This Story is intended for a mature audience only. Redistribution without permission is forbidden. This is a work of fiction for artistic enjoyment, feedback welcome at vlad885 @ hotmail.com
Thanks to everyone that wrote with your feedback, I'm happy to report that there has been sufficient interest to continue the story. While I may not be able to use all the suggestions provided I do appreciate them.
Spring was in full bloom, the drab slushy city streets had given way to lush greenery. Gone were the heavy winter coats, replaced with jackets and shirtsleeves, in fact there were even some young people in shorts Ted noted as he walked home from work. It had been a long stress filled Monday and he needed to walk it off. He arrived at the coffee shop to meet Emmett, ever his confidant. Ted entered and waded through the line up at the front coming to sit at a table beside his friend.
"So what did you end up doing?" Emmett quizzed desperate to know all the dish.
"I threw him off the balcony" Ted announced.
"Okay" Emmett replied as he waved for the waiter.
Ted ordered a latte and then began his story. "He's gone back to Liz and Sally's"
"I'm still surprised you let him stay the night" Emmett remarked.
"Well Emm, It was cathartic to have it out with him and he did sleep in Mark's room" Ted explained.
"So Mark can come home now" Emmett stated not completely thrilled when Jason dropped him off unexpectedly.
"Yeah I'll take him back, I do appreciate your support with him Emm" Ted said gratefully.
"He's going to be upset that Dustin didn't stay to talk to him," Emmett advised.
"That's the root of the problem Emm; Dustin made it very clear that he didn't want Mark around. The whole time we kept coming back to `before Mark'" Ted indicated.
"So that's it, you guys are done?" Emmett asked somberly.
"I don't know Emm, we're separated at least, and he took his damn cat with him. I told him he could leave it for now but that just entrenched him into taking it" Ted noted.
"So you're at least willing to give him another chance then?" Emmett continued.
"I don't know, he came clean on the whole Jacques thing, swore it was his only fling and it seems that's over. Apparently Jacques was more exciting when he was just the man on the side. Dustin gave me the whole, `oh I was so stupid' thing but I just don't know if I can trust him again. I know he's sorry but is he sorry because things didn't work out with the other guy and now he's returned fully expecting me to take him back? I think Jason being there screwed his whole plan" Ted said exasperatedly.
"Do you really believe that he's only had one fling?" Emmett quizzed.
"Yeah I thought about that, he manipulated me into going to the Caribbean where he knew Jacques would be. That's hardly an innocent mistake, he schemed it and now between all the tears and apologies I just don't know what to believe" Ted explained.
"Yeah with Jason around that gives you two boyfriends to deal with now" Emmett suggested.
"Jason ... he's been such a breath of fresh air for me. I mean he knew the score with Dustin and all but I just seem to understand him better and he seems far more mature than Dustin" Ted sighed.
Emmett laughed, "Oh Teddy, Jason is exactly like you!"
"Like me? Hardly" Ted said unconvinced of his old friend's assessment.
"He's the over confident brash nineteen year old version of you!" Emmett repeated, "You just don't remember what you were like half a lifetime ago"
"Well I wasn't chasing older guys and taking on thugs in the street" Ted countered.
"No you were chasing guys like Dustin and I do recall you holding one guy by the collar and saying `touch Emmett again and I'll pound you' and I think everyone thought that you meant it" Emmett recollected.
"You've had a lot more boyfriends than me Emmett; I really need your help on this. I just don't want to look back in a couple of years and regret things," Ted said finding it difficult to express his ineptitude.
"So you want my advice as a slut?" Emmett quipped.
"You know that's not what I meant," Ted countered.
"Well you always tell me not to do anything if I don't know what to do, just wait, If Dustin won't wait for you then you're decision's made" Emmett said, rather taken with the idea that Ted needed his advice for a change. "One thing you should think about Ted is the fact that you were Dustin's first serious boyfriend and I remember him being quite jealous of me at first."
"Yeah well what about Jason then?" Ted quizzed.
"Tell him the truth, you're still working things out with Dustin" Emmett suggested.
"Alright lets go get Mark" Ted instructed as he got up from the table, leaving his latte half finished.
Ted and Emmett made their way next door to the pet shop to find Mark working with another of Emmett's cute assistants. Emmett accepted a kiss goodbye from Mark and then he was off with his dad. Ted explained the situation as best he could to the boy on the walk home but as usual he had many questions.
"So why can't Dustin just live with us again?" Mark quizzed.
"Well he just left us Mark, he didn't call for two months!" Ted explained
"You said he was sorry," Mark suggested.
"Ok but what makes you think he won't just leave us again Mark?" Ted questioned finding it interesting that `us' now meant him and Mark rather than him and Dustin.
"He won't" Mark promised on Dustin's behalf.
"He's already moved out and taken Miss Piggy with him Mark. I told him he could visit you if he wanted so we'll just see where things go but I want you to understand that this was likely going to happen whether you were living here or not" Ted advised as they arrived at the apartment.
Dustin finished moving his stuff back into his cousin's house. The lesbians were understanding but clearly disappointed that things had gone bad with Ted. Dustin didn't have a lot of possessions even though he earned a good income. There wasn't much need for things; Ted already had everything he ever needed at the apartment. A few boxes and his clothes were all that Dustin had left of his life with Ted. His old cat was the only one who would never forsake him. Dustin was devastated when he arrived home to find Ted had already found a replacement. He though for sure that Ted would grudgingly take him back and then he could negotiate Mark out of the picture. Dustin was sure that Emmett was far better suited to raising a kid, Ted didn't even want him in the first place and now everything was about Mark. Ted seemed more upset that Mark was left hanging, not knowing what had become of him than Ted missing him. The times before when Dustin had taken off for a few days always turned Ted into an apologist, he knew now that being gone so long was a mistake and that he'd failed to take Mark into account, resulting in his current situation.
"Fucking kid" he muttered to the cat as the feline brushed against his leg.
Dustin yearned for the good times with Ted, when it was just the two of them.
Mark wasn't happy that he'd seen Dustin for just the brief time before Jason hustled him off to breakfast. Being dumped at Emmett's wasn't a bad thing but it made him feel left out and now Dustin was gone again, maybe this time for good. Despite Ted's reassurances Mark knew he was at least partially to blame for the men's split. If only he hadn't gotten arrested and caused the big fight, maybe things would be better. Mark had left messages on Dustin's cell phone but hadn't got a response from him.
On Thursday Mark arrived home from school to find the condo typically empty. He noted the missing cat bowls and was again saddened not so much for the loss of the animal but for what it meant. Around 6pm the door opened, Ted must be home Mark thought remaining on the couch.
"Hi Ted" he called out.
"I'll take that as a compliment, I know I've been working out more but I didn't think I had a body like Ted's yet!" A young man answered as he emerged from the hallway.
"Jason!" Mark cried in greeting. "What are you doing here?"
"Nice to see you too puppy" Jason retorted. "Ted's got a work dinner thing and asked me to come over and hang out with you"
"Baby sit" Mark bemoaned.
"I've never sat on a baby before but I'm willing to try" Jason said jokingly as he approached Mark. The boy tried to squirm away but Jason pulled him back onto the couch and as suggested sat on him. "Hmm, this baby sitting thing isn't so bad. What are you screaming like a girl for? I haven't done anything to you ... yet!" Jason advised as Mark continued his efforts to escape. Jason lay down on the boy, pinning him as they lay chest to chest. Mark settled immediately, he ceased struggling as he enjoyed Jason's closeness.
"Jason" The boy said softly.
"Yeah puppy" the teen replied.
"Do you love Ted?" He quizzed
"Sure, he's a great guy" Jason replied without hesitation.
"What about Dustin?" Mark asked.
"I don't care for him much" Jason said as diplomatically as he could.
"No, I meant what about Dustin and Ted, you know" Mark tried to express the conflict.
"I'm not afraid of some competition, besides, I'm here and he's not, what does that tell you" Jason explained.
"Ted trusts you" Mark said somberly.
"Yeah that, and I like you puppy, we can be friends no matter what goes on with Ted or with Princess Dustin" Jason advised.
Mark chuckled "Princess Dustin. ... Jason, why do you always call me puppy, you do it at the store all the time?"
"A guy I know used to call me that, it was his special name for me and I liked it and I like you. I'll stop if it bothers you," The teen advised.
"I thought you were making fun of me," Mark said as Jason rubbed their noses together.
"Why would you ever think I'd make fun of you?" Jason asked.
"I don't know" Mark replied.
"I'll order us some pizza," Jason advised as he got up off the boy.
Once the pizza arrived the pair of teens devoured it along with the sugary soft drinks that they ordered. Mark began the burping contest and Jason was all too happy to out do his younger friend. Mark had forgotten all about Dustin and his recent troubles, right now it was just him and Jason.
"How many boyfriends have you had before Ted?" The younger teen quizzed unabashedly.
"Well, Ted and I are just dating were not really serious boyfriends yet. I've had a few, not a lot, some older some younger" Jason answered evasively.
"Any my age?" Mark quizzed excitedly as he scrunched up against the man on the sectional.
"Yeah, a couple of years ago" Jason replied nonchalantly.
"What happened?" Mark continued his interview.
"We had good times, and then I came here. He kinda turned out straight before I left though," Jason reported.
"Ewww" Mark replied crinkling his nose.
"Hey, straight boys are people too" Jason jested recalling how important it was for him to keep his secret through high school. "A lot of guys play both sides in their teens Mark; it's easier to get some action from your buddy than some girl"
"I know I'm gay, I don't even like girls," Mark advised confidently.
"I had a few female friends in high school, you know I think I had more in common with them, we could talk about hot boys!" Jason said glibly.
"Jason... Will you teach me the secret?" Mark asked his eyes down cast.
"The secret what?" Jason replied.
"The secret of ... you know... anal sex," Mark continued shyly.
"Oh that, sure get your pants off," Jason said flatly.
Mark blinked in shock, he wasn't sure if Jason was joking or if he even heard him correctly.
"Really?" Mark confirmed.
Chapter 11 coming soon.