Chapter 31 – Happiness Practice
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Chapter Thirty-one – Happiness Practice

Was Aron already back? He wondered, as he climbed the stairs two by two, with Taz happily prancing after him. He definitely hoped so, but stopped in front of the door to catch his breath. Aron was going to ask him why he had rushed up the stairs. He had no alternative reply for that.

“It looks like for a while you’ll have two daddies,” Carter scratched Taz’s ears, just to buy some time.

Taz barked in reply and Carter had to shush him since he didn’t want the neighbors scandalized on Sunday afternoon by a loud dog.

The door opened suddenly.

“You guys back already? Great! That means you’ll help unpacking!” Aron said brightly.

Carter stood up straight. Aron in the door was a sight to behold. Not because he was different from how he usually was, but simply because he was. Aron waiting in the door. For him. To come home. It seemed like something from a dream he must have had a long time ago, one that he could not clearly remember, but was still lingering at the edge of his memories. He could identify the feeling, though, as something pleasant and warm settling right in the center of his chest.

“Do you have a lot of luggage?” Carter questioned, this time a bit worried that they weren’t going to find enough room for Aron’s stuff.

“Just the necessary. But I don’t want to step on your toes and take over your domain,” Aron laughed. “So I need you to tell me where to put everything.”

“Don’t worry,” Carter waved. “My home is yours.”

I’m all yours.

I dare you to say that out loud.

No way. Too soon.

Aron made way for him to enter and Taz was happy with the attention he received right away.

“Who’s a good boy?” Aron began playing with Taz.

I’m definitely a good boy. Play with me, too.

Could you give it a rest? You should behave at least like a half-decent person. Otherwise, he will run away.

Point taken.

Aron eventually followed him to the bedroom, and Carter opened wide his closet. Now it was a good thing that he didn’t have many clothes. He hoped there was plenty of room for Aron’s.

“You can put all your clothes here,” he said.

He turned to find Aron watching him from the other side of the bed. It was a bit odd, but the first thing he thought was how familiar the entire scene seemed. Like this was normal. Just another day in their lives. Completely how it was supposed to be.

“And I have spares. I mean, like toothbrushes and stuff,” he added quickly.

“Thank you,” Aron replied, but his voice was low and a bit strange for some reason.

If someone could have asked him later, he would have said, in all honesty, that he had no idea what the hell happened, but he practically jumped on the bed, rushing straight into Aron’s arms. Or was it Aron who made the first move?

The only thing that mattered was that they were kissing, stumbling on the bed, making a mess of Aron’s clothes that had been just earlier neatly arranged on the coverlet. It took them a minute, or maybe two, to come to their senses.

“What are we doing?” Aron wondered, pressing his forehead against Carter’s, his hands firm on the other’s biceps.

“I think we’re ruining your clothes,” Carter replied promptly.

Aron chuckled.

“Good point. And a good thing I left the suits on the sofa. I won’t need to do ironing all day long.”

“You know how to do that?” Carter mumbled.

He only had clothes that could not wrinkle. Much. For everything else, he used local services. But Aron ironing? Somehow, that was possible. The man had always been so self-sufficient. Or at least he had been before meeting Alex and deciding he suddenly needed a husband.

Ouch. Back to reality.

“Do you, um, think about, you know, getting back with your husband?” he asked, his voice meek.

Aron squeezed his arms briefly and let go.

“No,” came the prompt reply. “For a little while, he behaved like he was my husband, for real. And then he just took everything back. I felt cheated.”

“Because he was cheating?” Carter let the words flow from his mouth. “With that guy Simon?”

“I don’t mean that. As I told you, I hold a bit of hope that he respected our marriage while we were still together. But I felt cheated out of my happiness. We could be happy together. For a little while, he showed me everything we could have. And then he even had the nerve to tell me that he could not see why I was upset with him when he got back to being ... Well, himself, I guess. Yeah, now that I think about it, him being so … my husband,” Aron chuckled, “was somehow out of character. And of course he said that I was suffocating him. No one controls what I feel,” Aron said, looking down, a frown darkening his face. “I was honest with him. And all he did was take, and use that as he saw fit.”

“Wow, so you just ... walked away? Was it a spur of the moment thing?”

Aron sighed.

“He actually told me to go away.”

“He kicked you out?”

“It’s a way of saying. No, it wasn’t a spur of the moment thing. As I see things now, much clearer, I think I just went against myself like an idiot trying to love someone who didn’t want to be loved. I should feel … regret. But no, I don’t feel that. Because if everything was a game for him, he doesn’t deserve my love.”

“I’m sorry, man,” Carter put a hand on Aron’s shoulder and squeezed in sympathy.

“It’s okay,” Aron placed his own over Carter’s. “I really have no regrets. Except maybe for the lost time. But I’m decided to make up for it.”

“You are?” Carter asked.

“Yeah,” Aron whispered and leaned in to place another kiss on Carter’s lips.

“So will the fuck buddy arrangement continue?” Carter asked when Aron drew away.

“Of course,” Aron smiled. “I would not have it any other way. Plus, we’ll share the bed. So, you know, things might … no, will happen,” the man laughed.

Ah, great.

Yeah, I was scared there for like a moment or so.

“And let’s settle you in,” Carter offered. “I can’t do the ironing, but at least I’ll make sure to keep things in order. A little. Not much. I’m afraid.”

Okay, so he was babbling again. It was slowly dawning on him what Aron had just told him. Things would happen. On the bed. They were on the bed. Oh, did that mean …?

“Don’t worry. In exchange for your generous offer of letting me stay with you, I’ll take care of everything. I’ll keep the house clean, and I’ll cook. And I’ll pay the bills,” Aron added.

“Wow, no,” Carter put both his hands up. “You’ll be away from home for more than half the day each work day. I think I can manage with keeping things tidy. As for cooking, do you know any microwave recipes? I don’t think I tried. Shit, I don’t think I have anything but plastic plates. And …”

“Don’t worry, it’s not like you’re hosting royalty,” Aron smiled. “You should just feel as at home as before. I am the one intruding.”

“No, no, no, you’re not. Taz and I should at least hold the fort while you’re away.”

“Are you back to work? On your freelancing gigs?” Aron asked.

“I sure am. It’s not like I’m a cripple. And all I need is a laptop and Internet connection.”

“Great. It’s good to hear that you’re back in the saddle.”

Saddle? Do you remember that other context?

Oh, yeah …

“Hmm, what’s with that mysterious smile?” Aron asked.

“Ah, well, nothing. Just my mind, going …” he gestured for his head.

“Let’s put all these things away, and then chill,” Aron offered. “For tonight, I’ll take you and Taz out. There are plenty of nice places where dogs are welcome.”

“Great. Taz loves mingling with other kids his age,” Carter agreed.

“And, of course, when we need a bit of quality time, just the two of us, we will just leave him with my parents,” Aron added.

Wow, they were really making arrangements like they were married with kids or something. Only that they weren’t married, and they didn’t have any kids, and this was just a temporary situation and nothing more. He needed to get a hold of himself.

“Are you having second thoughts?” Aron asked, and this time, the man looked a bit dejected. “About me being here, with you?”

“No, no, it’s just that … don’t mind me, it happens that I space out a lot, ever since the accident and all that,” Carter jumped quickly at an explanation.

“You looked a bit sad, just earlier,” Aron pointed out.

Could you just please tell him?

And risk having him walk right out that door, saying that he’s in no mood for complications right now? No way. I want to have him. Just a little more.

“A bit tired, I guess,” he murmured.

Aron pulled him close and slowly began caressing his back.

“I still remember how you used to tell me everything,” the man said, his voice tight. “We will get back to that.”

I could tell you everything, but I can’t tell you that. Not right now. I need you too much.

“We will,” he replied with conviction. “Now, really, we should start putting your things in all their rightful places if we don’t want this to take us the whole Sunday.”

That evening, after their night out, spent pleasurably, without complications, and uncomfortable questions, Carter was as happy as he could be with their arrangement. Yeah, for a while, he could practice being happy.


“Ah, damn, I only have one blanket,” he noticed as they prepared for bedtime.

“It’s okay, we can share,” Aron shrugged as he began shedding all his clothes.

Carter licked his lips as he watched his friend putting on a small striptease show, just for him. When Aron turned, showing off his gorgeous body, and what looked pretty much like a semi-erection, he knew he wasn’t going to get too much sleep.

“You’re sleeping naked?” he asked, as soon as he realized they were both too silent.

“Well, I think you should, too. Fuck buddies arrangements?” Aron asked.

That was supposed to be a joke, but Aron’s voice came out low and strung.

“Okay,” Carter nodded. “I, like, totally agree. What other rules should we put in there?”

He was talking to Aron, but he could only stare at the guy’s cock. Clearly, he was just getting a little bit obsessed.

“Let’s just make them as we go,” Aron moved to the bed, and Carter followed.

He was a bit overly conscious as he undressed like he could feel Aron’s eyes everywhere. Seconds later, they were both lying in bed, and Carter could feel the tension growing a bit.

“Should we just go to sleep?” he proposed.

Aron moved to turn off the light on the bed stand. Carter had to admit that he was a little disappointed, but he could not really say it.

He didn’t have time to meditate over what could mean that Aron wanted to go to sleep early because the next thing Aron did was to invade Carter’s side of the bed, and basically plaster him against it.

“How does this sound like a second rule? Let’s always play before sleeping,” Aron spoke, and Carter was a bit thankful for the dark because otherwise, he would have had a tough time hiding what he was feeling right now.

“So who’s on top?” he asked, hoping that talking about technicalities was going to stop him from blurting out some not so little truths.

“We’ll take it slow,” Aron proposed. “I want us to enjoy ourselves, nothing else.”

Enjoy it, yes, he could definitely do that. It could not be that difficult. It had to be easy, by all means.

Yet, he moaned as soon as Aron covered his lips, and the guy’s hands came upon his wrists, dragging them up and keeping them in place.

“Am I too rough?” Aron asked gently. “I’m sorry. It was hard to keep my hands to myself all day long.”

“You shouldn’t … be sorry. And don’t keep your hands to yourself,” Carter replied quickly.

“Are you sure? Because I might want to assault you in the most inappropriate situations, like when we’re watching a game or you’re drinking coffee or … I don’t want to scare you off.”

“You’re not scaring me off. I promise,” Carter said.

“Okay. Because I’m feeling a little like I’m in a dream and I’m going to wake up soon,” Aron said simply.

“No, it’s no dream at all.”

And if it is, we’re both having it.

“Good then,” Aron chuckled. “Then can I jump you anytime I feel like it?”

Carter could tell the guy was joking, only that their cocks were touching and they were both a little bit hard right now, and that was no joking matter.

“Well, maybe not anytime. Some situations can be dangerous. Like what if we’re in traffic? Also, maybe we could get arrested for indecent exposure if we do it in public, and then your parents will have to bail us out, and also Taz is going to get confused when we don’t get back home and …”

“Okay,” Aron murmured against his lips and shut him up with a kiss.

He didn’t mind that. Oh, he didn’t mind that at all, especially since Aron knew how to slide one hand underneath and lift him up, so they could meet thrust by thrust. It was just so, so good, to be kept in place by a strong hand wrapped around his wrists, and have another on his ass, squeezing, and a damn fine cock on his, while Aron called the shots and was doing a great job while at it.

Had anyone said to Carter before that he would find sword fighting a pretty fascinating sport, he would have called that person on having way too much imagination, but the truth was that he liked it. He liked it so much, that he could not get enough of it. Especially since Aron was also busy fucking his mouth with his own, and the guy knew how to make that kind of rubbing really pleasant.

“Oh, fuck,” he murmured, as soon as they stopped kissing so they could breathe a little. “I want to suck your cock,” he said in one go, hoping that Aron didn’t have other plans.

“Let’s go 69,” Aron whispered. “I want to suck yours, too.”

Aron decided on his own to manipulate Carter easily on top of him, and in the right position, making them face each other’s cock with ease. Carter knew that he was merely just enthusiastic and way too sloppy, as he pushed as much as he could into his mouth, only to release and take a deep breath a moment later, like a diver just before a dive.

Aron, on the other hand, seemed to have no problems with swallowing Carter’s cock deep and controlling it with a light squeeze at the base. Ah, well, he could try to take after whatever Aron was doing. Because it definitely felt pretty frigging amazing.

The only problem was that Aron was an expert deepthroater while he, Carter, could barely be called a novice. So he decided to aim for artistic points, rather than technique. Grabbing Aron’s cock with both hands, he began licking it like a lollipop. And he was probably doing something good because it was clear that Aron was enjoying it if the muffled sounds the guy was making were any indication.

He put his mouth over the engorged mushroom, continuing to lick it and suck it. It was probably going to take a while to manage to get the whole thing inside his mouth, but he could do half of it, so he could work on that.

The problematic aspect was that Aron was doing an amazing job swallowing him to the hilt, and that made it pretty frigging difficult to concentrate. Hell, it was impossible to concentrate.

He noticed, somewhat horrified, that he was moving his hips, and practically hammering Aron’s throat. He needed to stop that. Really, he needed to do it. But Aron moved both hands to cup Carter’s buttocks and he began hammering his own throat using the other’s body to satisfy this very strange thrill of his.

“Oh, fuck,” he cried this time feeling his climax coming, without any chance to postpone it.

It was a real pity that he had to let go of Aron’s delicious cock, to focus on the pleasure invading him and making his toes curl, but there was no way helping it. There was no way out for him, and it wasn’t like he had any regrets. He pushed and pushed, and Aron helped him, by keeping his hips down, and clamping down hard with his mouth, that Carter was certain he was going to faint one second later.

He was probably making very strange sounds as Aron was gently pushing him away to rest on the bed. The guy was laughing.

“So full of yourself,” Carter mumbled. “Fuck, your cocksucking techniques are out of this world, A.”

“A? You haven’t called me that in a million years,” Aron chuckled.

“Ah, really? Because A is …”

“… the first letter of the alphabet, so the most important,” Aron continued. “Yes, I know. I wanted to think it was only because you wanted to call me in a way that was only yours.”

“But A was way too simple,” Carter continued.

“I know,” Aron moved to one side. “You also called me A-champ. That was progress.”

“Still not good,” Carter shook his head and laughed. He was too damn high to give a damn. “Until that idiot from the class next door started calling you A-chimp and ruined it.”

“How about you be a champ now and get to work,” Aron joked and took one of Carter’s hands to put it on his own cock.

“Sure,” Carter agreed enthusiastically.

Aron made a small naughty sound when Carter pushed as much as he could in his mouth.

“Oh, wow, you really took that champ comment to heart,” Aron joked, but the words died on his lips when Carter began pumping his cock again.

He was a man with a mission, after all. Making Aron come was like the ultimate goal. And he really hoped for that reward.

Which swiftly came, Aron most probably surprised with Carter’s total lack of technique to try to prolong his pleasure. When Aron’s cum hit his taste buds, Carter hurried to swallow, while continuing to lick the guy’s cock.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” Aron chanted, and pushed Carter’s head down.

Again, they were both breathing hard. But of course, the best part was that they were both done, this time around.

“Well, not sure if I did it like a champ …” Carter began, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

“You did it,” Aron confirmed. “Frankly, I cannot understand how all these years … I had no idea you would enjoy this. I should have proposed such an arrangement earlier.”

“That would have certainly taken off some pressure,” Carter joked. “If it’s any consolation, I think you’re the best.”

“You too,” Aron admitted.

“Really? But you’ve been with guys and … I mean, gay guys …”

“And you are …” Aron said on a playful tone.

“Hmm, not gay?” Carter wondered out loud. “Actually, I did do a lot of gay things with you, and that means that I am a little gay, too, right? And since I’m enjoying it so much, I’m probably a lot more gay and …”

Aron burst into laughter.

“Everything has to have a clear explanation with you. But I think that’s you. You’ve always been like this. And you sure made us get almost scot-free from a lot of trouble when we were kids. Like when we broke that neighbor’s window from across the street. What was the man’s name?”

“Allen something,” Carter supplied. “It rhymed with Allen wrench, but I cannot recall the family name right now.”

“After you explained in detail how the ball moved at a certain velocity, following a certain arch, and motivated that the outcome of a broken window, given the DP rating of the said window that could not be that high, was inevitable, he let us off the hook.”

“We did have to replace the window, though,” Carter pointed out.

“Yeah, my dad wasn’t that impressed with your complex explanation. He told us that we either replace the window or we’re both grounded.”

“And he was right. He raised us well. Your mom, too,” Carter added.

“Yeah, they did,” Aron sighed, in contentment. “I’m glad I grew up with you.”

“Same here,” Carter raised one hand.

There was comfortable silence stretching between them now.

“Are you asleep?” he murmured, just in case Aron did fall asleep.

“No, not yet.”

“Would it be weird, you know, if I touched you?”

Aron’s voice was soft when the man replied.

“Not at all. Touch me.”

Carter stretched one hand and placed it on Aron’s chest. He sighed in contentment, as Aron’s rhythmic breathing began lifting his hand up and down. In the morning, he could not recall how fast he had fallen asleep, too.


Aron was already in the shower when he finally opened his eyes. Ah, damn, he had slept like a log, and probably Taz was already wondering why the hell they weren’t at the park. The kid needed a schedule. Mumbling something in the way of scolding himself, Carter got out of the bed. He was just putting on his tracksuit pants when he heard something ringing.

Hmm, that wasn’t his ringtone. Oh, it had to be Aron’s phone. Well, whoever it was, they had to call later again, he thought and pushed his hands through his hair, just to comb it a little. There was time for grooming later when Aron was going to be out of the shower.

The door to the bathroom opened, and Aron stuck his head through it.

“Could you please see who’s calling?” Aron asked. “And ‘morning,” he added with a smile.

Carter grabbed his friend’s phone from the nightstand.

“It’s some David dude,” he said.

That David. Aron’s best friend right now, probably. Of course, Aron needed a friend to talk to. And Carter wasn’t, probably, …

“Please answer for me and tell him I’ll call just a little later. My hands are all wet and I was waiting for his call,” Aron said over the incessant ringing.

“Sure,” Carter shrugged.

Aron withdrew back to the shower.

“Hi,” he answered, and found his voice sounding just a little bit too high pitched.

What the hell? Was he losing his voice now?

“Hi, I would like to talk to Aron,” the man on the other end seemed a bit hesitant.

“Yeah, sure, he’ll call you later. He’s in the shower now,” Carter spoke quickly.

“Ah, you must be Carter,” David said now, in a cheerful tone. “Is Aron sleeping over? Who’s struggling on the sofa? You or him?”

For some reason, Carter took that as an affront.

“We’re both sleeping on the bed,” he said, and this time his voice came out snappy.

Oh, great. Now he couldn’t even control his own voice.

“On the bed?” David laughed at the other end. “Together? Way to go, Aron Ruskin!” the man added with satisfaction.

“Hey, you’re still talking to me. I’m Carter. Aron can’t hear you. He’s in the shower.”

Great. Back to four-word phrases.

This guy’s like intimidating or something.

“You sound just like Aron described you,” the man laughed again. “So are you two boys having fun?”

“Yeah. Saturday night we went dancing and stuff,” Carter mumbled.

“Hmm, dancing, sleeping together … Should I worry about Aron’s reputation?” David laughed again.

“He’s separated from his husband,” Carter protested. “It’s not like he’s doing something wrong.”

“Of course not. I’d say that he’s finally doing the right thing,” David replied. “But I’m just a little bit curious, Carter. Did you fight a lot?” the man’s voice was now a seductive whisper.

“Fight? Why should we fight?” Carter wondered out loud, pretending the guy’s voice was not doing something funny to his ear.

“Not the two of you. You. When Aron finally got the guts to jump your sexy bones,” David explained.

“I,” Carter pointed toward his chest as if David could see him, “jumped his sexy bones.”

“Wow,” David said matter-of-factly, but the amusement was clear in his voice. “You’re even more a surprise than I imagined, Carter Malis.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Carter inquired.

“I’ll tell you when you grow a little bit older,” David chuckled. “Okay, I’ll wait for Aron’s call.”

“Wait,” Carter said. “What’s Aron to you? What are you to Aron?”

“What? Are you jealous, too?” David asked. “I thought only his prissy husband was obsessed with this.”

“Nope, not jealous. Just curious. Aron tells me everything and he hasn’t mentioned you before.”

Wow, you said that without stuttering. Be careful. And you are jealous.

I’m like friend-jealous, not lover-jealous.

“Well, you skipped a few years of Aron’s life. I’m sure he’ll tell you everything about me,” David said now in a serious voice.

“Okay,” Carter said. “Nice meeting you. I mean, not meeting you, because I’ve never seen you …”

And here is how you get a nose like Pinocchio’s.

“You’ll see me, I’m sure,” David laughed again. “And you’re just like Aron described.”

“Wait, did Aron tell you I have sexy bones?” Carter asked, realizing what the man had said earlier.

Now David was roaring with laughter.

“No,” he eventually got over his fit of laughter. “But he showed me pictures of you. So the sexy bones part is all on me, pretty boy. I bet Aron sees you even more than just sexy.”

“Did he, hmm,” Carter swallowed nervously, “tell you that?”

“Oh, it looks like we’re in high school,” David sighed, but it was clear the situation was continuing to amuse him. “You’re sleeping with the guy, Carter. I’d say you should have enough courage to ask him things like these.”

“Okay, thanks for the advice,” Carter replied.

“And thank you for making me start the day with a smile on my face,” the man commented slyly. “I can barely wait to meet you. I’ll tell Aron to bring you over to my club.”

“No way!” Carter said and instantly wanted to slap himself.

“Hmm, what?” David asked, clearly confused.

“I mean, later. Because Aron just has so many things on his mind. And he’s busy, and …”

“I’m sure you two will find the time to drop by. You guys should take some rest once in a while.”

“Is that advice?” Carter asked.

“Sure. Don’t pull a muscle,” David laughed.

“I won’t,” Carter replied.

He was still staring at the phone screen long seconds after finishing the conversation. Absorbed in thought, he didn’t notice Aron getting out of the bathroom. He almost jumped when the man pulled him into a hug and kissed him on the cheek.

“The shower is all yours,” Aron nuzzled his ear a little while showing no signs that he wanted to let go.

“I should check on Taz. I bet he’s already up and about and probably scratching the door to get outside.”

“I can walk him a little around the block if it’s an emergency,” Aron offered.

“Hmm, okay,” Carter said, trying to ignore Aron’s nice smell, fresh out of the shower.

Or how naked the man was, he finally realized. Ah, damn, if he moved the back of his hand a little, probably he was going to touch …

“C’mon, don’t hesitate so much,” Aron laughed and let go of him, much to his regret. “Taz is well behaved, and I suppose I can walk a dog.”

Carter watched longingly while Aron began covering his amazing body with clothes.

“Don’t you need to go to work?”

“I have time,” Aron waved. “I wanted to get up a little early so that I don’t monopolize the shower while you need it.”

“Don’t worry, I have enough time for that,” Carter said.

“Of course, I wouldn’t have minded taking a shower with you,” Aron added, and this time, the look he gave Carter was loaded with meaning.

“Ha,” Carter shook his head. “Good luck fitting two people in there.”

“Oh, it would be crowded, without a doubt,” Aron’s voice was slick and sensuous.

Sensuous? What the hell was he thinking first thing in the morning? With a wince, he adjusted his tracksuit pants, squeezing his cock to behave.

“I do have to go to work,” Aron sounded stern now. “So stop doing that.”

“Doing what?” Carter grimaced.

Fuck. Caught in the act.

“Playing with your junk. Because next thing, I’ll want to do that.”

“Play with your junk, too?” Carter asked.

“Yeah, funny. No, with yours,” Aron replied with a smile.

Oh. Damn. Okay.

“I’m off to the shower,” he said quickly.

Seriously, now he really needed to play with his junk.


Half an hour later, when Aron handed him Taz’s leash and he was heading to the neighborhood park, he was wondering why the hell everything seemed so familiar. Aron going to work, he taking the dog for a jog, and both of them behaving like it was the most natural thing in the world. Was this meant to be? Carter shook his head. That was stuff from fairytales and such. It was just that they were so familiar with each other. This was just a next step. A higher step. All right, one that was more exciting, admittedly. And it was new, he could not deny it. But everything fit just so well.

“Don’t get adjusted to it. This is just temporary,” he mumbled to himself.

Aron was going to find a place to stay, once he was going to have a little time to start searching, and Carter was just going to go back to being alone, like before. And maybe they were going to continue to be friends because that was how things were, but Carter wasn’t going to be the same and ... he was going to be lonely.

The thought made him stop in the middle of the alley, feeling stunned, and incapable to move. Taz’s coarse tongue on his fingers brought him back.

“I’m not alone, right? I have you,” he said with a smile. “Now let’s get moving a little, we don’t want to end up being couch potatoes.”

“Hey, man,” someone called from behind, and Carter turned to see Simon jogging toward him.

He nodded at the guy. He had no idea what to say. Simon looked pretty content and was smiling widely.

“Do you mind if we jog together?” Simon asked.

“No problem,” Carter shrugged.

They were just jogging leisurely, so Simon began talking.

“I’m so happy right now. And you must be, too. Aron’s a great guy.”

“A rather funny thing to say about your lover’s husband,” Carter said.

“No, I have nothing against Aron, never have, really. It’s just that I’m in love, so, I guess, I’ve envied Aron for a long time. But, between you and me, have the two of you been together long? Alex used to say Aron was cheating on him. Or maybe it was just a ruse, and they were already in that kind of open relationship and stuff?” Simon asked.

The guy had a lot of questions. Carter could not blame him. Alex was probably capable of making anyone he touched question everything.

“Aron and I just happened recently,” he shook his head. “And it’s just ... a thing,” he added slowly.

They stopped by a bench and Simon began stretching his legs.

“A thing?”

“Yeah. I mean, we’re not that serious.”

I wish we were serious.

Simon threw him an odd glance.

“You’re that Carter,” the guy said matter-of-factly. “You’re Aron’s childhood friend. The one who ruined the wedding.”

Now, aren’t we exaggerating a little? Nothing got ruined. I didn’t even have cake.

“Ah, well, that’s some old history. And just for the record, Aron didn’t cheat on Alex.”

“How do you know?” Simon began swinging his arms.

“I know Aron,” he said simply.

Simon nodded thoughtfully.

“Well, I’m glad he’s with you. You two look great together.”

“You’re just saying,” Carter grinned for no reason at all. “You’re just happy you’re with that guy.”

Simon grinned back.

“Nah, that’s not it. Okay, it is, a little,” he admitted. “But you and Aron,” Simon whistled, “man, that’s like, wow. I saw you two kissing in front of that club, and before I realized who Aron was, I was thinking, wow, what a pair of sexy guys.”

“Really? I mean, Aron clearly is, but I’m totally new to the gay, you know, everything.

Simon winked at him.

“If you need extra guidance, I’m here,” Simon offered cheerfully. “But by the way Aron was kissing you, I doubt he’d let anyone teach you but him. And, I’m totally honest when I say that you look perfect together. It’s like you two are made for one another.”

“Thanks,” Carter replied. “I should get back,” he added hastily. “Taz is getting hungry. See you around.”

“Sure thing,” Simon smiled. “And congrats for landing Aron. Really great guy,” the young man gave him the thumbs up as Carter walked away.

Obviously, the guy was so happy that he was looking at the world through rose colored glasses. Not that Aron wasn’t great, but it seemed so strange that Simon was saying it. Before, Simon seemed not at all endearing toward Aron. So that was quite a big change.

At the same time, he needed to get away from Simon because the smile he felt growing, stretching his voice was probably going to scare anyone happening to throw a look in his direction.

So is this how happy feels like?

So it would seem, friend, so it would seem.