“Stop thinking about it,” he said, as if it were as simple as telling my brain to turn off. “We’ll sit down and compare schedules and find a way. In between, we’ll have to do what other couples do; we’ll get by with phone calls and maybe late-night Skype chats while we’re locked in the bathroom.”
“Is that what we are now?” I asked. I liked the idea of being something more than a talented hand to him, but I hadn’t wanted to press the issue. Nothing screamed “needy little bitch” more than wanting to slap a label on what we had after two quick hand jobs.
Sean balked at my question, but I didn’t let him pull away from me. We stared at one another for a moment before he spoke. “Well, I know I don’t plan on going out to find someone else to warm my bed. Do you?”
“I’ve been doing just fine sleeping alone for a while now,” I stated bluntly. “And like I said before, I’m addicted to the way you feel next to me. Not anyone else, just you. So yeah, I think I’d be cool with neither of us looking for a casual fuck.”
This was happening so fast my head was spinning. I couldn’t bring myself to actually say that we were together or that we were a couple, but I did mean it when I told him I didn’t want anyone else. We sealed the deal with another scorching kiss. And then the moment was nearly ruined when I busted out laughing, thinking about how much it was going to hurt when I got hard while wearing a cup later today.
You’d have thought that we were groping on the kitchen counter with how quickly we jumped apart as the front door opened. “Oh, I… uh… sorry to interrupt you boys.”
I could feel the heat rising in my cheeks. I’d managed to make it almost thirty years of my life without my father catching me in any sort of compromising position, and this just had to be the first moment. Even when Teresa and I visited my parents, I was always careful to keep any displays of affection brief and respectful. In all honesty, Sean and I weren’t actually doing anything, but I figured that didn’t much matter to my father, who’d just walked in on his son in an intimate embrace with a man.
“Dad, it’s not what it looks like,” I spat out without thinking. God, I was on track to make a royal clusterfuck out of my life before noon at the rate I was going.
“No?” I could hear the humor in my father’s voice. “Because it looked an awful lot to me like the two of you were continuing what you started in the bedroom earlier this morning.”
I folded my arms on the counter and buried my face so my father couldn’t see that I was about as red as a tomato. Seriously, the only way the scene could have been more embarrassing would have been if he’d walked in on us while Sean was fucking my hand.
“I’m gonna leave the two of you to talk,” Sean said quietly. I lifted my head to glare at him, and the cocky smirk on his face had me ready to punch him in the teeth. “Mace, I’ll be watching TV in your room when you’re done here if you want to finish that discussion.”
“Hey, thanks,” I snipped, my words dripping with sarcasm. He reached past me to turn off the stove before telling me I was going to have to take him out to breakfast. He didn’t realize that he was going to be the one paying for making me face my dad alone.
My father sat down at the dining table just inside the French doors leading to the balcony and kicked out the chair next to him. I sulked over, knowing it wasn’t so much an invitation to sit as a silent demand.
“So, anything you’d like to tell me?” he asked as I traced the subtle wood grain of the tabletop.
“Seems pretty self-explanatory,” I said, a bit too defensively. He tapped his fingers against the table impatiently, and I knew I wasn’t going to get off the hook that easily. “Look, I’m not really sure what it is you want me to say. Hell, I’m not sure I fully understand it myself. I know it’s not right, but I just…”
My words fell off because I couldn’t bring myself to minimize what I thought was building between Sean and me. Even if this wound up being the event that caused my father’s faith in me to falter, I had to be true to myself this time.
“What makes you say it’s not right?” Dad prodded when I didn’t finish my thought. “I have my own thoughts, but right now, I’d like to hear yours. I let you get away with not talking to me for too damned long now, and it’s got to stop.”
I wondered about that comment, but figured it’d be unwise to bring it up. One of the few things that truly pissed off my dad was trying to change the subject. And right now, the topic on the table was the fact that he’d caught me and Sean making out in the kitchen.
“What isn’t wrong about what you saw? Sean’s my best friend. He has been since I was drafted and moved in with him.”
What I didn’t tell my dad is that I was pretty much a cold-hearted shit to Sean back then about his sexuality. Sean had every right to question what he knew then versus now when we were talking last night. I used to tell him repeatedly that I was cool with it as long as he didn’t come on to me. That was the only way I knew of to protect my secret. The few times I had heard him bring a guy back to the apartment when our other roommate was gone for the night, I’d wanted to punch something. It was torture to listen to another man screaming in ecstasy, wishing it was me.
“I think you’re going to have to dig a bit deeper than that, Mason,” Dad pressed. I looked up at him and saw that he’d relaxed a bit and now had his arms crossed over his broad chest. “Because if that’s the only logic you’re using to say that what you were doing is wrong, then I may have failed you as a parent.”
“How can you say that?” I demanded, shoving back from the table to pace around the kitchen. “You and Mom have always been awesome. Hell, even now the guys give me shit, telling me they wish their own parents were more like the two of you.”
“Well, it seems to me that you’re saying it’s wrong to fall in love with your best friend, and I would think that’s exactly who you’re supposed to be with.” I shook my head, wondering when I’d fallen into some alternate universe where my father was encouraging me to be with Sean.
Coming June 2015