Chapter 32 – Sometimes, It’s All About The Plates
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Chapter Thirty-Two – Sometimes, It’s All About The Plates

“Microwave recipes,” Carter mumbled as he began browsing cooking websites.

Maybe he could make lasagna! But wait, Aron was making a much better lasagna, anyway. The best. So maybe something else would be a better idea. Like a surprise.

Hmm, maybe something healthy? Okay, he started reading, with Taz cuddled next to him on the sofa. Flaxseeds? What the fuck were those? Were they even edible? Somehow that recipe didn’t sound too tasty. Moving on, moving on.

So many types of cheese, Carter shook his head. It wasn’t like he hadn’t heard about cheddar and mozzarella and whatnot before, only that he hadn’t cared about what they were exactly. What kind of cheese was used for a cheeseburger anyway?

“I’m not getting anywhere like this, am I?” he asked Taz, and the dog whined, asking to be petted.

Carter quickly obliged, scratching his pet behind the ears. By the way Taz blinked, yawned and stretched, that was just the spot.

“Well, we need to start somewhere,” he decided and placed the laptop on the coffee table, and went for the fridge to check what he had in there.

Ah, well, there was still plenty of food from Aron’s mom. He should just opt for warming up something instead of trying to cook something on his own. Yet, it felt like he wasn’t doing enough.

“Taz, do you think I could seduce Aron with food?”

The dog barked one time and shook his head.

“Yeah, I thought so,” Carter said with a sigh. “With his mom’s cooking, he won’t risk food poisoning, which would be pretty much whatever I could cook. So, let’s settle for the tried and tested. Plus, Aron’s mom really knows how to cook, unlike me.”

Hmm, but what was he supposed to do, now that he had finished working, and there were still a couple of hours until Aron got home? He looked around the small apartment. There were no dishes to do … ah, damn, he had no dishes. Proper dishes. Only plastic everything.

“Let’s go shopping,” he told Taz, and the dog didn’t need another invitation, jumping from the sofa and going straight for the door.


Two hours later, Carter was displaying on the kitchen table three sets of plates in different colors, two glass sets, and various cutlery from the simplest to the fanciest he could find at the store.

“Which one do you think Aron would like best?”

To test Taz’s taste in cutlery, he offered his dog one plate, then another, so that the pet could sniff them. The golden retriever seemed completely unimpressed.

“Really, you’re not helping,” Carter glared.

Now where was he going to store everything? He opened the cabinets and looked inside. Well, there were the plastic plates he needed to get rid of, and also some suspicious cereal boxes. Grabbing a trash bag, he began stuffing them inside, until he managed to almost empty all the cabinets.

Taz stood up straight, twitching his ears.

“What is it?” Carter asked, and then he heard the sound of the keys in the door.

Ah, damn, he looked around panicked. The house was now even messier than before. They didn’t even have enough room to eat. And Aron was probably dead beat tired and just wanted to have something to chow and …

“Are we turning into a china shop?” Aron asked from the kitchen door, looking amused at the loaded table.

“No,” Carter said slowly, “but I realized I needed some plates.”

“Some indeed,” Aron’s lips twitched. “Come here,” he added in an affectionate tone.

Carter almost stubbed his toe in a chair as he went straight into Aron’s open arms. The man grabbed him and kissed him deeply.

Oh, fuck, that was … oh, that was … His mind was totally blank, and his eyes were probably rolling in his head, as Aron’s tongue was giving his a shiatsu massage or something.

“Are you hungry?” he barely managed when Aron reluctantly let go of him.

Aron shook his head and bore his eyes into Carter’s. Okay, now that was an intense look, right there. What could it mean?

Aron suddenly took his hand and began walking toward the bedroom, pulling Carter after him.

“Taz, stay here, and be a good boy,” Aron said sternly at the dog that was happily marching after them.

The dog whined but decided to curl into his dog bed.

“What are we …” Carter mumbled.

Aron pulled him inside the bedroom and closed the door after them. Carter watched in fascination as the man was undressing with efficient moves and a concentrated look on his face. Maybe he should undress, too? Or maybe Aron wanted to do that?

His dilemma was short-lived, as Aron moved to grab him, now completely naked, pulling him into another hungry kiss, while his steady hands pushed Carter’s t-shirt up.

“All day,” Aron spoke softly, but urgently, “all I could think of was getting back to you. So sorry, hun, but food will have to wait.”

“Hun?” Carter wondered.

Aron didn’t reply. Instead, he pushed Carter on the bed, making sure to pull his pants and underwear in the process, leaving Carter just as naked. Aron’s body was heavy over his, and it was so damn great to feel the guy skin on skin.

Oh, Aron surely knew how to kiss, but it wasn’t the only thing he was good at. He was now using one rough hand to tease Carter’s nipples, first one, then the other, alternating his moves with brushes of the fingers and small pulls. And all this time, he was kissing Carter like his next breath was depending on him doing so.

It wasn’t like he minded. If anything, he could not care less if the world was going down in flames right that very moment.

“Ah, I bought something for us,” Aron let go of him to straighten up and rummage for something in his work bag.

“Ah,” Carter replied matter-of-factly, seeing the lube. “That thing I had wasn’t very good, right?”

Aron nodded, a bit amused.

Oh, so Aron was going to … By all means, he had no idea why he was nervous. Maybe he was too excited. He didn’t need to look down to know that his dick approved of whatever Aron wanted to do. So he opened his palm, gesturing for Aron to throw him the lube. Funny his hand wasn’t trembling when catching the thing.

Pretending to be interested in what it said on the label, he raised the tube and squinted at the fine print.

“10 out of 10 gay guys vouch for this thing,” Aron said with a small, all-knowing smile. “Perfect reviews, cross my heart.”

Carter looked over at his friend. Of course, the guy was in the mood for joking. But it was important to know that the product was tried and tested.

“So, should I … put it on me? In me, I mean?” Carter stuttered.

“No, let me,” Aron climbed back on the bed close to him and took the lube from his hand.

Carter could swear that the next moment when Aron was going to touch him, he was going to come apart. Or maybe he was just going to hold himself into that one point, and if Aron was going to remove his hand, he was just going to break in tiny little pieces, so it was vital for Aron to touch him forever like that.

“Relax,” Aron cooed into his ear, as he aligned his body with Carter and his hand moved lower.

Aron hovered over Carter’s abdomen, caressing it in passing, pulled a bit at the hair just above Carter’s sex, and brushed over the half-hard and weeping cock lying on the side. Of course, the guy was going straight for that.

He was sure he was making all kinds of sounds, as Aron’s deft fingers pushed into his ass crack, making way for them.

“Do you want this?” Aron asked, his voice low and a tad strained.

“Oh-ho,” Carter replied. “I want it really bad.”

“Could you ask me?” Aron begged.

Why did Aron think he had to beg for such a thing? It was taking Carter all the patience he didn’t have not to spread open, squirt half the tube of that thing into his ass, and be the one to beg to get wrecked.

He turned his head just enough so that he could stare into Aron’s eyes.

“Fuck me, A,” he said simply.

Aron’s eyelashes fluttered and Carter made a small surprised sound when the guy pushed him on his back, climbing on top and between his legs.

“You okay with the missionary position?” Aron asked, his voice tender and now lacking any trace of humor.

“Are you kidding me? I’m more than okay,” Carter replied, caressing Aron’s broad shoulders. “I want to stare at you, like this,” he added, pulling his friend closer for a kiss.

“Okay,” Aron said with a small sigh. “But don’t hate me, okay?”

“Why should I …”

Carter’s words died on his lips when Aron found the way between his legs and pushed. He was barely at the entrance, but the small play with fingers and lube hadn’t quite prepared him for what was about to happen.

“Sorry, give me a second,” Aron mumbled. “I have no idea why I’m so impatient.”

Carter moved to capture Aron’s waist with his legs.

“You know that you’re not exactly helping,” Aron glared.

“Oh, but that is exactly what I’m doing,” Carter grinned and pushed his body up to rub as much of him as he could against Aron’s erection. “I can take it,” he added bravely.

“I’m sure,” Aron chuckled. “But I don’t want to be sent to sleep on the sofa later.”

“Funny, but not funny,” Carter said back. “If my ass hurts after this, I’ll just fuck your ass, and be even.”

“Deal,” Aron said affectionately and moved only enough so he could sneak a hand between them, reach his cock, and guide it home.

“Oh, yes,” Carter moaned, despite the small pain.

His body was adjusting. It was actually getting hungry for Aron, swallowing up the guy’s dick, and Carter was totally agreeing with it.

“Fuck, you’re so damn hot,” Aron praised and leaned in for a kiss.

Carter used both hands to grab Aron’s ass. His heels were already digging into Aron’s hamstrings, and now he just needed to use his hands, too, to bring the guy closer.

“Fuck me hard,” he whispered, and Aron’s breath hitched for a second.

Oh, but Aron did know how to fuck, how to move amply and give it to him good.

“Yes, yes, yes,” Carter encouraged his friend, bucking his hips upward, trying to get even more of that good thing.

“Oh, damn, you surely know how to drive a guy crazy,” Aron whispered. “I thought about this all day, and now I feel like it’s going to be over too soon.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll fuck again later,” Carter promised.

Aron’s hammering was making him get close to the edge, too. This wasn’t the right moment to try postponing this. There was going to be time later for seconds. This was just the first course, nothing else.

“It’s like the entrée or something,” he mumbled.

Aron was speeding up now.

“Entrée?” he asked, but it was clear, by the hazy look in his eyes that he could not even understand the word.

“Yeah, let’s have a five-course meal or something. Fuck five times a day,” Carter moaned the words as he could no longer speak normally.

“Wow,” Aron breathed hard. “I might have a problem keeping up with that.”

“I don’t think so,” Carter whispered in his ear. “And I’ll fuck you when you get tired.”

Aron’s voice was ragged and strangled at this point. He was using one hand to grab Carter’s cock and rub it frantically.

“Oh, fuck,” Carter pushed his head against the pillow, as he came all over.

Aron was now making the bed rattle as his thrusts became short and hard. A few seconds later, he pushed himself in and stood there for what Carter felt like the perfect kind of forever, only to drop by his partner’s side a bit later.

“Better?” Carter grinned. “Fuck, there’s jizz all over,” he added with a small laugh, touching his chest. “I’m like a spitting fountain or something.”

Aron laughed, but it was clear that he had serious trouble getting his breathing back to normal.

“Spitting fountain? What’s that?”

“Like a jumping fountain, only that it’s spitting instead of jumping,” Carter explained.

“I suddenly have a weird passion for fountains,” Aron joked. “Sorry I took you by surprise.”

“You were horny,” Carter shrugged. “So no sweat. And you know, whenever you’re horny, just … go for it.”

“Ha, ha, you have no idea what you’re proposing,” Aron laughed. “I told you, I might jump you at the weirdest times.”

“As long as we don’t end up in jail,” Carter replied, but he was laughing, too, now.

“Carter,” Aron turned toward him. “You don’t mind me staying here.”

It wasn’t a question.

“Nope, not at all,” he replied nonetheless.

“And this,” Aron pointed at the two of them with a flick of the wrist, “this doesn’t bother you, either.”

“You sure know how to fuck,” Carter said. “I don’t remember ever coming like this.”

“But when you experimented, you know, with the dildo, how was it?” Aron asked.

The dildo? Ah, that lie.

“Definitely not like this,” he replied promptly.

“I’m sorry if I’m being nosy, but how come … you never told me you wanted this?” Aron insisted.

“Something up my ass, you mean? I don’t know,” Carter shrugged. “I mean, it only happened after you got married.”

Oh, what a tangled web …

Oh, shut up. I’m sticking to the truth as much as I can.

“Was I responsible then?” Aron asked.

“For me wanting a dicking? I don’t know,” Carter mumbled.

Fuck. This was getting difficult.

“Hey, you didn’t tell me stuff, either. Like who’s this David dude?” Carter inquired.

“Ah, David,” Aron chuckled. “You made quite an impression on him over the phone. Oh, he cannot wait to meet you in person. I bet he’ll be totally smitten.”

“Why, is he gay, too?” Carter asked.

And the award for the most credible performance goes to …

There is no such award, shut the fuck up.

“Yes, he is. He runs a club, one that caters to more specific tastes,” Aron explained. “He’s a good friend. Back in the days when he was trying to lift his project off the ground, I helped him with some money. And we’ve been friends ever since.”

“For how long?” Carter inquired.

“Several years,” Aron answered.

“Ah, so that means that we were still friends when you met David,” Carter said. “And you,” he pointed an accusing finger at Aron, “didn’t tell me about him.”

Aron shook his head.

“That was stupid of me. I was trying to keep the two parts of my life apart. Trying to manage, I think.”

“What parts?” Carter asked.

“The one that involved me being gay, and the other that involved … you,” Aron said, and this time, he looked away, seemingly embarrassed.

“I was the only one who didn’t know you were gay?” Carter demanded, and he could feel his heart getting a bit smaller.

“The only one important to me, yes,” Aron admitted. “I should have just told you,” he added with a deep sigh. “But I felt it was such a big risk.”

“Not that I exactly blame you,” Carter mumbled. “I was an ass at the wedding. But I couldn’t ...”

... be happy for you.

“... accept it,” he said instead.

“Just out of curiosity, what were you thinking during that time?” Aron asked, his voice soft and calm. “That I betrayed you? By not telling you?”

Carter swallowed hard a few times.

“Yes,” he said in a meek voice. “Really? Everyone knew except me?”

He couldn’t even sound properly annoyed by the idea. For the simple reason that he couldn’t be annoyed with Aron ever.

“I’m sorry, buddy,” Aron touched his arm and let his hand there. “I should have trust you not to judge me, instead of sending you into a shock and ...”

“Hey, I was an ass. Don’t make up excuses for me.”

“Okay,” Aron agreed and smiled. “But, for the record, I think I was more pissed at me for not being able to explain to you about me, then at you.”

“Can you imagine how that conversation would have gone?” Carter snickered.

“Yeah,” Aron snorted. “I bet it would have been messy, either way.”

“Yeah, for sure,” Carter agreed. “Even in college ... I mean that was when you started fooling around with dudes, right?”

Aron nodded.

“I would have probably wanted a demonstration,” Carter continued. “Ask you about the mechanics of, you know.”

“Anal sex,” Aron filled in the gap.

“Yeah,” Carter nodded. “I would have wanted to see you doing it.”

“Really? Would you have watched me fucking some guy?” Aron looked surprised.

“No,” Carter scowled. “I would have liked to see a dildo up your ass.”

The moment the words flew from his lips he knew he was in it deep. Just the image of Aron playing with a dildo and making it magically disappear inside his sexy ass was making his dick twitch and throb some. Which was weird since he had just come.

“Oh, damn,” Aron said softly. “Well, let’s not cry over spilled milk. Now I think I’m hungry. Let’s try fitting two people into that shower and then into that kitchen.”

“Oh, no,” Carter murmured. “There are just plates and all kinds of stuff everywhere.”

“Then I’ll take you and Taz out. Or we can order a pizza,” Aron shrugged.

“Your mom would kill us knowing that we skip eating decent food, food she made, so we can stuff our faces with junk food,” Carter recited in one breath.

“Look who’s suddenly health conscious,” Aron laughed. “Okay, let’s wash, and then we’ll put things in order in that kitchen. What do you say?”

“Perfect,” Carter nodded eagerly.

“Just a quick question since I’m sure you have an interesting answer lined up,” Aron said.

“Shoot,” Carter shrugged.

“Why did you buy so many plates? It’s just the two of us, and Taz has his own bowl, right?”

“Ah, that was just because I had no idea which ones you’d like.”

Aron remained silent for a second.

“You wanted me to like your plates?” he asked tentatively.

“Yeah,” Carter said promptly. “I wanted you to like my plates.”

And decide that you never want to leave.

“Soon, I will have to look for a new place,” Aron’s words brought him back to the real world.

“Sure,” Carter said in a small voice.

Ah, fuck.

Maybe he hates plates, and you blew it.

“I’m not that hungry,” he decided. “Let’s have sex again.”

Seriously, there was no time to waste with eating and anything else besides sex.

Aron laughed.

“Not that I don’t appreciate your enthusiasm, but I really need a shower and refueling. I practically jumped you like an animal.”

“So, what kind of place do you have in mind?” Carter changed the subject, just to hide his disappointment.

“I don’t know,” Aron shrugged. “Something that has enough room for a lot of plates,” he said with an enigmatic smile.

See? He likes plates!

Maybe he just hates the ones you picked.

“Do you hate the plates I picked?” he let his mouth flap for no reason.

“Hate?” Aron burst into laughter. “I really like them a lot actually.”

“Okay,” Carter said relieved. “I’ll show you where I bought them. Or I can just give them to you, as a gift, when you’ll go ...”

He almost squealed when Aron grabbed him and shut his mouth with a kiss.

“Shower now, or I’ll have to pin you to the bed again,” Aron stared into his eyes for a second, like he was searching for something.


There was no wonder they made a mess in the bathroom, but eventually, they were decently dressed and now busy putting everything Carter bought away in the cupboards. Aron seemed to be much more efficient than his roomie like he was about everything.

He liked that. Yeah, he liked that very much, Carter mused, as he watched Aron eating. They were both silent, and a bit tired, but, between them, the silence wasn’t awkward and everything seemed to be exactly how it had to be. But, as much as he hated doing that, he needed to break the silence and ask a few questions.

“Have you talked to Alex since the separation?” Carter inquired.

Aron frowned for a brief second.

“No,” was the curt answer.

“Are you pissed at him really bad?” Carter asked again.

Aron shrugged.

“Do you, ahem, have still … feelings for him?”

Geez, that sounded like taken straight out of a reality show. And what’s with the squeaky voice?

“You might say I’m callous, but I feel like … I never really loved him,” Aron sighed. “I wanted to. Sometimes I wanted so much to believe. But except in the beginning, when I felt like I was finally thrown a rope to get myself out of the mess in my head, and more recently, strangely enough, when you were in a coma … he seemed to be in love with me … I don’t know. He loves playing games too much. And I’m done playing games.”

“But we’re playing, I mean, fooling around now, right?” Carter mumbled.

“Fooling around?” Aron’s hooded eyes were doing nothing good to his nerves. “Sure.”

He could not really tell what Aron was thinking. And that was so strange, seeing that he usually knew everything. Maybe he was just a little bit broken when it came to understanding his best friend. Maybe it came with them having sex. Sex was complicating things. But he didn’t want to let go of that kind of complication.

Aron stood up and gathered the dishes.

“No,” he hurried.

“You hate doing the dishes,” Aron laughed and kept the plates up like he didn’t want Carter to reach them. “Don’t you think I forgot that.”

So he was left sitting, while Aron made himself busy at the sink.

“What would you like to do next? Rest a little? Go out for a walk with Taz?”

“Fool around,” Carter answered promptly. “I mean if you’re not tired. And it’s not yet Taz’s time for the evening walk.”

Aron remained silent for a few seconds, and Carter wondered if the guy had really heard him.

“Done,” Aron said, wiping his hands on a cloth, and turning toward Carter with a smile.

He needed to take a picture. The kind to always keep in his wallet or something. Aron was leaning against the sink, his eyes intense and trained on Carter. But he wasn’t sure if a picture was enough to really capture how peaceful this scene looked like.

All right, maybe peaceful was not the right word, he thought, as Aron moved slowly. The man leaned in just enough to reach Carter, place one hand on the back of his head and angle their lips so they could kiss.

“Let’s fool around, then,” Aron whispered, and there was no other thing to do but to agree.


“Am I doing this right?” he asked, while he stared, his heart beating wildly in his chest, at his cock buried deep into Aron’s perfect ass.

Despite his protests, Aron had convinced him to go doggy-style this time. And it was true. It was too frigging amazing the way the guy’s ass was squeezing his cock in this position. There wasn’t any need to panic just yet, but he could feel his cock pulsing inside the tight channel of muscles, and he wasn’t sure whether he was going to blow too soon or end up performing at least decently.

“If you moved, it would be even better,” Aron smiled at him, looking over the shoulder.

“Okay, I’ll try,” Carter mumbled.

His first moves were a bit clumsy, but he was finding his rhythm.

“Oh, fuck,” he whispered.

He loved grabbing Aron’s waist and pulling the guy to him. By the way Aron was bucking his hips to meet him halfway, he was doing it right, indeed.

But somehow it wasn’t enough. He needed to know how Aron felt. This was definitely different from his modus operandi, as he searched blindly for Aron’s cock beneath. The hardness filling his hand was making both his heart and cock swell with pride.

“Oh, damn, you’re so hard, A,” he said slowly.

“You have a huge dick and you know how to use it,” Aron joked back.

Okay, maybe half-joked, Carter thought. The guy’s voice was heavy, and the sounds he was making showed no signs that Aron was amused. Carter peeled the skin down from the hardened member in one move, and Aron cursed softly.

“Go faster,” Aron urged him.

He could do this, moving his hips to the rhythm, enjoying the amazing sensation of being squeezed and the incredible warmth of Aron’s body, and listening to the small chant of his best friend’s breathing falling into synch with everything else.

“Can I come in your ass?” he asked, through ragged moans.

“No need to ask, do it,” Aron urged him.

He wasn’t going to last. Now he was really going to make a fool of himself if he wasn’t going to make Aron come first. It was clearly common courtesy. And also a desire as huge as an entire planet, to feel Aron writhe and moan beneath him, in the throes of ecstasy.

The way the guy was moving his ass was driving him crazy. There was just so much need, and he could feel that doing it raw like this was the best way to claim Aron, even if for a fleeting moment.

“Yes,” he whispered, as hot liquid touched his fingers curled around Aron’s cock.

Now that was his cue. He pushed and pushed, the pleasure coursing through his veins at the speed of light, and came in waves that seemed to go on forever.

When he crashed by Aron’s side, breathing like a drowning man barely pulled out of the water, he knew, with the utmost clarity, that he could never be with anyone like this.

“You were amazing,” Aron praised him, half turning to nuzzle his cheek.

“I was?”

“I can’t understand how you can be so insecure in your abilities as a lover, seeing how many girlfriends you had.”

“But no boyfriend,” Carter pointed out.

“Ah, of course,” Aron chuckled. “So there’s no term of comparison? Is this what you’re trying to say?”

“Well, probably, the mechanics of things are the same, but,” Carter raised one finger, “I cannot know for sure if my experience counted or not. Plus, I don’t really know if my girlfriends enjoyed it. I mean, I did ask, but …”

“By the way they were gossiping about your performance,” Aron laughed, “I’d say they were pretty satisfied.”

Carter propped himself on his elbows, to stare at Aron.

“Were you gossiping with my girlfriends?” he asked, perplexed with this kind of revelation.

Aron dared to laugh at him.

“No, of course not. But girls sometimes talk, and sometimes one cannot help but overhear. Plus, with so many of them coming to me and asking me to introduce them to you … I’d say you had quite the reputation.”

“Ah, great,” Carter dropped back on the pillow. “Now you think I’m easy.”

Aron was now laughing so hard that he had to straighten up not to choke himself.

“Easy?” he eventually managed.

“Yeah,” Carter said, a bit miffed now. “Since I had so many girlfriends.”

“Ah, I didn’t think you were easy. You were yet to meet the right one,” Aron said.

I’ve met the right one. He’s next to me.

Tell him.

No way. He’s not yet divorced. After that, maybe.

You’re just afraid he’ll say ‘no’.

Of course I’m afraid.

“Yeah,” he mumbled in reply instead of the storm inside his head.

“You think you will? Meet the right one?”

His body was weightless, and his bones were still melting after the orgasm from earlier. Yet, Aron’s words had a way of making him touch the ground.

“Yeah,” he whispered, still too afraid of speaking the truth.

Aron moved to get out of the bed.

“Where are you going?” he asked.

“I think I need another shower,” Aron replied, and this time his smile as he looked over at Carter was no longer a happy one. It wasn’t reaching his eyes. Actually, his eyes were sad.

He remained in bed, listening to the sound of the water running.

We need to do something to keep him here.

Like what?

I don’t know, but we need to be clever.

And that without blurting out how I’m in love with him and going on one knee. It’s the last thing a guy who’s divorcing wants to hear. About another frigging wedding.

Seriously, are you really thinking about getting hitched?

With Aron? Of course. But all in due time.

Alex was married to him and couldn’t keep him.

Ah, well, I’m not Alex. I’ll do anything to keep him happy.

Aron was back, and still silent. Carter jumped out of the bed, to wash, too. Soon enough, he needed to take Taz out. No matter how much he wanted to, they could not spend all their waking hours in bed.


Happiness had to be in all the little things, Carter thought, as he almost stumbled over Aron’s shoes on his way in. There hadn’t been any awkward conversations for weeks, and Aron had talked no more about finding a place and moving out.

Also, they were busy fucking the brains out of each other, cooking together, okay, so that was more Aron and less him, taking Taz out, that was more him and less Aron, going out, sometimes even dancing, although they weren’t doing much of that, either, because they were always ending up in a bed …

All in all, life was good. Baby steps were good. There was no point in rushing and making Aron uncomfortable with declarations of love. Carter was pretty damn certain that he was going to suck at it when he was going to say the words.

And who knew what Aron was going to say then?

Aron seemed to be busy on the phone.

“And how many bedrooms?” Carter heard his roomie inquiring.

Ah, damn. His heart sank.

“A big yard is important, yes. Yes, we do have pets.”

Pets? Carter’s ears twitched. What was Aron doing, exactly?

The guy seemed pretty pleased as he finished his conversation with probably a real estate agent.

“Hey,” Aron smiled and beckoned him close.

That was one of his favorite moments of the day. When Aron was kissing him after coming home from work, or, like right now, when Carter came back from some errand.

“What were you doing?” Carter asked the soonest Aron let him breathe.

“I found the perfect place,” Aron said with satisfaction.

“Ah, you’re leaving?” Carter asked, not wanting to let his disappointment show.

“It’s perfect,” Aron’s smile widened. “It has a large yard.”

“I heard. What do you need it for?” Carter asked.

Are you really hoping …?


“Taz needs plenty of space to play,” Aron said promptly.

“Hmm,” Carter barely managed.

“And it has an excellent room that can be turned into a home office,” Aron added, pulling him close and tipping his chin, so they could stare into each other’s eyes.

“What for?” Carter mumbled again.

“For you,” Aron said softly, his eyes filled with warmth. “You’re my roomie, right? You and Taz are coming with me.”

“Oh,” Carter said.

“Not ‘oh’,” Aron corrected him. “It’s ‘yes’.”

“Yes,” Carter said automatically.

“Great!” Aron said cheerfully.

Carter was certain he was about to gush out like a little girl, starting that very moment, when Aron’s ringtone went off.

The man stared at the screen, and his face darkened. His voice was rough and harsh when he answered.

“Weren’t the terms clear?” Aron said.

Carter took one step back.

“You wouldn’t dare,” Aron hissed.

Ah, damn, something was wrong, Carter thought.

“No, I refuse,” Aron continued. “Are really willing to make this messy and ugly?”

Carter had a hunch who was on the other end.

“I will find a way,” Aron said, his voice strung now. “I don’t want anything. You cannot give me what I want.”

Carter wanted nothing less but to tear the damn phone out of Aron’s hand and yell at his rival that Aron wasn’t his anymore. But he knew that Aron could not bear let him carry this battle for him.

“Fine. You win for now. But just know this. That every moment I breathe, I will put into making this end.”

Aron’s mood was even worse when he put the phone away.

“Was that Alex?” Carter asked, unsure that he could still talk while not breathing.

“Yes,” Aron said, pursing his lips. “I will have to go back for a while.”

“To try to make things work?” Carter attempted.

Aron’s eyes were filled with hurt and anger as he looked at him.

“No. To end them for good.”

“But … why do you have to go back? If you two don’t plan on getting back together?” Carter asked.

“Because my soon-to-be ex-husband dares to blackmail me by telling me that he would go to the police and tell them that he remembers all about the accident and that you pushed him in front of that fire truck. Yes, I know, it’s not the first time he’s saying this lie,” Aron shook his head.

“I didn’t push him!” Carter said firmly.

“Do you remember now? The accident?” Aron was hopeful, the clouds starting to leave his face.

“No,” Carter sank back into the sofa. “But I just know. I could have never done that.”

“I know,” Aron exhaled. “Don’t worry. I will deal with this situation,” he said through his teeth, “and then I’ll come back.”

“You don’t have to leave,” Carter spoke, fiddling with his thumbs. “Let him go to the police. He has to prove it, right?”

Aron sighed, and there was so much bitterness in that sound that Carter could feel his heart breaking in half.

“I don’t want you dragged into this mess. I’ll sort it out. Alex, he has a way to sound very convincing when he wants. I don’t want you hurt in any way.”

“But …” Carter tried to protest.

“No. I know what you want to say,” Aron raised one hand. “And I know that you’re generous and kind and you would go through a scandal just for my sake. But I won’t put you at risk. Hell, I know I’m tempted to just stay here, and let that … Just promise me this.”

Carter was almost forced to his feet, and Aron was grabbing his shoulders tightly.

“Promise me you’ll wait,” Aron said slowly, but firmly.

“Where could I go?” Carter mumbled.

“Promise me. It’s all I ask. Promise me that I’ll find you right here when I come back.”

“Sure,” Carter nodded, hoping that he wasn’t shaking or doing other stupid things. “I promise,” he hurried. “And I do know what you mean. Like no girlfriends.”

“And no boyfriends,” Aron added.

By all means, that should have sounded like a joke. But it wasn’t.

Aron pulled him into a tight embrace. For Carter, it felt like it was the last time he could hold Aron like this. And he feared although he said not one word, that Alex was going to win again. And that he needed to find a way to fight this if he didn’t want to lose Aron forever.


Taz was sitting next to him, most probably sensing that something wasn’t right. Carter was staring at the nicely stacked plates in their cabinets, his hands resting on the cabinet knobs.

“Now what the hell am I supposed to do with all these plates?”