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Monday, January 31, 2011

Story Orgy: Week 3


It always surprises me when Monday morning rolls back around and I realize another week has gone by...but here it is.  And, even for all my worrying and gnashing of teeth to get my prompt done on time (did I forget to mention I was a procrastinator?), Monday's are now my favorite day of the week.  Hands down.

So without further ado, here is the third installment of the Story Orgy, submitted for your reading pleasure.  Please, please, please, be sure to check out the links to the other members following this post...you won't be disappointed.

Happy Monday, everyone!



This week's prompt:  "Whatever you do, don't turn the light on.  Please."

This week's image, courtesy of Jade Baiser:



Revelation

“You do know he is a complete waster?”  Luce’s harsh comment was in his ear, still barely audible above the din of noise inside the club.

Chris shrugged noncommittally and continued sucking his Vodka cranberry, gnawing on the small, brown plastic straw between sips.

A disgusted sigh was Luce’s only response as she stood up from the leatherette bench where they sat, backs against the wall.  Same as they had done nearly every Friday night since the weekly karaoke had been established.  Luce knew why, everyone in their little group did, and his reason was a favorite topic of conversation, whether Chris was around to hear it or not.  But, even their continued discouragement and good intentions weren’t enough to get Chris to see the truth about Gus.


“So, do you sing?”  One of those good intentions asked.

How pathetic was it, to be set up on a blind date?  Clearly not as pathetic as it was to accept and meet up at a place where you could ogle the one that you had been in love with for as long as you could remember, but clearly had not a snowballs chance in hell of ever having love you in return.

Yes.  Chris was King of Loserville because the heart wanted what it wanted.  And, his pathetic heart had only ever wanted Gus.

He smiled at the guy sitting next to him, Luce’s attractive and, obviously interested, co-worker from the law firm where she worked as a paralegal.  He was an intern there while finishing up a law degree at the local university Chris also attended.  He was perfect on paper, Chris had to wonder why the hell he ever needed to agree to a blind date.

“No one wants to hear that.”  Chris answered lightly, sitting up a little straighter when he saw Gus out of the corner of his eye, standing at the bar.   

Friday night karaoke was when Gus showed up.  Ever the future rock star and perpetually broke, Friday’s were payday for Gus. $200 bucks and all the booze he could drink was an offer Gus couldn’t afford to pass up.

“Oh, look, it’s Prince Charming.”  Luce announced, placing a fresh drink in front of Chris.  “Next round’s on you.”  She plopped down into the seat beside him again.

The brows on Chris’s date furrowed as he followed Chris’s gaze to the bar.

Leaning on an elbow, beer bottle in hand, Gus’s head was bent toward a petite little red head with way too much skin showing.  Gus was in his element, dramatic and boisterous as he tossed his head back with a throaty laugh that Chris could still make out above all the noise in the club.  He gestured wildly with his arms, always seeming to talk with his entire body.  Chris could imagine the dreamy look the girl would have on her face as Gus talked her up.  He was so skilled at making you think you were the center of his universe while simply making conversation.

Chris had been enthralled with that ability for years…and had been on the receiving end of Gus’s undivided attention enough to know how addictive it could be.  Chris briefly felt sorry for the girl at the bar, but shut it down when he saw Gus lean in to whisper in her ear.

The straw in his drink ground between his teeth.

“Pathetic.”  Luce moaned, shaking her head in disgust.

Chris  had been in love with Gus for as long as he could remember.  They had grown up neighbors, side by side, since Kindergarten, when Gus’s parents divorced and he and his mom had moved into the rental house next door to Chris and his family.

They had always been as different as night and day.  Chris was small, waifish, good in school and scared of his own shadow, while Gus was brash, loud and always big for his age and never caring about anything but having a good time.  They were two sides of the same coin.  Complete opposites.

They knew each other better than anyone, best friends from the moment they had met, and Gus hadn’t batted an eye when Chris had confessed he was gay during their Freshman year in high school.  Inseparable as they were, Gus had noticed fleeting glances from Chris when he had slept over and had never commented on Chris’s lack of interest in girls at school; the fact that Chris was gay was never an issue between the two friends.

Both boys had grown to accept what was and what couldn’t be…though for Chris, that proved harder and harder to do.

But as the years went on, it also grew easy for Gus to take advantage of Chris’s affection.  Gus hadn’t had an easy life.  With a struggling mother who was never home, frequent would-be step-fathers in and out of his life, the constant instability had left him jaded.

While Chris attended college, Gus drank, sponging off whatever friend  happened to be closest, forever aimless and drunk…or worse, and more often than not, he ended up on Chris’s doorstep when all other options had panned out.

If Chris let himself think about it, he could be bitter, being Gus’s last resort, but he tried to ignore those ugly thoughts, always forever dreaming that Gus would one day realize that there could be more between them than just friendship; that their was a reason he always ended up at Chris’s door.

Oh, you couldn’t get much more pathetic than that.

“Why don’t we give it a go?”  Chris’s date, for lack of a better term, suggested with a smile.

“Singing?”  Chris asked incredulously, taking the new drink in his hand nervously.

“Who’s singing?”

Chris was glad it was so loud in the club, so no one could hear the glass rattling in his glass when Gus and the girl sat in the seats opposite their table.

“I am hoping I can talk Chris into a duet.”  His date boldly answered.

“Aye?  That so?”  Gus smirked as he threw his arm across the back of the seat, allowing little red haired girl to sidle in close to him.

Chris hid a flinch behind the rim of his glass.

“It’s not unheard of, it is karaoke after all.  Isn’t that the point?”  Chris’s date nudged him gently in the arm before extending his hand in Gus’s direction.  “Miles Hamilton.  Nice to meet you.”

Gus cocked a brow at Chris before leaning casually forward to grasp Miles’s hand.  “Peter Augustus Colcutt.”  He offered tersely before settling back into his seat.  Giving his full name was always a dead giveaway that Gus didn’t like you.  “Just so you know, our Chrissy here, doesn’t sing.”

Chris felt like he had swallowed glass hearing Gus call him Chrissy.  It felt like a dig and Chris had no idea where that came from.

“I sing.”  He felt the need to announce, watching Gus swallow long pulls from his beer bottle while signaling the passing waitress for another.

Gus’s laugh was bitter this time.  “I’ve never heard you sing.”

“Just because you haven’t experienced it, doesn’t mean it’s not true.”  Chris cryptically replied.

The color in Gus’s face  rose, and Chris wanted for all the world to take a sick kind of satisfaction in that, but knew it was probably more the alcohol’s doing than anything Chris might ever say to him.

“It’s settled then.”  Miles announced, taking the drink from Chris before clasping his hand gently and standing, pulling Chris to his feet.

“Break a leg, boys.”  Gus called out to them as they made their way to the karaoke stage.

Chris couldn’t help but enjoy himself.  Miles was light-hearted and funny and made him feel special with just a warm smile.  But, it was hard to maintain with Gus getting more and more drunk and belligerent as the night wore on.  And, Chris grew more and more embarrassed with each verbal jab.

When Gus took the stage to sing “I’m Too Sexy” and dedicating it to Miles, Chris was seething.

“And, that’s my cue to leave.”  Miles announced, as he slipped his arms into his suit coat.

“I am so sorry.”  Chris offered in apology, not knowing why or what had brought out the meanness in Gus tonight.

“Hey, it’s not your fault.”  Miles said, reaching into his coat pocket for a set of keys.  “I still had a really nice time.”

“Oh…you did?”  Chris was truly shocked.

Miles laughed.  “I did, and…I’d really like to do it again sometime…if you wanted?”

Wow…a second date?  Even after this fiasco?

“I would like that, too.”  Chris answered honestly, smiling into Miles’s handsome face.

“Great.  I’ll give you a call tomorrow?”

“Yes.”  Chris nodded.  “Yes, do.”

Miles smiled broadly and before Chris knew what was happening, was pressing his lips lightly to Chris’s.  It was a small, warm brushing of lips, that was over far too quickly to register as anything but chaste.

“It was nice to meet you, Chris, and I will talk to you tomorrow.”

Chris nodded, watching him as he left the club, catching a glimpse of Gus watching him leave, too, something flashing across his face that Chris couldn’t decipher.

@-->--

The bed shifted and a warm body pressed all up against Chris’s back, an arm wrapping around his chest to pull him in even closer.  Chris sighed, he loved this dream.

“Are you in love with him?”

Chris jumped, the low voice at his ear so not a dream.

“Gus?  What the hell are you doing?” He tried to pull away, but Gus held him firm and still where he was.

“Tell me…are you in love with him?”  His voice was rough from the lateness of the hour and way too much alcohol.

“In love with who?  What are you talking about?”

Chris looked at the clock by his bed, 4:19…no wonder he couldn’t make sense of what was going on.  If he wasn’t still half asleep he might have been worried that Gus had managed to get into his place without waking him.

Wait…what?  How did he…

Gus’s hand spread wide across Chris’s chest.  “Mr. Perfect tonight, at the club…”

Chris groaned. “Are you kidding me.  It was a blind date, Gus…”

“You kissed him.”  He whispered, his mouth hovering at Chris’s ear, causing him to shiver.

“Yeah?  You kissed that chick, what’s the big deal?”  Chris tried to ignore the gentle, light movements of Gus’s fingers on his chest.

“I didn’t want to kiss that chick…”  His answer seemed more a thought he let slip out.

Chris’s mind was spinning and it pissed him off.  Typical Gus, drunk and doing whatever the hell he felt like.

“So why did you?  Why do you?”  Chris angrily pulled away from Gus, sitting up in the bed beside him.

With a heavy sigh, Gus rolled to his back.  “Because…”

“Jesus!  You sound just like you did when we were five.  Because, because, because…because WHY?”  Chris nearly yelled in frustration.

But, as usual, his only answer was silence.

“Right.  That’s it.”  Chris shoved his hands through his hair, throwing back the cover and standing up.  “I can’t do this anymore, Gus…” He reached to turn on the bedside lamp, wanting to find his clothes and throw Gus out once and for all...

“Whatever you do,”  Gus’s voice was small, strained.  “Don’t turn the light on.  Please.”

That was a first.  Gus never begged, for anything, and the sound of it made Chris freeze where he stood, nothing could have made him turn a light on now as the moment hung, suspended.

“What’s going on, Gus?”  Chris asked quietly, like he was talking to a wild animal, scared to send him bolting.

Chris could make out the silhouette of Gus lying there, the light of the hallway bathroom enough to let Chris see him lying there, staring at the ceiling.

“If you turn on the light you will see me.”  He continued looking up, but his hand fisted in the sheets where Chris had been lying.

“So?”

“So, I don’t want to be me…”

“Why?  Gus, what the fuck is going on?”  Chris was so frustrated he wanted to scream.

“Don’t you get it?”  Gus roared, sitting up in a rush.  “I want to be him!  I want to be that guy you want…the one that kisses you and sings with you and should have been in this bed if he wasn’t such a fucking wanker!”


...to be continued...



Please check out the blogs of the other Story Orgy members:


The Story Orgy


10 comments:

Hank Edwards said...

OMG ... Monika, this is awesome! You really captured the longing and obsession of unrequited love. Great post!

LB said...

OMG! MonikA! How could you? I'll be biting my nails till next Monday! This story totally rocks!

J. R. Boyd said...

This yarn has me chomping at the bits for more! I can't wait. I feel Gus's pain . . . his love . . . the need to be loved.

Jade said...

Oh God!!!! Terrific story! And now you're doing like the others...I have to wait a whole week to read what Happenned!!

Denise Vega said...

another beautiful story But I wasn't ready to stop I think you guys are trying to send me to an early grave with all this anticipation LOL next monday can't come fast enough for me : )

melanie2525 said...

poor Gus....I can't wait for the next installment. Wonderful.

Em Woods said...

There seems to be a common thread here...but I can't not say it.

OMG!! You just...just...left us hanging! Argh! I want more, Mon! LOL Great job.

Havan said...

Seriously??? You seriously did that to the ones that love you??? You just left us there . . . poor Gus and Chris!!!! The sooooo need closure! Terrific!

Patricia said...

I can feel the pain between Gus & Chris.
I loved this installment, Monika!
Please tell me there is a HEA??? Please?

StarLady said...

Ummmm wow! You had me leaning on my desk closer to the screen as if somehow that would make the cliff hanger, and waiting more bearable. LOL Awesome job! I can't wait for Monday to see what else is in store for us! =)