The following is a work of fiction. The story may contain profanity and references to gay sex. Any relation to similar events or persons, fiction or real, is completely fortuitous. If such content offends you please leave now. The author retains all rights to the story. Do not copy or use without written authority from the author. Write Bobby at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments.
Have you forgotten all I know, and all we had?
You saw me mourning my love for you
And touched my hand
I knew you loved me then
I believe in you
I'll give up everything just to find you
I have to be with you, to live, to breathe
You're taking over me
Taking Over Me © by Evanescence, 2003
Control. It's extraordinary the tactics people employ to obtain it. Some rely on deception while others engage in outright trickery. Then there are those who resort to extortion. Why do we fight so hard for control? Because we know to lose it is to put our fate in the hands of others. And what could be more dangerous?
© by Marc Cherry, 2005
So, I drank too much. Surprise, surprise. Claire took me home, and by home I mean my former home. Tyler and Jared weren't very happy, but what could they do? They put me on the couch and gave me a blanket. I woke up the next morning reporting no hangover. Really dodged a bullet on that one. Hangovers suck as any heavy drinker will tell you.
Tyler woke me up with the smell of breakfast. Although I didn't have a hangover, the salty scent of bacon made my stomach do cartwheels.
"I need to go to Home Depot today and pick up a few things. Why don't you come with me?" he asked. I'd been listening to him talk since I trudged into the kitchen, but haven't felt like doing much talking myself.
"I don't have any clothes or anything." I said, stifling a yawn. "Besides, I need to get my car and go home to study. There's a big bio and history test this week." Thinking of that made me feel a little blue. I definitely don't feel like spending all day studying, but there's really no getting around it if I want to do well on the exams.
"Well, I'll take you to get your car after Home Depot. Problem solved!" Tyler flashed me a winning smile. How he can be so chipper is beyond me. Truth be told I'm a decent morning person, but there are the occasional cranky mornings. This morning is probably hard because of the night I had prior. No hangover doesn't mean no misery. "Besides spending time with your favorite parent you'll get some fresh air for that head of yours."
I grunted. Torry came down in his pajamas, though his definition of pajamas is just some ratty clothes he doesn't wear anymore. I suppose there's no real rule regarding pajamas, but when I think of them I imagine specifically labeled bed wear, not just old clothing.
"Hey, grumpy," Torry patted my head like a dog. I shot him the meanest look possible. "I think someone's hungry,"
"Dude," I groaned, laying my head down on the granite counter.
"Cheer up," he said happily.
"Where's Jared?" Tyler asked him.
"I don't know," Torry shrugged. "I figured he was still sleeping."
"Want to go with us to Home Depot in a bit?"
"No thanks, dad. That place sucks."
"What is with you guys? Home Depot is amazing!"
I chuckled. "You're only saying that because you are the most impulsive shopper alive. Anywhere is fun for you to shop because you always find something you want or need."
"Part of my charm,"
"Part of your foreclosure,"
The room went silent. I didn't mean to say that. It just sort of slipped out. And I was only joking. Great way to kill the mood, Travers. Tyler continued cooking without saying a word. Torry, still in the dark about the imminent sale, started talking about the upcoming school week. He was interrupted when Jared came in through the garage minutes later.
"I got donuts," bashfully he said. "I was hoping to get back before you made breakfast." He surveyed the food his husband prepared.
"No, it's fine," Tyler grinned. "We can snack on those all day long."
"Travers and I are going to Home Depot soon. Do you need anything?"
Jared thought for a moment. "Not that I can think of. What are you getting again?"
"We need a new water filter for the fridge, new clippers for the bushes, and see what kind of flowers they have."
"Because we need more of those,"
"Yes! It will liven the outside up and make it more appealing." Tyler spoke in a suggestive tone. I think he was conveying that the outside needs to appear more attractive for potential buyers. That hidden message wasn't lost on Jared, though.
"Gotcha," he said. "Well, you two should have fun then. I'll, uh . . ." Jared looked around the kitchen. "Was going to clean up, but I guess someone beat me to the punch. Don't worry about your dishes, babe, I'll do 'em."
"Wasn't much to clean up anyway," Tyler nearly whispered.
The energy in the room dropped, unbelievably, lower than before. The stupid joke I made has the chance to ruin my entire day. I softly padded out of the kitchen into my bathroom where I found a few minutes solace in the steamy spray of the showerhead. I remember the Realtor is supposed to come check out the house today. I have no idea what time, but I do know I don't want to be anywhere near the house when she arrives. Tyler will probably be morose and who knows how Jared will behave. They'll probably put up a decent front, though. Displaying negative emotion to strangers isn't their forte.
Once finished dressing, I sauntered back into the kitchen where I was met with the most unpleasant of faces.
"Feel better?" Tyler asked me.
I almost didn't answer him. Just being in the presence of my former brother brought on a slew of emotion, mostly fury. What was even more infuriating was the smug little look in his face. Does he feel satisfied I'm no longer living here? Was that the goal of blowing Trevor?
"Yeah," I mumbled, annoyed. "Can we go now?" Without bothering to wait for his answer I turned on my heels and stormed into the garage. I had to leave. Any more of that cocky little shit and I would've backhanded him until my hand fell off.
Tyler came out second later and we were off to Home Depot. There was no talking on the way. Only silence. Awkward silence. Finally arriving, he told me to go pick out three or four plants while he picked up the filter and clippers. I was more than happy to separate. All I want to do is go home and relax. This shouldn't take long, though. I went out into the garden area and browsed the plants and flowers for sale. None were really catching my eye. It's still too early in the season for the really pretty flowers to be in bloom. As I was picking up a plant that caught my eye, I heard the oh so familiar voice that once sparked the chords of love in my heart. Now all it does it is ignite a burning hatred in the deepest recesses of my soul. I set the plant down and quickly moved away from the area. God, why did I even come here!? I didn't even want to! Out of all people I'm forced to see him. If he wasn't dead I'd honestly rather have seen Andrew than Trevor. At least the hatred I have for that corpse is pure, not because of a broken heart or anything like that.
"Need some help?"
"I don't know. It seems like you're a little lost." Trevor grinned.
"I'm not," I walked into the next aisle, but of course he followed me.
"How you been?"
Here's a chance to gloat about moving out of the house and into the apartment of an incredibly hot guy-even though he's straight. Will that ping a bogey on the radar of jealousy? There's only one way to find out . . .
"Pretty good. Moved out of the house Friday night." I put a small triumphant smile on my face. The real victory should be near.
Trevor's face scrunched up. "Where to?"
"Oh, you know," I began, "this little apartment complex across town."
Bluntly, he said, "You can't afford your own place."
"I have a roommate. This guy came into the café and posted a room for rent. I took him up on his offer." I tried to sound sultry-ish, but I'm not sure if that's how it came off or not.
Trevor certainly didn't seem amused.
"So, you just moved in with a complete stranger?"
"No! I knew his name!"
"Travers, don't be a smartass. What were you thinking?"
"What was I? I was thinking that living with a stranger would be much better than living with my brother who effectively seduced my douche bag of an ex-boyfriend."
"That was in the past. I said I was sorry. What more can I do?"
"Just leave me alone! You're bugging me. Everywhere I go you somehow manage to be in the same place."
Trevor cocked his head, grinning that arrogant grin that he pulls off so . . . seductively. "You came to my work. You're the one following me."
"And since when do you work?"
"Since a month ago. I needed money so I got a job. What's the big deal?"
"I was just asking."
In the distance I saw Tyler heading towards this area. There's no way I'll allow this moment to become any more awkward than it is already.
"How about we hang out tonight?" Trevor asked, breaking me from my nervous thoughts.
I stared at him in amazement. He has seriously grown some balls to be able to ask me that.
"And what would make you think I'd want to spend any time with you?" Those voluptuous arms were making it difficult to be sarcastic.
He leaned in next to my ear and whispered, "Because you miss me." Then he left without saying another word.
I had to shake him from my thoughts. Tyler's perceptive and he'll start asking questions. Questions that I won't want to answer truthfully. I headed in his direction and told him there wasn't anything good. He didn't argue and we went to check out. On the way to my apartment I decided to break the ice.
"I didn't mean to be rude earlier. The foreclosure thing just kind of slipped out. I guess it wasn't all that funny after all." There. I did it. I apologized. Now let the air be clear!
"Thanks," he said. That's all he said until we arrived at the complex. "Good luck on your tests. I'll let you know what the Realtor says."
I gave him a questioning look. If he's not mad at me, he sure has a funny way of showing it. The silent treatment and passiveness is certainly Tyler's way. But I kept silent knowing that it will pass. I have much more important things to worry about, like the tests this coming week.
Five o'clock. Going on four hours of studying and I feel like I haven't accomplished a damn thing. Biology study guide complete. History study guide complete. But I don't feel that they helped me whatsoever. Perhaps I'm just fully aware of the material. The odds of that aren't likely. I'm not slamming my own intelligence, but come on. Nothing is that easy, and there's no chance in hell Sylvester made an easy study guide. Ugh, what am I so stressed about anyway? I feel like I'm on edge about something, something other than the tests. Is it what Trevor said? About missing him? Because I don't miss him! I'm over him. That ship has sailed and it isn't returning to port. An engine exploded and it sank off the coast of Costa Rica. There were no survivors. So why do I want to hang out with him? It could just be because being with him brings back so many joyful memories. Who wouldn't want to experience that? Granted, the memories are about our former relationship, but they're still happy nonetheless. Maybe the two of us could be more than acquaintances but less than friends. I think you can see where I'm going with this . . .
"Hey, Travers," Dan said, knocking on my door.
I got up from my desk and opened the door. "Yeah?"
"I'm about to grill up a steak. You want one?"
Ugh, steak. Reminds me of Jared and his fascination with the cow. He loves a hearty slab of heart constricting beef. The ironic thing is he lectures patients about the importance of maintaining healthy diets, but he himself has no nutritional sense. Beef isn't bad in moderation, not daily. How he sleeps at night is beyond me. But I definitely don't want to appear snobbish by refusing Dan's offer. Besides, this could be a bonding moment for us as roommates. Wouldn't want to pass that up.
"Yeah, sure," I left everything where it was and went out into the living room. The sliding glass patio door was wide open, allowing in the frigid night air. But Dan was standing in front of the barbeque placing two steaks on the grill without a care in the world.
"So, your dads seem nice." he said nonchalantly. "They, uh, been together long?"
"Ten years this year," I don't know why, but I felt incredibly proud telling him that. Perhaps it's due to the fact a lot of opponents of gay marriage say that gays are incapable of a loving, long lasting relationship.
"Wow," He let out a long whistle. "Ten years is a long time. But that's good. So what made you want to move out?"
As if I'm going to tell him the real reason. "I just wanted to get out on my own for a little while. I love my family," most of them, anyway, "but a change of scenery is always nice."
"Yeah," Dan chuckled. "So how long you been at the coffee place?"
"I think about a month or two now. I don't know. I kind of lost track of time."
"Must mean you like it."
"Yeah, it's a fun job. Easy," I said with a smile, as if I was serving him a coffee. "How's your job?"
"Has its ups and downs, you know? I've had some pretty easy jobs and some pretty hard ones. Believe it or not, residential jobs are more difficult than business jobs. Business owners know what they want and their budget is usually bigger. Residential clients sometimes don't like the ordered product, or the installation. Their budgets are usually smaller."
"What's the money like, if you don't mind me asking?"
"Well, spring and summer are my busiest times. Winter is a bit slower, especially given how much it rains in this area. I toyed with the idea of moving to a new city, one with less rain, but ended up tossing that idea out. Everything is here. Moving would just cause a headache for myself."
"I can imagine," I took a deep inhale of the scent coming in from the grill. "That smells so good. The garlic is strong."
"Thanks," he said passively. "I make my own garlic oil and use it on pretty much everything."
"Well, if it tastes half as good as it smells consider me a huge fan."
The communication died down. Instead of sitting in semi-awkward silence I decided to bring out my bio study guide and continue going over it. I need as much practice as possible if I hope to ace the test. What is really throwing me for a loop is all the animal kingdom classifications and the like. Only Sylvester knows what will be on the test, but if I know her like I think I do then she'll probably have a written portion of the test aside from the multiple choice questions. The study guide says we need to know all the domains and kingdoms, including characteristics and examples of the animals found in each. That definitely sounds like a written answer to me. Several, in fact. This is going to be one hell of an exam. Claire probably isn't doing any better. She hates studying. Hell, she gets pretty decent grades for the minimal amount of studying she does. Last semester we took a psychology class together. Not one test did she study for. Made out with a B in the class. How the hell does that happen? I'm a smart kid, but I have to study for the grades I receive.
Not too much time had passed by before the steaks were done. Three steaks were stacked on a plate and set on the small dining table. Dan opened the oven and pulled out a few potatoes. I hadn't even realized he was making anything else. Along with a tub of margarine, he put them next to the steaks.
"What kind of vegetable do you like?" he asked.
"I love them all," I replied.
"I've got corn, broccoli, carrots, Brussels, and green beans."
"Carrots will work."
The meat smelled so damn good. It's been quite some time since I've had a nice cut of beef. I'm more of a poultry kind of person, anyway. But that garlic oil is working my taste buds like a high class whore.
Dan popped a bag of carrots into the microwave, then said, "You can start eating. Carrots will only take a few minutes."
I didn't hesitate. I was hungrier than I had thought. I forked a steak onto my plate and rolled a potato on as well. From the condiments that were already on the table (salt and pepper), I could tell Dan didn't get fancy with his seasoning, though he did bring me a bottle of steak sauce.
The first bite of the steak I swear I had a small orgasm. Whatever cut it was, paired with the garlic oil, made for a fatal attraction. For all the seasonings Jared uses on his steak this proves that simplicity is key. Not that I'm slamming Jared's steaks. The microwave beeped and Dan brought over the carrots in a glass bowl. The two of us ate in nearly perfect silence. At one point he did turn the TV on, but it was to one of those boring news channels. I lost interest pretty quickly.
I finished eating and thanked him for a great meal. After washing my dishes, I took my homework back into the bedroom and continued studying. It wasn't long before the urge to sleep grew to epic proportions. Just before passing out, I realized Tyler still hadn't called me to inform me of what the Realtor had to say. I reached over onto the nightstand for my cell phone.
It rang a few times before he picked up.
"Hey," Tyler answered.
"Hey, I thought you were going to call me about the Realtor. What happened?" I tried sounding a bit annoyed. Selling the house is a nightmare for me. Don't keep me waiting in suspense for details.
"Yeah, well, I kind of forgot. Sorry." he said. "But she loved the house. Said it was one of the most unique ones she's seen in a long time. She did warn us up front that the market is declining quickly and that effects the price almost more than the house itself."
"So she low-balled you guys?"
"The figure was certainly less than what Jared and I were expecting." The disappointment and strain in his voice was undeniable.
"How much then?" Come on! Kill the suspense!
Tyler sighed. "Only $600,000. If even that. Although she did tell us she's not an appraiser. We're hoping for a higher number than that. $800,000 at least."
$600,000 sounds like a shit ton of money to me.
"Well, how much was the house worth when you and dad first got it?"
"Oh, damn!" I blurted out. "I can see why six is a bit low. What if you guys can sell the house for a larger profit?"
"It won't sell for anything like eight. We're just hoping for a miracle."
"Well, I'm sure things will work out for the best. We always seem to land on our feet, like cats. We're a family of cats," I chuckled, trying to keep the energy up.
He laughed with me. "Very true,"
"Call you tomorrow?"
"Love you, dad."
"Love you, too, Travers."
There you have it. I would've had this up a couple of days earlier, but my ear infection was causing some pretty nasty migraines. Let me know what you all thought :) Don't forget to add my new Twitter account: thedelfinoplaza. I post updates, teasers, and whatever else. By the way, when e-mailing me be sure to create a good subject, as it could be directed to my spam folder, which I hardly ever check before deleting. So, put in "Stories" or the title of one of my stories, something like that, okay? Thanks ahead of time.