Three Roads Chapter 57: Forever Minus Six Months
"Stop it." Eric giggled not at all convincingly.
"Why?" Cooper whined.
"Because I'm trying to have a serious conversation with you."
"And how does me jerking you off keep you from moving your mouth?"
While Eric thought of a good response, Cooper continued to keep his hand going up and down over Eric's dick.
"Don't tell me you don't like it. Your dick certainly does."
"Shhh! Don't spoil it." Cooper whispered.
Eric decided not to argue and just let himself enjoy the feelings; Cooper was right he couldn't deny that he liked it. Eric wasn't sure how early in the morning it was, but he knew it was possible that Toby was awake and moving around the house, so he tried to stifle his moaning as he got closer to climax.
"Get out of here Stevie!" Cooper barked. The cat climbed on the bed pawing Cooper's hand that continued to move up and down. Cooper waved his hand in front of the cat, numerous times to no avail.
Cooper wildly looked on his night shelf, "I need something to throw."
Eric slapped his hand, "Don't throw anything at my cat."
"Well then make her move."
"She's not causing any harm, she just wants to play, don't you honey?"
"Fine," Cooper said removing his hand and turning his back to Eric, "you let Stevie jerk you off and see how that goes over. I'll remind you that her claws need trimming."
Eric laughed, "You're such a baby, but now we can talk."
"We can't, I'm asleep." Cooper said feigning snoring.
"Seriously." Eric said playfully hitting Cooper on his back.
"Fine, I forgive you and your retarded cat." Cooper said turning around again.
"I want to talk about my birthday."
"What about it?"
"I want to go to dinner and then go to a club."
"But there's one problem."
"The club I want to go to is twenty one and over."
"So you don't want to spend your birthday with me?" Cooper said evenly.
"No!" Eric said immediately, "That's not it at all, I just..."
"Sounds like you do."
"Sorry," Eric said softly, "It was a really bad idea."
"No, it's fine."
"No really. I should have never asked, of course I want you there." Eric said kissing Cooper.
"No, it's really fine because the last Harry Potter book comes out that night and I kinda wanted to do the whole festivities at the Boarders in the mall."
"Wait, so you don't want to spend my birthday with me?" Eric said a little angry.
"Uh, I do. Hence why I hadn't asked. I knew it'd be insensitive, so try again asshole."
Eric's anger disappeared immediately and he laughed, "Ok, ok. Well you can go to the Harry Potter thing and I'll go the club with Toby and Richard and Bliss, but will you at least come to dinner?"
"Of course, I wouldn't miss it."
There was a quiet knock at the door and Toby peaked his head in, "Hey, you guys want to come out here?"
"Why?" Cooper questioned, "did you make us breakfast?"
"Come out here and see." Toby said sticking out his tongue before disappearing.
"Yay food!" Cooper said leaping out of bed scaring Stevie.
"Hey!" Eric yelled, "You scared Stevie jerk!"
"She's retarded, I doubt it did any damage that wasn't already done." Cooper said running out of the room. Eric followed quickly and had half the mind to reprimand Cooper for continuously calling his cat retarded, but it was obvious Cooper had moved on to different things.
"Aw, you did make us breakfast."
"No, he did." Toby said pointing to just inside the living room. Tim stood there with a hopeful smile on his face.
"Hey," Eric said cautiously, "what's up?"
"Ok, I'll just come out with it."
"Oh no what did you do now?" Cooper said putting his hand over his head.
"Thanks," Tim said sarcastically, "I just wanted to make amends with Eric. I hate that we've gone this long without talking and since it's sort of my fault..." He pointed to the food.
"Good idea with going to Denny's." Cooper said snacking on a peace of bacon.
"Yeah, I figured that if Eric wanted to throw me out, you would see the food and convince him to at least hear me out." Tim acknowledged.
All four of the boys had a laugh at that, "So true." Cooper continues to laugh.
"Shall we eat?" Tim asked.
"Yeah." Eric smiled.
"So you've dropped the news about your birthday?" Toby asked Eric as they all dug in.
"You knew about that?!" Cooper screeched.
"Of course I did," Toby said, "it was my idea."
"Shut up, you wanted to go to the Harry Potter thing anyway."
"You told him about that before me?" Eric said looking at Cooper.
"Of course, I needed to run it by someone before asking you. He's the one who nixed the idea."
"The Harry Potter thing at the mall?" Tim asked curiously.
"Yeah," Cooper nodded, "You've seen the fliers?"
"Seen the fliers?! I'm going...you're a Harry Potter Fan?!"
"Uh yeah!" Cooper said bouncing around in his chair, "I've read all the books so many times."
"Wow, who knew we had anything in common other than Eric!"
"I know really. You want to go together?"
"Yes, I didn't have anyone to go with so I was just going to take Tati, but this works especially since Eric is ditching us anyway, now that I`m officially invited to the party."
"I told you you would be." Toby smiled.
"I'm not ditching anyone," Eric said harshly, "that's why there are two parts to my birthday celebration."
"Who's your favorite character?" Cooper asked as he took a mouthful of pancake.
"Lame!" Cooper yelled as he playfully threw a piece of toast at Tim.
"No really. I like the whole struggling to deal with his place in the wizarding world, especially after hearing about the prophecy; how either he or Voldemort..."
"Don't' say his name!" Cooper shrieked before him and Tim burst into laughter.
Eric and Toby looked at each other and shrugged, "See this is why we're going to the club without you two." Toby said.
"Who's your favorite?" Tim said ignoring Toby.
"Dumbledore for sure. He's so fucking awesome"
"Yeah, he's like my second favorite character." Tim smiled.
"You know what I've always wondered? Where are all the homos at Hogwarts? I wish I was in the story, you know what I could do with a magic wand?" Cooper said.
"You guys know this is pretend right? It's not real." Eric said shaking his head at both of them.
"Shut up muggle." Cooper smiled which caused him and Tim to laugh even harder than they did before.
"I blame this on you," Eric said looking at Toby, "you let him in."
"Jack!" Dr. Brown said loudly while knocking on his son's door. He had already tried the door knob, but the door had been locked.
Jack slowly came to as his dad's voice woke him up out of his sleep. Once he had the clarity of mind to realize that it was his father that was insistently knocking on his door, he immediately decided to ignore it. However, after a few more minutes of continued knocking, Jack became more and more annoyed, "I'm sleeping!" he yelled.
"Open the door now, Jack!" Dr. Brown said his voice almost shrill with anger.
"No, come back at a decent hour!"
Suddenly Jack heard a loud crash and sat up quickly to see what had fallen in his room, he was surprised to see his door kicked in and his father standing in his doorway.
"Happy birthday!" his dad said kicking small pieces of wood from the door out of his way.
"Look what you did to my door." Jack said less aggressively than he meant to. His heart was beating very quickly and he was aware of the fact that he was scared.
"All I wanted was to give you this." Dr. Brown said handing Jack an envelope.
Jack was afraid to open it, but his curiosity got the better of him. He opened the envelope and saw several hundred dollar bills inside.
"That's a lot of money."
"You'll need it."
"Because you're moving out."
Jack laughed nervously, "What are you talking about?"
"You're 18 today. You're a man now and I'm no longer legally responsible for taking care of you. You've got one hour to get your shit out of my house before I have the police escort you out."
"But what about your reputation!" Jack said lamely, "How's it going to look that you kicked out your only child."
"I didn't kick you out, you decided to be a man and step out on your own...at least that's what everyone will think."
"I'll tell them otherwise." Jack said.
"No you won't because I can make your life a living hell. You got into Sunnydale because you're my son and I'll be keeping an eye on you there."
"I can go somewhere else. My grades are good enough."
"I'm the President of a University, my word counts more than anything you could even come close to producing." Dr. Brown's tone suddenly changed and he was a lot softer now, "this is what you want anyway. You don't want to be here and with things the way they are I don't want you here either. You've got an hour, and please go quietly." Dr. Brown asked before leaving his son's room.
Tim was whistling and throwing his keys into the air as he walked to his studio. He was glad that Eric seemed to have forgotten their last argument and he was excited that he now had someone to go with to the mall when the last Harry Potter book would be given out. He turned the corner of his building where his studio stood; he was relieved to be home. It was the first time in a couple days that he had been able to get back. Some nights, once he had decided to leave his house, he'd take one look at his dad and feel guilty for leaving, so he'd stay.
But not today. It was going to be a nice quiet day, where he'd probably just sit back, watch movies and relax. He loved his little sister, but it'd be nice to have a night where he didn't constantly have to answer questions being posed to him. He saw the strewn about jacket first, before he saw the boy who it belonged to. Even though the scene before him was quite clear, Tim refused to believe it.
"Jack, what are you doing here, why do you have all your stuff?"
"My dad threw me out!" Jack said standing up, "I don't have anywhere else to go."
"Uh well..." a series of sounds followed from Tim's mouth, but he couldn't think of anything to say.
"You're not going to make me leave are you?" Jack asked softly.
"No, of course not," Tim said with frustration in his voice as he opened his front door, "but what did you do this time?"
"Nothing!" Jack said offended.
"Sorry, come on, you can't blame me for asking. He didn't give you any money or anything?"
"No," Jack said immediately already having decided to lie about it, "you know how he is. I just can't believe he threw me out on my birthday."
"Today's your birthday?!"
"Yeah. My 18th. You didn't remember?"
"No, sorry," Tim said feeling guilty, "I've been distracted with everything with my dad." Tim said unlocking and opening the door.
"It's ok. Where can I put my stuff?"
"Uhhh...just try and fit it in the closet. It's a small place it can't go anywhere else."
"Don't worry. Once I figure some things out I'll be moved out."
"No need to rush. You can stay as long as you need to."
"Really?" Jack said smiling.
Tim had already regretted saying it, but he didn't have the heart to kick Jack out, "Yeah, I mean I'm only here half the time anyway cause I help my dad out with Tati, so yeah it's cool."
"Thank you! So what are we going to do for my birthday?!"
"Dr!" Richard exclaimed as he saw Dr. Taylor walking up the street. He couldn't help but laugh as she continued to approach. He was used to seeing her in professional clothing, but today she had on a nice white blouse with Capri pants and an overly large hat. The only person he'd ever seen wear a hat that large before was Toby's grandmother on Sunday mornings when she would go to church.
"Look at you!" Richard smiled giving her a hug.
"Stop it!" Dr. Taylor laughed, "how are you?"
"Good good, I went ahead and ordered your jamba juice for you."
"Oh, thank you. How much do I owe you?"
Richard flagged his hand, "It's on me."
"Aren't you a kind soul." Dr. Taylor said taking a seat across from Richard.
"Wow, that hat is big enough to be a beach umbrella." Richard said staring at it.
"So is your head." She retorted.
"Ouch," Richard laughed, "the claws come out."
"I'm not on the payroll right now so they're out and sharp. So what's new?"
"Not a whole lot just enjoying summer and my new place..."
"And how is it living with Joey?"
"Like having an annoying little brother around." Richard smirked.
"I'd imagine he'd probably say the same thing." Dr. Taylor smiled.
"Probably. Oh you know what? Morris called me a few weeks ago."
"You remember his last name? I still don't."
"What did he want?"
"He wanted to offer me a position on his staff this school year. He wants me to be Chief of Staff."
"Wow, that's a big deal. Did you say yes?" Dr. Taylor asked.
"Yeah, it might help if I decide to run next year and after I thought about it, I realized I do want to have some part in the student government even if it is behind the scenes."
Dr. Taylor nodded, "You have to start somewhere."
"There's one drawback though."
"And that would be?"
"Morris said he's probably also going to offer Lucas a position."
Dr. Taylor made a face that showed her disgust, "Why would he do that?"
"He said that he wants the best people he can get to be apart of his team. I don't know what he sees in Lucas, but he's impressed with him for some reason."
"Did you tell Morris that you aren't exactly fond of Lucas?"
"I did, but I told him I also knew how to be professional."
"Anything new with you?" Richard asked.
"Not particularly, just getting ready for the school year."
"Already? There's still like a month and a half."
"There's a lot to do, plus I have a few surprises." Dr. Taylor said as she tried to conceal her smile.
"Care to share?"
"I don't want to yet. It's all still in the works. Can I be upfront with you about something?"
Dr. Taylor cleared her throat, "I don't know if you're aware, but the student body government works fairly closely with the President's office. That might mean that there are times I keep things from you. It's not because I don't trust you, but sometimes information I have might put you in an awkward position because of your new role in the student body."
"I'm not going to suddenly become the administration's lap boy just because I sort of represent them." Richard said confidently.
"I didn't mean it like that. I just meant in order to not have you choose between my judgement and your role in the student body, I might purposely keep things from you."
"I'm sure it won't be an issue."
"Let's hope not."
"It's so good to see you!" Joey smiled as he gave Brian a big hug.
"It's good to see you too my friend." Brian said returning the smile.
"Promise me you'll never leave me again!"
"I promise." Brian said sarcastically.
"So how was the trip?" Joey said with a leading tone.
"It was fine. It was nice to be around my family and friends again. It's strange though how your sense of home changes."
"What do you mean?" Joey asked as they crossed the street to the airport parking lot.
"My sense of comfort has changed. I mean don't get me wrong, I love being at home and there's no place like it; but at the same time, I couldn't wait to get back here. Sunnydale is where my life moves forward, for now anyway."
"For now anyway is probably a good thing. I don't think too many people start out wanting to make Sunnydale a permanent location."
Brian laughed, "You're probably right. Help me lift this?" Brian said grabbing his large suitcase.
"I've got the couch all ready for you."
"Thanks" Brian said as he and Joey climbed into the car, "how has it been living with Richard?"
"You mean your boyfriend?" Joey smiled as he pulled out of the airport parking lot.
"He's not my boyfriend; I only talked to him once the whole month and a half I was gone."
"So then what is he?"
Brian shrugged, "I don't know I was hoping you could tell me. Has he been seeing anybody else?" Brian said not really wanting to know.
"No, I don't think so. I have too many of my own issues to know anything about yours."
"Nothing new on Chase then?"
"Nope. I ran into him a few days ago at the grocery store and he pretended like he didn't even see me."
"Maybe he just needs a little time."
"Well while he's taking his time, Joey will be looking elsewhere."
"It sucks doesn't it."
"Yes it does," Joey said as he continued to drive, "I would say tomorrow night we can go out for Eric's birthday and find us new men, but that bitch is going to a twenty one and over club."
"That sucks for you, I'm over 21 so I'll be going." Brian smiled.
"Fine, go, I don't care. All it means is you're going to die sooner."
Brian laughed, "But my good looks will never leave me."
"Do you think it'll be weird that I'll be staying at your apartment with Richard there?" Brian asked nervously.
"No. I think if anything it'll clarify things for you two."
Brian nodded, "You're right."
"And if you guys want to fuck on the couch so I can watch, feel more than free."
"I've been thinking all day about it," Jack said as he twirled the pasta on his fork, "and I can't think of a good way to get my father back."
Tim, who was wondering how soon he would regret letting Jack stay with him, continued to cut into his steak as if he Jack hadn't said anything.
"You haven't said much all dinner." Jack said.
"That's because all you want to talk about is your dad."
"It's traumatic to be thrown out of your house."
"It's traumatic listening to it be recounted a million different ways." Tim said.
"Fine, I won't talk about it anymore."
"Good. It could be a sign you know. Maybe instead of thinking of a way to get him back, maybe you should just let it go or better yet, try and make amends with your father."
"You're not exactly speaking to your mother right now." Jack said.
"Fine, you win," Tim said dropping his fork loudly on his glass plate, "continue all of this with your dad and tell me how far it gets you."
Jack was staring quietly into his plate, "I'm sorry Tim. I really appreciate you letting me stay and for taking me out to dinner. I shouldn't be trying to mess it up."
"That's a good idea."
"Why are you so good to me?"
"Uhhhh...I guess we all need a little help sometimes." Tim said awkwardly.
Jack nodded, "It's nice to know I always have someone looking out for me."
Tim smiled nervously, "Well you're 18 now, you're a big boy, you don't need anyone to look after you anymore."
"It's so exciting to finally be 18! I can do whatever I want!"
"You can't drink." Tim reminded him.
"There are ways around that."
"Oh God," Tim said rolling his eyes, "you're more than enough to handle sober, I can't imagine you drunk."
"You'll probably find out soon enough. Do you still go to parties?"
"I never really did to be honest," Tim said, "it's been...wow almost a year since I've been kicked out. I'd be starting my fourth year, maybe close to graduating if I was still in school."
"Does it make you sad?"
Tim shifted in his chair, "No. I mean I made a mistake and my life is ok right now. I have everything I need."
"Well, that's good." Jack said trying to sound positive.
"Yeah...and who knows, maybe I'll go back one of these days."
*****The Next Night*****
"Oh my God," Eric said as he held the shirt up in the air for everyone at the dinner table to see, "it looks really small."
"That's the point." Toby said, "it's why I picked it out for you."
"I don't get it." Eric said.
"You're 21 now, all the twenty one year olds wear the tight stuff to the club."
"Right." Eric said, "Thank you. Who's next?!"
"Don't look at me," Bliss smiled, "Me and Richard have you covered for drinks at the club."
"Here." Tim said handing over an envelope.
"Thanks," Eric smiled as he opened the envelope, "A gift certificate to Borders!"
"Yeah, there's $50 on there, I figured you could buy a DVD or book or something."
"Wow $50!" Eric said looking at Cooper, "I hope my boyfriend spent at least that much on me."
"Please. You know I can't be out done. Anyone else? I want to be last." Cooper yelled down the table.
Jon passed his gift down the table until it reached Eric, "I couldn't be bothered to wrap it." Jon smiled raising his glass.
"Arrested Development! I love this show! Thanks so much!"
"Yeah I figured since you couldn't have me, the next best thing was a DVD."
Everyone at the table laughed, except Cooper, "Yay!" he said as he snatched the DVD out of Eric's hand and threw it on the table, "who's next?"
Tim smiled and chanced a glance a few seats over at Jon who casually stuck up his middle finger.
Joey cleared his throat, "My presence here tonight will have to be enough, since I am being excluded from the activities later on tonight."
"Stop your bitchin minor." Richard laughed.
"Yeah, isn't it almost your bedtime?" Toby followed.
Joey pouted, "Fuck you both."
"Now now," Richard started, "if you can't be nice then you can't sit at the adult table."
"I didn't have time to buy you anything," Brian said apologetically, "I just got back."
"It's fine, Eric smiled, "no one here had to buy me a gift, it's good enough just having you guys here."
"So you're saying it would have been ok if I didn't buy you anything?" Cooper asked evenly.
"That went for everyone but you."
"I thought so. Here's numero uno." Cooper said sliding a bag over to Eric.
Eric quickly removed the top layer of tissue paper and looked into the bag only to look at Cooper with a reproachful look.
"Pull it out so everyone can see." Cooper said.
"No." Eric said firmly.
Toby quickly reached his hand in the bag and pulled out a package of underwear, "They're briefs!"
"With designs on them." Richard said passing them around.
Eric turned bright red as his friends continued to make comments as they passed around the package of underwear.
"I have a pair, these are really comfortable." Joey said as he passed the package to Brian.
"Why did you buy him underwear?" Brian asked.
"Yeah why did you buy me underwear?" Eric asked, still embarrassed.
"Where the hell have you guys been? Cooper has an underwear fetish." Toby said laughing.
"It's not a fetish, I just can appreciate a guy in a nice pair of underwear. This is good underwear, and I'm tired of looking at you in boxers!" Cooper said.
"Boxers?" Bliss said surprised, "I always had Eric tagged as a briefs guy."
"Oh my God me too." Tim laughed.
"Ok!" Eric yelled down the table. He turned back to Cooper, "you wear boxers too."
"Yeah, but only to relax in. You wear them all the time. And it would turn me on even more to see your cute little ass in these."
"I wish you would wear boxers less, your balls are always hanging out of them." Toby said shivering.
"That's because they're so big."
"Too much information!" Jon said as he covered his ears.
"Can we move on please?" Eric asked.
"Yep." Cooper said handing Eric a small box.
Eric opened it and a few moments later pulled out a watch for everyone to see, "I needed a watch!"
"I know see I listen when you talk." Cooper smiled.
"Thanks." Eric said going in for a quick kiss.
"Ok," Joey said closing his eyes, "we don't need to see that shit."
"I've got one more for you." Cooper said a little hesitantly.
"Damn, you really went all out didn't you?" Toby said surprised.
Cooper smiled, "That's the only way I know how to do it, but this isn't actually a birthday gift...I know our six month anniversary isn't for another week or so, but I wanted to give you this in front of everyone." Eric said as he handed Eric a very slim case.
Eric's part was pounding in his chest and he was very afraid to open the case, "You sure you don't want me to wait?"
"No, go ahead and open it."
Eric took a deep breath and lifted the lid of the case. A bright silver chain that was obviously very expensive was staring back at him, "It's a necklace." Eric said relieved.
"Yeah, did you think it was a bomb or something?" Cooper asked.
Eric laughed, "No, you just got all serious on me for a second. It's beautiful though. I'm going to put it on right now. Can you help me?"
All of their friends looked on longingly as Cooper helped Eric put on the necklace. Brian found it particularly difficult to watch, but at the same time he couldn't turn away. It was wonderful to see both Cooper and Eric so happy, but he was surprised at the jealousy he felt as he watched his two friends.
"Can we go dancing now?" Richard said interrupting the moment.
"It's time already? Let me look at my watch." Eric smiled.
"Wait," Toby said as he signaled to a waiter, "we need to make sure we end this party correctly."
The waiter was carrying a tray with six shot glasses filled with tequila, a plate with lime slices, and an extra salt shaker.
"To the minors at the table excuse those of us who are legal." Toby smirked making sure to make eye contact with Joey, "but us adults are going to endulge ourselves. There's one for each of us."
"Wait," Cooper said, "who's driving?"
Toby, Bliss, Brian, Richard, and Jon all looked at each other skeptically.
"Good one guys." Cooper mumbled.
"I would," Brian started, "I'm not a big drinker, but I don't have an American license."
"I caught a ride with Richie so I'm out." Bliss said.
"I'm probably leaving the club early, cause unlike most of you I do have to work in the morning," Jon said, "so unless you guys want an early night I'm probably not a good choice."
Toby and Richard, the last two left, were staring at each other, "I can drive. It's only one shot." Richard said.
"How about you put that glass down there Richie." Cooper said harshly.
"Seriously, man I'm a big guy I'll be fine."
Cooper turned to Eric and Eric shrugged, "It'll be fine, don't worry."
"Now that that's settled," Toby said, "everyone grab a glass and let's toast our friend Eric. Happy birthday man, love you, and let's have fun tonight."
"I don't know what to do." Eric said sheepishly.
"Wet the back of your hand like this," Toby said licking a spot on his hand, "then put a little bit of salt on the wet spot. When we say go, you'll lick the salt, take the shot and then bite the lime."
"I want to watch this." Joey laughed as he watched Eric fumble with the salt shaker.
"Ok, I think I'm ready." Eric said not sure if this was still such a good idea.
"Alright, one, two three." Richard yelled.
Eric was the only one who took the shot and all his friends, with the exception of Cooper and Brian laughed as his face scrunched from the taste of the tequila, "Damn, that's strong!"
"That's not funny." Cooper said glaring at Toby.
"It's just a joke, calm down, we're all gonna do it too." With that Toby, Richard, Bliss, Brian and Jon all took their shots.
"See," Richard said to Cooper, "same as I was a few seconds ago."
"Right." Cooper said.
"Everyone know who they're going with?" Richard asked, "Let's head out then."
Eric was beginning to pick up the various boxes and bags that contained all his gifts, but was stopped by Brian, "Don't worry about them, I got it."
"Thanks." Eric smiled.
"Are you ok?" Cooper asked turning Eric around.
"Yeah, I'm fine, why?"
"You know you don't have to go with them if you don't want to, you can come with me and Tim instead."
"You're cute when you're all worried." Eric teased.
"I'm being serious, don't do anything you don't want to do."
"I'm not, I'll be fine."
"Alright," Cooper said unconvinced, "well since you're set on going, I want you to have fun. You're allowed to grope but no kissing."
"You're hot and it's your twenty first birthday lots of guys will want to talk to you and I'm just saying, have fun, I don't need to hear about it but..."
"Could you shut up, I'm not going to grope anyone and you're not allowed to either." Eric said sternly.
Cooper couldn't help but laugh, "Tim? Are you serious?"
"Yes, I am."
Cooper was taken aback by how serious Eric appeared to be, "Of course nothing is going to happen between me and Tim."
"Have fun tonight." Cooper said as he kissed Eric.
Eric and Cooper walked out arm in arm as they accompanied their friends to their various cars.
"You're with us." Toby said as he stood near the passenger's side of Richard's card.
As Eric got comfortable in the car, Cooper tried not to be obvious as he whispered to Toby.
"Watch him." Cooper said.
Toby didn't say anything, but did a salute instead.
"Don't let him drink too much." Cooper followed.
"I know," Toby said returning the tone, "I'll watch him."
"I'm so excited." Tim said as he held open the door to the bookstore for Cooper.
"I am too. I just hope there aren't any assholes here who are going to ruin the book for us or I'll be doing some ass whopping tonight."
Tim nodded in agreement, "Seriously. I hope no one would be that mean."
"You'd be surprised. Cooper Hwang." Cooper said giving his name to the attendant.
"There you go." she said handing him a ticket.
"What's this for?"
"One lucky person will have their number called and they will receive the book before anyone else."
"Sweet! I'm so winning this!" Cooper said.
"Yeah right. What do you think the chances are of you winning?"
"The same as the chances of me being the guy with the biggest dick here."
The woman gave a gasp of surprise at Cooper's comment and Tim rolled his eyes, "Excuse him." Tim said taking his ticket from the woman.
Cooper laughed, "You and Eric are a lot alike, it's so easy to embarrass you."
"I don't think Eric and I are that similar."
"I think you guys are."
"Then how come you didn't fall for me instead?" Tim asked.
"He's less psychotic than you."
"That was a joke, you weren't supposed to actually answer."
"Come on, you should know by now that I don't have a filter."
"We've only been here two minutes and I already want to kill you." Tim said rolling his eyes.
"This is the first time we've ever hung out together by ourselves huh?" Cooper asked.
Tim thought about it for a minute, "I think so. There's never really been a reason to do so before."
"What do you want to do?" Tim asked, we've got at least another hour and a half since they're not releasing the books til midnight."
"We can probably kill some time making fun of those trashy romance novels." Cooper said happily.
"Are you kidding?"
"Not even a little bit. Come on it'll be fun." Cooper said taking Tim by the hand.
"That won't work here." Richard laughed as Bliss began to do one of her infamous chest shakes.
"There has to be a straight guy in here somewhere."
"Toby's about as straight as you'll get." Richard teased.
"I'm too drunk to care what you just said about me." Toby said sticking out his tongue.
"I wish I was drunk enough not to realize that Bliss' knockers are out and about." Jon said.
"What are you talking about?" Bliss started, "the gays love breasts."
"Where are Brian and Eric?" Richard asked.
Toby pointed to a dark area where there were a few tables, "They're talking."
"How boring," Jon quipped, "who comes to a club to talk?"
"Yeah, usually people use their lips in different ways when they're here." Toby smiled.
"We should go get them, they should be dancing!" Bliss said stomping her feet.
"I don't even know if Eric can stand. And he's over there sulking because he's drunk," Toby said as if the situation were funny, "You know how he gets...remember your party a while back..."
"Where he threw up." Bliss laughed.
"And then later we gave him that bib." Richard said joining her in laughter.
"That wasn't funny," Jon said also recalling the memory, "he almost took me out with his vomit."
"Good times." Bliss said.
"Why don't you go get your Norwegian boy toy?" Toby teased as he looked at Richard.
"Maybe I will." Richard said raising an eyebrow, "why don't you help me Jon, and get Eric to dance with you?"
"What do you need my help for?"
"Brian won't want to leave Eric, so if you ask him to dance I can have some quality time with my Norwegian boy toy." Richard said making sure to make eye contact with Toby.
"I don't care, remember I'm too drunk too care." Toby smiled back.
"You should. You've been on your no men strike for a while now, it's time to get back out there."
"What for? I've got Bliss here to dance with." Toby said grabbing her around the waist.
"Let's leave the breeders here while we go get our men." Richard said to Jon.
A few minutes later Bliss and Toby were rejoined by their friends, including a very shaky Eric, who looked like he was being held up by Jon.
"Are you alright?" Toby asked upon seeing Eric.
"I want to call Cooper, give me my cell phone back."
"Why?" Toby asked.
"He probably thinks I've dropped dead by now."
"He doesn't think that." Richard said, "you're in good hands."
"Literally." Jon smiled, "Come on, forget about Cooper and take a little walk down memory lane while we dance."
"If I remember correctly, you're the one who said you didn't like re runs." Eric said.
"Damn, you get bitchy when you are drunk huh?"
"You ok?" Richard asked as him and Brian danced.
"Yeah. I haven't had anything to drink."
"I meant about us dancing and being here."
"Oh, yeah, I'm fine."
"Good. I didn`t know how things would be since you got back."
"I thought this might be really awkward, I`m glad it isn`t." Brian laughed.
"I'm sure the alcohol helps." Richard said smiling.
"For you anyway."
"I'm easier to seduce when I'm under the influence."
"Well, I'll be sleeping on your couch so you know where to find me. I did promise Joey he could watch though."
"You don't think Joey is cute?"
"You do?" Richard said surprised.
"He's not my type but yeah he's cute, you don't think so?"
"Are you trying to pawn your friend onto me? I thought you were the one who wanted me?" Richard said teasing Brian.
"I'm here dancing with you aren't I?"
"Dance a little closer."
The reading of romance novels long over, Cooper and Tim, decided to sit down in the small café located in the bookstore, to wait out the final minutes before the book would be released.
"Oh, how's your dad holding up?" Cooper asked.
Tim shrugged, "He's fine I guess. As fine as anyone could be."
"That has to be tough...especially for you, I mean since you're the one who told him."
"Yeah, son of the year here." Tim said bitterly.
"Hey, no one's family is perfect."
"What's yours like?"
Cooper smiled, "My sister, Angela and I are really close; we talk a couple times a week. My dad's like this funny old man, who's been forced to slow down a bit since his heart attack, and my mom I love her too of course, she's always trying to butt in our lives."
"That doesn't tell me about your family dynamic though." Tim said.
"We have fun. We're loud when we're together, me and my sister anyway. My dad will join in after a while, but my mom just looks like she's raised a pack of hyenas."
Tim laughed, "Sounds fun."
"Yeah. Don't worry about things with your family. I'm sure a chance will come for all things to be rectified."
"We'll see...thanks for asking about my dad; makes me feel a little guilty that I never asked about yours after the heart attack. I mean I knew cause Eric told me, but yeah I should have asked."
"Forget about it, it's all good. I just hope now that we've hung out we don't go back to just talking only because of Eric."
Tim smiled genuinely, "I hope the same. It's funny because you've been more serious tonight than I've ever seen you."
"That's cause you don't know me that well." Cooper said bluntly.
"I guess not."
"I mean most of the time I like to laugh and be loud and say what I think. Life's too short to be all worried what people will think or say, but I'm not like that all the time. I know when it's appropriate and when it's not. Usually, the people who think I'm a goofball all the time, are the people who haven't taken the time to get to know me, so fuck em."
Tim nodded his head, "I wish I could be like that."
"You can. It's not easy, but it's all a mindset. Back in high school, people would make their comments or whatever, but I always was just being me, I don't want to be anyone else."
Tim smiled, "I can't believe I'm getting good advice from you."
"Like I said, I'm not always a retard. You think Eric would be with me if I was?"
"Good point. You guys make a really cute couple by the way. It makes me happy to see you guys, if not a little jealous."
"Thanks, I love him so much."
"Is this the first time you've been in love?" Tim asked.
"No...I was in love with a guy in high school. We even ended up having sex, and then he never really spoke to me again."
"Oh my God!"
Cooper shrugged, "It's in the past now."
"Still, that sucks."
"Well yeah, it must have been the same for you and Toby though, I mean when all of that stuff happened with Richard."
"It did. I didn't think I'd ever get over that."
"I didn't think you would either. The whole breaking in thing...what was that about?"
Tim smiled sheepishly, "I wasn't thinking. That seems like a totally different person did that. You know, I don't even know if I was in love with Toby or more if I just couldn't believe that I could catch the attention of someone who looks like him."
"Toby is hot. And he has a fantastic ass." Cooper laughed.
"He does!" Tim said, "and I say that and I don't even really get the appeal of asses."
"Then you're not gay," Cooper said, "simple as that."
A voice came over the loud speaker to announce that the person with the winning ticket was about to be announced.
"Here we go!" Tim said excitedly.
They both pulled out their tickets and waited anxiously for the number to be called.
"And the winning ticket is number 00001115."
"That's me!" Cooper yelled, "That's me!"
"You liar!" Tim said grabbing his ticket.
"I wanted to win!" A little girl yelled at the top of her lungs. Cooper looked over and realized it was Sally.
"Suck it!" Cooper said in her direction with both middle fingers up as he raced to the front of the line, "I'll come back for you." he yelled towards Tim.
"Are you asleep?" Eric asked climbing into bed with his boyfriend.
"I think so." Cooper said.
"I want to talk?"
"About what?" Cooper said not really listening.
"I thought you were going to ask me to marry you, tonight"
Cooper, suddenly wide awake, turned around in the bed, so that he was now facing Eric, "What the fuck are you talking about?"
"When you handed me my last gift, I thought it was going to be an engagement ring."
"Why would you think that?"
"You just got really serious and I thought wow this is it."
"I love you Eric, but it's barely been six months, we're nowhere near ready for that. I know I'm not. Are you?"
"No! I mean who knows if we'll even make it there." Eric said.
Eric saw the weird expression that crossed Cooper's face. It jolted him enough that he had to ask, "What was that look for?"
"If we make it there?" Cooper repeated, "You know I love you right?"
"Yeah, I just meant...you know...six months...that's it you know, way too early for marriage. I hadn`t even ever thought about it until tonight when I thought you were going to propose or something."
Cooper smiled nervously, "You're scaring me a little, are you having doubts about us?"
"No!" Eric said immediately, "I was just saying who knows what the future holds.
"What else do I have to do to show you I'm in it for the long haul?"
"It's more what I'm going to have to do. It's been six months since we've been together and we haven't had sex yet." Eric said nervously.
"Don't you want to?" Eric asked.
"I'd love too. But you're not ready and I totally understand that. Come on we've already talked about this."
"I know, but..."
"But what? I'm not pressuring you. I can wait as long as you need to before we have sex and I'm not going anywhere, so what's the issue?"
Eric shrugged, "I guess you're right."
Cooper's kissed Eric's forehead, "Seriously, if this doesn't work out after all the energy I spent waiting for it to happen, I'd probably just turn to women. You're the only guy for me." Cooper chuckled as he turned his back to Eric to go back to sleep. But Eric didn't find what Cooper had said amusing, he found it down right frightening.