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The Car Wouldn't Start

A fairly Standard disclaimer applies. The characters are mine, and should bear no resemblance to anyone. Oh, and they're gay. So if that offends you please go away. Really, you won't want to read this if the word GAY upsets you in any way, shape or form.   'The car wouldn't start'. That'd have to do. I coughed, leant over to the bedside table, pulled a Camel out of the open packet and lit it, squinting at the alarm clock as the smoke drifted into my eyes. "Damn it to hell!" I glowered, then yawned, swung my legs out of bed, and reached for the phone, before pulling back my hand. Of all the f**king days to oversleep, I'd picked a royal doozy. A management meeting, and it wasn't as if I had never used the car not starting as an excuse before. I had. I just couldn't remember when. Fuck! A gobbet of ash fell from the end of my cigarette; I rubbed it into the carpet with my bare foot before starting to hunt for clothes in the heap by the dresser. Two minutes on I'd made it to the bathroom and was brushing my teeth. What was the point? I was late and that was that. I could always get another job. Typesetting funeral cards wasn't exactly a fun, relaxing way to make a living, and too many of the grieving relatives expected polite, austere commiserations when they came in, mournfully handing over photographs of loved ones. It just wasn't me. Putting the toothbrush back in its glass, I rinsed and spat the thick, white glop into the sink, watching it swirl away down the plug hole as I briefly turned on the cold tap. It reminded me of him, and his whimpers of delight. Blinking, I glanced into the mirror. Face the same as always, no lines yet, which was surprising, considering I was lost. Stuck forever in my late teens, and going on thirty. If there were a point to it all, it had hidden itself remarkably well. Ten minutes later: jeans and crumpled t-shirt on, and in the kitchen deciding whether to make fresh or suffer instant coffee. Pathetic. Pathetically indecisive. A pathetically indecisive fool. I sighed. Pretty d*mn good for a eulogy, I thought, looking guiltily at the phone. The bitch was, they liked me! Letting people you don't like down is bad; letting down those you do is monstrous. The kettle clicked and I poured boiling water over the glutinous pile of coffee and sugar at the bottom of the mug. Fetching the milk from the fridge, I stirred it in, watching the bitter, black, socially-acceptable drug turn white. Cheaper than heroin anyway. Not as much fun. A pathetically indecisive monstrous fool. The phone rang. Frozen to the spot, I watched it the way a gazelle scents a lion. Eventually - and it seemed an age - the answer phone picked up. "They're wondering if you're gonna turn up." Swift and short. My colleague. Then he's got my job and doesn't give a f**k. Not that he'd had to work for it. I'd handed it to him bow-tied -- on a proverbial plate -- probably a rare Spode bone china plate too, knowing my luck; arsehole that I am. I chuckled at the thought, then burnt my lips on the coffee. "Fuck!" "Whacha doin'?" I ignored him, and walked to the window, hoping that perhaps he'd turn out to be a figment of my imagination. It was raining. Pouring down like the last hours of Noah's flood. "Don't." His voice was noncommittal, but I heard the plea. Still I ignored him, hunching my shoulders, wishing him elsewhere. "You know I lov …." "Don't say it!" I snapped, turning to him, the sound of the rain a fitting background. I felt my breath catch in my throat. He was beautiful and I did love him, I always had, though I'd never learnt to say it. "Did last night mean nothing?" He had come down from the bedroom wearing only his black boxers, and my groin twitched as I drank in his appearance, bottling it for future lonely nights. The disparate thought made me smile, and in return he smiled too, not understanding. I sighed, knowing I owed him at the least an explanation, and wanting to pull him into my arms and …. I closed my eyes and bit my bottom lip, hard. I could taste the iron in my blood, the pain centering me. "Yes … but … I can't." "Why?" he breathed; I almost didn't hear him. "Why?" "Yes, why?" and for the first time I saw fire in his eyes, saw he cared, and it confused the hell out of me. "Why do you care, why? It's no skin off your nose," I said, sneering. It always worked in movies and my imagination. Be the bad guy, and they're bound to leave you; leave you to your memories. I shook my head, forcing the images of us over the years back into the locked box along with fragments of the youth I had once been. I shook my head; because it was too late. "Don't, Chris, just don't. Have you forgotten what I was about to say?" "What? The 'L' word, John?" I tried to look disdainful; I tried, when all I wanted to do was pull him into my arms, and kiss him, hard - to tell him that I loved him and always had. "Yes, the 'L' word, as you so aptly put it." I watched in fascination as his thumb hooked over the waistband of his boxers, his forefinger resting lightly on the head of his now not so flaccid cock. "I won't say it again, but you know …." "I'm late for work," I interrupted, taking a swig of coffee, the pain of the hot liquid on my bleeding lip causing me to wince. I set the mug down on the window ledge. "So what's new?" He was smiling, almost laughing, and somehow he'd managed to get within grasping distance without me noticing. I retreated, until I felt the window handle poking me in the small of my back, just as a sheet of lightning lit up the room like a film set. We froze, waiting for the thunder. I watched, fixated, as he flicked his bangs back, then traced his red, red lips with his tongue; the same tongue that had given me so much pleasure the night before. "I … I …." The thunder crashed, and all of a sudden he was snuggled in my arms, his warmth and scent comforting me as the rain continued to beat down.

Security in Laboratory
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