This page has one excerpt, rated 18 owing to language.
Dean likes April. April’s brother Jay loves Dean. When Dean finds out how Jay feels, it raises difficult questions of his sexuality. If he doesn’t get his act together quick, he’s going to lose two friends and one true love.
“So, you really can cook.”
They had eaten half the main course, but now pushed food around their plates. Dean put down his fork. “So my girlfriends tell me.”
“Good seduction method, I guess.”
Jay said it lightly enough, but Dean would have to be deaf not to hear the confusion in his friend’s voice. He frowned, pinched the bridge of his nose, and took in a deep breath. “I’m sorry. I really am a wanker.” Jay made a small questioning gesture, sort of a blink and a jerk. “It’s what your sister calls me anyway. You’re right. This is how I’d seduce a woman or make it up to her after an argument. The very idea that ‘Dean can cook’ seems to blow them away.”
His friend smiled, but sadness existed in it. He wanted to remove that look, do something to make Jay’s expression change, but he couldn’t. “I’ve never cooked for a man.”
“No reason you would.” The words emerged very subdued and soft. Jay seemed to gather himself. He looked up. “It was very good.”
Dean stared at him across the table. “The candles were too much?” In truth, everything was probably too much. That was why, seeing Jay’s expression upon first glance at the table, he had left the main light on even though the candles burned.
The other man just gave a small smile, a sort of brief curving of his lips. Dean found it difficult to think of Jay as a man. He was so slim, so narrow-hipped and not, exactly, what you would call tall, plus he had all that long hair most women would kill to have. He was also funny at times, when he wasn’t angry or upset. Jay was smart, incredibly so, though he did his best to hide it. He often came across as shy, but Dean had seen him after too much drink, and suspected there were times when Jay let down his hair in other ways. Of course, Jay also got angry but Dean didn’t wish to dwell on that. “I don’t want to lose your friendship,” he said suddenly.
“I’m sorry it can’t be… I’m sorry I can’t…”
“I know,” Jay interrupted. Silence ensued. Even the CD ended.
“You look good in that shirt,” Dean told him for some inexplicable reason he just didn’t understand.
“Pardon me?” Dean asked sincerely. He stared wide-eyed across the table completely taken off guard by Jay’s outburst. Jay’s eyes stared right back at him, flashing now, his friend’s face set hard in what looked like anger.
“I won’t pardon you at all. What do you want from me, Dean? To wind me up, set me up, drop me down. I’m not a fucking jack in the box.” Jay stood up, tossing his napkin down. He advanced past the corner of the table, his hips giving a little sway that Dean couldn’t be sure was intentional or otherwise. “How would you like it if I came on to you?”
Jay reached him before he could say anything else. With a sinuous movement, Jay slid into the impossibly small gap between Dean and the table and onto his lap. Shocked, Dean allowed it. The line of the table surely pressed painfully into Jay’s side. Items on the table even trembled a little, but stayed put. Jay linked his hands around the back of Dean’s neck and tilted his head as though he intended to kiss him. For an instant, Dean sat stunned, and then just before those lips met his, he grabbed Jay around the upper arms and skirted the chair back as he did. He used too much force. Jay flew off his lap, hit the table, rebounded, and then fell in an untidy heap on the floor, taking Dean’s plate down with him. The pretty tinkle and chink sounds of crockery falling and breaking that usually sent consternation into a person’s heart were secondary. The sound of Jay landing heavily overcame Dean’s concern for a piece of dinnerware. Scraps of food soiled the carpet and Jay’s shirt. Dean rushed in to help him and, much to his surprise, Jay let him. Once he was standing, though, Jay pushed him away.
“Don’t touch me.”
That was an ironic order, coming right after Jay tried to kiss him.
“Are you hurt? I didn’t mean to do that. I’m sorry about the shirt. You… You shouldn’t have done that. I can’t do those things with you.”
“Dean, please.” Jay’s voice dropped to a whisper. He lowered his head and closed his eyes. After a moment, he opened them but didn’t look up. “I did it to teach you a lesson. I know we’re just friends and I’m fine with that. I just can’t stand it when you ignore my feelings in general, when you act like a…”
“Wanker,” Dean finished for him, and finally received a smile. The grin remained small, but it lingered at least. Of course, Jay lied about the extent of his feelings, or maybe he just wanted to avoid the issue. Either way, Dean failed to see what he could do about it.
“I have to go.” Jay wiped at his shirt with Dean’s napkin, and then shrugged, apparently giving it up for a lost cause. “Sorry about the plate, and the carpet. Maybe we can do this again sometime and invite April. She’ll never believe you can cook.”
Realising he stood there with his mouth open, Dean brought his teeth together with a light snap. A protest lay on his lips, but what seemed like a great idea earlier on in the execution now struck him as strange. Maybe it would be for the best to let Jay just leave if he wanted. Despite the peculiar end to the evening, they had a foundation here.
Dean went with him to the door. Of course, he would usually show a date out at a later hour than this, or she would have cooked him breakfast in the morning. Either way, when she left he would have kissed her. He didn’t know what to do with Jay other then say ‘See you’ and that didn’t seem to fit, so he ended up saying nothing. He just nodded and watched Jay walk off. The shirt caressed Jay’s hips and flared out a little, emphasising a certain part of his anatomy. Perhaps that was the reason he never saw Jay in the shirt nowadays. Perhaps the garment was his date shirt and Dean had inadvertently picked it, not to mention possibly ruined it. From the back, it drew the eye down to the gentle curve of his friend’s backside. Dean closed the door and leaned against it. “What the fuck is wrong with me?” he whispered.
© Sharon Maria Bidwell, all rights reserved.