checked all the doors were locked before he went upstairs. He could hear Nathan and Jamie talking quietly in the guest room, but he left them alone. Up in the attic, his and M's room looked exactly the same as before. The bed was still there, and so was the desk and chair along the opposite wall. There wasn't much else though. It was a barren room lit by moonlight. M was curled up on the bed. A patch of the pale light ghosted through the window and fell across his hair, bleaching it white. He was asleep and breathing gently. Connor kept an eye on him as he stepped out of his boots and jeans. He kicked them out of the way and then he climbed into bed. The little blond hummed in his sleep, a gentle smile on his lips. Connor kissed his forehead quick, before he chickened out, then he slid under the sheets and closed his eyes. *** He woke up the next day, blinded by sunlight. He pulled the covers over his face and groaned. His head hurt… it felt suspiciously like a hangover. He lay in misery for a couple minutes when his belly started to grumble. He couldn't remember the last time he'd eaten. Grudgingly, he dragged himself out of bed and stumbled down the staircase. He started towards the second floor bathroom when he heard a familiar sob, followed by the splash of bile hitting toilet water. He didn't even have to peek to know it was M. He grimaced and rerouted back down the hallway. He took the next set of stairs a bit quicker and slid into the half bath he and his mother had used the night before. He whipped out his dick and pissed long and hard, moaning with relief. He hoped Julie was making breakfast… the thought of eggs or pancakes or well, fuck, anything really, sounded good. His belly grumbled as he shook off and tucked himself away and he washed up and flung open the door with a new determination— Jamie was on the other side of the door with a funny look on her face. Connor froze, but Jamie shoved past him and fell in front of the toilet. She puked her guts out. "C'mon!" Connor cried in disgust. He backed out of the bathroom, but Jamie was too busy to apologize. Shaking his head, Connor headed to the kitchen where he found Julie cracking eggs in a skillet. "Good morning, dear," she said cheerfully. Connor grumbled mutinously. He sat at the island and glowered at everything in sight. "I hope you'll eat some eggs," Julie said. "Jamie got sick when I started breaking them open. I'll have to make her something else." "Everybody's sick," Connor said bitterly. "M's hurling upstairs. Again." "Really?" Julie glanced over at him, raising an eyebrow. "If I didn't know any better, I'd say it was morning sickness." Connor made a face. "Whatever." He watched Julie finish the eggs. She popped some bread into the toaster and cut up some bananas and strawberries from the fridge. She buttered the toast, plated everything up and served it to Connor with a smile. "How are you feeling? Did you get any sleep?" "Yeah, I slept alright," he said. "Thanks for breakfast. I was pretty hungry." Julie squeezed his shoulder. "How are you, mom?" he asked. Julie turned and went back to the stove. Her shoulders tensed a little, but she relaxed as she pushed aside the skillet to make room for a tea pot. "I spent most of the night on the couch," she said. "But I didn't want to bother with the bedroom. I was comfortable down here." Connor dug into his food as he listened. "It was nice coming into a spotless kitchen this morning," she said, throwing him another sunny smile. "Thank you, honey." "Don't mention it," Connor grunted. Just then, M came shuffling through the door. He looked towards Connor's plate of eggs and his face paled. "Can I have cereal?" he asked. Julie pulled a bowl down from over the sink, accommodating, as usual. Jamie joined them next. She instantly looked away from Connor's eggs. She followed M's example and requested on a bowl of cereal. Connor finished up quickly. Julie was busy serving the two pukesters mugs of hot tea so he sidled over to the sink to wash his plate. He looked out the window to see another beautiful, sunny day kissing the edges of the gated community. He plunged his hands into the warm water and decided he'd get dressed and take the dog down the bike path. "Jamie, was that you bombing the bathroom?" Connor set his dish in the drain board and turned to see Nathan strutting into the room. He rubbed his eyes and smiled at everyone in a sleepy daze. "That was probably M," Jamie said. "But neither of us are feeling well." "Oh," Nathan glanced at the blond. "Sorry," he said. "Do you have the flu or something?" M shrugged. Connor pushed away from the sink as Nathan came further into the kitchen, angling for the bar stool he'd just vacated. He wholeheartedly wanted to avoid his stupid brother. He'd been waiting for him to get an attitude about last night, and the showdown with Greg and the police, and he had a feeling it was coming. He so wasn't in the mood for it… Connor was almost out of the kitchen when Nathan called his name. He froze and tensed up in the entranceway, refusing to turn and face the spoiled little teenager. "Connor?" Nathan tried again. His voice was suspiciously devoid of his usual brattiness, but Connor still didn't turn around. "What? I have to take the dog out." "I was just wondering… Can you give me a ride later?" Nathan asked. "A ride to where?" Nathan cleared his throat, and Connor finally glanced over his shoulder at him. The teen was fidgeting with a little hole in his worn wife beater. He looked uncharacteristically hesitant. "Since dad's in jail and everything—" Connor grit his teeth, waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the idiot in front of him to start pointing fingers and playing the blame game. "I just thought, maybe I really should try to help out." "What are you talking about?" Connor narrowed his eyes. "Getting a job," he said awkwardly. "You were right, I wasn't trying very hard when dad was here, but with a baby on the way and my fiancé depending on me… Well, my friend works at a car wash a few days a week. He said he could get me in real easy." Connor blinked. "That's not a terrible idea," he said. "Yeah. " Nathan perked up. He grinned hugely. "Can you drive me there later this afternoon? My friend's working today. He can put in a good word with the manager." "Uh, sure," Connor said. He almost smiled at the goofy look on his dumb brother's face, but he hurried upstairs before he could give himself away. He was relieved… Instead of whining like a baby, Nathan had chosen to get proactive! Fuck, he was hopeful for the little brat's future and that was saying something. *** Connor and Nathan rolled up outside a pricy looking car wash, a few minutes after noon. The place looked pretty busy; there was a line snaking around the back of the establishment and several yellow-shirted boys ran around in an organized fashion, taking orders from customers. A few more stood in front, drying and finishing the sparkling vehicles as they rolled out of the automatic wash. Connor found a place to park off to the side. "Looks busy," he said. "Yeah." Nathan had cleaned up before they left the house. He wasn't wearing anything fancy, of course, but he had a pair of jeans on that actually fit and that didn't contain holes. He had a red polo on top, and it looked like it might have actually been ironed. His hair was combed back, he smelled nice, and he wore plain, nondescript tennis shoes. For once, Connor wasn't embarrassed they were related. "Alright," Nathan said, letting out a gusty breath of nerves. "I'll be right back." He jumped out of the Hummer and followed the line of cars around to the back of the building. Connor put the windows down and waited patiently as a warm breeze tickled his face. Oddly, he felt comfortable and very relaxed. He had a feeling this was yet another trick, a calm before the storm, but he didn't care. The agent was after M, but the boy was safe for now. Sure, Connor didn't have a job anymore, and his plans to escape Florida with Marcus were more than a little hazy, but, again, Connor couldn't find it in himself to care. Greg was gone now and Connor knew his stupid family would finally be safe. That he cared about, and he was almost shocked by how much the knowledge eased his mind. He knew everything else would fall into place… M was going to get him abducted or something crazy, but then the tracker would be removed and they could leave Florida behind and move on with their lives. Connor liked the idea of that. He could always find another job, another place to stay, and he and M could fall into the same domestic bliss they'd been shooting for back in South Dakota. Somehow, everything would work out. He zoned out for a bit, thinking about nothing in particular. He was enjoying the warmth and the hum of the cars as they idled past. The car wash made soft whooshing sounds, like waves, and Connor closed his eyes and thought about the beach. He wanted to take M there again before they left. He wanted to see M's skin warmed a delicious golden color under the sun. In his minds eye, M was lying naked in the sand, dusted in the soft powder and Connor imagined he'd have to carry him out to the blue waters so he could gently wash away the grains, kissing M tenderly, caressing his silky flesh— "I got the job!" Connor sat up with a start as Nathan hopped into the Hummer. The teen got a little rowdy and he kicked his feet up on the dash and cheered with exuberance. "Awesome, Nate, but c'mon don't wreck up the Hummer," Connor said with an eye roll. "Whooooo!" Nathan yelled out the window. A couple customers looked his way and Connor figured they should get out of there before the teen's excitement made them change their minds. He maneuvered the Hummer out of the tiny parking space and they hit the road again. "So, what happened?" he asked. "My buddy was inside cleaning equipment or something," Nathan said hurriedly. "He took me to see the manager and the guy hired me on the spot!" "That's great." "I know!" Nathan grinned. "It's only minimum wage, but the manager said he'd start me out front, drying cars, so there'll probably get tips!" "Very cool," Connor said. "Tips are always nice." "I start Monday," Nathan said excitedly. "I can get a ride after school from my friend, but I'm sure either you or ma can take me on the weekends," he continued with a shrug. "You know, until I can get some money together for a car." Connor nodded. "I'm sure something can be arranged." Nathan laughed. His hair was a total mess now. The wind blew it crazily in several different directions, but he was smiling hugely, not caring in the least. "Alright, fuck all this work talk." Nathan pulled something out of his back pocket. It was a tiny aluminum mint container, but when he popped the lid, Connor saw it contained a freshly rolled blunt. "Wanna bake out my dad's car?" He wagged his eyebrows. Connor snorted, but he was already putting the windows up. "Light 'er up," he said. They drove around aimlessly for awhile, smoking and talking about bullshit. It was mostly Nathan that was doing the talking, but Connor let him chatter. He was too relaxed to care. They made it home before dinner. Julie was preparing something in the kitchen and her nose wrinkled up when they burst in through the garage. "Did you boys have fun?" she asked tentatively. "I got the job!" Nathan said. He grabbed a bag of Cheetos out of the pantry as he passed. He went to sit at the island before he started snacking. "I start Monday. I'll be making major tips." Julie quirked an eyebrow. "You're sure car wash isn't another word for smoke shop?" "C'mon ma, don't be narc," he said around a cheesy mouthful. Connor snorted. Julie obviously smelled the pot. "Dinner's almost ready. Don't fill up with chips," she said and Nathan plunged his hand into the bag again, deliberately ignoring her. Connor rolled his eyes. He'd had enough of Nathan for one afternoon… "Where's M?" "He and Jamie were sitting on the porch, last I checked," Julie said as she turned back to dinner prep. Connor nodded and took his exit. He glanced out the sliding glass in the living room and saw the pair sprawling on pool chairs, Jack lying between them. M and Jamie looked like they were deep in conversation. Connor didn't want to interrupt, but he missed the little blond. He wasted a couple minutes in the living room, feeling out of place and awkward, but when he heard Nathan coming through the front hall, he decided to just go for it. Nathan was going to ruin any conversation the pair were having anyway… "Hey," Connor said as he opened the sliding door. M turned immediately and he leap up with pure joy on his face. "Where've you been all day? I texted you," he said, his lower lip protruding in a cute little pout. "Nathan got that job at the car wash," Connor said coolly. "We drove around for awhile and smoked. I guess my phone was muted. I'm sorry." "Oh," M said, the pout melting off his face. He wrapped his arms around Connor's waist and pressed his cheek to his chest. Connor rubbed the boy's bare hip. His tight little t-shirt rode up in the back, and Connor ghosted his fingers over the smooth skin. Jamie chuckled from the pool chair. The dog had his head up and he looked towards Connor with interest, but the girl scratched him behind the ear and kept him occupied. "I hope he got it out of his system," she said. "I still feel like crap. There's no way I want to put up with a party monster tonight." "Babe! Good news!" The sliding glass banged open and Nathan came strolling outside. Jamie tensed up and Connor pitied her a bit, but honestly, there wasn't anything he felt he could do for her. He pressed his lips to the fragile shell of M's ear. "Come walk the dog with me?" The blond nodded without hesitation and then peeled off Connor to collect the dog. They were off in a matter of seconds, putting distance between them and the house. Jack ran ahead a few paces and then paused to wait for them, looking curiously over his shoulder. He kept up the staggering pace even as they neared the familiar bike path. Connor captured M's hand and laced their fingers together. He felt safe, even though he had absolutely no idea if they actually were. He tried to put the negative thoughts out of his head though and they faded without a fuss. "Are you feeling any better?" he asked the boy at his side. "I'm not puking anymore," M said with a smile. "That's good." Connor squeezed his hand. "Maybe we should get you a doctors appointment on Monday. Since I'm not working, I could take you." "A doctor?" "So we can figure out why you're sick every day. Julie said you had morning sickness." "Jamie said the same thing," M said. He stared straight ahead, watching the dog sniff a patch of grass as he waited for them to catch up. "Well, they're just joking around. I already told you that's impossible." M nodded. "I'll ask Julie to make an appointment," Connor muttered. They hit the bike path and Jack ran ahead again. He barked and chased after some seagulls that were picking through the beach grass. They walked in silence for a few moments. The salty sea breeze played through M's hair, layering it in interesting patterns. Connor let go of his hand and brushed the hair out of M's face and over his ear. He lingered on his supple neck and trailed fingers down his spine. He felt his heart do a little flip in his chest when M looked up at him with his golden lashes lowered. He wanted to tell M he loved him… he thought he should fill the blond with the same warm feelings M was sparking in him… but M broke the silence before he could say anything more. "So, I talked to Mother last night. She's ready for you," he said softly and Connor furrowed his brow in confusion. "Ready for what?" "She can safely remove the tracker," M said in a serious tone. "But we shouldn't come back here after it's out. It'll be too dangerous. Once the agent realizes we got away, he'll be looking for us, and probably cooking up some new, crazy plans to get information out of me." Connor took a deep breath. He looked down the trail to make sure the dog was still within sight. "I guess I'll have to make some arrangements with Marcus—" "There's no time for that," M said. "Mother can take us anywhere on the planet, we can't come back here to meet up with your friend. It'll be a disaster if we do." Connor chewed on his lip. "Well, maybe—" "We'll talk about it later," M said quickly. "It's probably not a good idea to make plans out here in the open." Connor scoffed. "Oh, but we can talk about removing the agent's shitty tracker?" M glared at him and Connor broke away with a scowl. "Nevermind then. We'll figure it out later." M slowed his walk, frowning out towards the water. Connor sighed and jogging down the path to catch the dog. He figured they should wrap up the walk and head home since M was so fearful they'd be spotted or heard, or whatever… "C'mon Jack," he called and after the briefest of hesitations, the dog lifted his leg, pissed, and then ran to Connor's side. "Good boy," he said, ruffling the mutts yellow fur. The three of them walked home in silence. Jack stuck close to them on the walk back. He paused just before they entered the neighborhood to squat in the grass one more time. At least the walk had been a success. The rest of the night crawled by at a lazy pace. Julie made meatloaf and potatoes and Connor ate in an uncomfortable haze of worry and indecision. Nathan talked loudly over dinner about his plans to see friends later that night. Jamie had already bowed out though and Julie suggested a movie on HBO. Both Jamie and M seemed excited about the idea, but Connor was far from enthusiastic. After dinner, he offered to clean up and he sent everyone else to the living room. Julie gave him a bear hug and kissed him on the cheek. M stared after him longingly, but he let Jamie drag him off anyway. Nathan of course, flew out the front door to wait for his ride… Connor took his time washing up. He didn't like cleaning, hell, he'd trained M to do it back at the trailer so he wouldn't have to bother with it as much… but he felt like he owed his mother. For taking him in, for putting up with Greg's abuse in his stead, for loving him, when Connor had always assumed she'd left him behind and forgotten about him. California had been the plan… Another long road trip, a new city, new prospects, but now that it was finally time to go, Connor wasn't sure he wanted to. Florida wasn't great or anything… His little brother was annoying. He still had a lot to think about before he felt he'd be ready to find another job, and Julie was almost too loving and willing to prove she cared. It was unnerving. But Connor kind of wished they could stay a little longer. He didn't want to run away as badly as he thought he would. After cleaning up and putting everything away, he ventured into the living room. "Sit here," M said with a smile and Connor edged uncomfortably into the room, taking the empty spot on the loveseat beside the little blond. Jamie and Julie smiled at him too, but they quickly moved their attention back to the movie. It was some stupid chick-flick and Connor instantly tuned it out. He got on his phone and scrolled through one boring news feed after the other. After awhile, M put his hand on Connor's knee. He didn't really think about it, he just took M's hand in his own and they finished the movie like that. Holding hands like a happy couple… When the credits rolled, Connor finally looked up from an article about pet health. "Let's watch something else," Jamie said as she grabbed the remote from the coffee table. She started flipping through the TV guide. "I think we should go to bed, actually," M said and Connor blushed when his mother and his future sister-in-law turned to them with knowing looks on their faces. Julie tried to hide her goofy smile at least, but Jamie didn't even bother. "I hope you guys find something a little more entertaining to do up there," she said. "Jamie, hush," Julie scolded, but Connor's face continued to burn with embarrassment. "Let them go in peace," she said. And then she fucking winked. "Fuck off." Connor tore his hand out of M's. "We're just going to bed." "Straight to bed?" Jamie snickered. "Then how did M wind up pregnant?" Julie covered her mouth, but her eyes were laughing. She didn't cover those… "Seriously, stop putting stupid ideas in his head," Connor snapped. "He really needs to get to a doctor. All this throwing up can't be good for him. He probably has a stomach issue or he's allergic to something, but what the fuck do I know? I'm not a medical professional!" Everyone had stopped smiling by the time he finished his rant and Connor suddenly felt like Scrooge on Christmas day. He huffed with frustration." Just… Goodnight. OK?" "I know a great doctor downtown," Julie said slowly. "I'll call him Monday morning. I'm sure he'll be able to squeeze him in sometime next week." Connor nodded briskly. "Thanks." He stood up and M scrambled to follow him. "It was just a joke," Jamie said and Connor glared at her firmly until she lowered her eyes. "It was a pretty tasteless one, though. I'm sorry." Connor grunted. "Yeah. Let's hope M doesn't have stomach cancer or something else really fucked up." He hurried out of the room and M ran to keep up. "What's cancer?" he asked as they took the stairs to the second floor. Connor turned to go to the bathroom at the other end of the hall and M followed slavishly after. "Something horrible," he said, busting into the washroom and unzipping his jeans. He aimed a steady stream of piss into the toilet water before he finally looked at the boy hanging in the doorway. M gnawed on his lip, worrying about the potential of cancer. Connor sighed. "I'm sure you're fine," he said. "It's probably just a bug." "Bug?" Connor bared his teeth. "Don't worry about it. Seriously. I'll take care of you." M looked at Connor with huge eyes. "I promise, ok?" M didn't say anything. He watched Connor finish up in the bathroom with a distant look on his face. "Go pee," Connor huffed around his toothbrush. "I'd like to get to bed at some point." "Are you tired?" Connor shrugged. "Mother's waiting on us," M said. "Once you're asleep, she'll take you." Connor froze, the toothbrush hanging out his mouth. M squeezed past him and went to stand in front of the toilet. He pulled his shorts down and exposed himself shamelessly. Connor watched him handle his cock with a strange sense of foreboding creeping up his spine. "I wish you hadn't told me that," Connor said slowly. He spat out his mouthful of toothpaste and quickly rinsed. "What did you think would happen? I told you she was ready." "I didn't think it'd be tonight!" Connor cried. M peed and pulled his pants up. "We shouldn't wait. We should get this over with as soon as possible." Connor bit his tongue and cursed when he tasted blood. He tossed his toothbrush aside and stormed out of the room. He was upstairs and changing into some pajamas by the time M caught up. The blond kept a respectable distance as Connor dressed himself. Fully. He knew he'd be more comfortable in boxer, shirtless, with some socks on, but he felt like he'd be vulnerable to an alien butt probe if he didn't cover up. He climbed into bed once he'd finished dressing and turned on his side. The moon shining through the window was half full, but it was spectacularly bright. He wondered if M's spaceship was hiding behind the brilliant white light… and he shut his eyes tight as a swell of fear crept upon him. He really wished M hadn't told him about his alien plans… The bed dipped as his companion got into bed beside him. Connor didn't realize how stiff he'd become until M touched his shoulder and his entire body shuddered at the shock of it. He was strung so tight, he felt like he was about to snap. "Are you comfortable?" "No," Connor muttered. M scooted closer and laid a hand on his hip. "Maybe I can help—" "Please," Connor snapped, yanking away from the touch. He had a strange feeling M was trying to get in his pants. "It's going to take awhile for me to relax. Just… leave me alone." M tisked with disappointment. "OK," he said and Connor felt him move back to his side of the bed. M was silent after that and Connor listened for his breathing to deepen and slow into sleep patterns. He waited and waited, laying perfectly still, almost holding his breath, but M seemed to be waiting for him just the same. After maybe an hour of this, Connor pulled the blankets up to his chin and flopped over onto his stomach. He clenched his eyes shut and sighed heavily. "If you're just going to lay there all night, maybe you should go watch another movie with the girls," he said roughly. M continued to breathe shallowly. He didn't respond, but Connor wasn't convinced he was sleeping. He growled and tried to get more comfortable. He shifted around, he kicked the sheets out flat, he pillowed his head in the crook of his arm. He stared boldly out the little window, high on the wall, glaring hatefully at the shimmering moon. He was never going to fall asleep… But he didn't know what he could to do. He felt like he was trapped in the bed. He tossed and turned and tried not to think about what was waiting for him in dream land. M continued to be a constant distraction, as well. He was unusually still and eerily silent beside him and Connor finally ended up putting a pillow over his head and pretending the blond was asleep. Nothing was helping. Connor wanted to scream with frustration, but instead he started to count sheep. It was a last ditch effort… He'd never done anything so fucking stupid in his life. He forced himself to visualize the fluffy, white creatures in his head, really going for detail because, fuck it! He didn't have anything better to do! He put a thousand of the little fuckers in a grassy field, bisected by a long fence that stretched over a distant hill. He started counting backwards… The stupid sheep lined up and flung themselves gracefully over the fence and one by one, their numbers slowly diminished. After awhile, somewhere in the 700s, Connor's mind wandered a bit. He was in the field, walking along the fence. He could see the wood grain in high detail and every blade of grass under his feet. He could see the gentle green foliage bend with the wind. And the stars… They were so bright overhead, they were stunning to look at. The tiny pinpricks of light glittered like diamonds spilled across black velvet… *** A light burned through Connor's eyelids with the strength of a million suns. His throat was raw, but he screamed hoarsely as a fear he'd never experienced consumed his body. His ears rang with echos of his own desperate voice and his eyes fried under their thin, fleshy lids. "Try to relax." Connor blinked into the searing light, but his eyes watered and he shut them immediately. He tried to turn his head, but it was firmly secured. Something cold pressed against his forehead and on either side of his temples and he screamed again, wordlessly, confused and upset… "Its over," the voice said. A vaguely feminine voice Connor had never heard before. "I woke you so that we could meet. Please try to relax." Connor struggled to sit up, but his entire body was affixed to a hard, unforgiving surface. No matter how thoroughly he thrashed, neither he nor the support below him would move. "Connor?" "Let me go!" he yelled. "The tracker is out," said the voice and suddenly the light blazing into Connor's eyes vanished completely. He was plunged into darkness and he sobbed as he slowly opened then and searched for the voice's owner. "What the fuck," he whimpered. "Connor, I am Mother. I am M's protector." "Nooo," Connor moaned. His eyes were leaking hot tears. He could taste it, the sweet salt of them, as they tracked down his cheeks. He still couldn't move. He couldn't do anything but roll his eyes uselessly in their sockets and open and close his mouth. "I wouldn't lie about that," said the voice and Connor picked out an odd, almost metallic quality to it that he hadn't picked up in his initial panic. "He's my favorite. I've never met a being as special he." Connor tried to process the statement as his mind whirled with a million frantic thoughts. He remembered M telling him to go to sleep… their ill-fated conversation about the abduction… the tracker… He cried in the dark like a helpless child. "What do you want from me?" he asked as his heart pounded in his chest. He could feel the firm points of contact around his skull… the force pinning him flat on his back… He was going to become an experiment. M had set him up. He'd walked right into this trap! There was no way out! He started to hyperventilate. He almost didn't hear the voice when it spoke again. "I'm to drop the two of you in a location of your choosing. I need to know where." Connor gulped large amounts of cold air. He wasn't naked, at least he didn't feel naked, but it was definitely cold in here… In the spaceship… "I also wanted to speak with you about the importance of the next few months. To make sure you understand the burden that's in front of you." "Let me go," Connor cried. "Take me home… I want to go back to South Dakota!" "That can be arranged," said the voice. "Now," Connor said roughly. "Let me sit up. You're scaring the fuck out of me!" "I must explain something important to you first—" "Are you going to let me go or not!" "I cannot release you in your current state—" "You fucking liar!" Connor howled. "What are you going to do to me, really?! M said he'd be here with me! Where is he?!" "Indisposed at the moment. I'm running some tests on him—" "WHAT KIND OF TESTS?!" "M and I won't be in contact for some time," said the voice. "I have to keep my distance to avoid drawing the attention of the being you call the agent—" "Fucking LIAR! You can do whatever you want!" "It's very important that you keep M safe," said the alien spaceship in its' slow mechanical, robot voice. "It's important for everyone that you see this through to the end—" "FUCK YOU!" "I can see that any further attempts to communicate will be fruitless." "Yeah! Now, let me go already!" "M will have to explain this on his own—" "We can talk about it all fucking day as soon as you get me the fuck out of this place! I'm not talking to you anymore! M!" he screamed at the top of his lungs. "M!!!" His voice broke, but he continued to holler wordlessly, his body shaking uselessly under the strange alien restraints. "Goodnight Connor." "Ah!" A shot of ice lanced through his head and his eyelids drooped. He felt all the fight drain out of his body. "It was nice to finally meet you…"
  3. Roomates

    It was a good idea for extra drama
  4. Epilogue

    Epilogue It had been a little over a year since Andy and Greg had gotten together officially and finally. It was the first time in a while they'd been able to get completely away from work and this time Andy had let Greg take them somewhere nice. They were somewhere in the Bahamas, with their own private villa. Andy had suggested Florida or California when Greg had mentioned wanting to see the beach again. Greg had smiled at him sweetly and made plans for the Bahamas. "You'll thank me later," Greg had said and Andy had. They were staying at some exclusive, arm and a leg, resort with no other hotels, boats, or crowds around. They were completely alone. Their villa was gorgeous. It sat right on the blue water, looking out over the ocean. Greg made dinner each night, something new and more delicious every day. The two of them had taken to sitting out on the patio at night, eating Greg's excellent cooking, drinking, loving each other. They would be leaving in a couple days and Andy had gotten it into his head that he still wasn't tan enough. The white sands, the blue waters, the beaming sun, no worries or cares – Andy wanted to take that back with him to New York! So, when they'd woken up that afternoon, Greg had taken the golf cart to the resort house to pick up ingredients for dinner and Andy had slathered himself in suntan lotion, grabbed his shades and his towel and picked a place to bask in the sun. Oh and since there was no one around, Andy kicked off his swim trunks and lay out naked. Andy was half asleep, warmed and comfortable under the sun when he heard Greg's voice. "Well, isn't this a treat." Andy opened his eyes and smiled. Standing over him was Greg. The older man must have finished shopping because Greg was in his swim trunks as well and had his beach bag over one shoulder. He started to unpack, setting up his beach chair. He ventured back to the villa for a moment, returning with two tall glasses of lime green margarita and a magazine tucked under his arm. "Look what I found." Andy sat up as Greg sat on his beach chair beside him. He pushed his shades back onto his forehead and Greg handed over the magazine. Dillon stared back at him from the pages of the glossy magazine. He was even more beautiful than in real life and Andy had to blink a few times before he could recall Dillon's flaws. He wasn't actually perfect. He just looked it. 'The Prettiest Girl on the Runway is a Boy' said the article and Andy scanned through the text. It sounded like Dillon had been chosen to model Victory Secrets new line of bras and the article was detailing his subsequent decision to get a sex change. 'I can be anyone I want,' Dillon was quoted as saying. Andy dropped the magazine and pulled his knees to his chest. "Hey? You ok?" Greg reached over, putting a hand on Andy's shoulder. "I saw it at the resort house. With the other periodicals. I was just looking for the New York Times but I saw this." "Weird," Andy said, taking a sip of his margarita. Andy and Dillon did not speak any longer. Andy had had no idea the little blond was getting a sex change! Had he been transgender this whole time or was he just going with it! Andy had come to terms with the end of their relationship but he'd always wondered what could have been. If this had been what Dillon was working towards though… "No looking back now," Andy said, taking a large swallow of his drink. "He's getting his dick chopped off." Greg laughed and combed his fingers through Andy's messy hair. Andy crawled closer, setting his glass aside and resting his head in Greg's lap. "I'm not looking back," Greg said. "I couldn't be happier with the way things are." Andy nodded in agreement. He didn't think about Dillon much anymore. Things were actually pretty good. Back in the city, Greg was silently reaching out to bigger publications while still working hard at The L. It was kind of his baby now, but Greg was a generous man. He wanted to move onto bigger and better things, and he had one of his most deserving underlings lined up to take his place. Andy was still freelancing and he was still loving it. Recently, people had started coming to him for work. The online portfolio Greg had bought and paid for was something Andy could now maintain himself. He was constantly getting new equipment, improving his work, and posting and sharing it. The gig was actually netting him a pretty significant chunk of change and who was he kidding. This wasn't just a gig. It was his career now. Greg had finally introduced Andy to his mother, a sweet older lady living deep in Queens. She'd taken to mothering Andy like it was no big deal, but it was to him. He felt accepted. Even Martin and Ted were on board, now that Dillon was nothing but history. They were fun people to hang out with. It never got old. Andy's mom and her new husband, Danial, were coming to stay with them in NYC for a month. Alice was pregnant and Andy couldn't wait to meet his new sibling. They had plans to visit Red Oak when the baby was due around September. All in all Andy was pretty content. Dillon was gone. Maybe he wouldn't even be Dillon anymore but whatever he chose, Andy didn't want anything more to do with him. Dillon was a beautiful nightmare from which Andy had been awoken. Beautiful, but still a nightmare and Andy wanted to live in the real word. "I love this life we have," Andy said softly. The warmth of the sand below him was soothing, but the feel of Greg's skin was even nicer. Andy sat up and kissed Greg firmly. "I love you, but take off the swimming trunks and fuck me. What's the point of the private beach if you don't fuck me on it?" "Agreed," Greg said with a chuckle, casually removing his navy blue trunks. His cock flopped out onto his thigh. It was a thick piece of meat and Andy's mouth watered. Deciding he'd get Greg's dick wet before the big show, he happily sucked the thick length into his mouth. "Oh shit, baby," Greg moaned. "Mmmm," Andy moaned around the dick in his mouth. He loved pleasing his boyfriend. Greg caressed Andy's hair. "I'm so glad you are mine," he said. "Have I told you that lately? No looking back, Andy thought one last time before sex consumed his mind. He never did bother to read the rest of Dillon's article.
  5. Alone Again

    Yay!!!! Yea I was going for a twink kind of appearance with him, but no matter what, he's not underaged, m'kay!!! Nope, no way, no 'To Catch a Predator' shit is going on here
  6. Arrival

    Bwahahaha!!!!!! Nice way of putting it
  7. Chapter 22

    Omg, I thought for sure I'd have a bunch of negatively in the comments This ending was of course, long overdue, and you know, I think Dillon's main motivation was pity. I like to think there was a heart in his body, somewhere lol, and he was finally able to see that he was actually hurting Andy more than he was helping him, keeping him around. It was pretty easy for him to let go. Nope. He doesn't love anyone, but he cared enough to make sure Andy was able to fly free. (yep, he convinced the door man to drop charges and he called Greg himself and hooked them up. That was def cool of him Thank you guys SO much for your support and I can't wait to entertain you some more! I'll see you soon! @Wesley8890 @Blanno @drpaladin @JayT
  8. Tension

    Ohhh give him a break. He never said he was good with people. The whole "baby" thing is just so ludicrous to Connor, because he thinks 1. Its impossible, and 2. Look at what he has as a family. He can't imagine being a dad. It probably scares the hell out of him. M comes along with dreams of flowers and puffy white clouds and all Connor can think of is how much suffering he went through as a child. If your still interested, you'll see where this goes pretty soon
  9. Chapter 22

    Twenty Two Andy had come straight to the loft after leaving Greg's. His phone had been going off since he'd left; texts and calls from Greg. But Andy was afraid to answer. He dumped all his things on the bed and went into the bathroom for a long shower. It didn't matter, he felt dirty the second he climbed out, dripping wet and covered in goosebumps. Greg's cock had been up his ass, had been in his mouth. Andy's dick was sullied as well. He'd plunged it deep inside Greg's body, fuck the condom. He'd gotten nothing but pleasure from Greg's clenching asshole. When Andy ventured back to the bedroom. He carefully picked up his phone. He'd have to delete all traces of Greg. Maybe even block him. Dillon wasn't prone to looking through this stuff, but Andy would be full of guilt. The phone was full of Greg and his concern. He flicked on the screen and his stomach just about dropped when he saw, among the many missed texts and calls from Greg, all the way at the end of the log was a missed call from Dillon. Andy started to panic. He sat on the edge of the bed, still in a towel, and returned Dillon's call. It went straight to voicemail. Andy quickly sent a text. 'Hey baby, it was 3am. Sorry I missed your call.' Andy didn't know where Dillon was but knew phones weren't allowed during the flight. The call must have been made when they landed for the connecting flight. Dillon was supposed to be home around six, but beyond that he didn't know any more. Andy sent another text. 'I've been working really hard. I can't wait till your back and I can take a break with you.' Andy had a vision of them out clubbing, Dillon getting snippier the more he drank, telling Andy he didn't want to be paparazzi'ed with Andy hanging all over him. 'I was thinking, if we have the money, maybe we should just leave the city for the weekend. Get a cabin upstate. Have some alone time.' Andy remembered Greg trying to get him excited for a beach trip. Andy had been perfectly happy staying in town, in Greg's apartment, being at home. Even with Dillon home was never home. The agent was always flitting in and out. Lena stopped by. Felix. Even the fucking doorman had access to their loft and Dillon was always ordering him to come up and run errands and complete simple tasks. The food. Oh fuck, Greg had been such a superb cook and Andy never had to watch his eating habits. Never had to worry. Greg was so strong. He kept Andy safe and warm without even trying. 'I've been thinking a lot lately,' Andy typed. 'About our relationship.' Andy sent it off, his mind bouncing in a million different directions. He started to type, before he could stop himself he said exactly what he knew he shouldn't. 'Greg loves me, Dill. I really like him too. Maybe too much but you know why? It's because he isn't afraid to express his love for me. Dill, I've loved you from the first time I saw you! Why can't you ever say that you love me? You are driving me crazy! Do you love me or not?' Andy sent it. He sent the text and dropped the phone. He hurried into the closet and grabbed the first outfit he could find, ripped jeans and another hoodie. He couldn't sit here and wait for Dillon's reply. His return. He had to leave and there was only one other friend he had in The Big Apple. "Ben!" Andy almost had a heart attack when the other boy let his phone ring and ring before he picked up. "You busy?" "Just kicked Cindy to the curb, I'm free as a bird," Ben said, bringing up yet another girlfriend. "Just settled down to watch the game. What'd you have in mind?" "Just a few drinks, man." Ben laughed. "I think I hear another boyfriend sob story coming on." "Do you mind?" "Not really." Andy was already in the elevator. "Meet me at the tavern on Amsterdam?" "For sure." When the elevator doors opened, Charlie the doorman looked up from the newspaper he was perusing. "Mr. Carson," he said in greeting. Andy nodded in his direction, feeling impatient. He pocketed his phone and hurried outside, down the street, eventually making his way down onto the subway platform. Andy felt his phone buzzing in his pocket. He checked, saw it was Greg, and then returned his phone to his pocket. He felt sick. When Andy made his way into the tavern an hour later, he was warmed to see his friend occupying their regular booth near the back. The tavern was moderately busy, and Andy passed several tables, some overladen with greasy bar food and others with just mugs of beer and all of them full of men, a few girlfriends scattered throughout. Reaching the booth at the back, Andy saw that Ben had already ordered him some rum and coke. He had a mug of beer in front of himself and was absently watching football on the big screen TV mounted over the bar situated in the middle of the room. "No beer for you," Ben said as Andy slid into the booth. "Loosen up and tell old Ben what's up." Andy downed the drink to Ben's cheers. "If it's that fucking bad, let me get you another. A fucking double!" Andy smiled grimly and waited for Ben to vacate the booth. He watched his friend order another, Ben occasionally glancing up at the football game. When Ben returned, offering Andy the alcohol, he finally lost it. "I cheated on him. I've been cheating on Dill for a while now." "Is that all?" Ben chuckled and took a drink from his big frosty beer. His eyes flickered to the game. "Did he find out?" "I think he knows," Andy said. "He knew the last time I slept with Greg. What's to say he won't know this time?" "Oh it's Greg again. That editor guy." "Yeah," Andy hung his head. "Dude, are you cheating or are you trying to start a relationship with the guy?" "I don't know!" Andy cried. Why was everyone asking the same question! They weren't helping him with the real matter at hand, how to deal with Dillon! "I told Dill that Greg loved me. I told him I'm emotionally starved! He can't say he loves me! What the fuck is his problem?!" "Aren't some gay guys just like that? They don't do the clingy romance stuff?" "I don't know, but in this relationship I'm the only one saying it. It makes me feel stupid!" "Then stop." "But I want to hear him say it back! I want him to be kind to me, treat me like I'm his lover not some fucking love slave!" "Then you're barking up the wrong tree, man. If he hasn't said it yet, what are you going to do, force him?" "I can't force him to do anything," Andy said and with that he drained his double rum and coke. "Oh my god, he'll be home at 6. He'll see my texts, he'll start fucking screaming—" "And? Let him go. You hate the loft. You have your own money now, find a place of your own. Trust me, moving on is easier than you'd think." "I don't want to move on!" "You don't? Then why did you sleep with the same guy you got caught cheating with before? That's not a coincidence." "No." "Let him go!" Ben finally turned away from his game and he met Andy's gaze head on. "I've known you guys since day one. I remember when you walked in the restaurant and asked for an application. Dude, you took care of that kid! You were everything to him! He really can't say three stupid words? Fuck, I've said them before for girls that sucked my dick and Dill can't even say it for you? I'm an asshole with the ladies but that's pretty fucked." Strike three. Again, Andy felt a touch lightheaded. He sat, somber, listening to the sounds of the football game, the sounds coming from the back of the tavern, the kitchen, the sounds of the other patrons' conversations. Dill was all around not good. Everyone could see it! Andy offered to get them another round and Ben gulped the rest of his beer. Apparently they were getting drunk. Andy tended to get into sports when he was drinking. Besides the tight asses on the players, the game was fun enough and before too long, both boys were indeed drunk and Andy joined Ben in cheering for the home team. There was nothing like a New York bar on game day. Everyone was excited and Andy got wrapped up in the moment, first turning off and then completely forgetting about his phone. When the game ended, the home team having won and the bar echoing with cheers, Andy asked for Ben's phone and quickly Googled and found the image he'd showed Greg the night before. "Come with me. I want to get this done. Now." Ben was a cheerful drunk and after a bout of laughter, started to get in on the idea. "Did you find the place you want to go?" "Yeah, I got a good recommendation from a woman I met shooting for this art gallery. She had a wicked awesome lion up her thigh." "How'd you get to see her thighs?" Ben was still laughing. "Got any more beautiful lady stories?" "Fuck no! She had a miniskirt on!" Ben laughed and laughed and Andy flew him the bird. "Fuck you! C'mon. I need someone for support." "I'm coming, I'm coming!" Ben got up and together they hashed out the tab, splitting it and tipping the helpful bar wench. She seemed more than pleased with her tip. "See you next time, Sandy baby," Ben called after her, laughing to himself about what an awesome dude he was. "I'm helping my bestie get inked tonight!" he wrapped his arm around Andy and the two of them exited the bar and caught a cab. Andy wasn't sober enough to take the streets and from all the laughing Ben was doing, his friend was similarly wasted. Andy gave the driver the address of the tattoo parlor he'd been recommended and sat back and relaxed. Beside him, Ben was busy messaging a new girl and he told Andy about her. It was a little TMI but Ben was being great and Andy listened attentively. Dillon was in the back of his mind and Andy knew he'd do better if he just concentrated on Ben and the floozy girl he was messaging. Dillon already had three strikes – he had a lot more than three but who was counting – and Andy had decided to just wait and see what would happen. When they got to the parlor, Andy knew he was in the right place. The front of the shop was small but decorated accordingly. Lots of blacklight, leather seating, and the walls were covered in sample tattoos. Off to the side, there was a pink haired girl sitting behind a desk. Her laptop computer was displaying customers with completed tattoos in a slideshow. "Hey, guys," the pink haired girl smiled. She had snake bites on her lower lip and a nose ring. "You two looking to get inked?" Forgetting he was avoiding his phone, Andy pulled up the image he was drawing inspiration from and showed the girl. "I've got just the guy," she said, before hollering: "Spike!" The man that appeared from the backroom was a thin, long-haired, heavy metal kind of guy, covered of course, in ink. Spike was a man of few words, and merely gestured for Andy and Ben to have a seat. Andy immediately started to babble on and on about his ideas for the dragon and the demon he was hoping to add in the future, stirring a round of nervous giggles from Ben. "This is going to be so badass!" Ben hissed, throwing up a classic metal-head symbol. Andy rolled his eyes, shushing his friend but when he turned back to the tattooer, Spike had pulled out a notebook and was deep into sketching. Andy watched with a keen eye. "Wow! That's it, that's what I want," Andy said and he and Ben admired Spike's handiwork while the pink haired girl behind the desk pulled up her card swiper. After the price was negotiated and Andy swiped his bank card they were led into the back and into a small room behind a curtain. This room too was lit with a blacklight and artistic graffiti popped off the walls. Spike flicked on a powerful lamp and after Andy had removed his shirt and got situated on the cool padded table, Spike focused the lamp on his shoulder. "No going back now," Ben said, sitting beside Andy. He patted the shoulder not to be marked. "Sure about this?" "You bet," Andy hissed as the cold disinfectant coated his skin. Spike wasn't here to play. He was already gloved and after he'd set up his supplies, which were stored under the padded table, he got to work. "Argh! Ben, hold my hand, alright? Help keep me steady," Andy said. The pain was dull but his arm felt like it was vibrating. Ben snorted but clasped his hand. Andy was laying on his stomach, his head to the side. Spike was working on his shoulder and eventually he'd need to be turned to work on the front. About 30 minutes had passed, Ben making small talk and Spike occasionally grunting. This guy was really into his work and Andy felt a strange sense of calm overtake him. That was until his phone started buzzing in his back pocket. "Ben? Can you get that?" "I am totally not gay, ok?" Ben asked, before he reached into Andy's back pocket and answered the call. He pressed it to Andy's ear. "Hey, what's up?" "Andy! Where are you?! I've been tearing the city apart, trying to find you!" "Whoa, chill out," Andy said. "I'm with Ben. We got drinks. Fuck! I’m getting the dragon finished right now!" "Dragon? What—where are you?!" "I'm at a tattoo parlor. On 36th street." "Stay there!" The call ended and Andy said as much. Ben retrieved the phone and set it beside Andy. "I guess Greg's coming," Andy said. "Your new boyfriend?" "No. We were hanging out last night and I fell asleep on the couch. Woke up to his rude as fuck roommate tearing me a new asshole." "Ha! Stop sleeping in weird places." "Only if you stop sleeping with weird people." Offended, Ben pulled out a topless pic on his phone for Andy to see. "This is the chick I'm talking too. Anything weird about that?" Andy shivered, receiving a growl from Spike. Ben shoved the pic under his nose next, asking if the humongous tits were weird. Spike grunted in approval. "See? You’re the only weirdo here?" Ben squeezed his hand and laughed. Andy rolled his eyes but settled back into place, going still. The sharp pain of the needle was dulled thanks to the alcohol and Ben's firm grip and after a while he found himself getting lost in Ben's story of the big breasted girl. If Ben was to be believed, the girl had chased Ben all over the club, fending other pretty girls off with karate chops before finally cornering him, flashing her tits and luring him out the back alley for crazy wall sex. "So, she just…kicked her leg over your hip and started riding you?" Andy was really trying not to laugh. He was just trying to imagine how it had happened. "And why did you follow her outside? She was…karate…chopping the other girls?" "Hiya!" Ben chopped an invisible girl in half. "It was sexy, man. She was wild!" "Was she foaming at the mouth?" Andy couldn't help it, he was bubbling over with laughter. "That's a sign of rabies, for sure." "My kind of women are not your kind of men, okay?" Ben puffed himself up, like he was hot shit. Andy was happy to disagree. "You have absolutely no taste," Andy said. "So says the weirdo. C'mon Spike, I know you're with me. I have taste; my friend here has a mental disorder." "I'm dating a supermodel, you know?" Andy said. "I'm DATING a supermodel!" "A supermodel dick!" Ben leapt up, crowing with laughter, holding his hands out for the universal high-five. Spike completely missed the cue, his eyes focused on the tattoo. "Oh! Dude, burn!" Ben was so dissolved in laughter he didn't pay any mind to the crescendo of voices storming down the hall. The curtain was ripped back and Spike quickly jerked the needle from Andy's flesh. Andy sat up, wide-eyed and red-faced. Greg's dark eyes were wild but as they fell upon Andy, they softened somewhat. "Andy, there you are." "I'm here," Andy swallowed. "This is a friend of yours?" The pink haired girl from the front of the shop poked her head past Greg. "This is totally unsanitary." "Ben," Greg addressed the straight boy. Ben held his hands up in defeat. "Dude, I'm not fucking him." Greg pursed his lips. "Could I have just a word?" Andy's gaze went from Greg to Ben, feeling stupid and just the slightest bit confused. Was he in trouble? Was he not supposed to be here? Ben gave Andy one last look before following Greg back into the hallway. "Drama's over," said pink hair, before she fixed the curtain and walked back to the front, her heels clicking neatly on the linoleum. "Sorry," Andy laid back on the table, trying to listen to the murmur of his friends' conversation. Spike grunted once, wiped at the fresh ink with a damp cloth and returned to the task at hand. Andy clenched his empty fist, gritting his teeth. The curtain was pulled back. It was Greg, minus Ben. "I thought you were going to call me when you got this done," Greg said, taking Ben's vacated seat without even blinking. He laughed and even in Andy's inebriated state, it sounded empty. "Where did you go this morning?" "Just back to the loft," Andy said. "I needed to think." "By getting drunk?" Andy laughed. Without a word, Greg took Andy's hand. The younger boy turned his face away, letting his shaggy hair fall into his eyes. He squeezed Greg's hand and welcomed the strength, the warmth. This hand felt a lot different than Ben's had. "Are you mad at me?" "Of course not," Greg said, even drawing Andy's hand to his mouth for a kiss. "Where'd Ben go?" "I sent him home. I hope that's alright. I've been trying to get you on the phone since I woke up to an empty apartment." Greg wasn't vindictive like Dillon was. That much was glaringly obvious. Andy had spent two weeks sleeping in Greg's apartment and his tone wasn't even the slightest bit accusatory. "It wasn't empty when I woke up," Andy said. "Martin and I had a chat." "Martin?" The way Greg said the name was enough. He understood. Greg sighed and squeezed Andy's hand again. They fell into silence. The remainder of the tattoo job was thankfully short-lived. It had taken less than two hours to finish, color and detail the dragon and Andy loved it. He was bandaged and given a booklet on the care of new tattoos by the pink haired girl. Before he left the shop Andy thanked Spike one last time, receiving a thumbs up from the silent man. That'd have to do it. Before Andy knew it, Greg was whisking him outside, an arm wrapped around his shoulders. "That was fun," Greg said, chuckling under his breath. Andy settled deeper into the older man's embrace, wanting his good cheer and warmth. The buzz from the alcohol was mostly gone and Andy felt raw. The fucking tattoo hurt and he couldn't wait to peel off his clothes and burrow into Greg's bed, maybe his warm body too. "Can we get a cab?" "Of course," Greg was already flagging one down. His arm slid and Andy promptly stumbled and stepped on Greg's expensive leather shoe. Andy stammered out a lame apology, but Greg drew him near. Andy was tucked neatly under his chin and the older man rubbed his back. "C'mon Andy, how much did you drink?" "Just enough." "And the elephant in the room?" Andy drew back for that. Looking up into Greg's warm brown eyes. "Dillon. Have you spoken?" Andy froze. The entirety of the night, everything, coalesced into a tiny and jagged sliver of ice. It was much worse than Andy's usual worry, the usual ball of nerves that made him sick. No, Andy felt like something inside him were breaking and all that was left was the sliver of ice, jabbing deeply into his side. He took out his phone again but nothing was different. Texts and missed calls from Greg had piled up but none from Dillon. Not a single one. And it was 8:30, long past his plane's arrival. "I've got to go home." Andy sent a quick text, just a vague 'where u at babe?', to Dillon. "You haven't spoken," Greg concluded. Sighing deeply. "I told him everything. About you," Andy said. "I've been waiting for a response all day." "Waiting for what? For his approval?" Andy looked up from sending another text. There was distance between them now and Greg stood with his hands in his coat pocket. His eyes didn't look so warm any more. They were distant and Andy automatically took a step closer but Greg snapped. "You are wasting your time with him, Andy," Greg laughed bitterly. "You're wasting my time." The sliver of ice dug deeper into Andy's side. "I didn't need Martin's intervention. I'm not stupid nor am I blind. This is going to be the end of the road for me, Andy. I love you—" "I never—" Greg cut Andy's hurried protest off with a single finger. Andy looked past it, into Greg's shuddered eyes. The man in front of him was no longer open, warm, or forgiving. Andy was cold all over, fuck the pain in his side, Andy was actually trembling. "Dillon doesn't care about you." "I—I—well, he—" "Stop with the excuses. I'm tired of hearing them." Andy was left to merely gape like a fish. "I just had the best vacation of my life and I never left home," Greg said. "All I wanted was to be with you and to find out you were just…" Greg shook his head. "Passing the time until your beloved Dillon got home, well, I got to tell you, I think I'm more than just a time killer." "It's not like that!" "But it is," Greg smiled, but it wasn't a friendly one. "I let this relationship fall into a pattern. Dillon's mad, or he's out clubbing, or he's on world tour and here comes Andy, with his puppy eyes," Greg actually had the gall to laugh. "I've given you everything I have and your still running back to him." "I just—I—he depends on me. He's expecting me!" The last bit of that had been much louder than Andy had intended. It wasn't like they were drawing a crowd or anything. The streets were jam packed with traffic, the storefronts were garish, bright and colorful. A few people brushed past them, an older lady weighed down with shopping bags, a black guy checking his watch, two teenaged girls pressed together gabbing and giggling. Greg met Andy's wild-eyed stare. His expression was blank. "Go to him, then." Greg put his fists into his pockets and without another look, he turned on his heel and stalked off, disappearing almost immediately around a corner. Andy tried to do the same. Tried to turn and stalk off with a flourish. He wasn't finding it easy to do however. He staggered a few paces down the block before he fell against a spindly tree decorating the sidewalk. He attempted to flag down a cab, actually yelled at a guy for driving past with his light on. Another one passed while Andy sobbed with frustration. Third time was a charm though and Andy fell into the backseat of the cab like he weighed a thousand pounds. "Where to?" Andy checked his phone again. Nothing from Dill. Either way he directed the driver towards the loft and then he rested his cheek against the glass of the window and tried to pretend watching Greg walk off hadn't just gutted him because that stupid sliver of ice had jerked and spilled his insides out onto the pavement. It hadn't happened but it had. Andy felt empty and his unresponsive phone made the emptiness ring and echo in the cavern of his body. He gritted his teeth and shut his eyes. When it was over he'd open his eyes and he'd be home. Dillon would be curious as to where he'd been, he'd probably be pretty upset with the texts Andy had sent earlier, but they'd talk about it. It would be ok. Andy remembered much too late why he'd asked Greg to get the cab. He liked to pay for things when he could but after the bar, and the draining of his bank account for the painful ink on his shoulder, Andy didn't have much left. "I'm sorry," Andy gave the driver his last 20, a couple bucks short. "Let me run up and get the rest." "You waste my time!" the driver yelled in his broken English. He yelled something, probably much worse, in his native tongue as he screeched off down the street. Shaking his head, Andy shuffled inside the lobby bumping directly into Charlie, the ever present doorman. "Hello again," Charlie was all smiles and Andy glared at the man. Charlie wasn't about to be stopped however. Someone please give this guy something to do! "You missed the arrival party! The amazing Felix Bronson came by with champagne. I think he already left." Andy brushed past Charlie, heading to the elevators but the doorman insisted. "Since you missed the show, let me fill you in," Charlie started. "Mr. Rask arrived promptly at 6:45. Had me running in circles as usual, I'm afraid. After three trips to the car for his luggage, he wanted me to run to the store for those special yogurts he prefers and the—" Andy turned and flat-out punched the guy. Charlie reeled backwards, clutching his face. When he righted himself he stared back at Andy, his eyes huge, a thin trail of blood leaking down his chin. "Why are you always in our business?! Stay away from my boyfriend!" Andy climbed into the elevator and stabbed the button for the penthouse suite. He stewed in a concoction of anger and fear as the elevator ascended. He tried NOT to think about the idiot he'd just assaulted, which made him think of the relationship he'd just left, gutted and bleeding out in the cold NYC streets. By the time the door opened, Andy had no fucking clue what he was doing. "DILLON!" he yelled. The apartment was quiet and Andy stomped down the hallway and burst into the living room. "Dill," the blond boy was perched on his fancy armchair across from the couch, one long leg crossed over the other. He was sipping champagne. "Andy. What a lovely surprise." Dillon knew everything. His entire body was tense and as he sat up to deposit his glass onto the coffee table, he shifted his eyes slightly to the right and Andy saw they weren't even alone. Lena sat on the far end of the couch, sipping her own drink, peering over the glass at the two of them. Andy's heart dropped. This was a fucking show. "Baby we need to talk." "About what? Our relationship?" Andy blinked, took a good moment to acclimate to his surroundings. Besides a solitary suitcase perched on stairs leading up to the bedroom, not a single thing had been moved or touched. Andy had never felt at home in this place; in this high class world. This place was a museum. A horrible, ugly, modern art museum. And Andy hated modern art. "I've put some thought into it. I think it's time to end this farce of a relationship. It isn't good for me, and it's not doing you any favors." "What?" "C'mon Andy. Let's not beat around the bush," Dillon held up his phone. "You told me everything I needed to hear." "I didn't tell you anything! We didn't even get—we haven't talked in two weeks!" "Right," Dillon looked down his nose at Andy. "We've both been extremely busy." "Dillon!" Andy cried. Wanting Dillon's calm façade to drop because this wasn't calming! "You're fucking kidding! I do everything for you! I gave up everything for you!" "Everything but Greg, apparently." Lena, the fucking bitch, had to go and start laughing. She quickly covered her mouth but the damage had been done. Andy started screaming. He lunged forward and grabbed Dillon's drink. He threw it over his head, watching the champagne and glass fall to the floor. "I just wanted you to love me!" "I don't have time for this!" Dillon stood up, slamming Andy hard in the chest with his palms. "And you already found someone else to love you, so what the fuck do you want! Just get out!" "I want you!" Andy screamed. "You!" Dillon slapped him, hard. "You can't have me! You can't win me over! You can't change me! I'm exactly who I want to be Andy! I'm never going to be your housewife! So please just save us all a lot of time and pain and effort! We're done!" Andy kicked the coffee table, shattering the glass pane. He picked up the first thing he could get his hands on, a vase, and threw it at the TV. Lena started to scream and she leapt off the couch, running into the kitchen. Dillon leapt at him from behind, wrapping his arms around Andy's neck, yelling at him to stop but Andy tossed him off with ease, watching the blond hit the floor. Andy stood over him. "Dillon! Please! I'm sorry, ok. I don't know what I'm doing anymore, you're always somewhere else, with someone else! Greg was so fucking nice, is so nice, I just fell for him!" Andy bit his tongue. Dillon's eyes were again, filled with so much knowledge Andy knew he'd fucked up. He'd said something wrong, again! "Why can't you love me like Greg does?" "Because I'm not him," Dillon said. "I don't want to love someone like a puppy." Andy kicked his foot back, nearly toppling Dillon's favorite armchair. "You can't do this to me!" "I can't be who you want." Andy screamed, the sound raw. Dillon flinched, and scrambled to his feet, following Lena into the kitchen as Andy took out his rage on anything he could get his hands on. The call button for the elevator was wailing out in the hallway, the sound distant over Andy's wild screams. Andy flipped the armchair, kicking the frame until it splintered. He snatched up the tiny naked sculpture Dillon insisted on keeping on the windowsill and smashed it through the glass. He started to tear into the stupid white couch cushions when he was tackled by a considerable weight. He fell onto the glass strewn carpet and his arms were forced behind his back. "Don't hurt him!" Dillon was off to the side, being withheld by a female officer. "I definitely want him out, but—wow you guys came fast." "We're responding to an assault." Cuffs locked around Andy's wrists and then he was being bodily heaved from the floor by two male officers. The older one, a pudgy guy with sweat beading on his hairline said: "I'm assuming it was you that hit the doorman." Andy didn't respond, just stared wide-eyed at the pudgy officer. The female was taking notes as Dillon rattled off something or other. His cold gray eyes met Andy's from across the room. It wasn't much longer before Andy was hauled, none to gently, into the elevator and the two male officers escorted him past Charlie, being interviewed by a young looking guy. Charlie had a tissue held to his nose. He watched Andy's entourage pass without a word. "Watch your head," Andy was advised as the pudgy guy opened the back door of his cruiser. Andy was silent during the ride to the station. He didn't say much as he was booked. Before he knew it, he was being released into a holding chamber with a few other unfriendly looking guys. Andy didn't bother to make introductions, just shuffled towards the first empty bench, laid himself down and tried to sleep. That was it then. Everything was over. Andy had no clue how long he'd be here, but it might as well be forever because life outside the walls of this prison no longer held any promise. In one fell swoop, Andy had destroyed his life. Jail definitely didn't seem like the place to cry, but he curled into a ball and wept silently. Everything was fucking over! Time passes differently when you can't see the light of day. Andy fell in and out of sleep, the lights overhead never dimmed, just buzzed on and on. Joe and Tyler, Andy's impromptu roomies, were comparing rap sheets and mostly just shooting the shit. Andy listened passively. He had no one to bail him out, so he figured he was just testing the waters. If he couldn't get along with these guys, then he was fucked. Between listening to the other inmates, he let his mind wander. It had been almost 2 years since he'd met little Dillon back in Red Oak. Those long hot days with nothing to do but smoke and kiss and touch each other. Those days were special memories but Andy knew things had never really been ok. Dillon was afraid of puppy love? Puppy love? What the fuck was that? Somehow, sickeningly, Andy knew that that's what Dillon saw Andy's love as. Shallow, passing, not real. And fuck, maybe it was. Dillon was beautiful but Andy had sought the company of another man. Not because Greg was more attractive than Dillon, but because Greg's feelings ran deep. He doted on Andy. He'd watched Andy trip and fall and gently picked him up over and over. Andy had come to think of Greg as a mentor. Then as a friend. Now though, after two weeks of almost living together, Andy could see Greg as a life partner. A memory suddenly popped up. Andy remembered the night he'd met Greg and the older man had put his number in Andy's phone. Andy remembered Dillon's insistence that he delete his number and forget. Dillon had promised to get him a photography job with Felix. But Andy had ended up calling Greg the next day and Dillon had never followed his promise. But Greg had. There was a sudden rapping at the bars and Andy sat up to see a grim faced officer standing at the door. "Carson," he called and in an instant Andy rolled off the bench. "Here!" The officer sneered. "You're free to go. Nobody's pressing charges." Shocked, Andy followed the guy out of the cell. "So I'm not in trouble?" "I wouldn't get in the habit of punching people that get on your nerves, but for now, no." Relieved, even if that did not solve his relationship issues, Andy collected his papers, his belongings and ventured outside. It was morning. Bright, brilliant sunlight seared Andy's retinas and he squinted in the light. "Andy?" Andy shielded his eyes, looking towards the voice. Off to the side of the precinct, standing next to a planter was Greg. He looked impeccable as usual, neatly dressed and put together. He looked incredibly out of place, actually, but handsome nonetheless. His dark eyes seemed cautious as they met Andy's. "Must have been quite a night." Andy looked around him, stupidly, before realizing Greg meant the police station. "Hell of a night," he agreed. "A total disaster." The two of them stared into each other's eyes, Andy searching for the love and compassion that was normally so abundant and Greg, well, Greg looked away. "I was on my way to work. Got a call from an unknown number," he said. "I don't normally answer those kinds of calls, but—" Greg looked at him again. "It was your Dillon. I almost hung up, thinking he was calling to gloat, but he was actually offering you up on a plate. Said if stopped by the 10th precinct, I'd probably run into you." "He knows about everything. About us," Andy said. "He broke it off with me. I broke—a couple things." Greg snorted. "Not his face, I'd hope." "No," Andy said. "He's right though. He really isn't going to change." "I told you that." "No offence, but it meant a shit ton more coming from him," Andy said and finally he dared to break the distance. He laid a hand on Greg's forearm and it wasn't immediately withdrawn so Andy stepped closer. "Listen, this is going to sound desperate but when I met you, I was instantly attracted. The more I got to know you, the more my heart was torn. I want to be with a man I can talk with, and share and be open with and Dillon is all about secrecy and he doesn't want to share anything real or important. I want a lover, not just a warm body," tears were prickling the edges of Andy's eyes again. "I want to be with someone who's capable of love." "You're not just saying this?" "You know I'm not!" Andy took Greg's face into his hands and finally, Andy's fevered passion was being met, something that looked like fire was kindling in Greg's eyes. "These last two weeks were the absolute best. I had so much fun with you. I had so much fun making love with you." "Do you want to make this your life?" Andy took a deep breath and said without doubt. "I do." "Dillon is packing your things as we speak," Greg brushed Andy's cheek gently. "I haven't discussed it with Martin or Ted, but I'd like you to come stay with me." "You really thing that place is big enough for four?" "No. We'll start looking at places." Andy laughed, absolutely thrilled. "I'm paying half the rent, you know. We're going to be partners." "Absolutely," Greg said, then he took Andy's chin in his hand, tilting Andy's head back before he kissed him passionately. Andy moaned into the kiss, flicking his tongue against Greg's lips and gaining entrance into his hot mouth. When they pulled back, both of them were red in the face. Greg laughed and put his arm firmly around Andy's shoulders. "Let's get out of here." "Definitely." Greg ushered Andy to the curb and began to hail a taxi. "I took one last day off. My boss was pretty ticked but I'll be in first thing tomorrow. They've got work for you, as well, Andy. This vacation was very much needed but we both have jobs to do." A taxi pulled over and Greg opened the door for Andy and waited for him to slide inside before joining him. Greg gave the driver the address of their favorite diner. "Let's get breakfast. Then I'm taking you home so you can clean up. Oh dear, how's your tattoo doing?" Andy pulled up his sleeve. Looking at the bandaged flesh. "I definitely shouldn't have been trashing the loft." "Yeah. Definitely," Greg laughed. Andy loved the sound of it. "Well, I'm going to pick up your things around 7 tonight, so we've got the whole day to ourselves." "Can we go see that new action movie?" Greg rolled his eyes. "One of those blow 'em up, shoot 'em up movies? Sure thing." Andy smiled. More than pleased. He didn't actually know what the fuck had been so confusing. He felt like a weight had been lifted from his shoulders. He'd wanted and tried so hard to keep Dillon all to himself, but now that he was gone and they were done, well, Andy felt nothing but relief. He and Greg could live a life together, compromising, sharing things, being close and compassionate… Andy felt so damned hopeful for the future and honestly Andy felt like crying again. He couldn't believe how much time and effort he'd wasted trying to keep up with someone who always wanted to run from him. Everything was going to be ok. He didn't have to run after Dillon anymore. He and Greg could walk together. That was more than enough. He didn't have to be obligated to Dill's pretty face any longer. He could totally move on. He leaned his head on Greg's shoulder. Turning slightly so he could whisper in his ear. "I love you, Greg." And Greg's cheeks filled with color and he clasped Andy's hand. Held it with more strength than Andy had known he had. Andy felt safe and protected, but most importantly, he felt loved.
  10. Chapter 21

    Twenty One Greg wiggled his toes. "Are you listening?" Andy gave Greg's foot another affectionate squeeze, rubbing firmly at the instep with his thumb. "Yeah, keep going." Greg elevated his eyebrows, the very picture of doubt. Regardless, he continued reading the article. "In some ways, Djuna Barnes comes across as a progressive 1920s lesbian version of Geraldo Rivera. She inserted herself into all sorts of situations, undergoing force-feeding similar to what suffragettes in the UK underwent in prison, hanging out with the first captive gorilla to survive (not for long) in the US—" Andy snorted. "How do you hang out with a gorilla?" "You're no help," Greg pushed his foot into Andy's stomach. "You're supposed to be listening to the content, not commenting on the quirks." "I am listening," Andy said. "I'm just letting you know that your article doesn't make any sense." Greg rolled his eyes. "I shouldn't have asked you," Greg put his laptop aside and pulled his feet out of Andy's lap. "I know you didn't come over to listen to a boring article." Andy frowned. "I don't mind. I like helping you." Greg sat up, smiling. He crawled across the couch cushions until he was crouching over Andy's lap. Andy's face grew hot and he lowered his eyes, but Greg caught his jaw and forced him to meet his gaze. "You're not hanging out with me for sex, are you?" "I'm not—" Greg kissed Andy sweetly on the mouth. "Come on, don't lie." "I'm not—" Greg kissed him again, firmly rubbing his ass against Andy's crotch. "You promised me dinner!" "And dessert," Greg laughed before plunging into another kiss, his lips warm and soft, his tongue flicking coyly against Andy's. And then, just like that, he bounced from Andy's lap, leaving the younger boy hot and definitely bothered. "But I must tend to the mise en place if we're to eat any time soon." "The what?" Andy watched as Greg danced into the kitchen, a prominent bulge in the front of his slacks, but otherwise unbothered. "Kitchen prep," Greg said brightly, opening the refrigerator and removing the salmon they'd purchased earlier at the market. "Watch a cooking show, would you?" "Hey, I make a mean Ramen." Greg laughed again, the sound warming Andy from the inside-out. He smiled as well, and snatched Greg's phone up from the coffee table, unlocking it with the passcode Greg had given him. His mother's birthday. It had been two weeks since Dillon had left and in that time Andy and Greg had been spending a considerable amount of time together. Thankfully, Greg's roommates seemed to be busy as hell, and staying with friends and family or whatever, and Andy was thrilled. He knew all it would take to break the easy and loving relationship he and Greg were kindling was a single negative word from anyone that had a bit of sense about them. Andy and Dillon were still an item. Greg loved Andy, said it almost every day they'd been vacationing together. And Andy did not. He loved Dill. Andy had no fucking clue what he was doing. At times, Andy had to pull up Dillon's pics on his phone to remember what was true. Dillon was his beautiful flower, the most beautiful flower in Alabama and Andy had plucked it and carried it to the magic land of NYC. They did thing together, didn't they? They worked things out together and Andy was Dillon's rock. But they hadn't actually talked since Dillon had landed in Australia two weeks ago. There'd been a few vague texts the first couple of days, answered with similarly vague responses. Dillon was apparently incredibly busy, either on the runway, in interviews, or in photo shoots with various interested parties. Andy didn't really know what to say in return. He'd finished the photo editing the day after Dillon had left and since then he hadn't bothered to take on more work. He'd just been lazing around, eating out, dancing, drinking, and fucking, and all with Greg. There was absolutely no reason for Andy not to be with Dillon but Andy tried not to think about how duplicitous he was being. He was just on an unplanned leave of work. He just didn't tell Dillon. Andy stared at Greg's phone. For fucks sake, Andy's fucking face was the background! Sighing, he tapped the internet app and tried to distract himself by Googling dragon tattoos. "Fuck!" Andy leapt off the couch, trailing Greg into the kitchen. The older man had the salmon seasoned and set aside and was now scrubbing dirt from the small sack of potatoes that sat on the shelf under the microwave. "Look at this one!" Mostly black and white, with accents in a sharp red, the dragon on Greg's phone had narrowed glowing eyes, sharp teeth and talons that reached for its prey. The detail of the scales and the glowing effect of the brilliant red would look great on the unfinished dragon Andy had now. "Then I can add the demon we saw at the museum on my back!" Andy said, turning the phone back around, flipping through more ideas. "Wicked," Greg smiled toothily, his curls falling into his eyes as he fell back into the task of washing vegetables. He seemed so delightfully happy and Andy took a seat at the island, wanting to be closer. Andy and Greg chatted as the older man began cooking. The food smelled delicious. When they'd woken up earlier that morning, well past 10am, and Greg had smiled at him sleepily, suggesting they go down to the fish market to get something for dinner, Andy hadn't known what to expect. It appeared that Greg was pulling out all stops for this dinner, however. And as Andy watched the man pour his heart and soul into the cooking, Andy realized it was in fact, their last night before Dillon returned. The thought instantly sobered him, flooded him with so much guilt that he actually had to take a bathroom break. There, in the bathroom, Andy hovered over the sink, staring at his reflection. Same boy as before, no difference, the same shaggy dark hair, same piercings, the same expressive eyes— Oh, God. How was Andy going to face Dillon tomorrow? Andy splashed some water on his face and used one of Greg's towels, burying his face in the plush fabric, inhaling Greg's scent. Dillon would know, immediately, what he'd done. Andy knew it with a certainty that made him tremble. He was in so much fucking trouble. Andy dithered. He returned to the sink, washing his face thoroughly and then his hands. Andy was cleaning under his nails with a bar of soap when he heard Greg's voice urging him back into the kitchen. Andy sighed again, looked at himself one last time and then he left the bathroom. Barely paying any attention, Andy flicked out the bathroom light and was plunged into darkness. "Uh, did a light burn out?" Andy asked as he shuffled down the short hallway back to the kitchen. He instantly forgot about Dillon when he saw Greg, kneeling, a rose in his hand. Behind him, at the little dining nook below the picture window, the table was set with two gorgeous plates of roasted salmon, asparagus and spiced potatoes, and two glasses of wine, the aged bottle resting behind them. And to knock it off, everything was candlelit. All the apartment lights were out, and candles were along the windowsills, one on every table, and a few on the counters. "Would you be my date tonight, Andy? Andy closed the distance between him and the older man, coming close enough to caress the back of Greg's hand. Andy carefully took the rose, smelling the delicate bud. "I would love to." Greg stood and embraced Andy. The two of them stood in the candlelit room, holding each other. When Greg withdrew, he clasped Andy's hand and drew him to the table, pulling out the chair and seating him gracefully. The food really was excellent and the wine was sweet, delicious. Before too long, they were both giggling, feeding each other bites of their food across the little table. Andy was pleased when his wine glass never seemed to empty. Greg didn't usually ply him with alcohol but somehow, Andy knew that Greg was aware why he'd been in the bathroom so long. It was a distraction and it was working wonders. "Have you given any thought to what you'll do tomorrow?" Andy paused with his fork halfway to his mouth. Weren't they trying not to think about that?! "No." "You might want to," Greg said neutrally, taking a sip of wine. "C'mon Greg." Greg huffed, setting his wine glass back on the table. "C'mon what? Are you seriously going back to the loft? Are you seriously getting back in his bed?!" "I—I—" Andy started and stopped several times. He had to go home tomorrow. Dillon was expecting him! He was expecting his beloved boyfriend that always waited for him. Only Andy hadn't waited, he'd barely been waiting, for months. He was always calling Greg, always spending time with him, now they were fucking pretty regular. "Andy, please, I don't know how much longer I can play this game—" "I don't fucking know, ok!" Andy screamed, standing up abruptly, letting the fork clatter to his mostly emptied plate. "I don't know!" Greg stared into Andy's eyes as the younger boy towered over him. The longer the older man stared, his gaze so firm and unwavering, the more burning and prickling Andy felt at the corners of his eyes. He started to cry. "I love Dillon," he said. "I did anyway. I think," Andy turned away, wiping his face with an errant hand. "He was just so good-looking, I think I lost my mind. He needed so much help and was so emotionally broken. I was always just running and running to catch up to him, but when I caught up, I don't know, I was just expecting him to thank me for all that fucking running I did, but he takes it for granted; either spitting on my effort or taking it like I'll never get tired of providing." "Relationships go both ways," Greg said softly, "And after all you've done for that kid, he should be providing you with unconditional love. Don't you see that?" "Yes," Andy said. "But I don't think he can. Ever. He's never said he loved me and he never will," Andy sniffled at that. He felt so fucking stupid. "He doesn't fucking love me!" Greg's arms enveloped him from behind. Andy sagged into Greg's body, letting the older man hold his weight. "I love you," Greg said firmly. "I respect you, Andy. You've been taken advantage of, my dear, but we all make mistakes. You're wasting your time with him. It's not going to go any further than it is now and you deserve so much more." "I want you," Andy said, softly, tears still rolling down his cheeks but he turned in Greg's embrace. "I like what we're doing here, Greg. I don't know what the fuck that means!" "It means it's time to move on." Andy took a few deep breaths, feeling lightheaded and dizzy. Greg was instantly ushering him towards the living room, towards the couch and Andy fell onto the cushions limply. The candle in the middle of the coffee table danced merrily, casting dark shadows on their faces. "Just breathe," Greg said. "Breath in deep, now let it out, nice, good and slow," he coached. Andy felt even stupider. Now Greg had to tell him how to breathe? He couldn't be trusted in the relationship department, now he couldn't even function! "I'm fine," Andy choked, shaking Greg's arm from around his shoulder. "It's a lot to take in," Greg said as he withdrew. He left the couch, returning momentarily with a large glass of water. "You've been living in denial for almost a year." "I haven't!" Greg set the glass down on one of the seashell coasters adorning his coffee table. He held his hands up in defeat. "I think you need some time alone to think," he said. Andy stared at the glass of water. "I'm just going to clean up." And Greg retreated, leaving the younger boy to contemplate the glass. The kitchen light flicked on and Andy heard dishes clinking in the sink. Before he knew it he was slouching to the right, his head resting on the armrest of the couch. His head was swimming and more tears descended. What the fuck was Andy supposed to do now? *** Light slanted into Andy's eyes, waking him. He mumbled and rubbed at his face. He felt crusty and his head hurt. What the fuck? "Top of the morning to you," said an unfamiliar voice and Andy lurched upright, turning to see a man sitting casually in the armchair directly across from the couch. Andy spotted the man's sprout of shockingly red hair and identified the man as Greg's friend and roommate, Martin. "Are you a leprechaun or something?" "Why are you looking for my pot of gold?" Andy snorted and tried to rearrange himself into some semblance of order. He shoved a hand through his shaggy locks, the unruly strands falling into his eyes. He shook his hair back, picking a strand of hair from his lip ring. Yeah. He was really fucking together. "What was your name again?" Martin asked, his face the façade of civility. "I don't think we've actually met." "Andy." "Andy the jailbait," Martin said with a smile. "What the fuck is your problem?" Andy spat, feeling stupidly defensive. "What's your deal?" "Greg is my deal. Greg is my best friend," Martin said, his blue eyes flashing with anger. "I'm the one who pushed Greg into talking to you that night. I'm the one who started this whole mess in the first place." "Um, thanks, I guess," Andy said, feeling lost. "No, Andy," Martin said and Andy didn't like the way he said his name. "Greg and I are pretty good guys. Greg's trying to save you from the same relationship I'm trying to save him from. Only I'm not doing it get my dick sucked, I'm doing it because I care." "Well, he did get his dick sucked," Andy said. "And some. And neither of us need your fucking help." Martin sat back in the armchair, crossed his legs and settled his neatly manicured hands on the crest of his knee. He pursed his lips. "Tell me, Andy, what are your intentions?" Andy looked around the room. Where the fuck was Greg? The place seemed empty, though the morning light was weak. It must be around 8am. "We were talking about that last night," Andy said, remembering the candlelit dinner and then his subsequent fall from grace. Martin was right. A nights rest hadn't solved a thing. Dillon was coming home today and Andy had no idea what would happen when he did. He'd been living so long with what Dillon wanted, he didn't actually feel like he had a choice. Dillon would come home, chipper and vibrating with passion. If Andy could just play into that, he knew he could keep the little blond. It was either that or Andy could rush to the loft now and clear out his stuff. He could crash with Ben. He had no idea if he could stay here, and if so for how long. Andy hadn't been lying last night, he did like what he and Greg were doing together, but fuck if Andy wasn't scared to start deconstructing his life! "Hello?" Andy snapped to attention. Someone, probably Greg, had covered him with a throw blanket and he started to untangle himself. "I have to go," he said, avoiding Martin's piercing gaze. "I don't have any intentions. I'm just a fucking idiot." "Can't argue with you there, kid." "Where is he?" Andy slunk to the hallway closet, grabbing his sweatshirt and shoes. Stuffing his feet into the sneakers as he quickly pulled the hoodie over his head. "Still asleep," Martin said. "He got Ted and I a room at the Four Seasons so you two could have your love affair. You robbed him of his vacation, Andy." "Fuck you!" Andy hissed. "You didn't have to take the room! I told him to go wherever he wanted!" Martin sighed. "There's no telling Greg no when he has his mind set. This is exactly what he wanted. Uninterrupted time with you. I guess this is where you wanted to be, huh?" Andy blushed and turned away from the stockbroker. He entered the kitchen and nudged the door to Greg's room open. Greg was still sleeping. His chest was bare and the sheets were bundled at his crotch. Andy carefully collected the backpack of clothes he'd been pulling from and his camera bag and laptop. Greg rolled onto his side, the dim morning light making the stubble on his cheeks prominent. Andy crept closer, right to the edge of the bed. He touched Greg's soft springy hair, curling a lock around his finger. Greg smiled in his sleep, and Andy quickly retreated. "So that's it then?" Martin asked as Andy returned to the kitchen, shutting the bedroom door behind him. "What?" "Your boyfriend's coming back and apparently you're returning to him." Andy kept his eyes down as he shouldered his bag. He felt like such a scumbag. "You can't treat Greg like a fucking escort. He's not your boyfriend on-demand!" "I know that!" Andy shrieked and then hurried towards the front door because he was sure Greg was going to wake up any minute now and Andy didn't want to be held accountable. He'd made a mistake. Or maybe he hadn't! But he couldn't take the judgment any more. "Tell him I'm sorry." "It'd be better received if you just got lost, kid," And for the first time in their conversation, Martin did look a bit sorry. "If Greg had any sense he'd push you away for good because he has his mind made up. You don't. You're no good for him, Andy. Just go back to your boyfriend. I'll take care of Greg." Andy felt tears welling in his eyes again but he blinked hard to dispel them. "Just tell him I'm sorry, ok?" "You got it." And Andy left the apartment.
  11. Nothing but Trouble

    Chapter 15 - Nothing but Trouble Marcus looked out the front window and whistled with appreciation. "What year is that?" he asked. "I don't fucking know," Connor sighed. The Hummer sat on the curb, crammed full of his ragtag family. It was 7 in the morning now, and he still had no idea what the fuck he was doing, but M and Jack needed to be with everyone else. The blond was running around the front room, stuffing their things into their bags while the dog sat by the door with his tail wagging. They'd been informed they were leaving Marcus' and the boy and his dog had exploded with excitement. "So… What's going on again?" Marcus left the window and crashed on the couch. "You guys are leaving?" "My step dad smacked my mom around so I've got to get her someplace safe," Connor said shortly. "Well, are you coming into work today? Or should I tell Derek you're busy again." Connor sighed. Everything was fucked right now, but the Hummer wouldn't have a problem towing any of the trailers. "I'll have to hurry, but I'll meet you at Bayside in an hour." Marcus shrugged. "Alright." "C'mon." Connor grabbed his bag. M was stuffing a t-shirt into his little backpack, but he was done packing, thankfully. M nodded and shouldered his bag. "I'll see you soon. Thanks for letting us stay for a couple nights," Connor said to his workmate as he turned to the dog. He leashed Jack and opened the door part way so he could slip outside. "No problem," Marcus smiled and laughed a little. He sounded terribly amused and Connor tensed a little, sensing his "friend" was making fun of him. But Marcus only said: "I hope you make it to work… I've gotta call around for a ride now." Connor cringed. "Try Uber. It's actually pretty convenient." He and M left the duplex behind and Connor went around to the back to help M and the dog get in the Hummer. "M!" Jamie cheered as the boy got in the seat behind her. M smiled at everyone, his face was filled with a pleasant blush and his green eyes sparkled. Connor threw his bag in behind M and left him to talk with his little girlfriend. He had to figure out where everyone was going to stay. In the front seat, he looked through a few different hotels in the area on his phone. "How many rooms do you think we should get?" he asked Julie. The woman turned to look at him. The bruise on her face glowed in the morning light and her eyes were weary. "What was that?" she asked. "I spaced out for a minute." Connor slowly shook his head. "Never mind." He picked a motel 10 minutes down the road. They accepted pets and had decent prices. It was good enough. He put his phone on the dash and made a left turn out of the cul-de-sac. They were almost there when Nathan spoke up from the back. "Where are we going?" he asked. His voice was already getting close to grating and Connor's fists clenched on the steering wheel. "To the Econo-lodge," he said briskly. "Ugh. Why there? Let's go to the Red Roof Inn," he said snottily. "We just passed it. It has a pool." "Yeah and they don't want dogs either," Connor said. "Ah, who cares? They won't know. We'll just leave the do not disturb sign up on our door and they won't even know Jack's there." "What if he starts barking?" Connor snapped. And we'll have to sneak the dog in and out of the room 3 to 4 times a day so he can piss and shit!" Nathan made a face." We'll all take turns." Connor firmed his shoulder. He kept going straight ahead. Nathan whined. "Go back to the Red Roof Inn. I don't want to be stuck inside all day watching basic cable." Connor wanted to spit. "You're such a fucking brat," he hissed, but he pulled into the nearest parking lot and turned the Hummer around, nearly taking out a light post in his haste. Julie grabbed her door handle as the big SUV did a big U-turn and then zipped back to the exit. Connor took a few breaths as he sat, waiting for traffic to clear so he could head back to the Red Roof Inn. The hottest place in fucking town. Still, he tried to calm down. Julie had already taken someone else's abuse and now had to wear it shamefully on her face… He didn't want to freak her out with his driving. Traffic cleared and he made a careful turn onto the main road. "Alright." Nathan leaned back in his seat, looking pleased with himself. He smiled widely at Jamie and received a glare for his trouble. They got to the Red Roof in a couple minutes and Connor pulled into a spot up front. He was lucky there were two empty spots side by side otherwise he wouldn't have been able to park. The fucking Hummer was a bitch to park straight. Julie handed Connor the black Visa card when he cut the engine. Neither of them said anything, and Connor hurried to unbuckle his seatbelt. He went inside, not sure how he should do this, but glad he didn't have to worry about the money. Maybe 10 minutes later, Connor came out with three room cards. He probably shouldn't have gotten everyone their own rooms, but what the hell. Julie might get a chance to relax… Connor hopped back in the Hummer and drove around to the pool side of the inn. They had the last three rooms on the end and Connor figured he and M would take the last room so they could sneak the dog out a bit easier. He handed the two other room cards to Julie. "I've got to get M situated with the dog and then I guess I'm heading into work," he said. Julie's eyes widened a bit, but she didn't say anything. "I'm sure you guys can get set up on your own, right?" It wasn't actually a question, but Connor waited a moment to see if she was going to start panicking or anything. Julie pressed the cards to her chest and nodded. "We'll be fine," she said. Connor got out of the Hummer after that and went around to help M with the dog. It was early yet and there wasn't anyone around, really. Connor hurried the dog to the last room on the end of the building and opened the door with the key card. M crowded Jack inside and the dog snorted and took the hint. He roamed further into the room. There were two double beds, a TV on the wall and a set of dressers with the Bible on top. Connor took in the room with a sweeping gaze, unimpressed. It looked like every other room they'd stayed in before. He set his things down and got his uniform out. M went to sit on the far bed and watched as Connor quickly dressed. He looked a little sad. "I'll be back before 6," Connor said. "You get to hang out with the teenagers all day. You'll have a great time." M nodded wistfully. "I feel like I'm ruining your life." Connor gaped at the blond. "Because my mother got hit?" "And everything else…" M said sadly. "I'm to blame for everything and… I…" M slid to the edge of the bed and hung his head. "I don't feel so good," he whispered to the floor. "Um, the bathroom's back there—" M leapt up and rushed for the bathroom. Connor wondered if he should follow him in, see if he was going to pass out or something, but then he heard the blond start to vomit. The dog whined and came to settle in next to their bags. He looked worriedly towards the bathroom door. Connor sighed and quickly finished dressing. When M started to sob in the bathroom, he figured he should probably check on him. M knelt on the tile in front of toilet. It was filled with bile. "My stomach feels weird," he whined as he wiped the back of his mouth. "C'mon." Connor flushed the toilet and helped M up. He led the little blond to the sink and ran the water for him. "Rinse your mouth out." M splashed water in his mouth as he continued to sob like a baby. "Do you feel better at least?" Connor hesitated, but he touched M's shoulder gently and started to slowly rub his trembling back. M shrugged. He leaned over the sink and spat out the water. "Do it a couple more times," Connor said. "I'm sure that tasted yucky." M already had a mouthful of water, but when he looked back at Connor with his big, teary green eyes, Connor knew he was agreeing. Connor ran his fingers through M's soft hair. The boy bit his lip and turned to spit out his second mouthful of water. "That's probably good," Connor said with a lopsided smile. He put his arm around the blond and walked him back to the bed. "Lie down. I'll get you some drinks and snacks for the day. I'll be right back." M whined again when Connor got close to the door. He stopped with his hand on the knob and looked back. "Wake me up if I fall asleep," M said. "I want to say goodbye." Connor rolled over his eyes. "Yeah, alright." He slipped outside and hunted down the vending machines. He didn't run into any of his family and he was glad. He figured the kids were enjoying their private room and Julie was laying down for a nap. Whatever. He got a bunch of different stuff for M and headed back to the room without encountering a single soul. He walked by the pool on the way back and gazed at the clear, blue water lapping peacefully at the edges. He wouldn't mind taking a dip when he came home… When he got back, M was half asleep on the bed. Connor spread the candy and chips out on the table and handed the blond a pop. "Drink it slow," he recommended. "It should settle your stomach." M nodded weakly. His face was a bit sweaty, but he his cheeks were rosy; the color full of life and energy. His eyes sparkled beautifully… He actually looked pretty good. Connor checked the time. He had 20 minutes to get to work… He sighed and went to look through M's bag and then his own for the dog food. He didn't remember loading it in the Hummer so he'd figured it'd be in one of their bags. "Where's the dog food?" he snapped and then glared over his shoulder when M didn't immediately answer. "I'm going to be late. Where'd you put it?" M's mouth formed a cute little O of bewilderment. "I… think I forgot," he said at last and Connor sighed. He grabbed the ice bucket from the table and filled it with one of the waters he'd got outside. "I guess he'll have to starve then. Or he'll have to wait patiently until I buy him a new bag after work." M pouted. He sampled his Pepsi gingerly and licked his lips. "I'm sorry," he said. Connor shook his head. "I have to go." M reached out to him and Connor stifled his immediate irritation. He shuffled up to the bed and leaned down to kiss M's soft lips. At least they tasted like Pepsi… *** The other guys at Bayside were really impressed with Connor's new ride. When he and Marcus came out with their assignments for the day, they found half the team hanging around, gawking at the Hummer. "Move aside guys," Marcus said with a laugh. He slid into the passenger seat and shut the door primly. "Is that really your new truck?" the big bald black guy asked in a serious voice. "Where'd it come from?" "It's my stepdad's," Connor said and he got in beside Marcus. He shut the door and rolled the window down as the engine started. "Marcus is right, guys, you should really move back. I don't have the best experience driving this big hulk yet." He smiled and nodded at his coworkers. They finally backed up and Connor pulled out of the parking lot. The day went decently enough after that. None of the jobs were especially complicated and Marcus bought him lunch. He was excited tomorrow was Friday. He was celebrating early. When Connor mentioned something about buying dog food near the end of the day, Marcus snorted. "M left a bag in the living room. I forgot to tell you, my bad, bro," Marcus said. "But please come get it. I don't need it." Connor grinned. "Sweet. Then dropping you off tonight lets me kill two birds with one stone." "Sure." Marcus shrugged his shoulder. "I guess." *** Connor got back to the Red Roof Inn at a quarter to 6. He had the bag of dog food and felt pretty accomplished after a normal day of work. The kids and M were hanging around the pool when he got to the motel. "Hey," he called as he got closer. M pulled his legs out of the water and hurried to his side. He crushed him with a hug and Connor laughed and hugged him back briefly. "Alright, open the door for me and let's feed this miserable dog," he said. They went to the room to do that. Besides the water bowl made from the ice bucket, they didn't have anything for Jack to eat off of. Grumbling, Connor decided to go to the lobby and request some paper plates. When he went outside again, he ran into Julie, standing near the pool with the teenagers. She looked like a ghost in her long white robe. Her hair was unusually unkempt, but Connor noticed the shoulder length, black and silver hair covered the bruises on her face pretty effectively. Julie looked up at him as he approached. "They said you were home." "We're trying to feed the dog." "Oh, don't worry about him. He ate lunch with us. We had cheeseburgers," she said with a smile. Connor snorted. "Well, what's up?" He stuck his hands in his pockets and looked from person to person. The teenagers watched the adults converse with wide eyes, and Julie just smiled. It was unnerving. "We all need to sit down and figure out what we're going to do," she said. "We can't stay here forever." Connor shrugged. "Well, you're not getting back together with Greg. That's not part of the plan." Julie's smile faltered just the slightest bit. "Either way, if you're taking the Hummer to work, then how am I supposed to get the kids to school? And we can't walk to McDonald's every day for food. I need to get to the grocery store. We can't live out of a motel." "First of all, you need to file for divorce," Connor said blandly. "We should get that done with and out of the way." "Uh," Julie looked nervously at Nathan. The teen was gawking at them with speechless shock on his face. Connor sneered at him. "What mom? You'll get alimony. And child support. Then you can figure out where you want to live," he said. "He's right," Jamie said from the edge of the pool. She sloshed her legs around in the water. "Either we do that or we all have to get jobs." Nathan frowned. "Naw, man. I've got school. I don't have time to work." Connor glared at him. "Whatever happened to that interview you had?" he asked. Nathan shrugged. "They never called back." "See mom! Alimony. Child support. That's the only way we can make this work," Connor said aggressively. Julie crumpled into herself. "Connor, I—" "What?!" he yelled. Julie flinched and Nathan shushed him obnoxiously. Connor realized he probably had been a little too loud… He felt perfectly stupid. He cleared his throat. "I'm sorry," he said angrily. "Did you have a bad day?" Julie asked, totally sympathetic and overbearing. Connor drew his shoulders into himself uncomfortably. "Not really," he said lamely. Nathan snorted and Connor's nostrils flared with annoyance. "I don't want to see you going back to Greg. I'm serious about that." Connor said. "No excuses. He hit you. You're going to divorce him." "Why don't we get Greg to give us the house back," Julie said a bit desperately. "We don't have to rush things then. It makes sense." "I don't want you going back to that house either," Connor said through his teeth. "And the longer you think about this, the less determined you'll be to go through with it. This shit needs to happen now." He turned on his heel and marched off towards the lobby in the front. He was getting those fucking paper plates and feeding the dog, fuck what Julie said about cheeseburgers… When Connor got back to the room, M and the dog were sitting on the bed together with mopey eyes. "You took a long time," M said in a small voice. "Sorry." Connor left it at that and didn't bother to tell him anything about the argument over divorce. He set up a plate and put a couple handfuls of dog food out for Jack. The dog came and sniffed the pellets, but he wasn't as hungry as Connor had hoped he be after all the drama he'd gone through to get the damn plates. Whatever. He left the dog with his food and sat wearily on the edge of the bed. "Did you have a bad day?" M asked. "No…" Connor said with a sigh. "I just… I'm stressed out. I don't know what to do anymore." M nodded in understanding, although, how he could understand would be anyone's guess. "I thought having a productive day at work was good enough." Connor shook his head. "It doesn't mean shit. There's a mountain of bullshit to sort through when I get home." M reached up and slowly stroked Connor's cheek. "I wish I could help more." "Yeah. Me too," he said bitterly, and then felt bad immediately. M drew his hand back into his lap. He dropped his head a little and Connor sighed. He grabbed M's hand and rubbed it warmly. "How was your day? What did you guys get up to?" he smiled tiredly at the sad blond beside him. Fuck, he just wished everyone wasn't so damned miserable all the time! Connor had no idea how to make anyone happy! "It was fine," M said, a bit more cheerful now. "Once I stopped being sick." Connor quirked an eyebrow. You threw up some more? After I left?" "Yeah, maybe twice. But Jamie brought me some peanut butter crackers and I finally felt a little better. "Hmm." Connor scratched his neck. "Maybe you've got the flu." M shrugged. "I didn't like it." "Well, it's over now," Connor said. He rubbed M's shoulder and smiled at him. Maybe he wasn't in a great mood, but he didn't need to be an asshole. M's eyes fluttered shut and he leaned closer. Connor knew what he was asking for. He closed the distance between them and kissed the blond sweetly on the lips. M hummed into Connor's mouth. He squirmed closer and wrapped his arms around Connor's waist. Connor wasn't feeling up for sex, but he pushed himself. He clenched his eyes shut tight and kissed the blond passionately, hoping to get in the mood. M whimpered and beside them, the dog jumped off the bed and wandered away. It freed up some extra space and Connor eased M down onto the mattress. He climbed on top of him and straddled his narrow hips. He was getting in the mood now. He felt a tendril of pleasure curl around his cock. M's lips were warm and soft against his. He was delicious. He tasted so sweet... Connor moaned into his mouth. He slid his tongue against M's and groaned as he felt himself begin to harden in his jeans. Tap, tap, tap… Connor sat up abruptly and turned towards the door. "What?" he snapped. "We ordered pizza," Jamie said through the door. "And Nathan picked a few movies on-demand. Want to come eat something?" Connor swallowed angrily. "Just a minute." M was already sitting up though, his face flushed. "What's on-demand?" Connor rolled his eyes and got off the bed. He stormed into the bathroom and slammed the door. So much for that! *** "Mmfph!" Connor was rudely torn out of a dream when M's heel collided with his shin. "Hey!" He sat up and rubbed the sore spot. But M didn't apologize. He rushed into the bathroom with a hand over his mouth. Connor glared after the blond. "Are you sick again?" The sound of vomiting was M's response. Connor flopped back into bed. He glanced at the time and sighed. He had to be up in 20 minutes. He scrubbed a hand across his face and after listening to M puke for a couple seconds, he finally rolled out of bed. He thought about checking on him first, but it sounded like he was taking care of business all on his own. He didn't need any help. Connor glanced at the dog instead. Jack lay curled in a ball at the foot of the bed. "Do you want to go out?" Jack's tail started wagging. "Guess that's a yes," Connor said. He grabbed some jeans out of his duffle bag and quickly pulled them on over his boxers. They left the room while M continued to puke. It was a little before 7 in the morning and the sun just touched the horizon. The clouds in the distance were a fuzzy pink and blue. He took the dog around the back of the building where a little hill rose off the parking lot. He took Jack through the grass there. The air smelled fresh and clean and Connor enjoyed the feeling of a gentle breeze gusting through his hair. He took some deep, calming breaths as he watched the dog roam the grassy knoll. It was finally Friday. He could finish up work today and then everyone could relax. They could all sit down together and figure out what the hell they were going to do... Connor felt harassed. He was being pulled in so many different directions and he didn't like the way it made him feel. Needed… Responsible... There was this tingling worry in the back of his head that he was going to fail. Everyone needed him to do something and he was going to totally fuck it all up. But today should be simple. He had to be at Bayside in about an hour and then he could turn off his phone and concentrate on some manual labor for eight plus hours. Easy enough. He'd figure everything else out from there, and, shit! He was getting paid today too! When he got back to the room, M sat on the edge of the bed with his bare legs pulled up to his chest. He was moaning pitifully. "I hope you aren't contagious," Connor said. He put some food out for the dog and grabbed up his water dish. "I don't feel good," M cried. His eyes were wet and his hair hung in his sad little face. "Yeah, I can tell." Connor sighed. He went into the bathroom and ran the dog some fresh water. He almost yacked himself, M hadn't cleaned up after himself all that well. M had his face in his hands when Connor came back. He made tiny, pitiful sounds. "I'll get you another Pepsi," Connor said. "And I'll tell Julie you aren't feeling—" M leapt up with a loud moan. Connor barely had enough time to move out of the way before M was running past him and into the bathroom again. "Blehg!" Connor shook his head. He set the water bowl down, but Jack wasn't interested. He hid behind the bed, his ears pinned back. "You're in for a fun morning," Connor muttered sarcastically, but what the fuck could he do? He shared a grimace with the dog, grabbed a Bayside shirt out of his bag, and quickly finished changing. He ruffled fingers through his hair and hoped he looked alright. He left the room and headed to the lobby. He gathered some snacks and the exalted Pepsi and stopped to grab a coffee and watch the news they had playing behind the counter. It was going to be another beautiful day. High 80s in the afternoon, no rain. The banter between the little Asian weatherman and the blonde co-anchor was corny as hell though and Connor promptly took his leave. "Hey Connor!" Connor was balancing a handful of packaged snacks, the bottle of Pepsi, and his coffee. He slanted his gaze across the pool. Nathan and Jamie were in the parking lot just beyond the fence. There was a green minivan beside them and a bunch of teenagers were piled inside. Connor stopped, but he didn't get any closer. The pool separated the brothers. "We're carpooling to school," Nathan called. "We had to get up extra early. Thanks douche." Connor rolled his eyes and started walking again. "We'll see you tonight," Jamie said, a bit gentler. Then she shoved Nathan into the van. Connor tapped on the door with his boot, his arms overladen. He had to wait a few breaths, but before too long M let him in. "Did you stop puking?" "I don't know, I don't feel any better," M moaned. He shuffled to the bed and threw himself down face first. Connor dumped the snacks and pop on the little table beside the bed and took a sip of boiling hot coffee. "The kids are going to school. Looks like it's just going to be you and Julie today." "Mmmph." Connor huffed. He'd never seen M so pathetic before. It was a major turn off. "Well, I guess I gonna head out then. I'll touch base with Julie first, so let her in if she come knocking." "Ugggh." "See you later." Connor gladly left the room. He hoped the little blond would be feeling better by the time he got home, because a night with that miserable lump in bed would be nothing but unbearable. He tapped on Julie's door as he savored the hot coffee. Luckily, she answered quickly. Again, she was kind of a mess. Her hair hid most of the bruises, and she wore the robe from yesterday tight around her. "Everything alright?" Julie asked. "M's got the flu or something," Connor said. "He's throwing up and moaning in bed." Julie frowned a little. "That doesn't sound good." "Yeah, and I'm off to work. I wondered if you check on him a few times." "Sure. I'll put something on and go over in a few minutes." Connor sighed. "Thanks. Oh, and there's coffee and donuts in the lobby if you want some." Julie wished him farewell and Connor was able to take off without a care. It was Friday, damnit! *** The first job of the day was an apartment building. The lot was kind of small and it needed nothing more than a trim on the lawn so he and Marcus finished up in less than an hour. "This next customer is super particular about her hedges," Marcus said as he checked the order sheet. "So I'll take care of them, and have you do a quick weed whack around the driveway and then mow the lawn." Connor shrugged. It sounded like he got the shitty job, but whatever. He could weed whack and mow, no problem. He pulled down a little two lane street with beautiful ranch houses on the left and larger two stories on the right. The right hand side of the street rose up in a prominent hillock. "We've got a hill to deal with, don't we?" "Yeah, it's that house down there. The blue one," Marcus said. "But they don't have much of a backyard. All the property's up front." Connor scowled. "Easy boy, take the riding mower," Marcus chuckled. "Are you that tired already?" Connor shrugged again. He wasn't tired, he was anxious for the day to be over with. "Pull in the driveway. Some crabby ass neighbors whined about us blocking the street last time," Marcus said and Connor slowed down and carefully angled the Hummer up the narrow drive, missing the mailbox by inches. "This will be fun to back out of," Connor said through his teeth, but Marcus wasn't listening. They parked halfway up the drive and he hopped out immediately. Connor killed the engine and followed him to the trailer. They quickly got their supplies together. Marcus pointed out the hedges that bordered the property and Connor felt kind of bad for doubting his friend. The bushes were quite extensive and though they were in need of a trim, they already looked immaculate. Connor left Marcus to it, and revved up the weed whacker. He put some ear plugs in and got to work chopping the grass close to the driveway. He got lost in his work, in the feel of the metal vibrating between his hands. He went up one side and down the other. He was making excellent progress and paused at the end of the drive to check his work. He wiped sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand and was considering taking a water break when a car horn, much too close for comfort, invaded his head. He ripped the ear plugs out and turned to see a yellow Corvette poised to enter the drive. He moved aside and made room for the flashy sports car and the Corvette jetted past him and rolled up behind the trailer. A woman got out of the car. She was tanned to a crisp and had long bright red hair in a tight, tight ponytail. She was wearing all white; a fitted t-shirt, a short skirt, and a visor. She didn't spare Connor a single look, she went straight for Marcus. "You're butchering my hedges!" she shrieked. Marcus dropped the hedge trimmer and turned from the bushes, his eyes wide. "How many times have I told you people? No electric trimmers!" Connor tried not to laugh. He knew it wasn't funny. He took the weed whacker back to the trailer, glancing at the Corvette as he passed. This lady really had nothing better to do then bitch about some hedges? What a cunt. He put his equipment away and grabbed a water. He hid behind the trailer as he wet his tongue. It seemed like the crabby neighbors had called the customer to turn them in. She'd left her Friday morning tennis match to chew them out. "I'm sorry ma'am, we've got a long list of jobs to complete this morning—" "Are you telling me I don't deserve special treatment?" she yelled. "Why am I paying premium for you Bayside bozos to screw up my yard?! Should I hire some damn Mexicans from the Home Depot?" Connor snorted. Poor Marcus. He wasn't sure exactly what he should do at this point, it seemed like they were moments away from losing this cunt's business, but Connor finally decided he'd better get the lawn started. He wasn't going to get yelled at for slacking. He tossed his water to the side and went to release the riding mower from the back of the trailer. He began to carefully reverse the heavy piece of machinery when a shadow fell across his line of sight. He turned, expecting to see the cunt in white, but the figure was black and tall and threatening. Connor skidded to a halt. "You left the house by the water," said the agent. "Fuck!" "Then you ran from the dirty little house in the city," the agent continued, sounding amused. "What do you want?!" Connor gnashed his teeth. "What are you doing here?!" "I stopped by each day, waiting to find your little lover alone, but he's been going off planet. Hiding from me like a coward." Connor gaped, speechless. The agent stepped slightly closer and Connor was able to see the freak's mouth twist in a maniacal grin. "Do the two of you have any sort of plan? Or are you just running blind?" "Fuck— Just leave us alone! M isn't doing anything wrong. He's just trying to survive." "And that's what we're trying to do as well," said the agent. "I have many notes on my insertion into this human body, if I could study your lover in depth and compile the information, my race could finally proceed with full-scale immersion." "No," Connor growled. He was shaking with rage, but he knew better than to charge the dark figure before him. He'd only end up losing. "'No'?" the agent laughed, that horrible fake laughter that Connor had heard the other night when he'd crashed his truck. "As if I care what you want, or what your M wants. You two are nothing but insects to my race and our fight to live on." "You're a fucking freak," Connor hissed. "Skulking around in the dark, trying to scare us into doing your bidding. News flash! M isn't going anywhere with you and I'm not giving him up!" he pressed. "I've spent too long and wasted way too much effort protecting him to just hand him over. Now, fuck off! I've got work to do!" Connor jumped on the riding mower and turned it on. He was going to run the bastard over if he didn't move, but the agent stood motionless, the creepy grin firmly affixed to his face. Connor bared his teeth. "Move!" A familiar buzzing sound started in Connor's left ear. He screamed with frustration, bringing his shoulder up to gouge the sound out. It didn't help. Horrible static filled his brain and made him shudder with agony. It was louder than the running mower; it drowned the sound out completely and it was only his intense determination to scare the man in black away that kept him from sliding off and thrashing in pain. He clutched the steering wheel tight, his foot wiggled precariously on the pedal. The agent's voice sliced through the static. On the other side of the mower, the man's mouth didn't move, he remained smiling and filled with vindictive glee. Connor trembled as words poured into his head. "If you refuse to cooperate, I'll continue to ruin your life, Connor," said the agent, straight into his brain. "I'll make all your friends turn their backs on you, and when M's finally alone, I'll swoop in and take him." And just like that, the agent backed out of the trailer and stepped to the right, vanishing from sight. There was no relief though, the static rose in pitch and Connor felt the mower lurch underneath him. His eyes rolled up in his head and he crashed to the metal floor, banging his head on the equipment shelves. He blacked out for a moment. He wasn't sure how long, but when he opened his eyes, the buzzing noise had stopped and had been replaced with a shrieking that echoed through his fuzzy brain and made his tortured ears ring. "Connor!" Marcus flew into the trailer. He fell to his knees and skidded to Connor's side. His dark eyes were full of panic. Connor moaned wordlessly. He tried to lift his head, but everything was spinning so fast. He laid down flat on the cool metal floor, his head aching. The shrieking didn't stop. "What did you do?! My car! My car!" "Connor, can you get up?" Marcus asked in a rush. "Dude, this is bad. We have to go." Connor moaned again. "C'mon, please," Marcus begged and Connor tried his absolute hardest to raise his head. Out through the back of the trailer, Connor could see their cunty customer circling her Corvette. She was in hysterics, clutching at her chest, her hair, in a desperate frenzy. And then he spotted the riding mower. It was on top of the shiny sports car. The yellow paint on the hood was ruined, the windshield was shattered, the entire roof was caved in. Connor shut his eyes and stopped totaling the damage, because it was bad. He couldn't look anymore. "We better go," Marcus said. "How?" Connor groaned. "She's blocking the driveway!" "We'll back through the grass," Marcus insisted. Fuck! What happened to you, man?!" He helped Connor up and he stood on wobbly legs, trying to shake the pain out of his head. "I blacked out." "I don't know how that mower had so much force behind it. It practically jumped the bumper. It should have collided with the front of the car and that's it! Nope, it ran all over that pretty Corvette. Shit, dude. You totaled it!" Connor clutched his head and stumbled out of the trailer. Luckily, the woman was way too upset to notice. She was drawing a crowd now, neighbors were wandering over from across the street. Some elderly couple… "We're going to the hospital, ma'am," Marcus called as Connor limped around the Hummer and jumped in the front. "My friend's hurt bad. He had a seizure or something." A seizure… Connor scowled. "Then he can't drive!" But Connor was already starting the Hummer up. Marcus barely had time to leap inside before Connor shifted into drive and tore through the grass he was never going to mow. The woman started shrieking again: "You can't leave the screen of an accident! I'll have you arrested, you buffoon!" Connor kept his eyes straight ahead, trembling violently, scared shitless. Crunch "Dude! The mailbox!" Marcus groaned as they ran over the box and hit curb. The Hummer swayed and rocked. Connor took a deep breath and straightened her out. They coasted down the road unimpeded. "Oh my God," Marcus sobbed into his hands. "We are so fired!" "I know I am," Connor said bitterly. His head pounded terribly. He had no clue what to do next. "I'll be lucky to avoid another arrest. You heard what that cunt said!" "Oh shit, oh shit," Marcus cursed. "What do we do now?" "Probably head back to work," Connor sighed. "I should turn myself in." "Screw that. We're done for anyway, let's get off the street. You're feeling better now, aren't you?" Connor gave his friend a sideways look. He curled his lip. "Why?" "Go towards my house," Marcus said, letting out a heavy sigh. "There's this bar I really like around the corner." Connor snorted, but he decided to just roll with it. Apparently, they were going to get drunk in the middle of the day! *** The bar was mostly empty, though it wasn't even noon yet, Connor wasn't overly surprised. He let Marcus handle the drinks, he emptied his wallet in the middle of their little table and told his partner… ex-partner most likely, to get him something good. "Something good? Or something hard?" Marcus asked with a smile. Connor paused to consider his options, but Marcus snatched up his money and said he'd get him something with liquor. And so the drinking began. "So both you and M got brain issues?" Marcus asked over their second drink. They were racing each other, matching sip for sip. There was a soap opera on the only TV in the place and the old black lady running the bar was really into it. There was nothing else to do but drink and bullshit. "I don't have brain issues, fucker," Connor growled. He guzzled a large amount of his Jack Daniels and Marcus hurried to catch up. "I didn't have a seizure. I blacked out." "You wouldn't know if you had one," Marcus said around a disgusting burp. "Your brain cuts out and you can't remember what just happened. You wake up on the floor all confused and shit." Connor mopped up the condensation from his frosty glass with a finger. "Do you remember that guy I told you about? M's stalker?" "Sorta kinda." "He showed up at that lady's house today," Connor said slowly. "He said a lot of fucked up shit." "And that made you have a seizure?" Connor grit his teeth together. He didn't know how much he should say, but honestly, it seemed like he should spill the beans and come clean with his friend. Marcus probably wouldn't believe all the alien stuff, but he deserved to know the truth. His job was in jeopardy because of it. He opened his mouth, trying to form the right words to say the most ludicrous thing he'd ever encountered in his life… and then he zipped his lips tight. Fuck… Neither of them were drunk enough yet. Connor quickly finished his drink, feeling the burn in his empty stomach. "Fuck you, get me something sweet." "You want a Cosmo or something?" Marcus giggled like a girl. Fuck it. "Get a pitcher of margarita." Marcus continued to laugh, but he left with their glasses. He was still finishing his. When the other man returned, they started in on the margarita with gusto. It wasn't long before they were ragging on the soap opera, mocking the cheesy acting and tearing apart the shitty characters. They were laughing, totally forgetting the horrible morning and the botched job. It wasn't long before the pitcher was nearly empty and it was finally nearing 1:00 pm. Then Connor's phone started buzzing in his back pocket. "It's probably M," Connor said loudly to no one. "He had the flu this morning. It was pretty gross, he splattered this yellow shit all over the toilet. Great way to wake up." "Mmm." Marcus licked his lips. "You boys have all the fun." Connor snorted and pulled out his phone. He didn't even check who was calling. "Heeey," he said into the receiver. "Connor?" That wasn't M. It was a deep masculine voice that Connor couldn't quite place. He checked the screen on his phone and froze. Motherfucker… it was Bayside. "Uh, sorry, I'm here," Connor said quickly. "And where exactly is here?" Fuck, fuck, fuck! Connor scrambled. It was Derek. He knew the voice now. It was his fucking boss! "Um…" Connor looked across the table in terror, but Marcus looked just as bewildered, if not more so. "We're taking a lunch break?" "Oh good," Derek laughed humorlessly. "I thought maybe you'd gone to another job." "Er nooo." Connor chewed his lip. Fuck, he should have checked the caller ID! He should have let this go to voicemail! "I'll keep this very simple Connor. You and Marcus no longer work for Bayside. The two of you have forfeited your paychecks and I don't want to see either of your faces in my office ever again. Do I make myself clear?" "Yes?" Connor's heart sank. None of this was a surprise really, but he still felt the walls crashing in on him. He had tunnel vision and at the end of it was Marcus's curiously pale face. "Oh, and if the Bayside trailer isn't returned to the storage locker by tomorrow morning, I'll file a police report myself," Derek said sternly. "Contact Rosie. She'll meet you at the locker to collect the keys." "Ok." "Goodbye Connor," Derek said firmly and then he hung up. Connor set his phone down carefully. His hand was trembling. "Was that Derek?" "We can't go back to Bayside," Connor said. "But we have to drop the trailer off tonight." "Shit." Marcus rubbed a hand through his poufy afro. It sprung up wildly in several different directions. "Do you know Rosie's number? We're supposed to have her meet us at the storage facility and give the keys back." Marcus groaned, but he fished his phone out of his pocket. "Yeah, I have all the Bayside numbers in my phone. I've been there for years." Connor hung his head. "I'm so sorry Marcus." Marcus waved him off halfheartedly. "Obviously it's time to move on." "Yeah, obviously," Connor said bitterly. He freshened up both their glasses while Marcus messed with his phone. They drank quietly for a while. Connor's head swam. He didn't feel so jovial anymore. "Rosie said she'd meet us after 5," Marcus said as he finally set his phone down. "Gives us a few hours to… I don't know. Joyride the trailer?" "How about not," Connor said. Marcus chuckled darkly. "Aww, c'mon. We still have the push mower. We could do some drunk landscaping." Connor shook his head. "This sucks, man," Marcus said. "Seriously." "I know." "Pfft," Marcus sloshed more margarita into his glass. "I've been meaning to get out of here anyway. My lease ended a few months back, I had that epic breakup with my ex, now I lost my job… I don't have anything going for me anymore," he said. "My brother lives out in Cali. He's been trying to get me to come stay awhile now. I should go." "California?" "Yeah dude," Marcus smiled a little. "He says it's a big party. All the time." Connor licked his lips. "I should probably get out of here too," he said. "That guy that's stalking us… He wants to do some really fucked up shit to M and I'm not going to let him. He messed with that lawnmower today and did something to make me blackout—" "I didn't see anyone, Connor." "I'm not making this up Marcus. Someone's after us," Connor said forcefully. He started intently across the table at his friend, hoping to push the truth into his friend's head. "He said he'd ruin my life if I didn't stand aside and let him… let him cut up M's brain—" "What?" Marcus gasped. "Just listen," Connor hissed. He pressed his palms flat to the tabletop and leaned over the glasses so he could lower his voice dramatically and still be heard. "He's going to kill M. I know it," he said. "And he's going to ruin my life if I keep trying to stop him." "He won't just kill you?" "I don't know. Maybe," Connor said, a tiny vein in his right temple twitching with fear and nerves. "I don't want to find out." "Have you guys tried going to the police?" Connor shook his head. "They can't help. Trust me. They aren't going to believe us anyway." "Well, I don't want to be responsible for bringing some crazy stalker to my brother's place," Marcus said slowly. "Of course not," Connor said. "But maybe if we move cross-country, he won't find us. Maybe this shit will finally be over." "You have to be sure you aren't being followed," Marcus said, meeting Connor's gaze nervously. "I can forgive you for the job thing, but if me and my brother turn up dead… " Connor laughed. "Yeah, you'll haunt me for the rest of time. I get it." Marcus snorted. "Ok, ok, settle down and get back to your side of the table," he said. "You're looking like a crazy person hovering over me like that." Connor slid back into his seat and pulled his margarita closer. "Guess we'll just shoot the shit until 5." "Let's see if we can get the barmaid to open a pool table for us. Shit, we're the only living customers in here." Connor nodded and watched as he friend went up to smooth talk the old lady at the bar. He felt his mood lifting. *** They pulled into the storage facility at a quarter past 5. They were both slap-happy drunk, and Connor had taken the route with extreme caution. "There she is!" Marcus jabbed his finger at the windshield. "My lovely, lovely Rose." "Cool it," Connor said with a laugh. "You'll scare her off." "Man, this is my last chance with her! I've gotta make this one count." Connor rolled his eyes. "Good luck. She can barely look you straight in the eye when you're sober, I doubt she's going to start swooning now that you're drunk off your ass." "You never know," Marcus carefully sculpted his afro in the passenger mirror as they pulled up alongside Rosie's little Volkswagen. She had to lean across her seat to peer into the Hummer. Connor rolled down his window. "I'll back the trailer in the garage and Marcus will bring you the keys, ok?" he said. "Yeah, alright." Rosie blinked at Connor suspiciously. It looked like she'd been crying at some point. "Hop out, retard," Connor said to his partner. "We don't have all night." Marcus glared at him, but he leapt out of the Hummer and jogged up to the storage locker. After fumbling with the lock for a moment, he lifted the heavy metal door and Connor did a quick U-turn so he could position the trailer. He took his time. He was afraid he'd hit something or someone if he didn't. But perseverance was key. Connor managed to angle the trailer into the garage and carefully secured it inside. He got out to unhook everything and to finish the job. He happened to look up as he did, and his mouth dropped when he saw Marcus and Rosie, standing in front of her VW, their lips locked in a passionate kiss. "Fuck Marcus," Connor muttered. "Never thought you'd go for it." The kiss continued, Marcus put his arms around the slim redhead and swept her off her feet. Connor could hear her girlish giggles. Connor smiled. He took his time unhooking the trailer, moving the Hummer and then locking up the garage once more. He didn't want to interrupt, but it looked like Marcus and Rosie were moments away from humping frantically on the hood of her car. He drove up next to them, casual as can be. "Do you still need a ride home, Marcus?" Slowly, the two of them broke apart. Marcus was grinning hugely and Rosie's face was as red as her hair. "I— I can take him," Rosie said shyly, her eyes refusing to meet Connor's. Connor smirked. "Alright then. I'll be in touch, Marcus," he said. "Try not to forget about me." "I got you, man," Marcus said cheerfully. "We'll make plans again really soon." Connor rolled his eyes, but he wasn't about to turn into an enormous cockblock. He drove off and left the couple in the parking lot. *** Connor got back to the Red Roof at exactly 6 o'clock. He parked the Hummer crookedly and skulked around the side of the building, hoping to avoid contact with the family. He got lucky. The pool was empty, and he saw lights on in Julie's and Nathan's rooms. There was soft, warm glow coming from M's window, too. And Connor crept up to the door and knocked softly. The door opened almost immediately and Connor was met with one of M's brilliant smiles. "Connor!" Connor pushed the blond inside and kicked the door shut behind him. He gathered the boy into his arms and carried him to the bed. "Oh!" Connor laid M down on the covers and crawled on top of him. He swallowed M's surprise and pressed his lips to the blond's, delicately tasting the inside of his mouth. He tasted sweet, like chocolate, and Connor wondered how many snacks he'd munched on while he'd been away having an unplanned day at the bar. "Mmm, Connor— what—?" "Shhh," Connor hushed, drawing back so he could press a gentle finger to M's soft lips. The boy's green eyes were wide with wonder. "I want to be inside you. Can I fuck you? Please?" M sucked his bottom lip into his lovely mouth. He nodded, his silky hair falling into his face. Connor brushed the lock away. He didn't want anything getting between them. He wanted to stare into M's serene eyes forever, no matter what crazy shit happened. He loved this boy. Connor was filled with reverence. He touched and kissed M ever so softly. He pushed his hands up under the blond's t-shirt and smiled when the boy put his arms up and let the top slide over his head. Connor lowered his mouth to the luscious stretch of exposed flesh. He sucked at the boy's tender throat, loving the feel, the sound of M gasping with every wet kiss. He continued to lick the salty patch of skin as he began to tease M's sensitive nipples with his fingers. The nubs hardened at his insistence and Connor plucked the thickening buds, gently pulling and twisting them as M's gasps grew more desperate. Finally, he abandoned M's throat and used his mouth on the stiff nubs. One at a time, he sucked them into his mouth and teased the swollen nipples with his tongue. M's eyes slid shut and his mouth opened around another long, desperate moan. "Ohhh!" Connor's cock was hard as a rock in his jeans, but he felt no need to rush. The agent was trying to take M away forever, and though Connor wouldn't let it happen, he also wouldn't take the blond for granted anymore. He'd enjoy him. Fully. At every opportunity. After he tended to his erect nipples, Connor worked his way down to the hollow of M's navel with more hot, sucking kisses. The boy's skin was so responsive. M moaned pitifully underneath Connor as he reached the little dimple of his belly and circled it with his tongue. M's body vibrated with pleasure. He raised a trembling hand and ghosted it through Connor's dark hair, knotting his fingers in the thick locks. "Connor! That tickles," he giggled and Connor swirled his tongue around the quivering belly button one more time before he let up. He sat back, marveling at the beautiful flush across M's upper body. The blond's eyes fluttered open again. The green smoldered in the weak light from the bedside table. He watched Connor closely, waiting to see what was next. Connor's heart pounded hard in his chest. He felt like he could do anything in that moment, he felt so powerful, hovering over his sweet lover. He knew exactly what he wanted to do next though. He wanted to see M's penis. The blond wore a loose pair of sweats today and it took almost nothing to remove them. Connor hooked his fingers under the waistband and M lifted up just a bit. With an easy slide, the sweats came off all at once and M's cock sprang up to point at the ceiling. "No undies today?" "I was sick this morning. I laid around most of the day," M said. "Mmm." Connor left it at that. He was pleased with the commando decision. He skimmed his hand up M's thigh, squeezing the flexing muscles underneath the soft flesh. M's breath hitched in his throat as Connor zeroed in on his erection, but Connor didn't touch it just yet. He cupped M's silky balls and weighed them gently in the palm of his hand. M hissed with need, but Connor took his time. He rolled the sack between his fingers, studying the delicate, dark pink skin and the sparse golden hair that grew there. M whined. "Connor…." Connor licked his lips. He was tired of teasing. He released M's silky balls and wrapped his thumb and forefinger around the excited shaft of M's cock. "Ahh!" Connor was transfixed by the sight of M's cock pulsing in his grasp. Without really planning to do it, Connor dipped his head, parted his lips, and took M's cockhead into his mouth. A drop of pre-cum bubbled from the blond's piss-slit and Connor licked it off. M wailed and twisted his fingers in the bed sheets, but he held his hips perfectly still. They were arched up slightly, as if Connor couldn't quite reach his cock and M was desperate for him to take the entire length immediately. But Connor didn't take the hint. He held back and tasted M's hard penis with relish. He teased the notch underneath the tip with his tongue, and sucked happily on the swollen head. He held M's cock steady with his two fingers at the base and as M's desperate noises became more insistent, Connor gave in a little and started to stroke the pulsing shaft. M tossed his head around, he was delirious with desire. Connor didn't want to stop. He was addicted to the sounds spilling over M's sweet lips. Connor knew the blond wanted more sensation on his cock, so he rewarded the boy and grabbed his shaft fully, pushing himself to take more cock into his mouth. He slid his head up and down, working his lips and tongue over the erect shaft with increasing speed. It didn't take long for M's balls to draw up tight to his body. Connor squeezed and rubbed the base of M's cockshaft warmly, but he had plans for his sperm. He drew back a little with his mouth, waiting for him to explode. M gasped, his eyes flying wide open and then quickly shut again. He panted as he came, shooting a little come onto Connor's tongue. He released M's penis immediately though and caught the rest in his hand. The made M moan pitifully, having his pulsing cockhead exposed to the cool, hotel air. But Connor was far from finished. With his free hand he unbuttoned his jeans and yanked them and his boxers down to his thighs. He used M's semen as a lubricant. He slicked his cock in the spunky stuff before he patted M's leg. "Huh?" M's eyes opened halfway. He was smiling vaguely, looking like he was close to passing out. "Spread your legs," Connor said. "I didn't get to fuck you yet." M bit his lip, but he didn't hesitate. He pulled his legs back to his chest and exposed his hole completely. Connor groaned. It was a beautiful sight. M's asscheeks were round and pert and between them lay the most gorgeous pink asshole, just begging to be filled. Connor pushed two of his cum-covered fingers into M's tight hole. He sissored them about, stretching and lubricating the tunnel as best and as quickly as he could. M moaned a little. "I think that's good," he said. Connor licked his lips. He drew his fingers out and crawled closer so he could press his hard dick to M's tender anus. He pushed inside, groaning as his cock was engulfed in hot, tight heat. M bit his lip hard and sighed deeply as he was entered. His gripped the backs of his legs tightly, trembling from the sensations. Connor inched deeper inside the blond's twitching body. "Put your legs on my shoulders," he urged and M relaxed a bit as Connor took over. They fucked slowly. Connor slid his cock all the way inside, pressing his balls to M's round little ass at the end of each thrust. The boy's asshole responded to each deep push of Connor's cock, spasming around his length in the most intimate of embraces. M was quiet at first, his breathing was uneven and shallow, but as Connor ramped up the pace, he started to moan loudly. His spent penis came alive once more and Connor gathered the length in his hand. Connor stroked M lovingly. He wanted to make him spurt for a second time, he wanted to feel M's hole clench tight around the head of his thrusting cock. The boy's pink inner flesh felt delicious around his cock already and Connor savored the tantalizing feel of their sensitive skin rubbing together. Suddenly, M's cock lurched violently in his hand and the boy arched his back with a long moan of pleasure. Connor smiled because he knew he'd finally found the boy's sweet spot. He sped up a bit as he angled to hit M's prostate again. The blond responded quickly. His cock lengthened and became fully erect. It dripped with pre-cum and Connor rubbed the slick, inflamed head with his thumb. It didn't take much longer before they were both coming. M lost control moments before Connor, his body tightening, his asshole crushing Connor's sensitive cock in a vice like grip, sucking him deep and holding him intimately. The boy yelped with helpless pleasure as his cum splattered between them for a second time. Connor sucked in a deep breath. He could feel his orgasm approaching like a tidal wave pulling him out into the deep blue. Waves of pleasure crashed over him and took him by surprise. He filled the blond with what felt like gallons of cum. He yelled and then he bit his tongue and tried to restrain himself, but his body continued to empty into M's with the strength of a firehose. When his balls finished depleting themselves, when his cock started to go limp inside M, he fell to the side of the bed, gasping for breath. "Wow," M said after a long moment. He rolled over and pressed his front to Connor's side. He reached up gingerly and touched Connor's hair. "That was amazing." Connor smiled warily. "I needed that," he said. "Feels like we haven't done that in forever." M laughed. "We did it only a couple days ago," he said. Connor shrugged. "Whatever." They laid together for a bit, catching their breaths. Suddenly, M leaned closer and he sniffed around Connor's collar. "You smell like alcohol." Connor grimaced. "Yeah, about that…" M sat up, his eyes full of interest. "Did you go drinking with Marcus?" "Yeah," Connor said. "We spent most of the day in the bar." M furrowed his brow. "Why? Didn't you guys do any landscaping?" "Something bad happened," Connor said. He sighed and finally just decided to break the bad news to the curious blond. "The agent showed up while we were doing this crazy lady's yard. He messed everything up for me, M. He got me fired." M gasped. "How? What did he do?" The blond stood up and started to get dressed again. Connor took that as his cue to straighten up as well. He wiped the excess cum on the bedspread, who hadn't cum on these sheets at some point…, and then he got back into his jeans and straightened his shirt. "He totaled another car," Connor said. "But that's not what's important. The agent told me he was going to destroy my life if I keep trying to protect you. He wants to study you, M. He was talking about your people coming down for an invasion and stuff. It was fucked up." M shook his head and started to speak, but Connor cut him off. "He already is destroying my life, M. We have to get away from him." "The tracker—" "Yeah, I know," Connor snapped. "We have to figure out how to remove it. Marcus said he could possibly get us a place in California. That's far away from here, and there's tons of places to hide, I'm sure. I think it's our best shot, but we can't go if the agent's going to find us again and he will. In no time. If we don't get rid of this thing." Connor knocked on his skull, indicating the tracker lodged inside. M chewed his lip for a moment. "Do you trust me?" Connor rolled his eyes. "Yes." "Well, Mother's the only one who can remove the tracker," he said. "But, you'd have to let her abduct you. She'll probably insist on you being unconscious. You'll be completely helpless." Connor wanted to instantly disagree, but what choice did he have? He was desperate to get the alienware out of his brain, to stop suffering from the static and the awful pain it caused. Of course it would take another alien to remove it He sighed. "I guess I don't have a choice." "I'll be with you," M said. "Nothing bad will happen. I promise." Connor nodded. He stepped closer to M and took the boy in his arms. "I'm sorry about this morning," he said out of the blue. "I was cranky." "You're always cranky," M giggled, but he wrapped his arms around Connor tight. "It's ok," he said. "Julie helped me feel better. She's a good mom." Connor shrugged. "Besides, it sounds like you had a worse day than me," M said. "Just another day living with aliens," Connor said, his tone thick with sarcasm. M laughed and he stretched up on his toes for a kiss. Connor pressed his mouth to M's softly, enjoying the leisurely slide of their lips. *** They ended up hanging out in the room, watching TV movies and eating more snacks. Connor didn't know what the rest of the family was doing, but he tried to put it out of his mind. He was worried about them, of course. He didn't know what to do with them, and he doubted they'd all be able to tag along to California, let alone be willing to come. He pondered it over as it slowly got later. The dog was asleep by the door and beside him, on the bed, M looked like he was about to zonk out too. That was when a loud banging started outside the room. The dog sat up instantly, growling as he looked around for the source of the noise. Connor's ears perked up and M lurched out of his half sleep with a jerk of his head. "What's that?" "I don't know," Connor said. He got out of bed as the banging turned into pounding. It was coming from next door… from Julie's room. "Let me in, you stupid bitch!" yelled a muffled voice. "Two nights and $300 is enough! You're coming home now!" Connor knew that voice. He froze up for a minute, and then he started to get angry. It was Greg. He rushed to the door and fumbled with the locks. The dog zipped out ahead of him, but Connor didn't care. He followed the dog, only to see Julie's door closing behind a flash of color and light. Greg was inside Julie's room. Connor stormed to the door and tried the handle, but it was locked. "Connor?" Nathan peeked out from the next door over, his dark eyes wide with fear. "What's going on?" "What's it sound like?!" Connor yelled. He slapped his palm against Julie's door. "Julie?" he yelled. "Julie, are you ok?" He heard the woman scream followed by the sound of something crashing around and breaking. "JULIE!" Connor banged on the door. "Let me in!" "Oh my god." Jamie had joined Nathan at the door. She had her hand over her mouth and tears in her eyes. "Jesus fuck!" Connor screamed while the dog bounced around and barked his head off behind him. He kicked the door. "Open up, Greg. Don't make me call the police!" The door flew open and Greg stood on the threshold in a towering rage. The huge, blubbery man was red in the face and he wasted no time in trying to intimidate Connor. He shoved his hands into Connor's chest and sent him stumbling backwards. "Back off, faggot, I'm discussing these outrageous credit changes with my wife," he growled. "She won't take my calls, so I cancelled all the credit lines and drove here after work. You can't stop me, you little cocksucker!" "Work?" Connor laughed, shoving the dog aside as he stood growling just behind his legs. He'd nearly tripped over him, and wasn't helping! "You're drunk, you piece of shit!" He ran at Greg again, but was easily pushed aside. "I've had enough of you and your bullshit! Get out of our lives, Connor. You're nothing but a good for nothing leach! I'm taking my family, and you and your fruitcake boyfriend can take care of yourselves from now on. Our doors are closed to you." Connor boiled with rage. He went at Greg again, managed to land a few swift punches to his fat gut, but before he could do any real good, Greg walloped him across the head. Connor saw stars. He stumbled backwards and tripped right over the damned dog. Jack yelped in pain and Jamie cried out in concern. She flew out of her room, calling for the dog who was trembling with fear. Nathan hovered in his doorway, watching with shock. Connor suddenly found himself on his ass, looking around the fat man's legs for a trace of Julie. He couldn't see her and he wondered if she was sporting some new bruises. "Fuck off, little boy," Greg sneered and he started to turn back to Julie's room. Connor's heart clenched in his chest. He couldn't let Greg go back into that room... He leapt up and charged at the door, throwing everything he had at the walrus of a man. He burst into the room and took Greg down to the floor. Julie was on the bed, holding her bleeding mouth and sobbing. Connor saw red and he pummeled the shit out of any part of Greg he could reach. "Leave my family alone!" Connor didn't know how long he beat Greg. The man had his hands up over his face, and he grunted and fought to get up, but Connor's forceful blows kept him on his back. Suddenly, hands were latching onto Connor's upper arms and he was hauled off Greg like he weighed nothing. "Let me go!" he hollered. "That's enough," said an authoritative voice. "We'll handle it from here." A policeman got in Connor's face and he deflated a bit, gaping in surprise at the blue uniform. "What are you doing here?" Connor asked vaguely. "Management called in a domestic dispute," the policeman said briskly. "C'mon. Let's get you settled down outside." Connor went unwillingly. He tried to look back into the room, to see if his mother was being taken care of, but the policeman firmly grasped the back of Connor's neck and led him outside to a pool chair. He was forced to sit. "Connor!" M rushed over, easily slipping past the officer so he could fall into the pool chair beside him. He hugged Connor tightly. "Are you ok?" Connor clenched his jaw. "I guess," he said. M held onto Connor like he'd never let him go and Connor took comfort in that. Eventually, he felt the shock and tension drain out of his body and he sagged into M's embrace. He felt tears welling up, but he hid his face against M's shirt so nobody would see.
  12. Chapter 20

    Thanks guys... I don't mean to be so self-conscious :-P Arghhh!!!! It's tough sharing your work with the world! However, you guys are an excellent and responsive audience and I appreciate your comments.... EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM!!!
  13. Chapter 20

    2 chapters and an epilogue left guys... Lol I feel guilty for dragging y'all through this dummies romantic life. A whore? Maybe. A user? Yep probably.... Andy is certainly a Matt! I'll give you guys that one my apologies, I feel like there's a lot of eye rolling going on... @drpaladin @peggy @JayT @Blanno @Wesley8890
  14. Chapter 20

    Twenty Andy sat on the edge of the bed staring at Dillon's suitcase. "Are you sure that's all you need?" Dillon was in the closet, poking around for extra shoes. He could just see Dillon's ass through the closet door, sticking up in the air as he bent over his rack of shoes. He was going to miss Dillon's cute little behind. The blond straightened up, holding a pair of ankle boots. "I'm only going to be gone two weeks." "Two weeks is forever," Andy said. "And why are you talking boots? Australia is pretty hot, from what I hear." Dillon shrugged. "They make me look taller," he dumped the boots into the suitcase and flopped down, beside it, working the zipper closed. "You're tall enough." The blond ignored him, trying to finish packing. His flight was in a few hours and Andy was going to take him to the airport. He'd have to watch as Dillon flew off to Australia for another fashion week, his second in two months. It had taken a few weeks for the rest of the world to catch on, but after Dillon had appeared in a few prominent fashion magazines wearing Felix's now international label he'd started getting offers to appear in magazines and ads and invitations to model in fashion shows in faraway lands. Dillon had an agent again and this guy wasn't sleazy either. He was strictly professional and Andy hated how much ridged control the man had over Dillon's life. "I wish you didn't have to go." "I wish you'd come with me," Dillon threw back. Andy wished he could as well, but freelancing was harder than Greg had made it out to be. If Andy wasn't working, he wasn't making money and taking off two weeks to shoot Dillon's shows wasn't a very productive venture. Everyone interested in the damn pictures had private photographers on-sight. Andy had tried getting a position in a fashion magazine, but Dillon was right. Getting into the fashion world was hard work. "I've got work here," he told the blond, feeling almost ashamed about it. Dillon sighed, abandoning his luggage to come sit beside Andy on the bed. He put his arm low around the older boy's waist, leaning into his side. Andy snuggled into him, breathing in his scent, trying to memorize the way Dillon's hair felt against his face. "I don't know why you insist on working. We have enough money to do whatever we want." Andy didn't bother pointing out that Dillon was the one with the money, not him. Andy refused to live off Dillon's modeling. It was bad enough he essentially lived in Felix's apartment. "Would you say something? You act like I'm going away forever. It's only two weeks." "Whatever," Andy muttered. "I'll be back in two weeks, for Felix's shoot, and we'll be together again. No big deal." Andy snorted. "If you're going to act like a child, I have more important things to do than coddle you," Dillon abruptly got up, grabbing his suitcase and hauling it to the stairs. Andy frowned after Dillon's retreating figure. He hadn't wanted to make Dillon angry, but the other boy's placating tone was irritating. Still, he didn't want to start Dillon's two week work trip on the wrong foot. "Dill," Andy left the bed and rushed after the blond. "C'mon. I'm just…I just miss you, ok?" Dillon was already in the front hall and he stopped in front of the big mirror he'd hung in the entrance hall. "I'm right here!" "You're going away for two damn weeks! And you just came back for Brazil last week! You said we'd be together after Brazil, remember that?" "Do I have to spell it out for you? I have work, Andy," he sneered. "All you ever do is whine." Andy folded his arms, watching somewhat vindictively as Dillon struggled with his bag. The blond finally kicked his bag towards the elevator and punched the call button. He glanced over his shoulder. "I'm sorry I said that," he said hostilely. "But I have to go. I'm already running late." "You're going by yourself then?" Dillon's eyes flickered up and down Andy's body. "I guess," he said. "You're not even dressed yet." "Yeah, well—" "I know, Andy. You're so busy with work you couldn't even get dressed." Andy felt another wave of shame wash over him. "Wait," he said. "Can't you wait just five minutes? I'll be dressed in five minutes." "Blair's downstairs," Dillon said. "He texted me when I was in the closet." Andy dragged a hand through his disheveled hair. He hadn't wanted to go to the airport anyway. It just reminded him of his aunt's funeral and Greg's cock, which wasn't exactly a bad memory, but it was a recollection which he knew was off-limits. "Well, I guess I should say goodbye," Andy said. Dillon's smile was tense. "Yeah." Still feeling a little pissed off, Andy came to hug and kiss his boyfriend. "See you later," he said, his nose buried in Dillon's sweet-smelling hair. "Do you still want me to call you when I land?" Andy rolled his eyes. "Of course. I want to know you got there in one piece. Is that so much to ask?" Dillon pulled away as the elevator chimed, the doors opening. He grabbed his bag and carried it inside. "I'll call you then." Andy watched helplessly as Dillon pressed the button for the lobby. The door started to slide shut, Dillon's vague smile disappearing behind the metal doors, but Andy shoved his arm through the gap, wincing as the doors pressed into his bare arm before they reluctantly retreated. Andy came into the elevator, grabbed Dillon around the waist and lifted him off his feet, kissing him deeply. The blond trembled in his arms, his mouth opening like a flower under the sun's rays. He moaned. Andy ended the kiss reluctantly, raising a hand to smooth Dillon's hair, rubbing a thumb over his reddened lips. Dillon stared at him, his gaze unwavering. "I'll miss you," Andy said. "Every minute we're apart, I'll be thinking about you." Andy hadn't realized but as they had kissed the elevator had taken them to the lobby. The doors slid open and they suddenly had an audience. Charlie the doorman and Blair the agent stood waiting for them, or more appropriately, Dillon. Dillon lurched from the elevator, grabbing his stuff and tugging it after him. Andy followed him, his bare feet chilled by the highly polished marble floor. "Let me take that for you, Mr. Rask," the doorman said, smiling as he was put to work. Andy still hated the guy. He was always doing that, leaping to attention whenever Dillon was present, opening the blond's door, chatting at him sweetly, incessantly. Andy kept narrowed eyes on the man as he easily whisked Dillon's luggage outside and to the waiting car. "Right on time, Dill," Blair said before he turned to Andy. "He's the most reliable model I have." Andy's answering smile was tight. Blair didn't make Andy's skin crawl like Sid had, but Andy still had trouble trusting him. The tall and handsome manager with his Armani suits and Gucci shoes exuded confidence and responsibility and every time Andy was around the man, his friendly banter and cocky smiles felt like some carefully constructed tactic he'd conceived to belittle Andy as much as possible. "What about Rochelle? She shows up to every shoot hours in advanced," Dillon said, referencing some model Andy had never heard mentioned before. Blair laughed. "Well, I guess I should have said you’re the most reliable and the most gorgeous model I have." Dillon beamed, his eyes burning with tightly contained pleasure. He tilted his chin up, his hair sliding over his shoulder in a fall of golden strands. The move exposed Dillon's beautiful face to great effect, the line of his jaw, the slope of his smooth cheek patterned by errant lengths of hair. He was straight off the cover of some high fashion magazine, straight out of a world full of glorious beauty that almost hurt to look at. Dillon was a pro now. He was beautiful every second of every day, and nobody told him that he didn't know what he was doing, that he was inexperienced, that he wasn't good enough. Andy almost missed the days when Dillon would come back from casting calls, spitting angry, bitter. At least Dillon was his. The flawless creature standing in the middle of the marble lobby seemed as far away from that beautiful bitter boy as New York was from Red Oak, Alabama. Blair suddenly reached into his pocket, pulling out his phone and staring at it with narrowed eyes. "We've got to get going," he said. "Right," Dillon turned to Andy, his eyes still bright. "I'll see you in two weeks?" "Yeah," Andy hesitantly touched Dillon's chin, tilting the blond's head back. Dillon's gaze grew wary. Clearing his tight throat, Andy whispered, "I love you." Now, more than ever, Andy wanted to hear the words repeated. Dillon, however, just smiled. Vaguely unsatisfied, Andy released the blond. "You're not coming with us, Andy?" Blair asked, looking up from his phone. "No, you can probably get Dillon to the airport in one piece," he said reluctantly. "No worries," Blair said, coming to clasp Dillon on the shoulder. The blond melted into the agent's side. "Catch you later, Andy." Andy watched through the glass door as the blond was ushered into the waiting town car. Blair climbed in behind him and then the car was pulling away. He felt strangely numb as he watched Dillon depart. He'd been a wreck the first time Dillon had left him, but now he felt almost nothing. Charlie came back into the lobby, his head turned after the retreating town car. He was wearing that stupid uniform, gray with gold buttons. Andy wanted to pick each button off his suit, wanted to make Charlie eat every single one of them. "Are you sure that agent isn't bad news?" Charlie asked, still staring out the door. "We were just having a little conversation," he said. "I didn't know what to make of him." "I'm sure he knows what he's doing," Andy left the overcurious doorman behind, hitting the call button on the elevator and climbing inside when it opened on command. Around noon the next day, Andy sat down in the kitchen to halfheartedly edit photos from his most recent job. He flicked his cigarette in the direction of the ashtray, not even caring when he missed and ash sprinkled across the countertop. Dillon had called earlier that morning, tired from the flight by happy and excited about fashion week. He'd stayed on the phone barely two minutes before he'd had to go. Andy missed him already. He'd barely gotten started when his phone rang. Andy whipped it out immediately, expecting Dillon, but not unsurprised to see Greg's name under the caller ID. "Hey, baby. You alright?" Andy flicked more ash onto the counter. "I'm perfectly fine." "Your boyfriend just abandoned you; of course you're not fine." "He hardly abandoned me. He even invited me along," Andy pointed out, though he remembered thinking the same thing when Dillon had revealed his plan to set out on another international runway just a few days after he'd returned from the previous one. "Alright, you know best," Greg said. "You want to get some lunch?" Andy was already shutting his laptop off. "Yeah. I haven't eaten yet." They met up in a fancy little restaurant several blocks from the loft. Greg immediately enfolded Andy in his arms, kissing him affectionately on the cheek. Andy laughed and pushed him off. "We didn't break up, you know. Me and Dill are still dating." Greg sighed. "I know." Andy realized quickly that his companion was in unusually good mood. Greg flirted outrageously with their waitress, just about sending the buck-toothed girl into heart palpitations, then he ordered the most expensive wine on the menu, and once the girl left the table, he snagged up Andy's hand and kissed his knuckles. Andy knew he was blushing but couldn't seem to stop himself. "What are you doing?" "I'm sorry, today's just been a fabulous day." "It's not even 1 o'clock." Greg just smiled. "When I went into work today, my boss invited me up to her office. I actually thought I was in trouble, but she congratulated me on that blogger I snagged for the writing team, you know that kid I told you about?" Andy did. Greg could be so charmingly involved with his work. Even though Andy wasn't particularly interested in Greg's boring editing and his meetings with writers and such, Greg's enthusiasm regularly captivated him. "Well, anyways, she said that I was working too hard and that I should take a weeks' vacation and then she promoted me to senior editor." Andy gasped. "Are you serious?" "Dead serious." "Oh fuck," Andy clenched Greg's hand, still firmly holding his own. "That's so great, Greg. Congratulations. You totally deserve it." Greg finally released Andy, ruffling a hand through his springy curls. "I'm making progress. Pretty soon I'll be running The Times." Andy grinned at his best friend, truly believing he could do it. "So, what are you going to do with your vacation? You should go to the beach or something. Just relax." Greg peered out at Andy from under his thick eyelashes. "Only if you come with me." The waitress returned then, presenting them with the ordered wine. She proceeded to pour the wine into each of their glasses, pausing to flutter her eyes at Greg. Then she was off. Greg took a measured sip of his wine. "What do you say? You have two weeks off from Dill-zilla." "That's horrible," Andy laughed. "Not really, seems like an accurate name for him. He's a world-famous terror." Andy snorted. "C'mon. We'll go wherever you want." "If I could go wherever I wanted, then I would have gone with Dillon," Andy said. "You know I'm busy with work." "So? Take your work with you. I promise not to monopolize your time too much," Greg said. "You'll still have time to work." "What are we talking about here?" Andy asked. "A friendly trip to the beach, or…." Greg smiled, his voice dropping in pitch until it was warm and rough and completely inappropriate. "It would definitely be friendly." Andy stared at the bubbles forming around the rim of his wine glass. "I couldn't do that to Dillon," he said. "Last time was bad enough." Greg sighed. "I did apologize didn't I?" Andy shrugged. The first night after Dillon had left for Brazil's fashion week, Greg had taken Andy out for a drink. Combining Andy's drunken feelings of abandonment and loneliness with Greg's unquenchable desire, had unsurprisingly ended with them in Greg's apartment, feverishly jerking each other off. Andy had left Greg's place the next morning, a little guilty, a little ashamed, but strangely satisfied. Of course, Greg had called as soon as Andy got home, apologizing for taking advantage. Andy hadn't been too sure what he was feeling after the drunken night of pleasure, but regret had been far from his mind. He'd accepted the apology anyway, for the sake of their friendship. They hadn't discussed it since. "Let's just go somewhere. Get out of the city," Greg said. "We don't have to spell anything out. I don't have any expectations." "Sure you don't." "I really don't," Greg pressed. "We could go back down to Alabama. Visit your mom. Don't you want to see her before the wedding in August?" Andy slouched over his wine glass, his elbows hitting the table with a clatter. "That'd be kind of awkward. She already thinks I'm some kind of whore." Greg's smile widened. "Because of the invitations?" Andy rubbed a hand over his face. He'd been actively trying to forget the upcoming event. He hadn't even mentioned it to Dillon yet. When he'd gotten the RSVP with his and Greg's names written in fancy gold lettering, he'd promptly hidden the invitation under the mattress. "She was shocked when I called to explain how you weren’t going to be my date." "Don't sweat it. Dillon will look better on your arm anyway," Greg said. "Did he pick out a dress yet? He'd look stunning in turquoise." "Shut up," Andy moaned. "Alright, I'm sorry," Greg said, stifling his laughter. Greg reached out to take his hand again, rubbing it gently between his until Andy sighed and sat up straight again, meeting Greg's insistent gaze. "Scrap the vacation idea," Greg's thumb ran over Andy's knuckles, the tips of his fingers playing against Andy's sensitive palm. "Let's just hang out." "And do what?" Greg smiled. "This is New York, baby. There's always something to do." Greg took Andy to the Metropolitan, a place Andy had always heard about but had never gotten the chance to visit. On the drive over, Greg told Andy about the new exhibit they'd opened that he wanted to see. Storytelling in Japanese Art sounded interesting and by the time they'd arrived and Greg paid for the taxi, he was excited to see what it was about. Greg insisted on paying their entrance fee, and when Andy protested, Greg took Andy's hand and kissed him on the top of the head. "Just enjoy," he said. They wandered through the massive museum hand in hand, looking through the more traditional exhibits before they worked their way to the Japanese art. Andy found himself clinging to Greg more than strictly necessary. He'd always liked holding hands and being close with his boyfriends, but Dillon just wasn't into that. Greg though… well, he made Andy feel special and loved. His hands rarely left Andy's body and when they stopped before an exhibit Greg would slide his arm around Andy's waist and he kept his voice low and intimate so that Andy had to lean in to hear. Andy liked the Japanese art too. His favorites were the panels from the Legends of the Kitano Tenjin Shrine. It had a really cool illustration of a demon with eight heads and wicked sharp gnashing teeth. Andy joked that he should get the demon tattooed on his back. "If I ever get the dragon finished, they could have an epic battle over my shoulder." Greg laughed and squeezed Andy's arm, right over the dragon in question. "Make sure you call me when you're going to get it. I want to watch." "I almost cried last time," Andy said as they moved to the next display. "Ben came with me and held my hand. Dill didn't want anything to do with it." "I'll hold your hand," Greg said. "I'll kiss you too, if that'll help." Andy wasn't about to throw away such a charming proposal. "Alright," he said. "The next time I'm completely wasted and have a wad of cash to spend I'll call you." They stayed in the Met so long that by the time they came out, they were both starving again. In keeping with the oriental theme, they walked a few blocks to an Asian restaurant Greg said was good. It was busy and packed with people, but they got in after a short wait. They sat in the back near the kitchen, packed into a little table wedged between the wall and a group of loud college kids. Neither of them cared about the close quarters, however. Greg ordered them sake and the appetizer portion of jellyfish with scallions. Andy laughed and picked at the jellyfish with his chopsticks but despite its unappetizing name it was really good. When it came to eating out with Dillon, Andy was used to a much more subdued experience. Even though Dillon still barely ate a thing, he insisted on going out almost constantly. Andy knew he liked going to the fancy and highly overpriced places because of the attention he got, but Andy liked this so much better. Eating out meant fun. Dillon always make it a popularity contest. Lately a disturbing pattern had risen between Dillon and Greg. Everything with the blond was cold and stiff and formal, but Greg was so fun to be with, and he was lively, and warm. Andy had barely thought of Dillon since he'd met up with Greg for lunch and even now, he only remembered Dillon with the faintest hint of relief that he wasn't here. Stuffed with delicious seafood and warmed from the sake, Andy suggested they go dancing and Greg eagerly agreed. Andy hadn't been back to Heaven since he and Greg had met. Since neither of them were particularly attractive, nor particularly rich or famous, they had to wait in line with everyone else. It was kind of early, thought, and the line moved fast. Andy was nearly overcome by the wave of sentimentalism that washed over him when Greg led him to the exact stretch of bar they'd first met at. "Remember when you—" "I remember," Greg helped Andy onto the bar stool, kissing him on the cheek. "It was the luckiest day of my life." Andy rolled his eyes. "Don't patronize me." "I'm serious," Greg took his own stool, splaying his hand on the bar top as he leaned over and kissed Andy on the corner of his mouth. "Where would I be I hadn't met you?" Andy propped his elbows on the bar and pretended to think real hard. "Probably taking your rightful vacation on the beach." "No way, I'd never go by myself, "Greg turned to glance back at the dance floor. It wasn't as full as it probably would be later, but there was a good amount of men dancing, withering to the pounding beat of the music. "I'd probably be sitting right here, listening to Martin and Ted tell me how badly I need to get laid." Andy snorted. "I'd rather be with you," Greg said matter-of-factly and the warm feelings that had been blossoming in the pit of Andy's stomach came back with a vengeance, creeping up from the bottom of Andy's stomach and latching onto his heart. Greg turned then, calling out to the bartender. "A martini," he requested, raising his voice confidently. "And a rum and coke." Almost instantaneously, the bartender slid the drinks onto the bar top. Andy took his drink and downed it while Greg paid. He wanted to get out on the dance floor. Greg was in an obliging mood and though he usually liked to sit around with his drink while he enjoyed it, he gulped his martini in two swallows, grinning at Andy's wide-eyed look. "Let's go," he said. Andy wasn't going to protest. They left the familiar bar and went to join the other men on the dance floor. They found a place to dance between a bare chested twink and a tall black guy in leather. Andy looped his arms around Greg's neck and started swaying back and forth. He didn't know how to dance, Dillon usually told him what to do, but Greg didn't seem to mind. He was just as bad actually. He moved out of beat with the fast paced music, holding onto Andy tightly. Andy rested his cheek against Greg's chest, sighing when Greg's hands started to run over his shoulders and his back. Andy pushed himself closer to the taller man, wanting to melt into Greg's embrace, wanting to bask in his love. They clung to each other until the floor became too crowded for their slow dancing. Greg took Andy back to the bar and ordered him another drink, no ice this time. The drink, doused in alcohol, went straight to Andy's head. He'd felt nice before, out on the dance floor, but after a few drinks of rum, Andy was swaying on his barstool. "Greg," Andy slurred. "I'm so fucking horny." Greg had been talking energetically for a while, but he stopped at Andy's rather forward comment. "What?" "I want to fuck," Andy stretched out the last word obscenely. Greg quirked an eyebrow. "I think it's time we got you home." Greg took care of everything, as usual. He paid their tab, wrapped Andy up in his arms and ushered him outside. He got them a cab, easily giving the driver prompt directions before Andy could even open his mouth. He pulled Andy into his side as the taxi left the street corner, whispering soothing nonsense into his ear. Andy didn't want to be soothed however. He was drunk, not upset. "I don't want to go back to the loft," Andy whined. "I want to go to your place." "You'll regret it in the morning," Greg said. "Remember last time? We were both drunk that time, but if I had been thinking, I wouldn't have let things go that far." "No...." "What about what you said this morning? You're still with Dillon, Andy." "So what? I want to go to your place. The loft's all empty and dark and horrible. I want to sleep in your bed." "Andy, c'mon—" "Please," he said. "I don't want you to go." The taxi rolled to a stop under a glowing red traffic light. The whole interior of the car was bathed in it and it reminded Andy of the club they'd just left. Heaven, Andy thought. Such a great name. Greg tapped the glass separating them from the driver. "Excuse me," he said, "Change of plans, can you take us to Pine Street?" Andy smiled because he knew Greg lived on Pine Street. He turned to rest his head on Greg's shoulder, turning to gaze out the window. The lights of the city flew past, so blurred they were almost liquid. Greg pressed his lips to Andy's forehead, mouthing words Andy didn't try to distinguish. He could feel the affection behind them. Greg paid for their ride before taking Andy's arm and maneuvering him inside the high-rise apartment. Andy clung unashamedly to Greg as they shot up to the 14th floor. "Do you think your roommates are home?" "I don't know, it's only midnight. They like to go out." "Every night?" "Almost." Greg led them to his apartment and unlocked the door. The main room was dark and Greg had to leave Andy's side for a moment to flick on the kitchen light. "Are you hungry? Thirsty?" Greg asked, looking around his little kitchenette. He clearly didn't know what to do now that he and Andy were alone. Andy knew what he wanted however and he shook his head. "Maybe you want to clean up? I don't think Ted would mind if you borrowed some clothes—" "No." Greg swallowed. "Do you want to go lay down?" Andy nodded. Greg's sigh sounded very heavily put upon. Still, he came back to Andy's side, looping his arm around Andy's waist. He took Andy into the bedroom. Andy pulled away from Greg the moment the bedroom door shut, pulling his clothes off. Greg stood back and watched, his expression shadowed. "You don't have to do this. I already told you I didn't have any expectations." "What if I have expectations?" Andy pulled his shirt over his head and threw it on the floor. He started on his jeans. "Andy, you're drunk—" Greg shut his mouth as Andy dropped his jeans and boxers in a single movement. Andy stood naked in a puddle of his clothes. He smirked. "I want you, Greg." "But what about Dill—" Andy stepped out of his jeans and came to stand before the older man. He gently laid his finger over Greg's lips. "Don't worry about that stuff. We're on vacation, right?" Greg kissed Andy's finger, making him laugh at the utter silliness of the moment. But then Greg took Andy's wrist, pulling his hand away and suddenly they were kissing. Greg scooped Andy up and carried him to the bed. Their lips didn't part once they were lying back on the covers, in fact, the kisses became so hard, so possessive that it was almost painful. Andy wrapped his legs around Greg's waist, arching up into him, moaning into his mouth, desperately holding onto the only solid thing within his grasp. "Oh god," he panted. "Greg, please—" Greg nipped at Andy's bottom lip, before he pulled back slightly, kneeling over Andy, his eyes hooded and dark with lust. They were both breathing heavily after the kissing, but Greg looked much too calm, much too normal for Andy's liking. "Greg…" he tugged wordlessly on the older man's shirt, wanting him to be just as naked and exposed as Andy himself felt. Greg's eyes darkened and he licked his own flushed lips, his hands moving hypnotically to the buttons and undoing them one by one. He easily shrugged the shirt off, displaying his hairy chest. Andy lurched into a sitting position, his mouth attaching to Greg's left nipple. He sucked and licked the little nub, smiling when Greg hissed and laced his fingers through Andy's shaggy hair, pressing Andy's mouth harder to his chest. "You've got the prettiest mouth," Greg said, his fingers tightening in Andy's hair. "I've been dreaming of your mouth for months now." Andy pulled back from the older man's nipple, his thumb rubbing the reddened nub his mouth had left behind. "Really?" Greg moaned his affirmation. Andy felt strangely powerful as he played with Greg's body. He concentrated on his hands, moving his fingers steadily downwards, over Greg's nipples, his fingers trailing through the downy hair on Greg's stomach. When he reached Greg's fly, he fumbled with the zipper. "I'm going to suck your cock," he said. Greg made a noise of appreciation, moving quickly to help Andy with his pants. The two of them maneuvered around until Greg was naked on his back with Andy between his thighs. Andy sucked and kissed his way up Greg's legs, leaving a wet hickey on the older man's soft inner thigh. Greg was panting, his entire body strained and anticipating more of Andy's wet mouth. Even though this was the third time Andy had seen Greg's erection, he still couldn't help but gasp when he finally reached the older man's wine red cock. It stuck straight up, bobbing with Greg's slight movements. It was so thick, the tip weeping pre-come. Andy stretched out his fingers, wrapping them firmly about Greg's distended flesh. The older man moaned, his voice shooting up several pitches when Andy bent his head and sucked the fat head into his mouth. Andy struggled to get the entire length into his mouth, but he was persistent. He bobbed his head languidly, pushing himself further each time. His own cock was throbbing with an insistent need but right now, worshiping Greg's body was more important. "Goddamn, Andy," Greg hissed. He was propping himself up on his elbows, watching the younger boy work his cock with rapt interest. "Do you know how…fucking good you look?" Andy didn't stop to respond. He just fluttered his eyes at his partner, sucking a little more firmly on Greg's spit-slick flesh. Greg's moans turned into whimpers. Andy's jaw was aching by the time Greg's breathing spiked. He dropped his hand onto the back of Andy's bowed head, knotting his fingers in the messy hair. "Andy," he gasped. "Stop, I'm going to…." But Andy picked up his pace, the sound of him sucking Greg's cock deep into his throat obscene and completely incredible. Poor Greg didn't stand a chance. Greg's come filled Andy's mouth, leaking out the corners and dribbling down his chin. Greg groaned at the sight, his head falling back. "Andy…god…" Andy smiled, wiping his face and licking Greg's mess from his fingers. "Where's your lube?" Greg pushed his sweaty curls out of his eyes. "In the night stand." Andy stretched out, leaning across the gap between bed and the night stand to rifle through the drawer. There was half a box of condoms along with a plain little bottle of clear lubrication. Andy fished out the lube and returned to the bed. He undid the cap on the lube and poured some into the palm of his hand. "Are you ready to bottom for me?" Andy asked, coating his hand and nudging Greg's thighs to open further. He stroked the underside of Greg's slowly hardening cock, caressed his balls and then moved down to the cleft of his ass. Greg's ass wasn't as nice and round as Dillon's was, it was a little hairy but it was cute anyway and the dark little pucker Andy uncovered when he spread the older man's cheeks looked delicious. Andy rubbed his finger over the twitching little hole. "Andy…" Greg sounded shaky and when Andy glanced up his body, Greg was sitting up again, looking warily into Andy's face. "I haven't…I don't really do that." "What? Bottom?" Andy pressed his middle finger inside Greg's tight little hole, humming soothingly. "When was the last time?" "I don't know. I did it with my last boyfriend," Greg gasped as Andy's questing finger found the rounded bump inside him. "Shit, just…be careful." "I'm always careful," Andy said proudly, sliding a second finger in alongside the first. He moved them in and out, his need to sheath his cock inside Greg's warm body growing and becoming an urge so strong that he started to sweat, his hands started to shake and his cock, which had already been rock hard, leaked long streams of clear pre-come onto Greg's duvet. "Oh god, say I can fuck you," Andy moaned, his eyes focused on the dark ring of muscle clenched around his thrusting, stretching fingers. "Co-condom first…" Andy frowned. He didn't like condoms. It'd be one thing if Greg had been a stranger but Andy cared for the older man a great deal and the layer of latex was just an unwanted barrier between them. Still, he was horny and he didn't want to argue. He reached back to the table, removing a condom from the box. He ripped open the foil and pressed the little roll of latex over the tip of his throbbing cock. He was glad that he'd used them once before, otherwise he was sure he would have fumbled and made an ass out of himself. He wasn't a virgin though. Condoms aside, Andy knew how to top. Condom on, Greg's ass lubed and stretched, Andy bent over his best friend and kissed his sweaty brow. "Turn over for me," he whispered. Greg flushed and rolled onto his side, watching Andy intently. Andy moved to lay behind Greg, wrapping an arm around his chest and pulling him back, nestling the older man to his front. "Lift your leg," he said, kissing the back of Greg's neck. Greg complied, hooking his arm into the crook of his knee. His ass cheeks spread open, showing his glistening hole and Andy kissed his shoulder again, loving the feel of Greg's heated skin beneath his lips. Andy reached for his cock, rubbing the slippery tip against Greg's crudely displayed hole. He stroked Greg's chest before planting his palm and canting his hips, working his cock inside. Greg seemed to relax as Andy filled him, leaning back into him, even releasing his leg and reaching back to stroke Andy's hip. Andy was panting by the time he'd worked his cock all the way in. He paused, enjoying the feel of Greg's clenching body, the sound of his ragged breathing. Andy rubbed Greg's chest, plucking at his pebbled nipples. "Feel ok?" "God yeah," Greg hissed. "Mmm," Andy licked a salty stream of sweat that trailed down from the nape of Greg's neck. "You feel good. Everything feels fucking good." Greg arched impatiently in Andy's tight embrace, wiggling his hips backwards. "I won't break, baby. You can move." Andy was hardly going to protest. He rolled his hips to withdraw and then he was pushing back in. He picked up speed as he went, his thrusts sending him deeper. He attached his mouth to Greg's neck, sucking at the tender bit of skin. Greg moved against him, his own movements becoming jerky and sloppy as he neared his second orgasm. Andy moved skillfully, searching for the little spot that he knew would— "Ahh!" Greg cried out as Andy's cock hit his prostate. Now that Andy knew exactly where to hit, he let himself go, fucking Greg hard and fast. He sunk his teeth into Greg's neck, using it to keep him grounded, to keep him from coming before Greg did. He wanted Greg to come first, wanted to feel Greg losing control around him. Andy spasmodically pinched and rolled Greg's nipples, his tongue and teeth worked at Greg's sensitive neck, his cock hit Greg's most pleasurable spot until Greg was yelling with every thrust, Andy's name spilling from his lips like it was the most revered word he knew. And then Greg's whole body tightened. "Ah! Fuck!" Greg cried out, arching back into Andy's trembling body. "Andy!" Andy fucked Greg's quivering hole as the older man came onto his duvet in long jets. Right in the middle of Greg's screaming orgasm, the feeling became too much. Andy came into his condom, his body shaking from the prolonged effort and the extreme relief the sudden end carried. After a moment of recovery, Andy released Greg's neck and rolled his hips again, pulling all the way out of his loosened hole. He fell onto his back. "Wow." Greg laid back beside him, scooting over until he was almost cheek to cheek with Andy. He turned his head and kissed the younger boy on the side of his mouth. "Thank you," he whispered. "I've never been fucked like that before." "Really?" Andy's eyes fluttered shut. "No. In my experience, bottoming is painful and degrading. It's why I like topping so much. I always make sure my partner's completely satisfied." Andy frowned but didn't bother to open his eyes. He was just so darn sleepy. "I'd never hurt someone I was fucking." Andy felt Greg lean over him and wasn't surprised in the least when the older man kissed him softly, fully on the mouth. "I know you wouldn't. I don't know why I didn't trust you," Andy reached out for the older man, sighing when Greg wrapped his arms around him and settled into his side. Greg stiffened after a moment. "Honey?" "Yeah?" "Do you mind if…" Greg pinched the tip of Andy's cock and he suddenly realized that he was still wearing the condom. Greg pealed the latex off and leaned over the side of the bed. He folded the used condom into the foil wrapper Andy had discarded and then he reached out to the lamp on the night stand, clicking the little switch until the room went dark. Then he was back. "You want to get under the covers, baby?" "No, I'm warm enough," Andy felt very sated, very happy, the slightest bit buzzed from all the drinks Greg had bought him at the bar and yes, warm from the press of his companion's body. Andy snuggled further into Greg's arms. "I'm so sleepy." Greg fell quiet, his breathing slowing from his rapid panting just moments before. Andy was half asleep, lulled by the sound and feel of the warm body beside him. But then Greg spoke, keeping his voice low as if he were afraid of being heard. "I'm glad you came over." "Mmm," Andy agreed before he drifted off to sleep. *** Greg was wide awake when Andy opened his eyes the next morning. He was propped up on his elbow, watching Andy with trepidation. "Good morning," he said. Andy yawned. "Morning." Greg continued to stare as Andy took his time waking up. He rubbed his eyes and then sat up slightly, stretching his arms over his head. "What's on your agenda today?" Greg asked after a moment of silently watching. Andy ruffled his fingers through his hair, pushing it out of his face. "I should probably go back home for a little while. I have a deadline to meet in two days." "Oh." "How about you?" Andy asked. "You want to meet up later? Get dinner and drinks?" Greg quirked an eyebrow. "That sounds nice." Andy smiled. He knew Greg was wary, but Andy knew exactly what he'd done last night and he was ok with it. He knew it was wrong, but Andy decided to just not think about it. What Dillon didn't know wouldn't kill him and really, it wasn't as if Andy were really betraying anything. Dillon knew Andy had slept with Greg. He must have known Andy would inevitably end up in Greg's bed again. The older man studied Andy's smile critically, his eyes narrowing as he picked apart every nuisance of the casual expression. "You can stop worrying, ok?" Andy said. "I'm not regretting anything." "I find that hard to believe." "Why?" "Because I know you love that little brat." Andy rolled his eyes. "That brat has a name, you know." "Whatever. I know you love him, Andy. I've known you half a year and in all that time, I've seen you bend over backwards for that kid more times than I can count." Andy rolled his eyes. "It's true," Greg said, his face stony. "Your right. I do love him," Andy sighed, his gaze drifting away from Greg's penetrating stare. "I know he wouldn't approve of this, but I think as long as I don't fall in love with you, I think he's willing to ignore it." Greg's eyes widened and grew glassy with confusion. "What in the world makes you think that?" "Well, I mean, he knew I slept with you for almost two months before he mentioned anything to me about it. For all he knew, we were still seeing each other. He kept it quiet though." Greg shook his head. "I don't get you, Andy. One minute your boyfriend-of-the-year, your faithful and loyal and now you're twisting Dillon's actions and words around so they support blatant infidelity." Andy's argument didn't sound nearly as good thrown back at him as it had coming out of his mouth. He bowed his head. "I liked you from the first time I met you. You touched my face, remember? I was afraid of how much I liked your hands on me." Greg looked surprised, but he didn't interrupt. "What if I want more of you? More than just friendship." Greg blinked at him, the glassy-eyed look of confusion becoming hopeful. "What about Dill?" Andy's teeth caught the corner of his mouth. "I don't know," he said. "But you have to know. He's not gone forever, you'll have to face him eventually. Andy felt rather clever when he said, "I thought we didn't have to spell anything out." "Andy—" "Your words, not mine," he reminded the older man. "Contrary to what you may think, I wasn't planning on romancing you," Greg said with exasperation. "Just spending time with you is enough." "No offence, Greg, but who the fuck are you kidding?" Greg sighed and shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know anymore." Andy shifted onto his side, nestling himself up against Greg's side and sliding his arms around the older man. Greg's dark eyes, so deep and mournful, focused on Andy's. "Can I ask you to be my lover?" Greg closed his eyes. "Andy, please. You can't—" "I know. I'm a horrible person for even considering doing this," Andy squeezed his arms around the older man, wanting his attention back. "I know it's unfair of me, but I when I'm with you all I want is to touch you and kiss you and fuck you—" Greg's hand lashed out, grabbing Andy's chin. His eyes slid open partway, allowing Andy to see the dark glittering in his gaze. "I love you, Andy," the older man said, drawing Andy into a kiss. Andy groaned into Greg's mouth, strangely turned on by the feel of his morning stubble. "If I get to have you, even if it's only for a short time, that's good enough for me." Andy had been struck by the anguish in the older man's eyes, but everything melted away under the searing heat of Greg's lips and tongue, both working in concert to drive Andy completely insane with need. Greg suddenly yanked away, grabbing Andy's wrists and rolling on top of him, pinning him down to the bed with his body weight. Andy strained up against the older man, his mouth open and panting, wordlessly, desperately pleading for another kiss. Greg was rubbing against his erection, but as good as it felt, Andy wanted something much harder, much more raw. Greg's grip on Andy's wrists vanished when he suddenly lunged to the side, rifling around on the night stand. He returned with the condoms and the lube. "I'm going to fuck you," Greg hissed, uncapping the lube with his teeth. "God yes…please yes.…" Greg slathered his fingers with lube and then forced Andy's legs up, snapping for him to hold them there. Andy quickly followed Greg's command, wrapping his arms around his knees and rolling his hips so his ass would be better presented. Unlike their first time, Greg wasn't gentle at all. As soon as Andy's ass was spread he was forcing his fingers inside, fucking them in and out, preparing Andy as quickly as he could. "Hurry!" he cried when Greg tore his fingers from his wet hole. His arms trembled from the effort of holding his legs back and he just wanted Greg to be closer, as close as he could get. Greg covered his cock with a condom, and then he was gathering Andy's legs, balancing them on his shoulders and pressing his cock to Andy's little hole. Andy whimpered, clutching at the sheets. Greg pushed inside, rocking his hips in a hypnotic motion. There was a slight burning pain, but it was easily ignored with the raw pleasure of Greg's cock hitting his prostate repeatedly. It felt good, so intensely perfect and he wanted to just close his eyes and let Greg take his body however he wanted it. But Andy didn't dare close his eyes. He kept them trained on Greg's, his best friend, his lover, the man whose cock was steadily stretching him to the limit. Greg lunged forward, pushing himself deep inside Andy's clenching body. Andy's cry was silenced when the older man pressed his mouth to Andy's, kissing his wet lips, licking them, biting them. Andy let his eyes slide shut, let Greg take over completely. He trusted him. "Andy?" Greg was fucking him so deep that Andy gasped at the end of every thrust. He felt like Greg's cock was going to come out his throat and it was the most amazing feeling ever. He'd never felt so full, so fucking perfectly stuffed. "Andy," Greg called. "Baby." Andy's eyes fluttered open. His face felt hot and his breath came out high pitched and wheezy. His fingers twisted in the sheet below him, serving as his only anchor, the only thing keeping him from completely losing it. Greg was grinning, his own face red, little rivulets of sweat running from his hairline and curving with the handsome lines of his face. He shifted his hips, slapped a hand onto the top of the headboard just over Andy's head and with the superior position, he was able to drive his cock into Andy's body faster and harder and just as perfectly deep. Andy's fists abandoned the sheet and came up to clutch at Greg's biceps. He screamed, loud and long and he didn't stop until he'd come and Greg fell on top of him, gasping for breath. Andy kissed Greg's sweaty shoulder and smiled, nuzzling his face against the older man's chest. He closed his eyes again, let all his troublesome thoughts drift away and he basked in the presence of his new lover.
  15. Cat or Dog

    KIttY MAN!!!!!!!!!! @MrM Idk, he looks like he needs spanked hahaha!!!!!

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