Here’s my flash with the Free Fiction Friday Group!
IF YOU LOVE SOMETHING
( IYLS )
David and Jesse are childhood friends who get separated in their teens but meet up again at university in Newcastle, Australia.
They soon find out that though some things remain the same, other change… oh boy, do they change.
“What, Jeremy? You’re sorry? Well, I’m not. I’m not sorry for who I am. I like who I am, and I’ll be damned if I apologize for being me to you, or anyone else, for that matter!”
Suddenly, the fight left me, replaced by a bone-deep weariness. I sagged down onto one of my dining chairs, my elbows on the table, and my head in my hands. I felt so tired I could barely raise my voice above a whisper. “Just go, Jeremy. I don’t want to tiptoe around you anymore. I don’t want to have to edit my every thought before I utter it anymore. And I most certainly don’t want go camping with you, feeling like you’re worried I’m going to pounce on you as soon as you let your guard down for thirty seconds. Please, just go. I don’t want to see or talk to you right now. I want to be alone.”
Only the sounds of our labored breaths filled my little flat as part of me prayed for him to tell me I’d gotten it all wrong, and the other part prayed for him to leave.
I needed space.
He took a step closer to me, resting his hand on my shoulder, but I flinched away. It felt a lot like; too little, too late. I didn’t want him to touch me out of pity or a sense of obligation. I wanted him to feel comfortable around me. Fuck, if I was being totally honest, I wanted him to want to touch me. Yeah, like that’s ever going to happen.
With a sigh, I heard him turn and walk away from me, followed by the distinctive click of my front door closing.
CHAPTER 18: CUTTING LOOSE
I wasn’t sure how long I sat there with my head in my hands, lost in my own thoughts, but it must have been awhile as one glance out of the window showed me the sun had set, leaving the sky that funny shade that is neither lilac nor gray.
I felt drained and numb, strangely devoid of emotion. My heart was neither angry nor filled with sadness or regret. It was just empty, absolutely fucking empty. Jeremy was gone, I’d sent him away, and I felt hollow and somehow disconnected from it all.
Was he gone for good, or would he come back later? Had he taken my words to mean forever, or would he be on my doorstop tomorrow? I wasn’t sure, not of that, and not of how I felt about either outcome. All I knew was that I couldn’t continue being around him with the way things had been for the last three days.
Squirming in my seat, I grimaced because my butt had a bad case of pins and needles that wouldn’t go away. Huffing in annoyance, I stood and reached behind myself with both hands, alternating slaps to each cheek to get the blood flowing again.
Pacing back and forth as I slapped myself, Mrs. Gilmore’s words inserted themselves into my brain over and over, chipping away at me like a relentless jackhammer. ‘You’ve been very mopey ever since Erik left… He’s been working too hard, cutie, far too hard… All he does is work and study; the only fun he has is his flying.’
She was right. I hated to admit it after my earlier denials, but she was right.
For years—ever since I was sixteen, I realized—I’d been so busy studying and working, chasing my dream of becoming a pilot, and having a career that paid me well for doing something I loved, that I seemed to have forgotten about actually living.
When was the last time I’d gone out with Sam and Bobbi? Thinking hard, I estimated it had been a couple of months, definitely well before uni had started up again in March.
When was the last time I’d gotten laid? Well, that was a no-brainer. It was the morning of the day Erik flew home. Doing the math, I realized it had been sixteen months. Sixteen months of Mr. Palmer and his five sons. Sixteen long fucking months.
What kind of young man was I that I just sat on the sidelines and let life pass me by? Waiting, I was always waiting for it to begin. The only time I’d had any kind of fun or regular social life was the year I’d spent with Erik.
Erik, who I’d loved and lost.
I sighed, remembering that year. That one year of color and light in the middle of all those other years that seemed gray and dreary in comparison. It had all been so easy with Erik. So easy and natural to love and accept, and be loved and accepted in return.
And I’d pined for him, for that easiness, for well over a year, never allowing myself to meet anyone new.
What had happened to me after he left? What the hell was I doing? What was I waiting for? Was I waiting for Erik to realize he couldn’t live without me and return? My words to Jeremy rang in my ears, ‘I’m not some fucking damsel in distress needing you to ride in on your fucking white charger to rescue me!’ Was that what I was doing? Was I waiting for some knight in shiny fucking armor to come along and sweep me off my feet and love me forever? Had I turned into a fucking sappy romantic chick? I cringed in horror at myself.
Having denied myself a chance to meet someone new, I’d left myself lonely and vulnerable. God, no wonder I’m a walking hard-on around Jeremy.
God, yes, and then there was Jeremy.
Jeremy, who I would never have.
Jeremy, whose lips I would never taste, whose tongue mine would never caress, whose body would never ache for mine the way mine did for his.
Erik’s softly spoken words came back to me, ‘The best way to get over someone is in the arms of someone else.’
He’d been right about so many things; I hoped he was right about this too. Only one way to find out, Sadler, and that isn’t going to happen by sitting home by yourself.
The night air felt cool on my still damp hair as I strode across the footbridge that spanned Throsby Creek on my way to the Gateway Hotel, or as it was more commonly known, the G Club. It was one of only a handful of gay pubs in Newcastle and being situated in Islington it could hardly be more convenient for me. A quick walk over the creek and through Islington Park and I’d be on Maitland Road and only a block away from the hotel.
Inhaling deeply, I enjoyed the slightly briny smell of the creek as it mixed with that of the freshly mown lawns of the park. My stride was purposeful and determined and it felt good—in fact, it felt great—to be doing something for myself, something pro-active.
In a matter of minutes I was pushing open the doors to the pub and letting myself into its front bar. Erik and I had been regulars, but this was my first time back since he’d left and my heart rate picked up nervously to be entering alone. One quick look around, however, informed me it hadn’t changed much, which was a relief in a way. I might be keen to turn over a new leaf and grab life by the horns, but it was comforting to do so in a place that was somewhat familiar.
It was a Wednesday night so the place wasn’t exactly jam-packed but it still had a decent crowd, enough anyway, for me to lose myself in anonymity, and one look at the advertising boards behind the bar told me why. It seemed Wednesday nights were now karaoke nights. A small smile pulled at the corners of my lips. Well, this should be interesting.
Leaning my elbows on the counter, I rested one Doc Marten clad foot on the brass rail that ran along the entire bottom edge of the bar as I patiently waited for the barman to make his way over to me.
“A Bourbon and dry please, mate,” I ordered when I had his attention, having decided on a few spirit drinks to loosen me up and get me in the mood before I switched to beer.
My first drink went down fast and smooth and I was soon ordering my second. Silently, I thanked Erik for turning me on to having my bourbon with dry ginger ale instead of Coke—it tasted so much better—having it with Coke made it too sweet. The third followed the second in short order, and by the time I’d finished the last mouthful, I was feeling good with a nice warm glow in my belly and a pleasant buzz in my head.
Grabbing my beer, I sauntered towards the bistro area having decided whilst showering that I might as well grab a counter meal at the hotel. I hadn’t done any food shopping for a few days, because I’d intended to be away with Jeremy and his friends for the weekend. I hoped they still did a good steak.
My luck was in and after placing my order, I sat at one of the tables, letting the music and pub noise float over me as I waited for my number to be called. The wait was surprisingly short and I took even less time to wolf it down, pleased to note, as I laid the knife and fork across my now empty plate that the karaoke was kicking off back in the other room.
Shouldering my way through the small crowd that was milling near the bar, I bought a schooner of beer and took myself off to the side to listen to the wannabes and pranksters that so often made up the performers at a karaoke night.
Two girls were the first cabs off the rank, singing Katie Perry’s, I Kissed a Girl, which seemed, at first, an odd choice at a predominantly gay bar, but as I thought about it more, it probably wasn’t that strange after all, seeing as the song was about two girls kissing. The singers were actually quite good and had obviously sung together before, and I found myself tapping one foot along to the catchy tune.
“Haven’t seen you here for a while,” came a deep voice to my right and turning my head, I was met with a pair of friendly brown eyes.
“Excuse me?” I replied, not one hundred percent sure he’d been talking to me.
“You used to come in a lot with a tall blond guy, but I haven’t seen you here in ages,” he explained, smiling.
“Um, yeah. I’m surprised you’d remember me, it’s been well over a year since I’ve come here for a drink or a meal.”
He smiled, his gaze moving to my hair.”You’re pretty memorable.”
“Oh, yeah, right.” I nodded, my fingers automatically raking through my offending locks, feeling my face redden. Me and my fucking red hair. May as well have a neon sign on my head.
“So where’s your boyfriend tonight?” he asked, raising his schooner to his mouth, tilting his head to take a healthy mouthful, his tongue darting out to lick the froth from his upper lip.
“He went back to Norway,” I responded, averting my eyes and taking a sip of my own beer.
“So does that mean you’re single now?”
I nodded, feeling too awkward and uncomfortable to speak. This was what I’d come here for, but now that the moment was upon me I was feeling shy and out of my depth.
“Good,” was all he said, his voice sounding happy.
The pleased tone to his words gave me confidence and I turned to look at him—really look at him. He stood a couple of inches shorter than my six foot two, with mid-brown hair that he wore short. His physique looked slim and compact beneath the loose-fitting white shirt he wore over his blue jeans, and he had, I decided, what I would call, a nice face. It wasn’t the type of face that would stop you in your tracks the way Jeremy’s or Erik’s would, but he was good looking in a quiet, pleasant, regular kind of way.
As my gaze returned to his, I smiled and took another swallow of my beer.
“I like what I see too,” he said quietly so only I could hear, his gaze travelling down to my mouth.
Nervously, I gulped down some more of my drink, and as I lowered my glass he leaned forward, whispering, “Here, let me take care of that for you.”
And then his tongue was ghosting over my top lip, lapping at the traces of foam left from my beer.
That was all it took.
Sixteen months of abstinence had left me feeling like dry kindling. One kiss was the only spark I needed to burst into flames.
My need overrode my reticence and I took control of the situation, wrapping my free hand around the nape of his neck, anchoring him to me as I thrust my tongue into his only too receptive mouth.
“Let’s get out of here,” I almost growled.
“Thought you’d never ask,” he panted, pressing himself against me, his hard-on pushing against my thigh.
We both downed the remainder of our drinks, our stare on each other, mentally undressing each other.
My dick almost sang with relief when we stumbled out onto the pavement and I learned he practically lived around the corner.
In a matter of minutes we were in his house grappling at each other’s clothing; lips, tongues, and hands, all busy. He tossed me a condom and a small bottle of lube while flicking the lid of a second bottle open himself, throwing himself on his back on the bed, his hungry gaze on my cock as he prepared himself. Rolling onto his stomach, he drew himself up on all fours, his ass high and waiting for me.
I stepped toward him, and then it was just two young, hot, hungry bodies taking from each other what they needed.
Aah the horniness of youth!