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Morning light disturbed me from sleeping, but the light was nothing in comparison to the warm body spooning behind me. His steady, slow breathing indicated he was still passed out. Given that 7 AM had not even passed yet it didn't exactly surprise me. What I was doing up irritated me, though. I wanted to sleep longer.
Trevor and I stayed up until almost two just holding each other. Occasionally we brought something up, but for the most part we remained silent. Only the sound of our lips smacking together brought any relief to the quiet room. Neither of us took it any further than intense kissing. I, and possibly he, realized anything more would be taken the wrong way. The night wasn't about having sex. It was about rekindling a fire that had long since smoldered out.
I have plenty I'd like to talk to him about, though. And we will discuss everything today. I want nothing left unsaid so that we can move forward. Any lingering resentment will only cause an unimaginable amount of suffering in the future, near or distant. Truthfully, the one thing that is pestering me is the evening I caught him with Keegan. Not only did that eliminate my immediate passion for Trevor, it also ruined my relationship with my brother. Thinking about that horrible incident makes me kind of question what I'm doing with Trevor now.
How can I forgive him for that? Or, a better question, have I already forgiven him? Am I so in love with him, so in need of him, that even something as treacherous as having sexual relations with my own flesh and blood can be forgiven without even an episode of groveling? Am I that dependent on him?
As all of these questions were invading my conscious, Trevor stirred. He rolled over, facing away from me. The warmth he once provided grew weaker. I felt very isolated at that moment. Something wasn't right. This doesn't feel right. I almost feel guilty and I don't even know why. Perhaps it's the idea that I should hate him still. How could I possibly forgive him? The guilt was growing like a cancer inside my mind. What if he's just using me? What if all of this is a cruel joke? How sorry is he?
Noise in the kitchen shook me from my brooding. I wonder if Tyler or Jared have noticed the white truck outside yet. Tyler would probably be going crazy to find out what's going on. How would I be able to explain it to him when I myself don't even know what's going on? This feeling of guilt and confusion is exactly what I wanted to avoid last night, but it's hard to when the man you've loved for the past three years shows up and wants to mend the fence, as it were.
Trevor stirred again. The sounds from the kitchen likely woke him. This was it. The moment we could finally talk and sort things out. Should he want to, I'll know he's serious. But if he tries to avoid it, if he says he has to leave, I'll know this wasn't supposed to happen; it was just some sick game he's playing.
"Morning," he murmured, rolling back over and hooking an arm underneath mine. He wedged his hand onto my shoulder and pulled me in close.
"Morning," I responded quietly.
A few silent seconds passed by before Trevor said anything. "I can't tell you how much I missed waking up next to you. Sleeping alone, even though I'd done it so many times when we were together-I was never really alone. I had the thought of you. I had the memory of your warmth. But not having you at all was the loneliest, coldest sleep I've ever had in my life."
His confession shocked me. I had no idea he really cared that much about sleeping with me, or without me. He'd never said anything like that before.
"I missed this too," I said. "You have no idea."
"I do, though, Travers. You might think, even after I told you why I broke up with you, that I didn't miss you or crave you. It was just something inside my head that was keeping me away from you. Every day was torture. I wanted you physically, emotionally. At the same time I couldn't stand the sight of you. Like I said last night I was always on edge. Even my parents . . . avoided me. I don't know what destroys me more, the pain I caused you or the pain I caused them."
"I love you, Travers. And . . . if it takes a thousand years or a thousand tears I will earn you back. I promise. I can't live without you."
I gritted my teeth. The tears were threatening to escape. The last thing I wanted was to cry, but damn if what he said didn't make me want to melt. That's the Trevor I remember. That's my Trevor. The sweet, always knows what to say man who can back his words up with amazing physical prowess. Suddenly, most of the guilt washed away. Some remained, because we have plenty to discuss still, but the majority was gone. I felt so relieved. It's amazing what a few words can do to a person.
"I love you, too," I said through my gritted teeth.
He chuckled. "I can tell you're trying not to cry. But it's okay, Travers. Let it out. It'll make me feel better, too."
And so I did. The tears came quietly and ferociously. I've been craving this moment for so long now. When he pressed his lips against the back of my neck, I nearly wept. Trevor managed to pull me in to him even closer than I already was. His warmth was soothing and familiar. I wanted to stay like we were all day.
"I missed you so much." I exhaled unevenly.
"I know you did," he whispered.
But I had to get something out of the way. Then I could be truly at peace will all of this.
The tears stopped.
"I need to know why you fooled around with Keegan."
His tension was easy to feel. Even his breathing changed. As much as I wanted to pretend we were okay, the truth must be sought.
"Must we deal with that now?" he asked in a strained voice. "It wasn't my finest moment."
"Trevor," I sat up and looked down at him. "I can move past everything else that happened between us, but what you did with Keegan is something that I cannot just get over."
"Okay, okay," he sighed sadly, sitting up next to me. "There wasn't much to it. I showed up to see you, and since you weren't home Keegan invited me up to his room. We started playing games and then he kind of just mauled me. He started kissing me, groping me, nibbling on my ears. I did try to stop him. I even pushed him away, pretty hard actually. But he kissed me again and that's when-"
"Okay, that's enough." Tears again invaded my vision.
"I will never be able to apologize enough. Travers, please! I know it was awful and I should've just left, but you two look so alike and I wasn't having a good day so it just happened." He reached for my hand, but I flinched. "I did not come over that day with the intention of having any sort of sex with your brother. You have to believe that. I've never even thought of him that way. Ever."
I let his words penetrate me. The sudden silence in the room was unnerving. Awkwardness set in and I wanted him to leave. Although he said what I needed him to say it still hurt. I'm torn between wanting his arms around me and wanting to cut off said arms. Should I even believe him? That nagging feeling of being made a fool returned in full force. This could all just be an elaborate ruse, and once Trevor has had his share of laughs he'll just leave me crippled again. Before any more self-inflicted torture could resume, he started to lift himself out of my bed.
"Look, as much as I don't want to I should probably leave. I've thrown a lot at you in a very short amount of time and I know you take a while to process things." He stepped into his pants and pulled them up over his slimmed down waist. I watched as his biceps flexed and rolled. It was oddly erotic and if I wasn't so depressed I would've humped him.
"Okay." I didn't know what else to say. I didn't trust myself to say something meaningful.
"I'll see you later," he said softly, coming around to my side. I looked up at him expectantly but not knowing what to expect. "I'm serious, Travers. I love you and I messed up, but I want to fix us. Things won't be the same ever again, but starting fresh and new can only lead to bigger and better things. It'll take time, I understand that and I'm more than willing to wait with you." Leaning down he kissed me on the top of my head. "I'll see you in a few hours. I love you."
And just like that he was gone. I let him slip out of my room and out of the house. He didn't look back, but I wasn't exactly expecting him to. I don't know what I was expecting. I don't even know what I'm doing. I'm so confused by all of this. There's just no sorting it out right now. Hopefully it won't take long to sort, but damn it there's so much.
I heard more noise coming from the kitchen. Whoever is in there I wonder if they saw Trevor leaving? As long as it wasn't Keegan I don't care. I hope they did see him, actually. Then it won't be so hard to bring up.
I threw back my covers and put my pajamas back on. I had to talk to someone about all of this. Going back and forth in my head won't solve a damn thing. Fortunately it was Tyler in the kitchen. He's the best person to talk to about relationships. I filled him in on what transpired last night and this morning, only leaving out the finer details of the Keegan scandal.
"Steroids, huh? That's a shame he felt the need to do that. His weight issue probably goes a lot further than even what he knows, especially if he resorted to steroid usage."
"But should I even buy that? I mean, come on, Tyler. We were together for so long. I never made him feel unappealing or too big."
"But you don't have that body image issue, Travers. He does. When you feel ugly or fat or inadequate, especially compared to a very attractive partner, i.e. you, then these kinds of things can happen no matter how special you make the other person feel." He paused for a moment, flipping over the stripes of bacon. "When Jared and I first started dating I had a lot of self-image problems. I didn't feel I matched my partner. He was so gorgeous and fit and popular. On my best days I felt somewhat handsome and average even though Jared always complimented me and made me feel like the only person that mattered in the world. I grew out of that eventually and thankfully it didn't lead to any negative consequences, but my point is that it can happen to anyone. Today I know I'm hot and fit and still relatively young and-"
"Okay, enough," I laughed.
Tyler grinned impishly. "What Trevor told you likely took a huge amount of courage. You should be proud of him for even wanting to confess. He may have done some foolish things that he'll always regret, but he wants to make things right. And I say go for it. You're scared and nervous, I understand that. But you two had a great chemistry. Your friends liked him and vice versa. Your family adores him. He cares a lot about you. If he didn't, if he didn't mean what he said, he wouldn't have apologized and stayed with you all night."
The smell of the bacon was making my stomach rumble. For the first time in hours I thought of something other than Trevor. Bacon's power is utterly amazing. Tyler forked the pieces out of the frying pan and let them drain onto a napkin lined plate.
"Can I have some of that?" I pointed at the plate of salty goodness.
"Of course," Tyler said.
I grabbed a few pieces, then sat back down. "I don't know what to do."
"Just go to school. Go to work. Do what you normally do. Let him make the moves. He's the one apologizing and trying to win you back, so the ball will be in his court for a while."
"The thought of moving too fast won't stop nagging me. I've been miserable for how long now, and after a few hours I want to get back together with him?"
"Come on. You've been wanting him back for a lot longer than a few hours. But you take things as fast or slow as you want. If you feel like him spending the night is moving too quickly, then tell him. Don't be afraid to speak up."
"I guess," I sighed unhappily. I munched on my bacon and rolled our conversation through my mind. Tyler has a point in that it's up to Trevor to make the moves. That honestly takes some of the pressure from me. I feel slightly relieved but still apprehensive about all of this. "It just feels too fast is what I'm trying to get at."
"Like I said, Travers, you move as fast or slow as you want. I probably shouldn't say this because it'll probably influence in some way, but I love Trevor. Jared loves Trevor. He was around so much it was like he was a fourth son to us. When you two broke up it hurt me. I didn't think I'd be seeing him anymore and it cut me. He's a great guy and he makes you so happy. Stop overthinking everything. If you want him back, then have him back."
I finished eating my bacon, pondering what my next move would be. Tyler's right, in that I just need to do my day like normal. Trevor will seek me out and make the moves. That almost excites me, like, not having to do anything but still reaping the benefits. It's the lazy man's dream. What will my friends say, though? Not that their opinion of Trevor affects me in the slightest, however. I still wonder their reaction if Trevor just comes up to me and starts talking. Claire would probably give him her (almost) patented bitch face. Olivia, always the more levelheaded of us, would be receptive towards him albeit quiet. And Lizzie, well she'd mouth off and ask inappropriate questions, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. Ben is an entirely different matter. Although he encouraged me to pursue Trevor, the animosity between them must be settled, which means that Trevor must apologize for how he treated Ben that night after work. Ben has become one of my best friends so chances are we will be hanging out often, not including the time we'll spend working together. If Trevor cannot be friendly towards him, then . . . Well, I don't exactly know what I'll do, but I will figure something out I'm sure.
Thanking Tyler for the bacon I headed back into my room to shower and
ready myself for the day.
No sign of him. Having arrived on campus several minutes ago I was hoping Trevor would have been waiting for me or something. I suppose I shouldn't set my hopes so high, but that seems quite minimal compared to what I could have expected otherwise. Claire's small green car was parked near the stairway and she was applying make-up as I walked up to her window.
She cranked it down, but continued her cosmetic ritual. "Hey."
"How's your morning, princess?"
"If I could roll my eyes right now, Travers, I would. You know I hate mornings."
"Oh, I know," I grinned.
"But ask me about my night."
Claire sighed dramatically. "You have to ask!"
"Seriously?" When she didn't respond I knew that, yes, I had to actually ask. "So, how was your night?"
"Oh, my God, thanks for asking! Well, my night was fantastic. I was with Dillon and we had sex!"
I waited a few seconds for her to continue the story, but when she didn't say anything I stated the obvious. "You've had sex with him before, so . . .?"
"Only a couple of times and it was great, but last night, Christ! Something happened and I don't know what it was. But I think I'm falling for him. Seriously, something clicked in my head and bam! And I think he realized it too because he's been texting me nonstop about going on a little road trip together."
"Well, that's great you finally feel something for the poor guy. When am I going to finally meet him, though?"
"No idea," she said dramatically. "Actually, I was thinking you, Olivia, and Lizzy could go have dinner with us and maybe catch a movie afterwards."
"Yeah, I'm down for that."
Given how excited she is about her newly found interest in her man I figure it isn't the best time to bring up my half-hearted reunion with Trevor. Besides, I'm still conflicted myself so bringing another person into it wouldn't be ideal. Claire and the rest will learn soon enough.
Claire finished her beauty regiment and we started for our class. With the impending close to the semester just a short month and a half away the time for actively stressing is now. The real freaking out, though, won't happen until the last few weeks. That will be crunch time. Now is just stress time.
Olivia was waiting for us in class once we arrived. She and Claire began talking earnestly about some TV show they're both into while I anxiously awaited Trevor's entrance. What would he do? Would he try to sit with me or on his own like normal? Would he even acknowledge what happened this morning? As badly as I wanted him to sit next to me, the reactions from my two friends might be less than appropriate. Ugh, damn this! Screw what they might think. If they cause a scene that will be on them.
My heart was racing. I felt incredibly tense all over my body. I'm stressing way too much over probably nothing. Trevor won't sit with me. He'll be too intimidated by the girls' staring. He probably won't even talk to me after class even though we have another class together. Holy shit, Lizzie would freak the hell out if she saw Trevor and me getting along. She would definitely be more crass than Claire or Olivia ever could. Perhaps him ignoring me would be the best thing for both of us. I don't want to test the waters, either. I'd rather just talk to him later, like at the end of the day. Like after work. Like right before I go to bed. Just not at school. I have to focus on my priorities, not a guy. Even though Trevor isn't just some guy.
The door in the lower part of the lecture hall opened, letting in a bright glare from the outside. Trevor walked in, only earning a brief glance from the gossip girls. I, on the other hand, couldn't stop staring. And then he smiled. Not a huge, bear smile, but a faint one that gave off endless meaning. He casually climbed the stairway until he was at our row and carefully inched past my friends. They stared at him incredulously. I knew what Claire was thinking: what the fuck!?
As he sat next to me, he said, "Hey."
I felt as giddy as a cat high on nip. "Hi." I had to bite my lip to prevent my grin from being too obvious. I could feel my cheeks were shining like a beacon in the night sky. "I wasn't expecting you to sit next to me."
"Why not?" Trevor had the cutest innocent smile. "I told you I'd earn you back and I was serious."
"I know, I just . . . Never mind. I'm just surprised is all."
The professor strolled in seconds later and began the lecture. Only minutes into it Trevor held my hand and remained holding it the entire session. I felt as though I was in some sort of fairy tale-no pun intended. As good as it felt having Trevor holding my hand, I could feel the tension on my right coming from Claire and Olivia. It was similar to that old cartoon scene where an angel would sit on someone's shoulder and the devil would sit on the other one. I felt torn. I probably should have mentioned what happened last night to my friends, but they were so preoccupied with their dumb show, and earlier Claire was on cloud nine from her night with Dillon.
Claire and Olivia will certainly seek answers from me after class, but I'd much rather talk with Trevor. Of course, he'll be in my next class, so I suppose we can talk later and I'll fill my friends in after this class. Lizzie will definitely want to know what's up and likely make a small scene with no apologies afterwards. I'd much rather deal with Claire and Olivia.
"So, I think this leads us into a perfect segue into next week's readings. I will be going over part seven of the textbook. Be prepared for heavy information. Remember, no class on Thursday."
My friends were out the door before I was even packed up. It felt awkward and rude, but they'll do what they do regardless. Trevor was of greater interest to me anyhow.
"They took that well," Trevor said in a sarcastic kind of way. "Can't wait to see what Lizzie says . . . or does."
I shook my head. "Don't worry about them. I'll handle them. But I wish they had a bit more thoughtfulness."
"I don't blame them, Travers. But I'm not here to win them over, so their reaction or attitude does not affect me in the slightest."
We walked out of the lecture hall together, and as soon as we cleared the doorway Trevor reached for my hand again. I could feel the stares, but I couldn't see them. My imagination was working overtime. Claire and Olivia were sitting on a concrete bench where we always killed time before our classes. The true test of our friendship is near and given their earlier reaction I have no idea how it will play out.
"Are you gonna come over tonight?" I questioned softly. "I won't be off work until nine, though."
"Actually, tonight I'm going to stay home. I'm trying to work on settling things with my parents so it's best I'm home." He squeezed my hand gently. "Believe me, I'd much rather be in bed with you. And as much as I'd just love to hang out with your friends right now, I'm gonna run to the bathroom and then the cafeteria. Want anything?"
"No, I'm good."
Releasing our grasp, he said, "Okay, I'll get you something." A grin lit up his face before he took off in the opposite direction as I.
The two girls were staring at me the entire walk over to them. For some reason their penetrating gaze was making me incredibly anxious, like I have to be afraid of their reaction or something. I made it in front of them and stood in silence. I wasn't going to be the one to start.
"Okay, so . . ." Olivia said.
"No, no, I'll start. I'll say it," Claire interrupted. "Since when are you talking to him again?"
I sighed heavily. "He came over last night and we sort of made up. Or, at least, we're getting there."
"The same guy who let your brother blow him and has made every possible attempt to hurt you?"
I grimaced. "He explained everything, and I believe him. Things are different."
"Travers, what excuse could he possibly have for hooking up with your brother? There is honestly no excuse good enough for that one."
"Keegan came on to him," sharply I said. "And yes his reasoning may not have been the most forgivable, but I'm not going to pretend to know what it felt like at the time." The level of defense I was playing for Trevor surprised me.
Olivia finally chimed in. "Travers, we are just a little skeptical. After all you've been through with him over the past few months, it just seems weird that overnight you guys are back together."
"We aren't . . . We aren't back together. We're just working things out."
Claire rolled her eyes and got onto her phone. It was her typical way of avoiding a situation that she didn't want to be a part of. Her aggressiveness, while understandable, was uncalled for. She has no idea what I've gone through over the past few months. She only knows what I've told her. I didn't tell her about the night I wanted to swallow all of those sleeping pills. I'll never tell anyone about that and be branded a suicidal freak. That's the last thing I need. Trevor has put me through the ringer in terms of heartbreak, but I can't give up on him. I need him. I think that has been clear since the first day I was "single."
"If you honestly want to work things out with him, then that is your business. We will be happy for you regardless. Right, Claire?" Olivia judged her rather roughly in the side.
Claire actually put her phone down. "Don't expect us to be friends with him again."
I knew her reaction wouldn't be good, but it feels like she's actually trying to hurt me.
"Don't worry. I don't expect much from you."
I left them without anything further said. I had to remove myself from that situation before things were said that couldn't be taken back. Claire can be such a cruel bitch sometimes. I expected her to be open to the idea of me and Trevor as an item again. I wasn't prepared for her coldness towards me. Trevor, sure, but not me. Since Claire's reaction turned out to be worse than I thought, Lizzie's reaction can only be nuclear compared to that.
Only a couple of chapters remain until the end. Email me and let me know what you thought! Visit my website, Delfino Plaza, but know that it is still a work in progress. I'm much more concerned about Taking Over Me than I am with updating other stories on there. Thanks for reading!