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reclaiming austin

Chapter Twenty Seven

The doorbell rang and I answered the door. I looked up into the smiling face of a, light brown haired, uber-hunk. Slowly his eyes reflected recognition and told me who it was and realization just overwhelmed me. I leaped out the door and jumped up, wrapping my legs around his waist and hugged him, screaming, “COLliN!” before kissing him passionately.

Collin came in when I finally stopped hugging him and kissing his face, It wasn’t until I heard a cough behind me that I remembered Austin. As I slipped down to the floor I stammered, “Uhhh, Collin, this is my boyfriend Austin.” I said backing up a moment and opening my arms to indicate Austin. Collin stepped forward with an outstretched hand,

“Nice to meet you Mate.” Collin said in his well-mannered Australian accent. Austin was mad; it was all over his face. He stepped forward and said, “Actually, I’m Alex’s Fiancé.” while looking at me. Then he stuck his hand out while maintaining eye contact with Collin, he took his hand, and shook it. Collin, in his sexy Aussie accent said, “No worries mate.” The tension was insanely high in the room just then. I knew immediately that I had to calm things down; I couldn’t have Austin and Collin fighting. I didn’t want to see Austin hurt.

“Baby!” I said meaning Austin, but both men looked over at me. “Collin is my Ex from College, the “black belt” I used to work out with.” I said by way of an explanation hoping Austin would understand my warning. Austin was still stewing so I walked up and slid an arm around him. “Baby, relax,” I said soothingly. I turned to Collin who was still in our door way, “Well you’re a long, long way from home, something tells me you didn’t just drive over to say hello.”

“Naaaa, I’m here on business mate…” He said in his Aussie accent. “I had a hell of a time tracking you down, luckily your old neighbor; this delightful black woman with a roit(right) perfect French accent knew who I was from your stories so she gave me directions on how to get here.”

Austin looked down at me then back at Collin, “So how far did you fucking travel?” Austin asked. “From north west of Sydney, the hilly wine area of Australia.” His accent was soft, almost British in nature.

“Ok, now that I’m not worried about you jumping on him or anything,” I said and turned to Colin. “Why don’t you come all the way in.” I indicated the living room. “Would you like some coffee…?” I started, then corrected myself “I-I uh mean tea?”

“Ahhh That would be wonderful, thank you.” Collin said with his impeccable manners.

“Sorry…” Austin said as he walked over behind Collin to close the door, “I just never saw Alex leap on anyone like that before…” He stopped what he was saying and added, “but me, I mean.”

I walked over and put a hand on Austin’s shoulder, “Sorry about that Baby, It’s just… it’s been so long since I’ve seen him… we were always tight.” I said. “The last ex you saw me with-well, it ended badly…” I said referring to Jake.

“I warned you he was a mother fucking wanker!” Collin said stoically, knowing immediately whom I was talking about. And he had, in fact, warned me, though he didn’t know, he’d actually been the reason Jake and I first met.

“Things with Collin were always good, we only stopped dating because Collin moved back to Australia.” I said.

“AND because I was getting married to Grace.” Collin added with a shrug to Austin.

“And how is she?” I asked since last time we’d talked on the phone, they were living in separate locations.

Collin lost his smile and looked down, “We were divorced in October.” He said with little emotion.

“Sorry dude…” Austin said putting a hand on Collin’s shoulder.

“She couldn’t deal with the fact that I preferred boys to her…” Collin said as way of an explanation.

Austin looked puzzled. “It’s ok baby, you weren’t the first bisexual I’ve dated,” I said, walking to the kitchen to get the tea and coffee made.

“So what happened to your face? Did Alex get too rough on you or something?” Collin asked Austin about the band-aids on his cheek. I couldn’t hear things clearly as I had water running and pots clanging and coffee hissing as the steam brewed up through the grounds. All of a sudden, I heard Collin Exclaim, “No fucking way! That was you two?” I knew what part of the story Austin was telling Collin; then as I fixed the tray with extra milk for Collin. I walked in and found Austin telling Collin about our little fray.

Collin looked up at me, “I always said you were a little Pisser!”

Austin walked over and bent over to nuzzle my neck as Collin poured himself a cup of tea. “He’s my mini Rotweiler.” Austin said as he licked the part of my neck that always made me moan.

“I’m guessing you know all his fun spots by now hey?” Collin asked with a knowing smirk.

Austin wrapped an arm around me from behind and said, “Probably not yet, but it’s a hell of lot of fun discovering them.” And he ran the tip of his tongue across the lobe of my ear…” I arched my back and closed my eyes for a moment.

Collin just smiled at me and said, “Like a small violin…” as Austin stopped and hugged me.

“Yeah, hard to believe I’ve never played a violin before isn’t it?” Austin said, to a clearly shocked Collin,


Austin shook his head, “Nope, Alex corrupted me.” I was going to bring up Joe, but then thought better of it. “He’s a fast learner.” I said blushing.

Austin released me and said, “Don’t mean to be rude, but if I don’t leave now, I’ll be late to work.”

Collin gave him a funny look and then glanced at his watch, “Mate, you go to work at Seven O-clock at night?” he asked with an almost comically British sounding inflection.

Austin smiled and said, “Every weekend and on other nights as needed.” Before Collin asked Austin said simply, “I strip for old men at the Parliament House.”

Collin nodded in understanding as I corrected him, “Hey, who you calling old? I perve out watching you all the time!” Austin grinned as he was leaving, “That’s cause you know the show’s just for you.”

He headed for his red truck and I said, “Bye Hon…” Turning back to Colin, I asked, “I was just getting ready for diner. Would you care to join me?”

Collin smiled and looked at the tuna salad, “Hey, let me take you out to dinner ok?” I told him the salad was good as Austin only made it from fresh Tuna steaks we’d had the night before. But Collin just smiled and said, “I want to take you to dinner, I haven’t seen you in forever and I have a business proposition for you…” His eyes glinted when he said that and my Antenna twitched. “Ummm, ok, I-I guess I can have this for lunch tomorrow…” I said wrapping it in plastic and sticking it in the fridge. “I have to tell you though, a lot’s changed since we last talked,”

“For instance?” he asked holding the door for me as I put on my jacket and grabbed my testing kit, which held my insulin and started towards his car.

“Well, for one, I have diabetes,” I said lifting up the kit and wiggling it to show him.

“Bloody hell! When did that happen?” I opened the car door and slid in, “Not that long ago… I was in a coma for a week I’m told.”

Collin put his keys in the ignition and then looked over at me. “Bloody fucking hell Alex! I had no idea…I’m sorry…” I felt guilty suddenly and began to apologize when he shook his head side to side, “No baby, I was out of sight (It sounded like ‘out of soit’ when he said it), and I’m the one who walked out on you… I’m just glad we . . . that we stayed friends.” He reached down and started the car.

We hadn’t discussed where to eat yet, so I gave directions to Little Saigon. We walked in and Julie came over with her singsong voice and smile, “How are you?” She looked up at Collin and her smile faded. “Who are you?” With a worried frown, she turned back to me and asked, “How is Austin? Is he ok?”

I smiled and stood aside to introduce them, “Austin’s at work Julie, he just left us, don’t worry, he’s fine.” I said remembering how Austin had been scared she’d get mad at him and send the Vietnamese ninja to punish him. “And this is my Ex, Collin Stellington.” They shook hands as Julie welcomed him and said, “I sorry for being rude, just worried about Austin.”

Collin smiled and said “Enchanté, ma chérie,” In fluid French. I’d forgotten how good an education Collin had had. I also recalled he’d done a lot of traveling to Europe on wine related business.

Julie was taken back a moment then replied with, “Enchantée, au plaisir de rencontrer un ami d'Alex. Il y entretient dans les affaires.” Collin smiled and Julie motioned us over to my regular table, “Your usual?” she asked me and I nodded. Then she looked at Collin and in perfect French asked, Qu'est-ce que vous voudriez? Une entrée ou les boissons quand vous lisez le menu?

Collin smiled. “Une tasse de thé chaud serait parfait pour commencer. Merci

Julie finished with the order and left. Colin looked at me with a funny grin, “She could straighten out my bisexual knot if you know what I mean.”

I gave him a hard look. “NO!” I admonished. “You behave with that appetite of yours!”

Collin got an evil smirk and his eyes gleamed as he said, “I haven’t, “had anything to eat,” he said using hand quotes, “since October, and then I find out you’re engaged… Come on…” He pleaded.

I shook my head then looked at him, “And I haven’t had sex since New Years Eve and we won’t until we get fucking married-his idea-not mine!” I glared defiantly at the much, much, larger man.

Finally, he looked away, “Cheeky bastard!”

When Julie came back with the drinks, I ordered Collin the summer rolls *in English* and suggested the shrimp stir-fry. When Julie was done, she floated off and Collin moaned, “Alex….”

Turning to him, I interrupted, with a warning tone. “Collin, I love you to death, but if you try anything with Julie, I’ll hurt you to death - even if you do still outrank me.” I glared at him a minute to make my point and then said, “So what was this business thing you wanted to ask me about anyways?”

Collin leaned back and smiled as he lifted his glass to drink. When he was done, he sat his glass down and looked me right in the eyes. “You’ve learned much from Dr. Yoshita, but simply redirecting my attention won’t work that easy.” Collin said referring to our former sensei, we had learned after a certain belt, that judo could be used intellectually as well as on the mats.

After I smiled and acknowledged Collin’s point, he continued. “We’re expanding our market, I already set up a few accounts in this area, but I need to hire someone to handle our business interests and hopefully, expand our market.”

I was stunned, he hadn’t actually offered it to me yet, but I could see what he was thinking. “That’s great Collin, but I don’t get it, if you’re offering it to me, I mean, I don’t know a damned thing about wine except it comes in red and white varieties and the good stuff doesn’t come in a cardboard cube.”

Collin laughed and then met my eyes again, “I need someone who has a good head on his shoulders and that I can trust from the other side of the world. We’ll teach you the rest of it.” I was stunned; it would mean I could quit that lousy bank job… “And we’ll teach you all about the subtleties and nuances of our various vintages.” I suddenly had a bad thought, Collin saw my face fall and asked, “What is it Alex?”

I closed my eyes and said “Baby, I’m diabetic; I can’t drink any more…”

Collin’s smile faded and after several long moments he asked, “Well, you have anyone in mind that could do this?” He was asking as my friend, a compatriot whose loyalty in me was mirrored

I got a sly smile and said, “Well, I’ll have to talk to him about it, but yeah, I think I know the perfect guy…”

Before I could finish, Collin laughed and said, “Ok, sell me on why Austin would make a good rep.”

I laughed, as always, Collin had seen right through me. “

“Ok, first, he’s marrying me and you know that I’ll make him behave even if he wouldn’t otherwise, and he’s a top notch southern boy.” I said as our dinner arrived. “

You mean he’s a top” Julie said then blushed as she smiled at Collin. Collin began laughing which made Julie start too… In the end I landed up laughing too

When we had assured Julie we were fine with what she’d brought, she smiled and said to call her if we needed anything. “You know, if I don’t hire Austin, I could make a fortune if she worked for me.”

I shot him a sour look and said, “Don’t you go taking Julie away from me!” Then I said, “And Austin is much better looking than me, and he’s got this insanely hot smile, and it works on straight guys and women too, not just us gay boys.”

Collin roared, “Alex, I haven’t seriously thought of you as a little boy since we met-and Christ, you’re what, 30 now?” he asked.

“27 thank you!” I replied tersely. “And Austin can drink, and he looks awesome in a suit…” I said trying to think of other reasons.

“Ok, Ok, let’s talk to him tonight and see what he says?” Collin offered before we began gossiping about the people he had known when we were in school together.

Eventually, as dinner was ending, he began telling me about his ex wife Grace. Grace had been his Fiancé’ since we’d met, I knew from the first few times that we’d spent the night together that he’d be leaving Florida alone to get married shortly after he graduated. Although we both lived in free progressive countries, he had been in, what could best be described as an arranged marriage. Gracie’s family had a vast amount of untilled land, and the neighboring Stellington family wanted that land to expand its grape vineyards. “Now that we’re divorced, we’re essentially leasing the land from them as they have no use for the extra land and we’re expanding operations.” Collin explained. “We broke up amicably, there wasn’t a lot of drama, but she knew I was bisexual, and well… she didn’t trust me.” He said.

I gave him a hard look and asked, “Did she have a reason not to trust you?”

Collin sighed, “No, not really, but it was probably only a matter of time. She was getting more and more suspicious and that drove me further and further away. As we talked, Collin raised his hand and when Julie looked over, he mimed writing, which she understood as him saying he wanted the check. A minute later Julie came over and asked Collin if he wanted any desert, She gave me a smile and said, “You Diabetic boy; don’t even ask. Austin already warned me. You can have regular coffee if you want.” She her ineffable smile as she laid the small black envelope holding the bill on the table, Collin and I both said we were fine and he dropped his credit card on the top. She took it and left with a warm smile.

“So what were you expecting when you came back here?” I asked when Julie brought back the credit card slip for Collin to sign. “I asked you out to dinner!” he said rather than answer my question, I nodded and looked up expectantly waiting for his answer, he took a deep breath and blew it out slowly before speaking, “Expecting? I don’t know really, we hadn’t talked in almost two years, I HOPED you were still single and I’d ride in and give you this great job and work my way back into your heart.” He stood up to go and didn’t look down at me.

“Collin, you’ve never left my heart.” He turned back and as I stood up, I could see the hope flash in his eyes. “BUT!” I added, “I love Austin with all my heart, I will love you forever, but He’s the man that I’m in love with.”

Collin nodded, “I know, I already saw that.” He opened the door and held it for me, hiding the resignation and emotions I knew he was feeling. We discussed going to the Parliament House but decided just to go back to my place and wait for Austin. We talked about all kinds of things and drank several cups of coffee or tea as we waited. We talked about the wedding Austin and I were planning, we talked about my awful job, and then I told Collin that he HAD to come see me that weekend since he wasn’t leaving for several weeks.

“So where were you staying?” I asked Collin. “I’m at the Airport Marriot.” He said.

“Well, why don’t you get your stuff and stay here?”

Collin smiled and said, “Cause the temptation would be too hard on me, and I value our friendship. Besides, you don’t even have a spare bed, and I’m a little too big to be on the couch.” I was about to point out that he’d save a load of money staying with us, but I remembered that he didn’t have any concept of what money was. He was the oldest son of the Stellington’s, and as such, had vast vineyards and treasure troves of money at his command. “Now if you were single…” He said with a leer.

“If I were single,” I said smiling. “I’d glue myself to you and tell your fucking father to go suck a French whore cause I wasn’t leaving you.”

“Alex, such language!” Collin said with a laugh. “Besides, who said YOU, were the one tempting me?” He teased.

“Don’t molest my fiancé!” I threatened.

He smiled and arched his eye brow, “Or . . . what?”

I smiled, and said, “I already beat an entire bar, don’t make me show what else I’ve learned.”

It was after 12 when Austin rolled in, “Hi Baby,” he said kissing me and pulling me against him. He asked, “You guys have a good talk?” I handed him a cup of coffee. We gabbed a bit and did a quick recount of all the evening’s topics, only then did Collin ask Austin what he knew about wine.

Austin gave a funny look then said, “Dunno. It comes in red, white, and pink, and you shouldn’t buy it from a place that sells Slurpees. Why?”

Collin sipped his tea and said, “My family are the second largest producers of wine in Australia, We’ve cracked the European market, except Belgium and France, and the North Eastern American markets, but we’re expanding into the South East and the South Western states. Alex here seems to think you’d be a good asset to out company. Think you might be interested?” Collin said, shifting seamlessly from fiend and playful devil to Stoic Aussie businessman.

Austin sat down with his coffee and looked at Collin, “I’m assuming this wouldn’t entail dancing or stripping?”

He replied, “No, what I need is a sales man to expand our market, represent us when we can’t be there to over see distribution and to identify new markets.”

Austin was stunned, I could see it on his face, so I said, “Honey, with your good old boy nature, and that killer smile and quick wit… You’ll have every place you go eating out of your hands, signing up for anything you want to sell them.”

Speechless, Austin sat back and looked at us. After a moment he said, “It sounds great, but I don’t have any experience in Business, marketing, finance, advertising, anything!” Collin listened and sat back, “Well, what degree do you have?”

I swallowed, realizing Austin hadn’t graduated. “Well none at the moment, I was going for my BA in Sports medicine when I had to… uh… drop out.” Austin said looking down into his coffee.

Before Collin asked, I said, “Austin was in his senior year when.he . . . uhhh was forced to drop out. He came down and stayed with me.” I could see the gratitude in Austin’s smile as he looked back up.

“Well, that doesn’t make you any less of a salesman, That takes natural talent, you can’t learn to work people, you either have it or you don’t.” Collin said and then added, “Roit, tell you what, you come with me this weekend and…”

Austin cut him off hesitantly, “I uhh. Sorry, but I work this weekend, I can’t just quit with no warning, they’ve been really good to me.”

Collin sat back with a large grin, “Well… loyalty… Ok, I’m impressed! Alex said you were a good character.” Austin looked at me surprised as Collin continued, “Ok, you work the evenings roit?”

Austin nodded, “Yeah, 6pm on Saturday and Sunday, and 7pm during the week.”

Collin took out a small book and looked in it. “Ok, well, I have an 11am meeting Saturday in Winter Park, and a 2pm on Sunday in Longwood.” He looked up. “So how-a-bout you come with me this weekend and maybe during the week and we’ll see how you do?” He added, “Your decision to be loyal to your current job really impressed me by the way. I - We really value loyalty.” After taking a sip of tea Collin said, “And the schedule is highly flexible, you’ll be able to go back to college and hopefully get some kind of business degree… marketing would be super.” He said saying schedule like he was British “sheduale”

“Duuude! I-I-I I don’t know what to say.” Austin was grinning as he looked back and forth between Collin and me.

“In ‘Yank,’ is that a yes?” Collin asked with a grin.

Austin’s grin exploded as I answered. “Ohhh yeah.” Looking at Austin’s dimples I continued. “Did I tell you my guy had the hottest smile in the United States?”.

“I’d say this country and mine.” Collin said and smirked as we watched Austin blush. We made plans for the next day to meet for lunch in Winter park and then come back here before I needed to get ready to go on at the Seattle Scene.

“Sooo, uhhh, I don’t know how to ask this politely…” Austin began, hemming and hawing on the way out to Collin’s car.

Collin got a big smile and said, “Well, the base pay is 45 in US currency. I’ll push it up to 46 since you have to put up this one.” Collin mussed my hair jovially. If it had been anyone else, chances are they wouldn’t have gotten the arm back.

“You know what this means?” Austin grinned at me.

I smiled back, “Yeah!”

Collin look at me confused, “What’s it mean? Aside from the obvious.”

“That Austin can grow his chest hair back before the wedding!” I said excitedly.

“YOU! You really only have one thing on your mind EVER.” Austin laughed.

“I could have told you that Mate.” Collin chimed in and then asked, “Well, what were you thinking than?”

Puzzled, I looked at Austin and he said, “That you could tell that flaming bitch boss of yours to stick her job in her twat and ride it till dawn.”

My eyes suddenly got huge with the grin exploding on my face. “Holy shit! Oh my god!”

“Well, can you afford to do that?” Collin asked. It wasn’t like him to wonder about such things, this only proved how much he had been thinking about me since the poor guy had no concept of money.

“Well I was pulling in 39 from my bank job, so we’ll do great with the extra he’ll be pulling in,” I said.

“I hadn’t finished,” Collin said. “The salary is a basic 45K to start but you also get paid a dividend for the sales you make. It’s something like a commission. Franco, our guy in New York, makes twice his base pay in dividends every year and he’s only been with us for five years.

“Franco?” Austin asked with a funny smirk, “Is he a good fella or some kind of Mob Boss?”

Collin laughed, “Not sure, you yanks all seem like gangsters and gang bangers to me.”

“Ohh ohh ohhh!” I said sarcastically, “First we’re a bunch of effeminate pansies, NOW we’re all gangsters. OK Mr. Stellington, which is it?”

Collin broke out laughing and said, “Cheeky shit.”

Austin looked from Collin to me and asked, “Do I want to know?”

“Go on, you tell him.” Collin volunteered.

I composed myself before answering. “When we first started going out, we had a few confusing episodes with words each of our cultures use a little differently.” I said as Collin nodded. “One day I was describing Michael and called him a big over sized ‘Nelly’ hand puppet. And Collin asked me what Nelly meant.” I said to a riveted Austin. “I told him it was an effeminate guy, a poofster, a twinkely fairy. Then I asked him what they called Nelly guys in Australia.”

Collin jumped in with, “Easy mate, back home we call them Americans” Although it had cracked Collin and I up back in college, it only made Austin smile a moment before he decided to get upset by it.

“Heeeyyyy!” Austin complained.

Collin got a big grin and said, “Roit Mate, I’ll prove it.” And he turned around and stood in our doorway. “Come here!” He ordered Austin. I thought I what he was doing, and was amused when Austin just obeyed. “Now turn around and face Alex!” Collin ordered, Austin obeyed again and you could see his gears burning as he was trying to figure out what Collin had planned. Then Collin got an evil smile and looked me right in the eyes before saying, “Now take off that shirt!” Austin looked puzzled but slowly complied. Collin got a smirk as he gently ran a hand from Austin’s belly up his chest and began playfully pinching Austin’s nipples; he leaned forward as he was several inches taller than Austin, and began kissing Austin’s neck. Austin was rock hard in a few seconds and a low moan escaped his lips. Then Collin ran his right hand down Austin’s jeans and cupped his hard on. I was too mesmerized to object although I knew what Collin was doing. Collin slid his left hand up to Austin’s face and slowly brought it around so that by turning his head slightly, he and Collin could kiss. Collin groped his cock and pinched his nipple he began to kiss Austin passionately. I was about to object when Collin ended it and said, “Roit, I rest my case!” He released Austin.

Austin looked surprised and a little angry, “What? What case? What the fuck?” As he grabbed his shirt back off the small table by the door.

“Please Mate, you were totally moi bitch just then!” Collin laughed.

“Like hell I was.” Austin protested. “

Austin, Oi was going to bend you over and fuck you till you screamed. But Oi thought Alex moit object.” Collin said merrily which annoyed Austin more.

“I DON”T get fucked!” Austin maintained. I was staying out of this little battle of machismo. “Maybe not with Alex, but Oi’d fuck you. Oi’m not, because I care too much for Alex, but if he weren’t here, Oi’d fuck you till you sang my name in French.” Austin was still hard and that comment only made his cock throb more.

Finally I decided to step in. “Collin, you will NOT turn my husband to be into a bottom, if you do, trust me, Australia won’t be far enough for you to hide from me.”

Collin smiled and lost his macho demeanor. “Why is it you are the only guy Oi know who can threaten me like that and get away with it? Jesus, Oi outrank you!”

“Cause you know the twisted creativity I use for sexual pleasure can be turned to evil and sadistic revenge.” I answered, smiling. “Now you go and have a good night, Austin will be all ready tomorrow morning for your little outing.” I said leading Collin out by his shoulder and hugging him tightly, “It is so fucking great to see you again and have you back for a while.” I said as I buried me face in his chest.

“Oi’m glad we’re still friends Mon Puce.”

He’d given me that nickname in the second week of our Judo class and everyone started using it. Apparently, everyone else knew what it meant but no one would tell me. The more frustrated I got, the more fun they had. I had to hunt down a French teacher to find out Mon Puce meant “Little flea.” It made me crazy back then, but now I just smiled and let it fall back into the fog of memory.

“Bonne nuit, mon amour, à toi et ton fiance.” Collin said in French, I only got the gist of it, but smiled and hugged him again.

“Tomorrow night, you have to come see my show!” I ordered then kissed him on the chest and pushed him towards his car.

Inside, Austin was still a little wigged out by Collin’s demonstration. “He’s a great guy Alex, but I can’t believe he thought he could fuck me!” Austin protested, perhaps a little too strongly. I didn’t want to break his ego so I let it drop. Austin however, wouldn’t let it go. “You don’t think I’d let him fuck me do you?”

I wished he hadn’t asked that. I walked past him to our bedroom to begin getting ready for bed. “Baby, he’s been raised in a different world than us, he learned to read and manipulate people when he was very young.” I said as a way to side step his question.

“Well yeah, he kinda got me to do what he said, but only for basic stuff. Doesn’t mean I was gunna do ‘that’!” he maintained.

I stopped at our bed and turned to face my Angel, “Baby, he’s a very attractive guy, he’s got total self confidence, he’s studied a variety of martial arts, and he’s fierce in business matters. What he might or might not be able to do with you is irrelevant. It doesn’t change one thing about how I feel or think about either of you.” I added, “And he won’t fuck you cause I’ll kill him if he does.” I added placing a hand on his shoulder. “Ok?” I asked. Austin mumbled then went and brushed his teeth. “Now why don’t you forget about him fucking you and try to get some sleep, you have a BIG day tomorrow.” I said excitedly as I went to the bathroom.

When I was done, I slipped into bed and took my place nuzzled against a restless Austin. I just smiled. His fidgeting was so puppy like I was just glad to have him curled against me. I went to sleep and wondered off to lala land.

At three forty five AM, I woke up to hear Austin moaning and talking incoherently in his sleep, I rolled back to spoon against him and suddenly felt hot liquid spray all over my ass and lower back. Just as I realized what had just happened, Austin woke up, startled.

“Huh? Ohhhh.” He said to himself as what had happened dawned on him too.

“I KNEW all this time without sex was gunna be a problem!” I said getting out of bed to get a towel.

“Ohhh god, I haven’t had a wet dream since I was 18.” Austin said, rolling out of bed.

I walked back in with a towel to toss at him. “Still thinking about Collin huh?” I asked with a smirk.

Austin just kept his face down, “I don’t get it!” He said pouting. “I’ve never thought about that before, I never even day dreamed about it. I just don’t get it.” He said standing up and coming over to wipe off my back.

“Baby, Collin has made a career out of ‘fucking’ with people’s heads. He did it in Judo matches and he’s always done it in business. Trust me, you don’t want to get on his bad side. But baby, he was just fucking with you. Let it go.”

Austin binned the towel when he was done and was about to climb back in bed when I said, “Go put your boxers on, I need to sleep and with you squirting off like you just did…” the words trailed off and I gave him a sour look. Austin put on his light blue boxers and looked so sexy in them. “Come here stud boy!” I said to my confused hero. Austin got a sheepish smile and climbed into bed. “Next time put a condom on and fuck me a few times first.” Austin pulled me against him. “Are you going to be ok Baby?” I asked as I pulled his arms around me and scooted against him.

“Yeah, I guess so… Thanks for not freaking out about all this.” Austin said kissing the back of my neck.

“I’ll warn Collin again to leave you alone.” I said simply and Austin nuzzled the back of my neck

I actually woke up before Austin the next morning and decided to surprise him by making him breakfast in bed. I was lucky that not only did I know where all the correct pans were, but I also knew what he liked and how he liked it cooked. Not that I’d done much cooking since he began hanging out with Mrs. Tremere. I made him that runny sunny side up eggs he loved so much with wheat toast and bacon and was getting the coffee ready when I heard him start to stir.

“What are you doing up?” He called out from bed

“Just lay there and I’ll show you.” I replied,

“I’ll get back in bed when I’m through.” I heard him say as I heard his pee hit the bowl. I smirked as I put all the dishes and coffee cups on the tray and brought it to bed. I was setting up the trey when he walked back in. “Oh my god!” He said with a tone that couldn’t decide if it was going for awed or surprised. “Alex, wha?” He asked so surprised he didn’t finish his thought.

“Well, I’d love to tell you it was all planned for your first big day with Collin, but…” I said rolling my eyes at him humorously. “But you know me well enough to know I rarely get up early without a loud cavalcade of alarms or shaking.” I said, rubbing his shoulder as he slid back into bed. “Anyways, I woke up early so I decided to fix you breakfast for a change.”

“Baby…” Austin gushed as he lifted his coffee cup. “Intentional or not, this rocks honey-thank you.”

I leaned over and kissed his forehead, “I love you Austin.” I said then righted myself and said, “I have to go test my blood sugar and get my less runny eggs.” I said hopping out of bed and running to the kitchen. I grabbed my breakfast and coffee after testing my Blood sugar and grabbing the insulin for Austin to give me the shot with. When I got to the room, I handed Austin the syringe and insulin, told him my reading, and then lay across the blanket over his legs with my bare ass up in the air for him to shoot.

“Mmmmmm, Soon won’t get here fast enough little boy,” Austin said as he rubbed my ass, pinched a cheek, and gave me the shot. I just stayed there as he patted my ass. “If you don’t move that pretty ass soon, I’m not gunna be responsible for what happens.” Austin said rubbing his hands over my ass.

“Is that supposed to be a threat?” I said wiggling my ass for him, loving the attention I’d been denied for weeks now. “You’ll have think of something slightly more threatening I guess.”

Austin slapped my ass sharply. “Eat your breakfast, horney toad!” Laughing, he shoved me over.

Breakfast went quite quickly after that, when we’d finished, I picked out a sharp teal shirt with Charcoal dress slacks and a navy sport jacket with a patterned maroon silk tie with blue hatches that made his eyes just stand out out. After showering and dressing, Austin modeled for me to appraise.

I sat and smiled at my elegant boyfriend. “If you don’t knock them dead, then they were dead a long time ago,” I said just as the sun caught in his eyes.

Austin reached over to pet Tempest, who was lying on top of our TV set. “You have any knowledge about what I should anticipate today. Do you?”

“Ummm…” I thought about it and said, “Yeah. Don’t admit to him you had a wet dream about him last night.” I said wisely. When he asked why, I smiled and said, “I love Collin to death, you know that, but if he finds out he’s gotten to you, there won’t be enough steel plating in the whole Pacific Rim to keep him outta your pants.”

Austin nodded then asked, “So I’ll meet you at Dextersfor dinner?” He asked me.

“You bet stud, now go make me proud.” I said at our front door.

Austin looked extremely nervous. “Why is it I’m more nervous now then I was stripping the first time?” Austin asked me. “Cause for one thing, you have an amazing body, and you love showing it off. And this job is a total unknown to you, but I have every faith. I know you’ll do fine.” I ran my hand down his toned muscular back.

I had a lunch date with Dawn, knowing she was leaving on Wednesday. We were meeting at a coffee shop in DeLand that made good lunches, called Boston Bean. I was a huge fan of their iced Latté’s. When I got there, I found her sitting with Tiago.

“Well hello there stranger.” Tiago said standing up to greet me. Dawn turned around and when she saw me, she stood up too.

The waiter I had known a while, a cute blond guy named Mac, came over and squatted, putting his head on his hands on the table, “Howdy folks, coffee, tea, or me?” Before I could reply with a smart assed response, Dawn kicked me under the table and gave me a stern look as a warning.

Tiago however had no such restriction so he smiled up at Mac, “Oh really sunshine? In that case I’ll take you.”

Mac got a big grin and patted Tiago on the back, “Sorry bud-I likes da ladies!” He pulled out his order pad and took our drink orders. We had pleasant conversation and Dawn told me how she had run into Tiago and invited him to Lunch with us. Tiago meanwhile was telling us what he wanted to do with the very cute and highly personable Mac. Somehow we got into dating scenarios at which point Dawn started laughing,

“Know what Alex and lesbians bring on a second date?” She asked Tiago. I knew the answer, as it was an old Lesbian joke. “A U-HAL and everything they own,” she finished, laughing. Tiago had a good laugh at it too, and said I would make a horrible Lesbian. Dawn gave me a sour look and said, “Yeah, being afraid of breasts makes for a bad start.”

“So how’s the crazy woman?” I asked Dawn trying to change the subject. Dawn rolled her eyes and sighed, “She’s trying to talk me into moving back and living with her at her house.”

I laughed a moment before saying, “I see, so when are you and Elle moving back to the ranch house? It’s big enough, what is it, 6 bedrooms?” Dawn scowled at my obvious jest. “Oh, Elle wasn’t invited. A child shouldn’t grow up with two mothers,” Dawn said rolling her eyes.

“Did it occur to her that Samual would be growing up in a house with two women either way.”

“Please, this has very little to do with Samual, this is about her needing a maid down here and not wanting me to have a life away from her. Plus she blames Elle for my being a lesbian.”

“That’s crazy” Tiago interjected. “She can’t really believe that. Can she? he asked.

“It isn’t about logic Tiago, it’s pure emotions, and hers are very jealous, manipulative, and greedy.” I said.

“Hey, She IS my Mother you know?” Dawn responded.

I looked at her. “Do you think I’m wrong?”

“No.” She said and signed.

“So, what did you tell her?” I asked.

“I told her I’d think about it.” She said.

“And will you?” Tiago asked.

“Of course not. I’m not leaving Elle.” Dawn said.

“Scardy-cat!” I said to her.

“OHHH Don’t you start!” Dawn said sarcastically.

“Ohh, and what am I afraid of?” I said arrogantly, perhaps too arrogantly.

“Hmmm, do we start with Vaginas, or getting older?” She said

“He’s scared of Vaginas?” Tiago asked.

“Well, I assume so since he sure has thing against boobs.” She said giving me a smart assed smirk.

“Ok, tell me!” Tiago asked conspiratorially.

She gave me an evil look. I knew what story was coming so I sat back and crossed my arms. “Alex the brave here was at my house one day before I got home, Elle had let him in. I went to my room to change and ass hole follows me quietly, wanting to jump out and scare me.” Dawn said, staring me down. “So I started to change my shirt and just as I have my shirt pulled up over my head, this asshole jumps out and yells “Booo!” He sees my bare breasts and yells, ‘AHHHHH!’” Then he leaped back and ran out of the room. I finished pulling my shirt off and chased him down. Chicken shit.”

“She chased me all over her apartment trying to hit me with her boobs!” I said contemptuously, talking directly to Tiago as if I thought I could elicit sympathy from him.

“Awwww, you poor guy!” Tiago said. “Most guys would love to have a woman’s’ large breasts pushed up on them.”

“Yeah? Not the Queen of the Fairies.” Dawn said using one of her nicknames for me.

“I” I said with emphasis, “am NOT most guys. I’m neither Bi or straight!” I said as Mac was walking by,

“Oh, you can say that again.” He said, sarcastically, as he passed, on his way to another table.

“It was a horrible experience and I was traumatized!” I added, adamantly.

“Which time?” Dawn asked with a smirk.

“BOTH TIMES!” I replied. “Both times?” Tiago looked confused and I explained. “Yeah, Dawn went around telling everyone, so her girlfriend Elle did it too.”

Dawn said, laughing, “Elle did it a house party a few years later and chased him into a spare room we had, and when he jumped on the bed to get away from her, she leaped on top of him but they were satin sheets so the two of them shot off the other side with Elle on top of him. It was hilarious!” Dawn said laughing.

“Yeah, total fucking hilarious!” I said dryly.

As lunch was ending, Mac dropped off our bill. Tiago and I hugged and arranged to see each other at the Seattle Scene. He gave Dawn a kiss and thanked her for her stories and said he’d see her the next time she came back. She kissed him and wished him luck dealing with me then she gave me a huge hug and told me to take care. I said I would and told her not to let her Mom boss her around too much.

I got to Dexter’s a little earlier than Austin and Collin and told our waiter Richard to just bring me an iced tea while I waited. I was dying of boredom when the boys showed up laughing and falling on each other. I was secretly glad to see Austin having fun as he’d been pretty broken up since the funeral. Collin apologized for being late but said, “Alex, you were right on about this guy, he’s amazing, that old man was eating out of Austin’s hand, they talked about this young blond girl the man had as a secretary and BAM, I think that sealed the deal!” Collin said clapping me on the back.

When the waiter came back over, he asked if he could get the boys something to drink. Collin asked for a dry martini. Michael Waters would have approved. Austin asked if they carried Blue Kookaburra, Pino Grigio, One of the premier Stelington brands of wine. The guy apologized and said they didn’t. So Austin asked for a Jack and Coke and asked for the name of the Bar manager. “That’s my Boy!” Collin said with his sexy accent. He was already grooming Austin for the job.

While the boys ate T-bones, I had a lighter Tuna steak with steamed asparagus and a Caesar salad. “Well Alex, I’ll have to see how Austin does tomorrow and I’ll need him to come over for some training back home, but I think he’s a shoe in.”

I was so proud and despite the black mood that had engulfed Austin lately, he was glowing. “My baby, the wine mogul!” I teased smiling at him. I then looked over at Collin, “So when is Austin going over?” I asked before adding, “and are you paying his way?”

“No, Dad or the company will do that to be honest. We’ll need him to come over for training and tasting the various vintages before he can really start. Soon,” he said. “Don’t worry, we’ll treat him right.” Collin smiled warmly at me.

“Wow, you get to go to Australia!” I said, “Colin never took me there and we were dating.” I said, pouting at Collin.

“That was me protecting you from my father.” Collin said seriously.

“So isn’t he going to have trouble with Austin when he tells your dad he lives with the guy you used to date? Or is Austin going to have to lie?” Collin took a drink then said, “Dad and I have come to an ‘understanding’ of sorts.” Collin said looking me in the eyes. “I’ve told him everything and we had a long LONG argument about it, he still wants me to marry and give him heirs, but he’s a lot better now. I think Mom gave him ultimatum to be honest.” Collin said with a sigh, “And he’ll love Austin if for no other reason than Austin will make him lots of money - I’ll sell him on the idea that as a bisexual, Austin can flirt with any of the buyers.” I looked at the grinning Austin and said, “I don’t know that I want him to make a career out of flirting.”

Austin looked me in the eyes, “I was a stripper, and you had no problems with me dancing naked in front of scores of strangers.”

Collin nodded to that as I replied. “IF you recall,” I said, “I DID have problems with that and worried about you the whole time, I could just see some creep getting obsessed with you and stalking you.” I took a drink. “But I knew Natasha and all her friends were watching out for you.” I added, smirking, “And if Julie found out you’d cheated I knew she’s send a hundred Vietnamese ninja after you.”

Austin laughed and nodded, “Yeah she would!”

Collin looked at us and asked, “Vietnamese ninja?”

Austin laughed saying, “When I went to meet the Julie the first time, I was sure that if I hurt Alex, she would send Vietnamese ninja after me.” We all had a good laugh and I told Collin I did, in fact, know that Ninja were Japanese

As Dinner was ending, I brought up the fact that Austin, and I had a wedding Sunday afternoon, “Well we’ll be done by noon.” Collin offered,

“That’s good.” I said, “But I wanted to ask you if you wanted to come with us?” I said.

“I don’t want to crash a wedding where I don’t know the people.” Collin said as the steaks arrived.

“You’ll meet the groom tonight, he plays guitar for the group” I said, adding, “And Korma will likely be there too”

“Well, if he invites me, I’ll think about it.” Collin said.

I smirked and said, “I don’t want you to think about it, that always means ‘NO’… I would like you to be there, Give them some money, instead of a gift.” I offered knowing the gift was one of the reasons he wouldn’t go. “I’ll drive so you can drink…” I offered as a tease.

“You don’t plan to let this go do you?” Collin asked knowingly.

“No way!” Austin added, “You agree or we’ll be on it all night.”

So Collin agreed right as my fish arrived, “Speaking of weddings, when are you to doing the big ‘W’?” Collin asked.

I looked at Austin and asked petulantly, “Yes, when is the Big ‘W’?”

Austin blushed and looked up at the ceiling, “No self control at all.” At which point Collin laughed, I assumed they’d discussed it earlier.

“I am full of self control!” I said haughtily, “I just want to know when I should writing my vows.” I said.

“WHAT?” Austin asked surprised, “You don’t have them ready yet?” Collin then looked back and forth between us,

“So WHOSE wedding is this going to be?” Collin asked.

“Phil and Korma. I’ve been friends with them since after college.” I said.

“I think he was insinuating that it was going to be our wedding…” Austin mused.

“Yeah,” I said with a huff, “Like you’re ever going to have sex with me again…” Collin landed up spitting martini all over the table and Austin was coughing on his steak. “What?” I demanded petulantly.

“Apparently I have to marry him JUST so he can have sex again.” Austin said rolling his eyes.

I gave him an evil glance and said, “Oh, you don’t need to be there, I just want sex.” He gave me a hurt look, so I said, “We ‘Could’ have been having sex all along but YOU wanted to wait!” I said perhaps a little too loudly as several people turned to look at us; this made both Collin and Austin uncomfortable.

“Tramp!” Austin said and took another bite of his steak,

“ONLY with my hand baby!” I replied before shoving a fork of Asparagus in my mouth. “And YOU are a prude.” I added with a smirk.

“I find that hard to believe.” Collin said.

“You only say that cause you wanna fuck him.” I said with a defiant smile. Both of them were coughing and gasping. “Like I can’t read you Collin…” I said shaking my head. He got a little smirk though he was blushing,

“You know I’d never do that to you.”

I looked up, “Which is why I suggested him for the job, besides, he plays for the same team you do.” I said smiling at Austin.

“Yeah, no catching for this Pitcher.” Austin declared in not so subtle euphemisms.

“That’s what they all say…” Collin countered.

“Collin, love, if you try to turn my husband into your newest boy toy,” I said with utmost politeness.” I promise, you’ll learn some killer new moves.”

Austin, who was trying to stay out of that discussion asked me, “So what are you doing tonight? I mean, what will you be singing?”

Collin laughed and I joined him since Austin’s discomfort was so obvious. “I have a few surprises baby.” I answered before adding, “I have to head over, why don’t you two behave yourselves and come over about eight?”

“You got it babe.” Austin said as he stood up and kissed my lips, while Collin got his wallet out.

I left them talking and laughing and went to the Seattle Scene, it was a little early, But I wanted to get there early to set up. A lot of people I knew would be there that night, including Nate’s sister Megan, and his Cousin Benji. I worked with Robert, who was already there helping at fixing up lights and setting the sound equipment up. I’d gotten a friend of Phil’s that I knew named Darren who was an excellent at electric guitar player and liked his music a little harder rock than what we usually did. When people started showing up, I greeted Jason and Michael with a hug and a quip about how bad Michael smelled. Ryan and Michael Waters showed up next and sat with Jason and my Michael, since Jason and Ryan had buried their hostile feelings, they had gotten to be decent friends and spent a lot of time doing stuff. A whole pack of Deland and Deltona compatriots were mingling at a large table in the back, I knew a few of them like Dan and Cynthia and Korma, but a few faces I didn’t recognize at all.

Mrs. Tremere also showed up with Ivan, I told him how awful Mrs. Cleavlan was and he shook his head and said how sorry he was and that he wished I wasn’t so far away or he’d transfer me back.

A little later Korma came up with Phil and Glen. When I asked where Jennifer was, I got a serious look from Korma and Phil. “We broke up.”

“When? Why?” I asked as Korma pulled out two chairs for her and Glen.

“Last weekend, with everything that happened . . .” He didn’t need to elaborate; most of central Florida had read the details of that night.

“Ok, well that night would certainly take the wind out of your sails, but WHY did she leave you?”

Glen shifted in his seat and hung his head, “We had differences of opinions.” I saw Korma nodding her head to affirm this.

“About Austin and I getting married?” I asked.

He closed his eyes and nodded, “She’s not homophobic, she loves each of you, she’s just freaked out cause you’re…” He was searching for a word

“Cause I’m gay?” I asked simply.

“Yeah. And she forbade me to do the ceremony cause it was against God’s laws.” Glen said with visible discomfort. It was obvious he didn’t like saying these things to me. “I told her it wasn’t, but she believes the Bible is infallible and every word is from God’s lips . . . I think it’s mostly true, but the spirit of Gods will is love, and gays and lesbians are as deserving of love as anyone else. She said if I believed that, I didn’t love her . . .”

Phil had walked to the stage by this point and was talking with Darren. “I am truly sorry Glen, I’m even sorrier that this all because of Austin and me and that . . .” I said rolling my eyes as I tried to find a way phrase it.

“It wasn’t about you and Austin. We’d been arguing more and more.” Glen said, shaking his head. I looked up just in time to see Austin trying to slip behind me for a surprise attack.

“Hey you!” I said, reaching over to pull his face to mine for a kiss. “You and Collin sit here near the front.” I ordered as I got my drink from Henna and walked up on stage. We were all dressed in dark jackets with red ties. Marika wore a black Chiffon Dress with a maroon silk Shawl.

“Good evening ladies and Gentlemen,” I said in the microphone as the lights went down. “Tonight an old friend of mine and Phil’s, named Mr. Darren Myrcos, is with us.” Darren played a quick ascending scale. “The first number I’m doing tonight is one I’ve never done before, but I promised a friend I would play it tonight. Nate. This one’s for you Bud.” As I ended that statement, the first guitar chords were already being played to Sweet Home Alabama. I sang lead, Phil and Darren both sang back up, and Marika sang the gospel background vocals.

Big wheels keep on turning,
carry me home to see my kin
singing songs about the southland.
I miss ole bamy once again and I think it's a sin.

Well, I heard Mister Young sing about her.
Well, I heard ole Neil put her down.
Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
a southern man don't need him around anyhow.

Sweet home Alabama where the skies are so blue.
Sweet home Alabama, Lord, I'm coming home to you.

In Birmingham they love the Gov'nor.
Now we all did what we could do.
Now Watergate does not bother me.
Does your conscience bother you, tell the truth.

Sweet home Alabama where the skies are so blue.
Sweet home Alabama, Lord, I'm coming home to you.

Now Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers
and they’ve been known to pick a song or two.
Lord, they get me off so much,
they pick me up when I'm feeling blue, now how about you.

Sweet home Alabama where the skies are so blue.
Sweet home Alabama, Lord, I'm coming home to you.

Sweet home Alabama where the skies are so blue.
Sweet home Alabama, Lord, I'm coming home to you.
By the time we’d finished, Every person I had invited, the entire coterie of DeLand and Deltona patrons, and a few of those who knew the story, were crying, Even Jorge and Henna were teared up. Both Benji and Megan were balling their eyes out. Austin had tears in his eyes. Collin was hugging him, telling him it would be all right.

I took the microphone and said, “Nate, that was for you man. This next song, while I’m on the subject, is one I wish I had preformed for Nate and Austin’s best friend, Joe, who tragically took his own life not long ago. We loose too many gay and Lesbian youth to this national tragedy, who knows what kind of numbers we’d have today if all the victims of suicide, gay bashings and Aids were still alive. I’d like everyone here to embrace any young people you know and tell them to hold on, that things WILL get better.” I sat down and Robert played his keyboard so it sounded like a piano as I began strumming before singing an REM song while Marika and Phil did back up vocals.
When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone,
When you're sure you've had enough of this life, well hang on.
Don't let yourself go, everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes.

Sometimes everything is wrong. Now it's time to sing along.
When your day is night alone, (hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go, (hold on)
When you think you've had too much of this life, well hang on.

Everybody hurts. Take comfort in your friends.
Everybody hurts. Don't throw your hand. Oh, no. Don't throw your hand.
If you feel like you're alone, no, no, no, you are not alone

If you're on your own in this life, the days and nights are long,
When you think you've had too much of this life to hang on.

Well, everybody hurts sometimes,
Everybody cries. And everybody hurts sometimes.
And everybody hurts sometimes. So, hold on, hold on.
Hold on, hold on. Hold on, hold on. Hold on, hold on.
Everybody hurts. You are not alone.
Hold on
Hold on
Hold on
Hold on

By the middle of the song, I had tears running down my own face and Marika had come over and put her arms around me. I looked up and several people in the audience were singing ‘Hold on’ with me, even as I faded out. One girl was holding a small guy about 19 and comforting him.

Marika took the microphone next and said, “Folks, thanks to Mr. Happy here, everyone is very emotional right now and, even though we have a longer set planned, we’ll take a short break to regroup and let people get back on their feet. Thank you, we’ll be back in 10 minutes.” At that, Austin, who was still crying came up and sobbed as he tried to thank me.

There were visible tears in Collin’s eyes when he put his hand on Austin’s shoulder, “Fucking wanker!” he said. I held Austin and told him everything would be better soon.

Henna came up to me and said, “You did a marvelous job Alex, but you’ve got most of the audience crying, not good for business baby. I hope your next set is more upbeat.” Then she handed me both a box of Kleenex and an iced Latte’.

Megan and Benji came up and Megan gave me a big hug while Benji took a kleenex and wiped his eyes. “Thank you Alex, Nate would a loved that.” Megan nodded and cried on my shoulder a few minutes before Benji lead her back to their seats. Marika came over and said, “Ok party boy, we need to bring the mood up. Got any ideas?”

I thought a moment and said, “How bout we try Dancing in the Streets, that’s pretty upbeat and I can do my acoustic version of I W ill Survive.”

“That acoustic version isn’t very upbeat.”

I smiled and said, “You can tell me I did it wrong and move the song into the upbeat disco version. That would change the mood.”

She thought a second. “We should do that first and THEN Dancing in the Streets, and then our normal set.” When we started, Jorge, who was doing lights for us, shined a bright white spot on me as I went into an acoustic version of Gloria Gaynor’s “I will survive”

I Will Survive Lyrics

At first I was afraid
I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live
without you by my side
But then I spent so many nights
thinking how you did me wrong
And I grew strong
And I learned how to get along
and so you're back
from outer space
I just walked in to find you here
with that sad look upon your face
I should have changed that stupid lock
I should have made you leave your key
If I had known for just one second
you'd be back to bother me.

Go on now go, walk out the door
just turn around now
'cause you're not welcome anymore.
Weren't you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye
Did you think I'd crumble
Did you think I'd lay down and die
Oh no, not I
I will survive
Oh as long as I know how to love
I know I will stay alive
I've got all my life to live
I've got all my love to give
and I'll survive
I will survive (hey-hey)

It took all the strength I had
not to fall apart
kept trying hard to mend
the pieces of my broken heart
and I spent oh so many nights
just feeling sorry for myself
I used to cry
But now I hold my head up high
and you see me
somebody new
I'm not that chained up little person
still in love with you
and so you felt like dropping in
and just expect me to be free
and now I'm saving all my loving
for someone who's loving me

Go on now go walk out the door
just turn around now
'cause you're not welcome anymore
weren't you the one who tried to break me with goodbye
Did you think I'd crumble
Did you think I'd lay down and die
Oh no, not I
I will survive
Oh as long as i know how to love
I know I’ll stay alive
I've got all my life to live
I've got all my love to give
and I'll survive
I will survive
When I was done I got some applause, but it was clear, there were a lot of maudlin people out there.

“WAIT. WAIT a blessed minute!” Marika began, loudly, “You’re depressing these people, making them cry. YOU are doing it all wrong! Tiago, give me a disco beat.” She began snapping her fingers. “Robert, play along!” She pushed me onto the stool. “ALEX, you sit back and listen.” She began the modern version and I could see the change washing over the audience. When she was done, I did a hammed-up bow to her and tipped my imaginary hat. She put her hands on her hips and said, “It’s an empowering song-not a depressing guitar lament.”

In our regular set, we covered Martha Washington, Martha Reeves and Marvin Gay and in the second set we covered Dusty Springfield and Diana Ross. By the end of the show, when people were over the crying and gloom, a young guy and his female friend walked up to the stage. He stepped back into the crowd without making eye contact and she said, “Mr. Johnson, your second song was a downer, but you really… I don’t know, ‘you made a very good point’ I guess I’m trying to say.” She stuck her hand to shake mine.

I walked past it and gave her a big hug. “Not enough hugs go around hon.” I said and then asked her, “So what’s your friend’s story?” I nodded toward the guy drifting further and further away.

“That’s my best friend Justin.” She said opening her arms towards him as an attempt to get him closer. “He’s a little shy and he’s been…” She drifted of and tried to think of the right word to describe him.

“He’s been depressed and you’re worried about him trying suicide.” I said to help her out. “She looked up at me and had an odd look on her face, “He-he tried last year.” She said.

I looked at him for a moment before I said, “Justin, please come and sit with me and your friend…” I trailed off waiting for her to tell me her name.

“Susan.” She volunteered. Justin and a short guy with light brown hair and brown eyes came over and sat with us. Aside from a brief glance up at my eyes, he’d looked towards the floor the whole time.


He looked up and slowly said, “Y-Y-Yeah?”

I took his hand, “Justin, I hope you got something from my song… And from Susan…” I said softly. “It’s hard when you’re depressed, when darkness swallows you, and joy and happiness only happen to other people. Depression is a living thing, out to get you, and all you want to do, is escape.” Justin looked up at me and I saw tears in his eyes, so I moved over to hug him. As I was hugging him, Austin and Collin came over, trailed by Ryan and Michael. “Justin, Justin, It’s Ok” I said softly,

“So who’s this?” Austin asked, a little wierded out to see me hugging some stranger,

“Austin, baby, this is Justin. I need to have a talk with him.”

Austin looked me with understanding in the eyes. “You have a good talk. I’ll go sit with Mrs. Tremere and Ivan.” Austin talked quietly to Ryan and Michael before going to sit with Mrs. Tremere and Ivan. Collin followed them and Ryan and Michael returned to their seats. Michael gave me a smile and the thumbs up signal. I sat and talked with Justin and Susan until I had to go again,

“Justin, I’d like to have dinner with you this week, and talk some more if I could… and I’d like to introduce you to friends of mine, great guys who know how hard it is being gay and all alone.” Justin began to cry and thanked me as I stood up to get on the small stage.

“Why are you making that young man cry?” Marika asked under her breath.

“He’s gay and really depressed; I don’t think anyone else knows but his friend.” I said back.

Marika decided to liven up the crowd so she did her cover of Oh Happy day. She used her best gospel vocals to get the crowd singing along with her, “That’s right people, if you feel the spirit, you just raise your voice and sing along.” She said in the middle of the song. As if she the crown wasn’t, up already, dancing and singing. She walked over to Justin and after singing for a minute; she put the microphone in front of him. After a minute, she had him singing too. When Justin was taking part, she moved to Susan and after she was singing, Marika continued around the room. Justin actually seemed to be getting into it and continued singing even as she returned to the stage.

Since Darren was there we did Magic Man. I walked over to Austin and sat on his lap, then moved over to Collin, and finally went over and gave Justin a kiss on the cheek.
I gave Justin one of my cards when our show was over and he wrote his number on the back of a bank receipt. He thanked me before he left, smiling. Susan mouthed “Thank you” to Marika and I.

“Marika, that was amazing!” I said to her.

“Honey, when the spirit moves you, you just follow his instructions. I knew that boy needed some spirit, so I went over and shared it with him.”

I kissed her face and thanked her again. “Honey,” I said, “It’s called soul music for a damned good reason.” I smiled then gave her another kiss.

I went over next and after a short explanation about Justin; I sat on Austin’s lap and kissed him deeply. “We’d better get married soon!” I said in his ear as I snuggled down on his hard on.

“Are you two carrying on again?” Collin asked with a loud sigh.

“YES Mr. Sexy voice. Now you be nice and MAYBE I’ll show you a picture or two of his bare ass.”

Collin got a big grin and Austin squeezed me tight and said, “Love you babe, but my ass is for your eyes only”

Then Collin cleared his throat and said, “We could call them photos of you for your job if that would make you feel better.”

As we were leaving, Henna came over and said she’d like to talk to me later in the week and we made plans to meet for dinner on Wednesday and left.

At home, Austin discovered a way to relieve his sexual repression. He teased me mercilessly! I’d be watching television and he’d walk across the living room ‘bare ass naked’ while scratching his balls. Then plop down with his legs spread on the couch.

“If my cat swipes your play-toy I don’t wanna hear word one Mister.” That gave Austin something to think about and during the next commercial he got up and slipped into a very sexy pair of black silk Boxer briefs.

His next assault was in bed where he’d press his hard-on against me and pretend to be sleeping while dry humping my leg. After 30 minutes of this and pretending I was asleep and not aware of it, I grabbed a box of condoms from my night stand, opened it and poured the contents down on top of Austin’s chest and said, “Suit up, or shut up!” Then I lay back down while muttering, “Sadistic asshole!”

Austin snickered as he cleaned up the condoms, “You woulda felt awful if I actually had been asleep you know.”

I rolled over to face him. “No, even asleep it woulda been an asshole thing to do.” Austin smirked and his mischievous smile infected me and despite my desire to be stern and show him I was serious, I broke out laughing, “God you are such and incredible asswipe!” I giggled as he got in bed and pulled me up against him.

“God I love you Alex!” Austin said looking down at me with dazzling eyes visible in the ambient light of the electric clock. He tolled on top of me and kissed me passionately. After he finished proving how much he loved me and how sorry he was that he’d been teasing me, he fell asleep spooning me in our traditional position.

I said, “I love you too baby,” even thought I knew he was already asleep.

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