In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month I am providing a sneak peek of my upcoming story Sunday Kind of Love, which will be released in October.
I wrote this story a long time ago. It was an offshoot of The Helios Chronicles. As most know I am absolutely in love with The Bennett’s and their relationship. Madison’s response to them in Helios Awakened, would be mine. I adore them. After I finished writing the Helios Chronicles, I decided I wanted to explore The Bennett’s more, and decided to write their back story. The story takes place primarily in the 80’s and 90’s, exploring what it was like for them, trying to have a relationship, then a child in the heart of AIDS and the ‘gay panic’, and during a time where hate crimes didn’t include the LGBTQ community.
Sunday Kind of Love
I walk through my office before anyone else arrives. I always get here early and stay late. That’s what you need to do to make partner. No one ever makes it in the law profession by not giving up everything else in their life. I took this job at Montrell, Wilson, and Smith almost three years ago and am rapidly approaching partner status. I have had to work extremely hard to gain their trust. They didn’t know anything about me aside from my resume and my court record, which was impressive. So they were a little surprised when I walked through the door on my first day, expecting someone that looked entirely different than what they got. They had seen my name and knew of my family, well, my father’s family. I can’t really call them my family since they never accepted me in the first place. Hell, if they could have figured out a way to legally change my name they would have.
My father was William M. Bennett. He was the son of a well-known cattle rancher while my mother, Mercedes Martinez, was the daughter of the lead housekeeper at the ranch. Their affair had been scandalous, or at least that is what I heard from my mom’s relatives. His family would never talk of such things. They tried to deny that there was even a relationship until my mom turned up pregnant. The way mom tells it, my dad was ecstatic and asked to marry her immediately. But his family went ballistic, started calling her a whore and fired her on the spot. My grandfather sent my dad to a friend’s ranch in El Paso, 700 miles away from my mom. In the 1950’s there was no easy way to stay in touch other than phone or mail. Conveniently, my grandfather made sure that the foreman at that particular ranch kept my father busy from morning until night.
My father wrote my mother regularly, professing his love for her while also sending her everything he earned. I’ve read the letters so I know that part is true. He was kept away from her for the entire pregnancy, but when he received the telegram from one of my uncles telling him she had me, he quit and took off. My mother intended on giving me her father’s full name but my father was having none of that. He wanted his son to at least carry his last name. All hell broke loose as the family fought over the legitimacy of my heritage. My father didn’t care and married my mother anyway; unfortunately, he was then disowned by his parents. He found work and supported me and my mom, but it wasn’t enough, so he took another job on a ranch outside of San Antonio, coming back every weekend to be with us. I don’t remember much of him other than he always seemed happy. He looked like a typical cowboy, always in jeans and a cowboy hat, his honey blond hair hung to his shoulders and his blue eyes always expressed adoration and love for mom and I. He was tall and thin, much like myself and he seemed to have a carefree spirit, unlike me, who tends to be way too serious for my own good.
“Good morning, Mr. Bennett,” Sophie says as I pass her desk.
I give her a smile. “I’ll be in my office most of the day.”
“Don’t forget that the auditors are coming today. I think there are three of them so they will be using the conference room.”
I nod. “They don’t need me do they?”
She shrugs. “I don’t think so.”
I nod again. “Thanks, Sophie.”
I walk to my office and grab the file for the case I will be going to court for on Monday and then pull out several case books, reviewing previous decisions and lining everything up for the trial. I am pouring over case after case trying to make sure I have every base covered. I want no surprises. The day flies by and I realize that I haven’t eaten yet. I glance at the clock and see it is 6:20 p.m.
“I’ll go grab something to eat across the street and then finish up,” I tell myself.
I set my papers down and head towards the elevator. When I exit on the first floor, there are three men sitting in the waiting area talking. Huh! Those must be the auditors. I don’t notice much about them and by the time I come back they are gone.
The next day is much of the same except there are some crews working on the air conditioning in my office so I won’t be able to use it for a little bit, unless of course I want to hear their racket, which I don’t. I walk towards the conference room, forgetting I can’t use it, and sigh as I bring my files to the small waiting area near the window down the hall. I cross my legs and continue reading, hoping I can have the solace of my office soon.
“Can I sit here?” A male voice with just a hint of an Irish accent asks.
I look up to see a stunningly handsome man. My throat is suddenly as dry as the desert. I nod as he smiles and my heart starts beating extra fast. What the hell is going on with me? That voice in my head that I tend to silence all the time is screaming at full volume. My god! Just look at him! He seems to be about my height, so maybe 6’0″ or 6’1″ with light brown hair that almost seems red depending on how the light hits it and his eyes are as green as the spring grass and utterly mesmerizing. I can tell that he must work out because there is definition visible underneath his nice suit. He looks younger than me though by maybe six years or so. My eyes hungrily take him in and I feel a stirring within me, stronger than I have ever felt before. He takes a sip of his coffee and I notice that he is checking me out as well. When his eyes meet mine and he realizes that I have caught him staring, this wonderfully sexy shade of red starts forming around his ears and down his neck.
“I’m Elias Bennett,” I say, reaching my hand out to him.
He smiles and takes my hand in his. “Liam O’Connell.”
His hand is smooth and soft and I am having strong visuals of what they would feel like if they were moving across my body. He looks down at our still joined hands and I quickly let go, realizing I have been holding it longer than what would be deemed appropriate. I shake my head at my idiocy. I need to get away from here even though the voice in my head is slamming its fists against my brain telling me to stay put, to see where this goes, I can’t. I can’t allow myself to see where this could go.
I reach down and start gathering my papers and in my haste I drop a file on the floor. He reaches for it and hands it to me, and although I am generally really good at interpreting what the strengths and weakness of people are, I simply can’t do that with him. I don’t know what I see in his eyes but I do know that I have a strong desire to lean over and kiss him. My eyes widen as that thought crosses my mind and I quickly stand, snatching the file from his hand and taking off towards my office, slamming the door behind me, his eyes and touch still lingering with me.
“What the hell!” I mutter as I lean against my door.
I have never felt this strongly about anyone before. That immediate ‘I want to get lost in you’ reaction has never been present in my life. I have always focused on my schooling and career, trying to be the first and the best at everything I do. I have never had time to really have a relationship with anyone. I suppose I have dated Constance the most. My mom keeps hinting at marriage and children and thinks Constance is the perfect match for me. I will admit she looks good standing next to me but I just don’t feel that way for her. I close my eyes and run my hands though my hair, ignoring the men in my office.
“Calm down, Elias,” I whisper under my breath.
I can almost feel the softness of his lips on mine and the hard planes of his chest against my bare skin. I open my eyes, a strained expression on my face. I’m not gay; he’s just a good looking man, most people would have that response. It doesn’t mean anything more. Yeah right! Who am I kidding? I can trounce around with Constance on my arm to all the firm’s functions but that doesn’t make me straight. I can even have sex with her at the end of the night but that also doesn’t make me straight, especially since I picture myself with some green eyed God instead of her. I can even say that since I have never actually been with a man that I am straight. But the reality is I am too scared to follow through with the desire I have for men. It’s 1982 and I live in Houston, Texas. I work for the largest law firm in the state. I am a rising star in said firm. I am sure there are gay attorneys out there but certainly none of them are out in the open. And this is the one time in my life that I don’t want to be the first.
Alright, I need a plan. I walk to my desk and sit down, running my hand over the smooth surface of the desk, imagining ‘him’ sitting there, his shirt undone, exposing his tight and firm stomach as he slowly removes his dress slacks and begins touching himself… SHIT! I shake my head and stand up, pacing the room. I will just avoid him. They are only here for a couple of weeks. I can hide out in my office during that time. I work late and come in early every day. Honestly, what are the chances I will run into him again? I smile and lick my lips as my heart starts beating rapidly and I realize that I really do want to see him again.
It’s been four days and I have successfully avoided him. Well, at least at work. He has invaded my dreams every night. His green eyes haunt me, mock me. It’s as if they know what I am, who I am, and not who I pretend to be. I have court on Monday so I won’t be in the office at all, which will work to my advantage, so I only need to get through today and I am home free. I lean back in my chair and cross my arms behind my head, closing my eyes as my mind begins to wander, and as it has been doing since Monday, it turns to Liam and some form of escapade we are engaging in.
“Elias,” Mr. Montrell says as he steps through my open door.
I practically fall out of my chair but recover and rise quickly.
“Sleeping on the job?” he asks with a chuckle.
“No, sir, never. I was just thinking about something…” I trail off as the star of my fantasies steps through the door, along with two other men.
He is wearing a light gray suit with a black striped tie. He catches my expression and smirks before his eyes rake over my body, stopping at the now prominent bulge in my pants. His breath hitches and he quickly looks to the ground, drawing his lip into his mouth, while I nervously button up my suit jacket, trying to hide my obvious arousal. Mr. Montrell, oblivious to anything else, turns to the three men beside him.
“Elias, this is Mr. Johnson,” he says pointing to a portly man in a pin stripped suit. “And Mr. Jackson,” he continues, motioning to the man in the black suit next to him, and finally he turns to the fodder of my dreams. “And this is …”
Liam reaches his hand out to me. “We’ve already met.” I take his hand in mine and feel my breath catch in my throat. “It’s good to see you again, Elias,” he says with a brilliant smile and I swear his eyes are sparkling.
“It’s good to see you as well, Mr. O’Connell.” My voice comes out a little cracked but I figure if I can keep it formal then that will help. But my God, the way my name rolls off his lips.
His brows furrow somewhat as he withdraws his hand, sticking it in his pocket. He looks hurt and I want to blurt out ‘I’m sorry’ but I don’t. Instead I look at Mr. Montrell.
“How can I help you, sir?”
“Oh, it’s nothing; they had mentioned that you were the only one they hadn’t met yet so I brought them to you. I told them you are my best attorney and that anything related to you would be impeccable,” he says with pride.
“Thank you, sir.” We stand awkwardly for a moment.
“Alright, well, I know you probably want to get back to your case so we’ll leave you to it,” Mr. Montrell says as he taps Liam on the shoulder.
Liam looks over at him and gives him a halfhearted smile before glancing at me quickly. I know we only look at each other for a moment but it feels like an eternity. And just as quickly as he arrives, he’s gone. I start pacing in my office, washing my hands over my face. I just keep seeing his face. He is trying to tell me something. Is he interested in me… that way? I walk back to the door and see that the four of them are at the conference room door. He is laughing at something Mr. Montrell says and I can’t help but grin. Just then he sneaks a glance over his shoulder, directly at me and gives me a breathtaking smile that stops my heart. I smile in return and then look down, stepping back into my office.
I don’t see him for the rest of the day but I have had a hard time concentrating. My mind keeps wandering to him and wondering what it would be like to follow through for once. What would his lips feel like? Would he feel good pressed up against me? I try desperately to read the case files before me but everything starts blurring together and nothing makes sense anymore. My whole world feels out of sync, and for the first time in my life, I am confused and unsure of myself. I stand with a sigh and walk to my window, running my fingers through my hair as I take in the activity going on below me. My stomach growls slightly and I realize I have once again not eaten all day. I need to quit doing that. My fingers go to my temples as I contemplate getting something for dinner. Maybe food will help me focus on this case.
“Want to grab a bite to eat?” I hear that familiar voice say at the door.
I turn and face him and lean my back against the window, shoving my hands in my pockets. He steps inside, holding his jacket over his arm. His tie is already loose and his top button is undone. He looks sinful.
“I better stay. I have court on Monday and I still have some dispositions to go through.”
He watches me for a moment and gets a mischievous look on his face as he starts striding towards me and then stops, sitting on the edge of my desk. I close my eyes and shake my head as the images that ran through my mind on Monday creep to the forefront. When my lids reopen, he is smiling widely and a couple more buttons are undone on his shirt, revealing a scattering of chest hair.
“Well, you have to ‘eat’ something,” he says running his fingers through his hair.
My breath actually hitches and I swallow thickly. Did he just allude to something sexual? I stand there dumbfounded; no words are able to form as I see myself on my knees. I hear laughter and glance at him just as he stands. He literally struts to the door like some model and then stops, turning slightly, just enough for me to see his back flex. He gives me another breathtaking smile and I swear my arousal is evident.
“Maybe another time,” his voice is laced with innuendo and seduction.
“Yeah, another time,” I find myself saying in a voice that is more whimper than anything else.
The minute he is out the door, I lean back against the window and readjust myself, which always seems to happen whenever he’s around. I walk back to my desk and run my fingers through my hair before getting back to work. No more than thirty minutes later I hear the elevator door ding and then footsteps coming towards my office. In walks Liam carrying a plastic bag in one hand and a paper sack in the other. He is perfectly disheveled with his tie completely off and sticking out of his pocket and his shirt pulled out of his pants. He smiles brilliantly at me.
“You did say another time, and since you seem to work nonstop, I figured I would … improvise,” he says holding up the bags.
“You brought me food?” I ask with a beaming smile.
He arches his brow with a sly grin on his face as he holds up the other bag. “And beverages.”
He sets the bags down on the little table in my office and then glances at me, motioning with his head for me to join him at the table. I chuckle and take a seat in one of the chairs. Flinging his jacket off, he drapes it over the other chair and then pulls out a six pack of Guinness. Taking one, he pops the top off before handing it to me. I take a long sip, closing my eyes and swallowing deeply. It’s been a while since I had a beer and this is good. When I open my eyes, he is staring at me with his mouth parted slightly. He takes a quick breath and turns to the food containers and hands me one.
“I hope you like carnitas ’cause that’s what I got,” he says with a shaky voice.
I laugh. “I’m half Mexican. I love all Mexican food, probably stuff you wouldn’t even touch,” I say as I flip open the container and pick up a piece of meat and pop it in my mouth, licking my fingers of the juice. It’s not as good as my mom’s, but still good.
I hear him mutter something under his breath but when I look at him he turns to his food and starts to put a little bit of everything in his tortilla. I am fascinated watching the precision in which he works. He definitely has some kind of system.
“Thanks, Liam. No one has ever brought me food before,” I say sincerely as I toss another slice of meat in my mouth.
He grins. “Ahhh, so you do remember my first name,” he says as he looks up from his masterpiece.
I nod and take another long sip of my beer.
“So, are you from here?” he asks as he opens his mouth wide to take in the monstrous burrito he just made.
I hold my beer to my lips unable to move as I watch him eat. It’s like my mind immediately goes back to visions of things I’d like to do to him and have him do to me. When I don’t answer, he looks up at me, still chewing.
“Umm, no, I grew up in Corpus Christi. I went to college in Austin and then took this job here about three years ago,” I say as he takes another bite of food, licking around his lips, having no idea what he’s doing to me. Strike that. He knows exactly what he’s doing. “How about you?”
He takes a sip of his beer and then shakes his head. “Nah, I grew up in the Northside of Dublin. I was a part of this foreign exchange student thing so my junior and senior year in high school I stayed in Dallas with this really nice family. I ended up liking it so much that I went to college out there.”
“Wow, that’s pretty nice. Do you miss Ireland?”
“I do. It’s a beautiful country but I go back every year so I always feel connected.”
We continue to eat and visit about all sorts of things, ranging from sports, always a safe and manly topic, to money, another safe and masculine subject, and finally work. I tell him about law school and what I do for the firm while he tells me about how he got into his profession. Apparently he is the go to guy for fortune 500 companies, knowing the ins and outs of corporate finances and even some corporate law which, I must say, impresses me. By the time we are done eating and each finishing up our second beers, we are both feeling pretty relaxed. There is silence for a moment and he glances at me with a look that says he isn’t sure if he should broach a particular topic, his forehead scrunches together and then he leans back slightly, crossing his legs.
“So, are you married?” he asks, a serious expression on his face.
“Much to my mother’s dismay, no, I’m not married,” I say with a laugh. “Are you?”
He grins. “No, but my mom doesn’t expect me to be either,” he says chuckling.
I look at him strangely and he grins, before taking another sip of his beer. We sit in silence for another few more minutes, watching each other as I finish off my beer. I reach for another one, pop the top off of it and hand it to him like he did for me. He smiles and quickly downs the rest of his beer before taking the one from me. In the process, his fingers gently graze mine and I feel my whole body respond. I grab the last beer, flip the top off and take a quick swig.
“Are you dating anyone?” I finally ask.
He shakes his head. “No. You?”
I shake my head and smile, oddly happy that there isn’t anyone in his life.
“Do you have any kids?” he asks with a cock of his brow as he takes a long sip of his beer.
I laugh. “No. How about you?”
“Well, now that we got vitals out of the way, why don’t we tackle something light, like, oh I don’t know, equal rights in the workplace, race relations,” I grin, “or how about the cold war, that’s nice and mellow,” I say with a cocky smile.
He stares at me with his mouth gaping. I chuckle and set my beer down. I don’t know why I do it, maybe it’s the beer lowering my inhibitions, but I bring my finger underneath his chin and close his mouth, allowing my thumb to trace over his bottom lip. His eyes close immediately and he lets out a light breath. I don’t know what comes over me but before I realize what I’m doing my lips are touching his. He wastes no time returning my kiss. It is gentle and passionate at the same time. His lips mold to mine perfectly and when he parts them, I deepen it, feeling my whole body erupt in flames. I need more, so much more. Without hesitation, I pull him towards me and onto my lap. He lets out a deep growl within his throat as he immediately grinds against me. I can’t contain the noise that emanates from me as my hands take hold of his hair, holding him close so that he can’t take his mouth from mine. He feels so good as I pull him impossibly close to me, letting my tongue explore his mouth, circling his as we continue to grind against each other.
His hands entwine in my hair as his kiss becomes more fervent. I can’t get enough of him. He feels perfect and right. I run my hands up and down his back and can feel his muscles rippling underneath the thin layer of his shirt. I literally have no idea what’s possessed me but my hands find their way under his shirt as my fingers gently caress his smooth skin. He starts whimpering and I can feel his heart racing. Emboldened by the reaction I’m getting from him, I move my hands down his back and settle them on his ass, kneading as I involuntarily thrust my hips against him.
He mutters as he releases his grip on my hair and moves his hands to my pants. He quickly undoes my belt and is unzipping them before I register what’s happening. My eyes shoot open as his hand touches my flesh. I gasp as reality sets in and my hands grip his, stopping his action as I pull away from him. His face is flushed and his lips are a beautiful shade of red. His eyes open and he looks confused. I move quickly and in a panic, practically pushing him off of me as I stand. Zipping and buckling my pants, I immediately start pacing my office. What the hell am I doing?
“It’s alright,” I hear him say as he comes up behind me.
He rests his forehead against the back of my head and brings his hands over my chest. He moves them languidly over me until they settle on my belt buckle. His body is touching mine and I can feel his hardness pressed up against my lower back as he starts kissing along the nape of my neck, moving against me rhythmically.
“You are so handsome and very, very, sexy,” he says as he moves his hand over me. “Elias,” he purrs against my ear, “I want you so bad right now.”
My breathing picks up as he starts stroking me through my pants. He then lowers himself slightly so he can grind against me as his ministrations escalate. I can feel myself rising to his touch. Oh God! I can’t do this.
“You should go,” I say through ragged breaths and feel his body stiffen behind me as he stops moving against me.
“Is that what you want?” His voice is low and husky and sexy as hell.
He runs his tongue along my ear and I tilt my head slightly as he starts kissing along my neck causing my body to pebble in response. His hands travel up my chest, touching me gently. He places one palm over my rapidly beating heart and allows the other one to move languidly up and over my Adam’s apple and then along my cheek, tilting my head even further. He brings his mouth to my jaw, kissing slowly, sensually as he holds me in position. My body is betraying me as I let out some sort of whimpered moan. I know I have to stop this before I do something I will regret, but in reality I don’t want to stop. He feels so good that I am actually torn on what to do. I swallow thickly, unable to answer his earlier question but nod slightly.
“Thanks for dinner but, umm, I have work that I need to do. You really need to go,” I say in a hard and crisp voice.
He lets out a loud breath and releases me. He doesn’t say anything but walks briskly to the chairs and grabs his jacket, slipping it on. As he heads to the door, I make my way behind my desk and sit down, trying to maintain some form of composure. When he gets to the doorway, he stops and turns abruptly.
“Did I misinterpret something?” he asks raising his voice slightly. He looks pissed, which doesn’t help my resolve because it makes him incredibly sexy.
“I made a mistake. I’m sorry,” I say crossing my hands on the table, “Please go.”
He stares at me, hurt and anger on his face before he narrows his eyes. He then turns and bolts out of my office and a few moments later I distinctly hear what sounds like a hand hitting something. I get to the doorway quickly and see that his palm is resting on the elevator door. When it opens he storms inside. I sigh and walk back to my desk. I try to focus on my case but all I can think about are piercing green eyes, soft lips pressed against mine and strong hands touching me. After an hour of unsuccessful concentration, I call it a night. There’s no point as I can’t get Liam out of my head.
The minute I walk into my condo I head straight for the shower, hoping the heat will do something for my frame of mind. As I let the scalding water hit my body I rest my forehead against the wall, breathing in deeply. My fingers trace along my lips where I can still feel the remnants of his kiss. Letting out a soft sigh, I close my eyes, wishing he was here with me.
I wake the next morning and decide that I need to focus solely on work, so that’s just what I do. I spend all of Saturday and Sunday at the office preparing for trial. It’s now Monday and I have court so I will be out of my office and away from any chance of running into him. I have come to the conclusion that I will avoid him the rest of the week. I can do that and then he will be gone and I can go on with my life. Hell, maybe I need to kick it up a notch with Constance. Get married, have a bunch of babies and pretend that I’m just like everyone else. I breathe in deeply as I look at my reflection in the mirror and nod.
“Like everyone else, Elias,” I say firmly.
I finish getting ready for the day and head out. I bypass my office and head straight to the courthouse to meet with my client and his family. As the day progresses, I am feeling pretty satisfied and extremely confident. My case is going rather smoothly. Of course, the prosecution isn’t making much of a case so that definitely works to my advantage. The judge glances at me and asks if I want to cross examine and I smile before standing. I walk over to the jury first and run my hand along the railing, making eye contact with several jurors before I reach the witness stand. I grin at the man before me.
“Let me get this straight. You have stated for the record that my client, Mr. Romero, came to the store, then left, then walked back inside the store with a mask on and robbed the place?”
“Yes?” he answers somewhat hesitantly.
I arch my brow at him and smirk. “Are you unsure?”
“No, I’m sure,” he replies squirming in his seat.
“How long has it been, Mr. Simon?”
“What do you mean?” he asks a bit nervous.
“How long has it been since you had your last fix?”
“Object, Your Honor. Mr. Bennett is badgering the witness. Mr. Simon’s alleged drug use has no bearing on the case.”
“Your Honor, I strongly disagree with that statement. Mr. Simon’s drug addiction is directly related to whether at the time of the crime he was able to adequately identify the defendant.”
“Overruled,” the judge says to the prosecutor and then turns to me, “You may continue.”
“I don’t use drugs,” Mr. Simon says sketchily.
Now I smile and nod. “You are aware that there are laws against perjury.” When he looks at me confused I lean in close. “That’s when you lie on the witness stand.” I hear a few of the jurors trying to stifle their laughter. “If you lie to me they can send you to jail,” I say standing up straight and giving him a hard look.
He continues to squirm in his seat. “I… I don’t use anything.”
I slap my hand on the witness box loudly and move closer. “You’re lying, Mr. Simon. Did you or did you not two days ago get picked up in a raid at a drug house?”
“Mr. Simon, isn’t it true that on the night in question you were panhandling on the street, trying to come up with some money to get a fix and that you had been in the store several times that day bumming money off of people and that on that particular night you had asked Mr. Romero for money but he didn’t help you. Mr. Romero left and never came back into the store. You lied because the prosecutor promised you recourse should you be able to testify. Recourse that will allow you to buy the drugs that you are so desperate for.”
He keeps trying to look at the prosecutor but I keep blocking him. His face has a look of utter confusion and terror. He isn’t sure what he’s supposed to say. I place my hands on the witness stand and move close again, so close that he actually leans back in his chair, trying to get away from me.
“I’m going to ask you again, Mr. Simon. Are you sure it was Mr. Romero you saw that night?” I ask forcefully.
He swallows and shakes his head.
“You need to say it out loud,” I say as I narrow my eyes at him.
“I’m… I’m not sure,” he says almost in tears.
“Nothing further,” I announce and turn around.
As I glance in the courtroom, I am stunned when I see Liam sitting in the back row. He has a seductive smile on his face as he watches me walk back to the chair. The judge releases us for lunch and after they take my client away, I turn to talk to his family. His mother doesn’t speak English so I proceed to tell her what the plan is in Spanish but keep glancing at Liam who appears to be waiting for me. Hesitantly, I make my way to him.
“That was phenomenal,” he says shaking his head and grinning. “You are really something to behold up there. My God! That was…” He shakes his head and licks his lips before letting out a soft breath. “That was amazing, Elias.”
I laugh. “Thanks, I think,” I say as we step through the door. “What are you doing here?”
“I needed to see you and remembered you said you had court today. Can we talk?” he asks and I reluctantly nod.
We grab a sandwich at the vendor and select a table far away from everyone else.
“About Friday night,” he starts but I raise my hand and shake my head indicating I don’t want to talk about it. “No, hear me out okay.” I sigh and nod, indicating for him to continue. “Look. I’m not going to lie. I am extremely attracted to you and I probably came on a little too strong. I see that now. But maybe we could start out slowly, get to know each other better before you…” he says pulling his bottom lip in his mouth.
“That can’t happen, Liam. I don’t know why I did what I did on Friday but really I shouldn’t have done any of that. I wasn’t thinking,” I pause and shake my head slightly, “straight.” I finally say, looking down at my food.
He doesn’t say anything and after a few minutes I look up at him and he is giving me a curious expression. “What?” I ask confused.
“You’re not ‘out’ are you?”
I start looking around, just to make sure people can’t hear us. His eyes never leave mine as I turn back to him and take a deep breath.
“I’m not gay. It was a mistake,” I whisper.
He is still watching me but his eyes have shifted some. “You liked what we were doing.” He moves a little closer, leaning across the table. “I could feel how much you enjoyed it.”
I close my eyes and breathe in deeply before nodding.
“I did, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a mistake. Do you want me to say that I don’t think about it, think about you?” I sit up and lean back against my chair. “That I haven’t thought about you every day from the day we first met, because I can’t. I close my eyes and you’re there but…” I say looking down again, trying desperately to control my breathing. “It… it can’t happen.” I shake my head and rise quickly. “I’m sorry if I gave you the wrong impression.”
His eyes are softer and as I start to walk past him, he stops me by placing his hand over mine. I look at him, begging him with my eyes to let me go, but he doesn’t. He softly traces his finger along mine so subtly no one would have even noticed but I do as my breathing picks up.
“I can’t stop thinking about you either,” he says softly.
I breathe out. “It doesn’t change the fact that we can’t be together.”
“But we can, we can be discreet. I would never out someone who isn’t ready. No one has to know.” He motions back to the chair. “Please, sit down.”
Against my better judgment, I go back to my chair and take a seat.
“I know you have to go back to prepare, but can I come visit you in your office tonight. We could talk about this. Okay?” he asks and I nod slowly. “Wonderful,” he smiles and just like that I’m smiling and happy again.
We eat and make small talk throughout the rest of lunch. To anyone watching, we look like two friends chatting about the day but secretly I am jumping up and down waiting for tonight. The rest of the day goes exceptionally well for me. I was on fire in the courtroom, knocking down pretty much all of Mr. Davis’ witnesses. After the judge dismissed us, I went back to my office like I usually do and worked on my arguments for tomorrow. It’s strange, since lunch I have felt freer than I have ever felt before. It’s as if suddenly I can throw caution to the wind, so to speak. I want him, he wants me. I have never felt this strong of an attraction to anyone in my life. That has to be worth exploring. I guess I’m just tired of pretending and, hell, he will be gone by the end of the week and I guess I will go on with the rest of my life but at least I will know, at least I will have tried, at least I will be me, the true me, the me I have never let out before, even if it’s only for a short time.
When I hear the elevator ding a smile spreads across my face as I jump up and meet him at the door. The minute he is inside my office, my mouth is on his. I slam the door closed with my foot and push him against it, moving my body flush against his as my hands grasp his face. He drops the bags in his hands and moves them immediately to bring my body against his. It’s heavenly and sinful at the same time. He slowly pulls away from me.
“God! You’re a great kisser, El,” he whispers against my mouth. I smile and kiss him again as I swivel my hips against his.
“I like that,” I say nibbling down his neck.
“What?” he asks as he continues to move his hands along my lower back.
“El, I’ve never had a nickname,” I say moving his unbuttoned shirt off of his shoulder some so that I can suck his flesh into my mouth.
He starts moaning as I suck and nip at him, marking his pale and perfect skin. All day I have thought about him, thought about kissing him, touching him. It’s time for me to seize the day and take my moment. No more hiding, I want to see where this leads.
“Can I touch you?” I ask as my hand moves to his dress slacks.
Without hesitation, I unbutton his pants and bring my hand inside, feeling his soft and smooth skin.
“El,” he says licking his lips, “you need to stop before…” he lets out a soft whimper, and swallows thickly. My mouth moves to his Adam’s apple where I start kissing and sucking. “I, umm, thought we were going to take it slow,” he stutters through a heady groan.
“I’m sorry. I do want to go slow, sort of,” I mumble as I bring my mouth to his and kiss him again.
I don’t know how long we stand there kissing but eventually my stomach growls, a reminder that I haven’t eaten since lunch. He chuckles against me and breaks our kiss.
“Let’s eat,” he suggests, running his tongue along my bottom lip.
“What did you bring me?” I ask grinning.
He smiles. “Go sit down and I’ll show you.”
We spend the next three nights this way. I go to court and then come back to my office to go over my plans for the next day and he stays late every night. Once everyone is out of the office he comes to see me. I find myself giddy waiting for him to arrive. And just like I have done the past three nights, the minute he steps into my office I grab him and push him against the door, giving him a searing and passionate kiss. We haven’t really done anything but make out and dry hump each other but I desperately want more and I think he wants that too. He continues to kiss me but then starts walking me backwards towards my chair. He pushes me down in it and straddles my lap. But unlike what we usually do he stops kissing me abruptly, just as we are getting into it and watches me closely.
“Congratulations on winning your case,” he smiles before he starts kissing down my neck. I can feel his grin against my skin. I tug on his hair and bring his mouth back to mine, kissing him lightly.
“Thank you,” I say pulling back slightly and cupping his cheek.
“Spend the weekend with me,” he says sweetly as I drop my hand.
He watches as my face changes and fear creeps in. He leans in and kisses me again before whispering against my mouth, “We won’t have sex because you’re probably not ready for that but I want to wake up with you in my arms.” He kisses me again softly. “We could go somewhere else,” he says tracing my lips with his tongue. “Some place small, away from the city, where no one will know you.”
I’m liking the idea more and more. “Okay.”
I pull him to me and kiss him again. This is probably the first time in my life that I’m thinking about myself and not others. I can’t help it though. Something about Liam is making me want what I never thought I’d have … love.
By the time Friday comes, my excitement level is off the chart. I can’t wait for this weekend to begin. Hell, maybe it can begin tonight. I smile and trace my fingers along my lips, thinking of Liam and how perfect the past week has been. I take a deep breath and look through a report on my desk although I am not really focusing on what it says.
“Elias,” Mr. Montrell says stepping into my office.
I look up from my desk and smile. “Yes, sir.”
“Everyone is bringing their wives tonight to the dinner. Are you still dating that one woman?”
I sigh. “Constance?”
“Yes, she’s lovely. Why don’t you invite her?”
“It’s kind of last minute. She may not be available,” I say, hoping she isn’t.
“Nonsense. I will be in with the auditors most of the day going over their recommendations. Don’t be late tonight,” he says with a wink as he steps out the door.
Damn it! I mutter to myself and then pick up the phone.
“I have this thing at work. Are you free? If not it’s okay but I thought I would ask,” I say quickly.
“Well, hello to you too,” she answers with a giggle. “I’m always free for you, Elias. What time are you picking me up?” she asks excitedly.
I close my eyes. “6:30. I’ll see you then,” I say, hanging up before she can ask me anything else.
The rest of the day seems to drag on as I stare at the clock, dreading the hours that are slipping by. Around 5:50 I leave the office, much to the surprise of Liam, who is in the hall with the other auditors, visiting with Mr. Montrell and the other partners. It looks like they are all getting ready to leave. I offer Liam a small smile which seems to ease some of his tension. He’s not going to be happy about this.
My stomach is in knots and I feel nauseous. This is such a mistake. I pull up to Constance’s place and sigh before finally getting out of the car and knocking on the door. She answers with a beautiful smile on her face. I try to reciprocate but mine feels more compulsory than anything else. She is wearing a red dress that is striking against her olive skin; her dark hair is down, flowing past her shoulders in waves. She is simply stunning and sure to turn heads tonight. She immediately goes to kiss me and I turn so that she kisses the corner of my mouth instead.
“We better go,” I say, taking her arm and leading her to the car.
She looks at me strangely as I open her door and help her inside. I am antsy all the way there and when I pull up I just stare at the entrance. I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to do this. I squeeze my eyes shut trying to steady my breathing.
“Elias, baby, what’s the matter?” she asks sweetly.
Hearing the word baby coming out of her mouth doesn’t sound right. It’s the wrong voice. The right voice is in there, waiting for me, but he isn’t expecting me to be bringing anyone. There was no opportunity to tell him as he was with the partners most of the day. I tap my fingers nervously against the steering wheel until she sets her hand on mine. I turn to her and try to smile but it comes out forced. It’s now or never. I step out of the car and quickly make my way to her side to help her out.
“Elias, over here,” I hear Mr. Montrell say as we step inside.
Constance leans in to me and wraps her arm around my waist and for all intents and purposes she could be my wife, except, I don’t want her to be anything but a friend to me. Of course a couple of weeks ago I would have taken advantage of the situation but even that would have been out of some archaic notion of what was expected of me. As we approach Mr. Montrell, I see him. He turns when he hears Mr. Montrell call my name and gives me one of his perfect smiles that make my heart race. That is until he notices Constance and the smile is gone, replaced with a look of hostility as he sees her arm wrapped around my waist.
“Mr. Montrell. What a pleasure to see you again,” Constance tells him, offering him her hand, which he promptly kisses. She then turns to Mrs. Montrell, “Sara, you look absolutely beautiful.”
“Oh thank you, sweetheart, as do you,” Sara says hugging her. “I don’t think he will be able to keep his hands off of you in a dress like this,” she drunk whispers which means it wasn’t a whisper at all.
Liam is watching the exchange and chugs his beer down. His brows furrowed as he turns to the bartender and asks for another one. He starts stretching his neck from side to side with his hands gripping the edge of the bar tightly.
“Mr. Bennett, as handsome as ever,” Sara says and I proceed to kiss her cheek, my eyes still on Liam who hasn’t turned back around yet.
“When are you two going to tie the knot?” Sara asks, looking between Constance and me.
Oh God! Can this get any worse? Liam turns around swiftly and stares at me, his eyes wide, and suddenly his look goes from hostile to hurt to indifferent in a matter of seconds. He grabs the beer the bartender sets next to him and basically chugs the entire thing, his eyes dark. My breathing picks up as I watch him, not knowing what I am supposed to do.
“John, Liam, Eric. This is Constance Ramirez. Elias’s better half,” Mr. Montrell says as they all shake her hand except Liam who suddenly looks like he’s going to be sick. He swallows and takes a deep breath, composing himself.
“It’s a pleasure, ma’am,” Liam finally says taking her hand and then glancing at me. “Excuse me,” he says to everyone and makes a beeline towards the exit.
I stare in his direction, my heart in my stomach. I glance at Constance and blow out a quick breath before patting my jacket pocket. “I forgot my wallet in the car. I’ll be right back. Constance, stay here.”
“Oh, she’ll be fine,” Sara says offering Constance a drink.
I make a mad dash outside and see Liam walking across the street. I take off after him and grab his arm which he jerks away from me.
“Please, let’s talk,” I plead.
He stops and glares at me as he pulls me into one of the alleys.
“Is that what you want? To play house with her? To have someone you can bring to all these work functions.To pretend you’re something you’re not?” he asks, his face red with anger.
“No. Let me explain,” I plead, grabbing his arm again.
He looks at me and then frowns, bringing his thumb to my lip but instead of allowing me to kiss it he moves it to the corner of my mouth and wipes off the remnants of Constance‘s lipstick. He then starts to walk away and I panic.
“Liam, stop, please.” Apparently I am not above begging.
He stops and turns to me. “Ya know,” he looks down for a moment and then up at me, his expression hard, “I know who I am, El and it seems as if you’re not sure about yourself, ” he takes a deep breath before continuing, “I’m not going to vie for your affections and I certainly don’t share. PERIOD! ” He says with his voice raising an octave “So, why don’t you go back in there, pretend to be what they want you to be and I’ll go on my way. We’ll just act like this whole ‘thing’ we had was some sort of minor indiscretion or something. ” He stops talking and pinches his eyes shut, his face straining.
“Liam, it isn’t like that at all,” I say desperate for him to understand.
He sighs and shakes his head. “It is, Elias. Look, it’s obvious you don’t know what you want and I already care too much about you to be,” he frowns, “dismissed at a whim.” He turns back around and begins walking again and my heart drops, he’s walking out of my life.
“I want you,” I say loudly and he stops. I take a deep breath. “I’ll never want anyone but you. I couldn’t turn this off if I tried, but I don’t want to try.” He drops his head but doesn’t turn around so I continue, “Mr. Montrell told me to bring Constance. I had no opportunity to tell you in advance. I’m sorry. I’m sure that seeing me with her was difficult,” I start walking towards him, “But I don’t want her, I want you.”
I touch his shoulder and pull him to me, so that his back is against my chest. I start kissing down his neck as my hands move along his body. I need him to know, to believe that what I say is true. I can’t have him think otherwise. He means too much to me.
“Quiero que tú y sólo tú.” He breathes in deeply as I tell him that I want him and only him. “It scares me how much you mean to me. I didn’t want our evening to be like this. I wanted to go, spend my obligatory hour and then sneak out with you. Baby, I’m so, so, sorry.”
He turns around and I can see that there are tears in his eyes which makes my heart hurt.
“Do you forgive me?” I ask running my fingers along his jaw. He nods and gently cups my cheek, my head tilting into his palm. I feel like I can breathe again.
“You better go back inside or they’re going to send someone out to look for you,” he says with a sigh as his fingers run down the buttons of my shirt.
“Will you come back inside?” I ask hopeful.
He laughs but it isn’t one of those humorous laughs and then shakes his head. “No way, El,” he then looks down and when he looks back up he has a serious but sad expression on his face. “I know that I won’t be able to stomach that woman touching you.”
“I won’t let her,” I say looking down, defeated.
He smiles. “You won’t have a choice. Your boss has you two married with children already,” he tugs on my belt buckle forcing me to look at him. “I’ll see you in the morning.”
I nod as he turns around and walks to the end of the alley, making a right to go in the opposite direction of the restaurant. I watch him walk away, wanting desperately to follow him, but instead I make my way back to the restaurant. And sure enough Constance is at the entrance waiting for me. I don’t know how much she saw and I really don’t care. She starts to say something but I shake my head and take her hand as I make my way back inside to put on a show for my boss.
Liam won’t tell me where we’re going. He just told me to be casual. I stare at myself and run my hand nervously through my hair. I’m in a pair of 501’s and a blue button down shirt. I’m so nervous. I know he said that we wouldn’t be having sex but really I want to. I want to be with him in every sense of the word. I got very little sleep last night as I spent most the time thinking. My mind has gone over every detail of what happened last night in the alley. I came to the conclusion that he was right, in a sense. I have been pretending my whole life and I’m afraid of coming out completely, but that doesn’t mean that I want to go back to the way it was before. This is who I am, I know that now, I accept that, and I don’t ever want to go back. I need him in a way I have never needed anyone in my life and I’m not willing to give that up when he leaves Sunday for El Paso. He’ll be gone for two weeks and I hate the idea that we won’t be able to see each other in that time. In fact, my heart hurts just thinking about it. I hear a knock at the door, bringing me out of my thoughts. I smile as I head to the front door.
“Hey, baby,” he says stepping inside.
Oh man! He looks unbelievably sexy right now. He’s wearing a tight pair of faded Levi’s with a white t-shirt tucked inside of it. The shirt clings to him in just the right way as to show off his well-defined chest. His curly hair looks so soft and I have to fight the urge to run my fingers through it. He grins and walks past me to look around my place but I stop him and pull him to me, kissing him passionately. I immediately start moving my hands all over him, unable to stop myself.
“El…” He mutters as he pulls back slightly, “you need to stop, baby,” he sighs and then kisses me lightly on the lips. “I’m already regretting wearing these jeans,” he says with a chuckle.
I smirk against his lips. “I’m not. You look sexy as hell in them,” I say as my hands move down his back and slip into his back pockets, pulling him right against me.
He sighs again before kissing me lightly. “We better go.”
I kiss him again; something I can’t seem to stop doing, and after several minutes has elapsed he finally pulls away from me. I run my hand up his back and through the back of his hair as I bring my mouth to his yet again. Finally, he sighs deeply and takes an actual step back, running his thumb along my lips.
“We really need to leave, baby,” he says arching his brow.
I grin and nod before walking to the coffee table to pick up the small overnight bag I packed. He jerks the bag out of my hand and throws the strap over his shoulder as we walk outside. He keeps a safe distance from me but still glances at me with a smirk on his face.
“Where exactly are we going?” I ask as we walk towards the car.
“A small town that’s a couple of hours away,” he says with a wink.
“That’s all you’re going to tell me?” I ask as I slide into the passenger seat.
“Yep,” he says when he slips behind the wheel.
As soon as we get out of Houston city limits, he takes my hand in his. Smiling at the contact, I rest my head against the seat, watching him.
“How was the rest of your evening?” he asks, giving me a sideways glance.
I roll my eyes and he chuckles. “I stayed for two hours and then dropped Constance off at her place,” I say playing with his fingers that are in my hand.
He nods and brings my hand up, kissing my palm. Changing the subject, he asks me about my taste in music. He and I start to talk about that as we continue to drive and he tells me he has this thing for singer songwriters, and going to small clubs or bars to listen to people play live music. I told him that was a neat thing to do. When he asked what I liked I told him I didn’t listen to very much music or watch a lot of TV as I was always working. He grinned and told me that was going to change. I smiled, excited for anything he would share with me. We continue to drive and as we pass a sign that says 22 miles to Jasper, Texas I sit up straight and look over at him. Oh man, he isn’t taking me to Jasper is he?
“Babe, are we going to Jasper?” I ask curiously. He turns and grins, clearly shocked that I guessed correctly. “You know, Jasper isn’t known for its positive race relations.”
He gets a worried look on his face. “Shit, really? I’m sorry. I didn’t know that. I just looked at the map and saw it was a couple of hours away and it’s a small community so I figured the chances of running into anyone who might know you would be really slim.”
“It should be fine,” I say bringing his hand up and kissing his fingers. “Besides, I can’t imagine we are going to leave our room very much.”
He traces the tip of his thumb along my lips and gives me a heated expression. “No, I can’t imagine we will.”
We pull up to a Best Western and he looks at me with a smile. “Hold on, let me get the key.”
I glance around the parking lot and there are a few other cars but not too many people. It’s been a long time since I stayed at a Best Western. Usually when I travel I like to splurge, stay in a suite, but hell, I’m with Liam and that’s all that matters. A few minutes later he is opening the door and we drive around the back and park. He smiles at me and gets out excitedly, then opens the back door, grabbing both of our bags. As we step inside the room, I smile. It’s nice enough, with a large king size bed.
“I know it’s not that fancy. There are no five star accommodations in this town. The next time we…”
I stop him with a kiss. “It’s fine, really.”
He nods and I immediately pull his shirt out of his jeans. I start pushing it up. He raises his arms so I can pull it all the way off, revealing his chest to me for the first time. As expected, he is well defined. But what I don’t expect is a tattoo. I trace my fingertips along it and then over his pecs playing with the soft hair that’s there and then allow my hands to move down his chest and along his abs. I play with the hair around his navel and let my fingertips slip into his waist band as I play with the hair that is peeking out from the top of his jeans. I slowly start unbuttoning them, needing him naked desperately.
“Don’t you want to get something to eat first?” he asks in a shaky voice.
I shake my head, my eyes never leaving the spot where my fingers are. I push his jeans down, dropping to my knees so I can have him step out of them. My hands move up and down his strong legs, feeling his tight muscles flex under my touch. By the time I bring my hands back to his boxers he is breathing heavily. I slip them down his hips and push them to the floor then sit back on my haunches and admire the perfection that is before me. I glance up at him.
“Eres perfecta,” I tell him he’s perfect.
He pulls me up and begins kissing me as he starts unbuttoning my shirt. He is so good that he has my shirt off and my jeans undone before I register what’s happening. He uses his foot to push my jeans and briefs the rest of the way down and then turns us so that when he pulls away he taps my chest and pushes me onto the bed. He smiles as he crawls on top of me settling over my hips.
“I have a pretty vivid imagination, El, but even my imagination didn’t do you justice,” he says as he runs his hands all over my chest and down to my stomach. “You are stunning.”
He starts touching me and kissing me in ways I’ve never experienced before. My body is on fire and I can’t think straight. I need him. I want him, more than anything else. I tell him this as he continues to explore me completely until I literally can’t take it anymore and scream out as pleasure courses through me. He growls against me as he repositions himself on top of me. His mouth latches on to mine as he kisses me passionately. His body moving against mine, until he too finally screams out as he finds his release.
“I love you,” I whisper and he stops kissing me. He looks at me and I run my fingers through his hair. “I know we haven’t known each other for long, but I love you.” He has tears in his eyes and his mouth parts but no words come out. My hand settles on his cheek. “Te amo.”
He kisses me hard, moving ever so close to me before looking me intensely in the eyes. “I love you too.” His lips gently touch mine. “I love you,” he repeats.
He begins kissing me again, humming against my mouth as his hands continue to touch and explore me. My hands fist his hair tightly as our kiss intensifies yet again. I really don’t think I will ever get enough of feeling him next to me. His body fits mine perfectly, his lips are meant to kiss mine, his heart meant to hold mine. He breaks our kiss and grins against my lips before moving a piece of my hair out of my eyes.
“It’s such a turn on knowing,” he says with that sexy smirk that drives me wild and then he kisses my lips softly, “that all of your firsts,” another soft kiss, “are going to be with me,” he swivels his hips against me, “you’re completely mine, Elias.”
I breathe in deeply, blinking a few times before I chuckle slightly, “Why do I suddenly feel like some sort of virgin?” I ask, arching my brow at him.
He grins, pulling me even closer to him, “Because you are, El,” he says with a snicker as he starts kissing down my neck. He knows just what to do to make me feel so good.
“If I’m a virgin, do I get to pop my cherry this weekend then?” I ask thrusting my hips against him.
He growls into my neck. “El, I swear you’re gonna challenge every sense of restraint I possess.” He looks up and runs his hand through my hair, “I think we should wait on that.”
“What? Why?” I say, unable to mask my disappointment.
“Call me what you will, but I don’t want our first time to be at a Best Western. I want it to be special, with candles and shit,” he says the last part with a grin and grin as well. “But don’t worry, baby, there’s lots of ‘other’ stuff we can do,” he says, grinding against me.
I lean up on my elbow and lick my lips, smiling slyly. “So, let me get this straight,” I arch my brow and tilt my head slightly, “you are planning on wooing me before we get to have sex?” I say, running my free hand through my hair.
He laughs. “Damn right I am. You won’t stand a chance,” he says as he moves impossibly close.
“Well, I will be the easiest lay you ever get because I already want you desperately,” I say with a soft moan. I kiss him again and then run my fingers down his face and keep moving them until they end up on his chest. I trace along his tattoo and look up at him. “What does this mean?” I ask with a smile.
“It’s the family crest. All the men in my family have a tatt of it,” he says, tracing his lips with his tongue.
“Do you have a big family?” I ask, playing with his chest hair.
“Yeah, my sister and I are the youngest of twelve. We were sort of a surprise for our parents. My oldest brother was 21 when we were born,” he says laughing.
“Were you two born close together?” I ask, mesmerized by his beautiful body.
“My sister Amelia and I are twins. It was just the two of us for a long time because most of my siblings were already out of the house or much older than us. We were inseparable,” he says and gets a faraway look in his eyes.
“It sounds like you two were really close. I wish I had that.”
“You’re not close with your siblings?”
“I’m an only child.” He gives me a smile and I lick my lips again. “I know, unusual for a Mexican family,” I say laughing, knowing the stereotype. In my family, all my aunts and uncles have at least four or five kids each so I had plenty of cousins to torture me.
“Why didn’t your parents have more children?” he asks, while I move my hands up and down his back.
“My father died when I was two and my mom never remarried,” I say with a shrug.
He takes a deep breath. I bring my mouth to his and kiss him longingly. I don’t really want to talk about my family dynamics right now. I don’t want to talk at all. I only want to feel. My hands move all over him as I strain to memorize every inch of his beautiful body. He kisses me softly and then rests his head in the crook of my neck. I do the same and we lay that way for a long time, our bodies completely touching as we steady our breathing.
“Let’s get cleaned up, baby, then we can go get something to eat,” he says into my neck.
I groan, not wanting to move at all. I can feel his smile against my skin.
“Come on, baby, let me wash you,” he says pulling my flesh into his mouth.
Suddenly the idea of seeing him dripping wet is a great motivator. Taking a shower doesn’t seem like such a bad idea after all.
“Okay,” I say as I break our connection. I then slap his ass before jumping out of the bed, stretching my back and shoulders. I hear a sharp intake of breath and look over at him.
“You have got to be the sexiest man I have ever seen,” he says, standing and walking towards me.
“Well, obviously you don’t look in the mirror,” I say with a snort and he laughs as he wraps his arms around my waist and kisses my shoulder. I turn my head slightly and he plants a quick chaste kiss on my lips.
“I love you,” he says tenderly.
A smile spreads across my face. “I love you too.”
His lips find mine again and we kiss softly. This is it for me. All the women I have been with, not one ever touched my heart, but with Liam, I knew it instantly. I don’t know what this means for my career or how my family will react. I don’t even know what it means for Liam and I as we live three hours away from each other and my job demands a great deal of my time. But what I do know is that I will make it work because I found my other half and I’m sure as hell not letting him go.
We spend most of the weekend in our room. We had gone out to eat after showering our first night but when Liam heard someone make a snide comment about Mexicans he decided that we would eat inside the rest of the time we were there, which I didn’t mind at all because that meant he was naked. That was definitely a win for me because the man is gorgeous. We watched stupid television while making out and exploring every inch of each other’s bodies. But by the time Sunday afternoon came, I was already feeling melancholy. This had been one of the best weekends of my life and I didn’t want it to end. I couldn’t imagine going back to work on Monday and pretending that my life had not been completely altered.
“You okay, El?” he asks, on the road back to Houston.
I nod. “Yeah, I just don’t want it to end.”
He grabs my hand and entwines his fingers with mine. “I don’t either, baby.”
“This is going to be the longest two weeks imaginable,” I state, sadly.
“You’ll be busy so it will go by fast.”
“I suppose,” I say, turning to the window.
I hate this. How can I go back to the life I had before I met Liam. That was so meaningless. What am I supposed to do? I feel my eyes water, which shocks me. I don’t cry. I have spent years being the best at everything, and that meant not showing any sign of weakness. But, right now that’s what I feel. I feel weak. Like I am only part man, part nothing.
“El,” he calls out, squeezing may hand.
I turn to him and try to smile.
“Will you come and stay with me, at my apartment in San Antonio when I get back from this trip?”
“I’d like that.”
“Good,” he states, giving me one of his vibrant smiles. “Let the wooing begin,” he says with a wag of his brows and I can’t help but chuckle.
“Like I said, easies lay you’ll ever have.”
He grins and brings my hand to his mouth, kissing my knuckles, before turning back to the road. The rest of the drive is relatively quiet. We both seem lost in our own thoughts. He doesn’t let go of my hand the entire way, not even when we get into Houston city limits. When he pulls up to my place he parks and looks at me.
“Let me walk you upstairs,” he says intently and I nod.
We can’t kiss each other out here and that just won’t work for either of us. He lets my hand go and I immediately miss the connection. I breathe in deeply and open the car door, grabbing my bag from the backseat. We keep a respectable distance from one another and try not to look at each other because I think it would be blatantly obvious to anyone who saw the way we looked at each other that we were in love. I open the door and drop my bag unceremoniously and for the first time since I’ve known him, it’s him that pushes me up against the door, kissing me intently.
“I love you so much, El,” he says as his lips hover above mine. “I’ll never be complete without you.” His brows furrowing as his face strains, holding back his emotions.
“Yo amo y te necesito tanto, mi amor,” I reply sincerely.
He sighs and I lean into him, making our lips touch again, this time I pull his body close to me, letting my hands slip into the back pockets of his jeans, holding him in place. We continue to kiss for another ten minutes until we finally have to break away from each other. He lays several more chaste and sweet kisses against my lips before reluctantly stepping back.
“Two weeks,” I say as his hand touches the door knob.
He turns and smiles sadly. “14 days.”
I give him a half-hearted grin and nod before he steps outside the door. I walk over to my love-seat and plop down on it. What do I do with myself now? Before I met Liam, I worked. That was it. Now, none of that seems very important. I stand and walk to the calendar on my wall, picking up the pen lying next to the phone and circle the date he will be back. I lean against my bar, closing my eyes as I remember every single touch and kiss and loving embrace we shared this weekend.
“I love you, Liam.”
Liam had been right about one thing, I was busy and the week went by quickly but I’m not looking forward to the weekend when I will have nothing to do but think about him. We have talked every night, getting to know each other even better. He usually calls me late so that he can catch me at home and I will confess I usually end up masturbating whenever our conversation ends. It’s after eleven at night and I am already underneath the covers in a pair of sleep pants and nothing else. I have my back against the headboard while I continue reading my brief, every few minutes or so I find myself checking the clock on my nightstand. When my phone finally rings I smile and answer before it can ring a second time.
“Hey handsome,” his voice sends shivers across my body.
“Hey,” I reply and I swear I almost giggle. What the hell!
“How’s your day been?” he asks and I can almost see his smile.
“Good, but I’m not looking forward to this weekend when I don’t have work to distract me,” I say, setting the brief on the bed. I lie down and get comfortable.
“I wish I wasn’t so far away, El,” he says with a heavy sigh.
“I wish you were here,” I concur.
There is silence for a moment and I am just about to say something when he starts talking.
“And what would you do if I were there?” his voice is an octave lower and the sound alone turns me completely on.
I close my eyes and run my hand along my chest, imagining him lying naked next to me. I can picture my hands caressing every inch of his toned body and my tongue tasting him, making him mine as his body writhes underneath me. I start telling him everything, all that I want to do to him and I can tell he’s touching himself so I start touching myself as well. He is cursing and encouraging me through panted breathes so I continue. I am going crazy imagining him alone in the bed without me. I want to be with him desperately so I start thinking about that. What it will feel like when I finally get to be with him, until I’m soon screaming out obscenities in Spanish. Neither of us says a word right away, as we both try to catch our breath.
“El, mmmm, I didn’t expect that. I was just teasing you but damn, baby, that was really hot,” he murmurs sexily as he takes a deep breath.
I smile and lick my lips, “I love you,” I whisper reverently.
“I love you, too, El. I hate that this is the busiest time of the year for me.”
I sigh as I remember that he will be gone again, “We only have next weekend and then you’re gone for how long?”
“Four weeks,” he says quietly.
I can barely hear him but I already know what he said. When he told me a few days ago that he would be leaving for Dallas after our weekend together for an entire month I felt heartbroken. I have had a few days to wrap my head around it though so I am not nearly as distressed as I was when he mentioned it before. I understand that this is tax time and he has a lot of responsibilities with the corporations he works with. But damn it, I still don’t like the fact that he’ll be gone for so long.
“El,” he says a little louder.
“I’m here, sorry, I’m just thinking,” I say absently.
“Let’s not talk about that right now, okay?”
“Alright, why don’t we…” I start to say and then stop.
“Why don’t we what?” he asks confused.
“Liam, I’m sorry. I think someone’s at my door. Can you hold on?”
“Sure, of course,” he says and I can hear the concern in his voice.
I slip out of the bed and snatch one of my undershirts from the laundry hamper, cleaning myself off before heading out to the front door. I still have the phone in my hand but neither he nor I are talking. I crack the door open with the chain still on and sigh. I stare at her as I bring the phone back to my ear.
“Can I call you back?” I say into the phone.
“Is everything okay?”
“Yeah, I’ll tell you about it later.”
My voice is now crisp and stern but it isn’t a reflection of him. It’s more about the person at my door. I hear him sigh on the other end before he begins talking again.
“I’ll call you in the morning,” he finally says.
“Alright,” I reply coolly.
He hangs up without saying anything else. I unchain the lock and step back, allowing Constance into my home. She looks nice as usual and is eyeing me up and down as if I were a piece of meat on display. She immediately moves close to me and tries to kiss me. Her lips graze mine before I am able to back out of her reach.
“Constance, what are you doing here?” I ask, crossing my arms over my chest as I lean against the bar, setting the phone down.
“I came by to see you.”
“Why? What gave you the impression that I wanted your company?”
She frowns. “You always want my company and, well, I thought maybe I had done something wrong last Friday,” she looks generally worried and concerned.
“You didn’t do anything wrong,” I say feeling a little guilty for how I treated her.
After Liam had left the bar I was distant and almost cold to her. She walks closer to me again and reaches her hand out to touch my bare chest. Damn it! I once again step out of her reach and head back to my bedroom to get a shirt, suddenly feeling very self-conscious. When I slip one on and turn back around she is in my room, sitting on my bed. My hand runs through my hair as I try to figure out what to do to get rid of her. She is looking at the bed, her fingers drawing circles on the comforter.
“Is this about that man you were talking to last Friday?” she asks looking up at me.
I breathe in hard. It’s as if all the air has been sucked out of the room. I don’t say anything and neither does she. She has a contemplative look on her face and opens her mouth several times, closing it without saying anything. It’s as if she is struggling to find the right words.
“Elias, are you…” she pauses for a long time, long enough that I finally exhale.
“What Constance?” I ask exacerbated.
“Are you gay?” she asks softly.
Her question startles me and I immediately bring both hands to my hair again, trying to determine the best answer to give. She is staring at me with tears in her eyes. I know she probably expected a marriage proposal at some point. Had I not met Liam she probably would have gotten it. My mouth doesn’t seem able to work as no words are forming. I want to just say, hell yes I’m gay, but when I open my mouth, nothing comes out. She gets a determined look on her face as she stands and walks over to me, shaking her head.
“You can’t be,” she whispers in my ear as her hand moves over my crotch, squeezing me through the thin fabric. “Not after all the times we have been together. I would know.”
I close my eyes and step away from her, sitting on the edge of bed. I need to be honest with her. She has a right to know. I take a couple of deep breaths trying to build up the courage to speak the words that need to be spoken.
“The man you saw me talking to. He’s…” I close my eyes again willing myself to say the words, and then I see his face so clearly and I can’t help but smile. I open my eyes and watch her determinedly. “I am in love with him. I know that’s not what you want to hear but you deserve to know the truth. I owe you that.”
She takes a deep breath and leans against the dresser. Her arms cross over her stomach and I can see her chest heaving. She is looking to the ground with a pained expression on her face.
“The whole time we were together you were…” she doesn’t finish her thought but continues to shake her head.
“Liam’s the first man I have been with,” I start to say but stop when she looks up at me.
“So how do you know this isn’t some phase you’re going through?”
“Constance,” I stand and walk over to her, “Do you think I wanted this? Don’t you think that I tried to not feel the way that I do. I have denied these feelings for so long, telling myself that it was a ‘phase’ as you put it, but it never went away.” I touch her face lightly, “This is who I am and when I’m with him,” I smile and shake my head, seeing his face before me. “When I am with him I know, right here,” I place her hand over my heart, “that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.” I drop her hand and then wipe under her eyes, “I can’t change this,” I pause and look at her distraught face, “I know that you care about me but I don’t… feel that way about you. I’m sorry,” I say, pulling her close to me, “I never wanted to hurt you.”
She doesn’t say anything for a long time. She is holding me tightly and I can tell that she is crying. After what feels like hours she steps back, wiping her eyes. She takes a deep breath and starts walking away, stopping at the bedroom door, where she turns to face me.
“I won’t say anything,” she says and I can’t control the sigh of relief I expel.
She smiles. “If…” she looks down biting her lip and then stares at me wearily, “if you, you know, change your mind…” I shake my head at her and she doesn’t finish what she was going to say. She has a solemn look on her normally beautiful face, “I love you, Elias,” she whispers.
I don’t know what to say to make her feel better so I look to the ground for a moment and say the first thing that comes to my mind as I watch her, “Love isn’t something you can control, Constance. No one gets to pick who they love, they just… love. Please tell me you understand?”
She nods and turns quickly while I walk back over to the bed. I hear the door close and I arch down to touch my toes and then stretch my arms over my head. Well, this was an unusual turn of events. I need to talk to him. I reach for the phone and realize it isn’t there. I start searching the house and find it on the counter where I left it. I dial his hotel quickly and ask for his room. He picks up on the first ring.
“What’s going on, El?”
“Constance came to see me.”
There is silence on the other end so I go to the sofa and sit. I know that he has issues with Constance. Maybe it’s because our relationship is so new that he is worried I’m going to change my mind, decide it’s too much work to be with him. I don’t know exactly. It’s not like I woke up one morning and decided I wanted to try the gay lifestyle.
“I told her I was gay,” I say casually.
“You… What?” he stutters.
“She asked me straight out so I gave her an honest answer. I also told her that I was in love with you and she seemed to understand.”
“Are you okay?” he asks and I can hear the worry in his voice.
“I don’t know, yeah, I feel good. It was strangely liberating to say it out loud to someone.”
I hear him chuckle lightly.
“I can’t believe the first person you came out to was the woman you were having sex with.” Then his laughter stops abruptly and I can hear him shifting on the other end, like maybe he is sitting up or walking perhaps, “El, was she more to you than just sex?”
“What? No, I always figured she loved me so when she said it tonight I wasn’t all that surprised but I never felt the same way for her. I cared about her but I never loved her.” I say truthfully.
“She said she loved you?”
“Yes, she did, but baby I love you.”
“If we had never met…”
“Stop, that’s all hypothetical because we did meet and I fell in love with you so anything that might have happened is strictly moot at this point,” I say quickly and to the point.
“You are phenomenal, Mr. Bennett,” he says in that sexy voice I adore.
I start laughing. “Well, thank you, I do try.”
I lean back and smile as we continue to talk. After another hour goes by we finally say goodnight and I walk back to my room, hoping that the next week goes as quickly as this week has. I can’t believe I actually told someone. Of course I doubt my mom will be as understanding as Constance was when I do finally tell her. In fact, now that I think about it, she will probably throw herself at the foot of the altar in St. Joseph’s Cathedral, begging for God to intervene on my behalf. I sigh as I slip under the covers. I am already dreading that conversation.
to be continued…