Chapter 33 – Unmoored
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Chapter Thirty-Three - Unmoored

Ah, damn, it was raining. Carter didn’t exactly feel like going out in the rain, but Taz could care less about that and needed out like five minutes ago. Well, it wasn’t like he was the one depressed, right? There was no point for him, as a dog, to mope around the house, in slippers and pajamas.

Could dogs feel depressed? He wondered.

“Wanna go outside?” he scratched the dog’s fluffy ears.

Taz placed his head on his master’s knees and stared up, right into Carter’s eyes. He whined.

“I suppose you can feel sad, too,” Carter said. “Do you miss Aron, buddy? Because I do.”

His brain didn’t care to bother him with suppositions and whatnot. Maybe he wasn’t in the mood to listen. Also, he had Taz to talk to. Sort of.

Aron hadn’t called. They had not seen each other since that day. And, from that day, Carter could say that a new chapter of his life had started. One that was not nice at all.

“Couldn’t it be just a filler?” he asked Taz, while continuing to scratch the dog’s ears. “You know, like those episodes in the middle of the season that are a bore to watch, but you watch anyway, and the producers know that you won’t skip, because you’re already in love with the characters and ...”

He trailed off.

“Let’s just go outside,” he finally found enough power of will to get up from the sofa.

Taz was quiet as Carter put on the leash.

“Not so happy to go outside in this kind of weather, huh?” Carter said. “It’s raining cats and dogs. Like it’s raining others like you. Like it’s raining you.”

He tried to chuckle to himself. He was attempting to tell his own dog a joke. And he was bad at it.

“He’ll call,” he said out loud.

Taz moved to push his head into his master’s hand.

“Glad we’re on the same page, buddy,” Carter patted the dog’s warm head. “We’re trusting Aron, right?”

Funny how lonely he could feel. Even with Taz around. It was like a portion of space, the shape and weight of Aron, had been displaced from his shoe box like apartment. When sitting on the sofa, watching TV, he often turned to his right, like he was expecting Aron to be there and laugh at his shitty jokes.

Or when he was having dinner in the kitchen, and he just stared at the empty place across from him.

Or when he was in his bed, and there was no heavy arm thrown around his waist. That was the worst part. How much of a movie cliché can he be, waking up in the morning, and searching blindly with his hands for the one who was supposed to sleep on the other side of the bed? He kept to his side. Aron said it clearly to wait for him. There was no point to get used to having the whole bed to himself again.

At least he had his work. And, of course, the TV. Which he got stuck on the local entertainment channel, in hopes of hearing of Aron’s and Alex’s divorce. Of course, he could just call Aron and ask what the hell was going on. But there seemed to be a code of silence Aron had imposed and he felt he needed to abide by it, as well.

It wasn’t like him to be left with nothing to do like this. What the hell was going on?

Maybe Alex convinced Aron they’re good together and he’s never coming back.

Shut up. I told you I can talk to Taz if I feel lonely.

It’s not about that. It’s about stating some facts.

There’s only one fact I care about. Aron told me to wait for him. So I’ll wait.

There was no point to be doubtful. But waiting like this was the worst torture he could imagine. Most probably, that douchebag Alex had imposed Aron not to call, or else … something.

He didn’t have the mind of a diva, to imagine what ‘else’ could mean in Alex’s vocabulary. Was the guy still keeping it up with that lie? Aron should have just ignored the bastard. And let the police come and investigate him or whatever.

Aron would never do that to you and you know it.

I just wish, this time, he would not care so much. I wish he was here already.

He put on the raincoat and began descending the stairs. Taz was whining softly while following him.

“Sorry, buddy,” Carter murmured. “I’m not the best father right now, am I?”

Maybe he could call someone else. Maybe he could talk to Aron’s parents. But something was telling him Aron didn’t want his folks involved. And he could respect that.

***

He went to the park, even though the rain kept pouring. Taz needed the exercise, regardless of weather. There was not a soul in sight. The only noise was the rain hitting the pavement.

The weather had been bad for several days now. It wasn’t making him feel any better, although maybe seeing too many cheerful people around might have just pissed him off, right now.

He was lost in thought, when Taz started to bark. As he raised his eyes from the pavement in front of him, he noticed that he wasn’t, after all, the only living soul in the park in that kind of weather.

Slowly, he approached the guy, and took a seat next to him. Simon sighed, but said nothing. He wasn’t wearing a raincoat, and he still had his normal jogging clothes. Water clung from his hair, and his garments were wet. But he didn’t seem to care.

“Hey, man,” Carter made the first attempt to speak.

“Hey,” Simon said back, in such a dejected voice, that Carter could swear the guy was even more depressed than he was. “What’s with you here?”

“I need to walk the dog,” Carter pointed at Taz who had taken a sitting position right away. “What’s with you?”

“You know,” Simon shrugged. “The usual. I’m out jogging.”

“Seriously? ‘cause I see you’re sitting,” Carter said.

Even Simon’s laugh was apathetic.

“What the hell is happening? Do you have any idea?” Simon asked.

The man half-turned to look at Carter with his beautiful puppy eyes. Carter could feel his heart breaking a little.

“No, none. But you’re the one working with Alex. What is he telling you?” Carter pointed out.

Simon cast his eyes down in defeat.

“He broke it off with me. No explanations, no nothing. He just told me that he needs to put his marriage in order. But I don’t think that’s that.”

Hmm, even puppy eyes knew something was not okay with that bastard.

“Have you talked to Aron? What is he saying?” Simon asked.

“No, we haven’t spoken. I think Alex forbid him or something,” Carter replied.

“I can imagine him doing that,” Simon blew hot air into his cupped hands. “So they don’t have an open marriage, after all?”

Carter sighed.

“I don’t know Alex that well. Aron thought they were, or else he would not have been with me,” he lied. But it wasn’t like he could tell puppy eyes the truth.

“Alex … he likes playing games,” Simon said. “When I mentioned you to him, he seemed annoyed and surprised. But I guess it was just his way of pretending that he didn’t know about you.”

“Simon, may I ask you something?” Carter spoke.

“Shoot,” the young man replied.

“What exactly do you see in that guy? Okay, I know he’s beautiful and …”

“Seriously, I have no idea,” Simon interrupted him. “I just have the impression that he has taken me for a fool, all this time.”

“Really?” Carter expressed his surprise at that statement. “How come?”

“I think he’s just not pretending anymore. I think he pretended for a long time. He has a way of getting under other people’s skin. He does that at work. A lot. People eat from the palm of his hand, that’s how good he is,” Simon spoke bitterly. “He fooled me. He made me think that I … oh, just screw him,” he added with a sigh.

Wow, Alex must have really shown his true colors, Carter thought. With someone as gullible and as in love as Simon, it had had to be difficult to make the guy think otherwise. Which meant that the Wicked Witch of the West cared not for appearances anymore.

“Simon, would you say that you don’t hope for him to get back to you?” Carter asked cautiously.

Simon looked at him again, pondering for several seconds. Carter observed, without a word, the flicker of hope in the caramel eyes, followed quickly by despair, and then by resignation.

“No, I can’t be that stupid,” Simon said and shook his head. “You know, fool me once …”

Taz barked one time.

“Would you like a small treat, buddy?” Carter searched his pocket for Taz’s treats.

What was that thing doing there? He wondered as he pulled out a small elegant business card. Ah, it was from David’s club. Aron had given it to him, and he had just put it in these pants by accident. They had been too busy to go visit.

He stretched out his hand.

“What’s this?” Simon asked, taking the card from Carter’s hand.

“Just some place,” Carter replied. “I mean, it’s pretty cool. It’s run by a guy named David. If you decide to go and forget about Alex for some time, just tell David I am the one who recommended you his club.”

“Um, okay,” Simon said. “But I’m not in the mood to party right now.”

“Oh, no, it’s not for that,” Carter said. “Well, it’s for that, too. But David is quite a cool guy. You might feel good talking to him. Also, I should tell you. It’s kind of a BDSM club. Really tasteful, though,” he hurried to add, seeing that Simon was staring at him, wide-eyed. “Nobody’s jerking off out in the open or anything like that.”

“Just how much did Alex tell you?” Simon murmured. “And he really made fun of me for being into that kind of stuff,” he said that mostly to himself.

“Well, just forget about the douchebag,” Carter urged the other. “He’s not worth it, okay?”

“Why are you helping me?” Simon asked, turning to look at Carter again. “I mean, I was kind of an asshole to you and Aron that night.”

Carter waved.

“No sweat. You seem to be just another person caught up in this whole drama thing,” he gestured. “Well, it would have been easier for me if Alex was interested in you and left Aron for good, but …” he made a lame attempt to joke.

Simon snickered.

“So you’re not keen on pushing me back into that guy’s arms? Even if that means, you know, that you and Aron …” the young man trailed off.

Carter patted him on the back.

“I could never do that to anyone. That guy’s really bad,” he said.

“Funny, I thought you said you didn’t know Alex that well,” Simon pointed out.

Carter sighed.

“Let’s just settle for the simple truth that I probably meant every bad word I threw at the guy at their wedding.”

Simon giggled again.

“He told me about that. As a gay guy, I feel like I should be mad at you, but, as he was telling me what you said … I don’t know, I felt like finally, someone stood up to him and told him something bad to his face. It’s petty, I know. But I felt a bit avenged, for all the times when he put me down. I bet he made such a face,” Simon shook his head, smiling.

“Ah, well, it looks like I’m batting for your team now, so I certainly exaggerated back then …”

“Hey, I’m glad you joined our team,” Simon hurried to hug him. “You know what? I think I’ll go visit that club. Alex never wanted to go to anything similar, so I’m glad for this chance. I really feel like it’s something I’d like to try.”

“Great,” Carter patted the guy’s back. “Now how about you go home, take a hot shower, and spend the day in? Call in sick. A day away from that douchebag will do you good.”

“Excellent advice!” Simon stood up, and clapped his hands in glee.

And sneezed loudly.

“Bless you,” Carter said, and Simon grinned at him.

He wasn’t expecting to be embraced so effusively again. But he could live through it.

“Are you sure you don’t double as a shrink in your spare time?” Simon asked. “The second time I’m talking intimate stuff with you and I feel great.”

“I’m pretty sure,” Carter replied. “Being a shrink is not for me. Although I would like one of those couches they show in movies. They look really comfortable. Do you think they sell them online?”

Simon smiled at him.

“You’re a bit different,” the guy said. “From anyone else I know, at least. But I like you, man. You’re cool.”

“Thanks,” Carter replied promptly.

“See you,” Simon waved while walking away. “And thanks for this,” he pointed at the card.

Carter looked after Simon for a while. He felt a little better, too. Even if helping Simon wasn’t going to get him closer to Aron, it felt good, nonetheless. Plus, he had a little idea about what to do next.

***

It wasn’t difficult to spot Alex’s Spyder, even among the numerous luxury vehicles parked in the parking lot at Beauty X. Unless the douchebag was working late, he was going to be there any moment now.

Carter decided to wait, and fortunately, didn’t have to do that for long. He noticed Alex coming out of the building, while chatting and flirting with some co-worker, by the way he was throwing his head back and gesturing with both hands.

The guy slowed down when he noticed him, but, after a short moment of hesitation, he decided to continue walking.

“I want to talk to you,” Carter said, crossing his arms over his chest.

“Are you here to make a scene?” Alex huffed and tried to maneuver himself around Carter.

No way. The scumbag wasn’t going to run away from this.

“No, I’m here to set things right,” Carter said.

Alex sighed theatrically and stood in front of Carter, mimicking his moves and crossing his arms over his chest.

“Let Aron go. You don’t want him,” Carter spoke first.

“And you do,” Alex set his chin high. “Seriously? How long have you two been screwing each other? I have to say I was pretty damn surprised to hear about it.”

“Not long enough,” Carter said through his teeth. “It was after you two got separated, just so you know. Unlike you and Simon,” he added.

Alex assessed him, his eyes at half-mast.

“You seem to know all kinds of things. It makes one wonder,” Alex said slowly, measuring every word.

“Wonder what?”

Alex shrugged.

“It doesn’t matter. I’m not giving up on Aron.”

“Too bad. Because he has given up on you already,” Carter said.

For a brief second, Alex’s green eyes shadowed.

“Well, there’s no marriage without rough patches. We’ll work through this one. I’m sure.”

Alex made a move to go for his car, but Carter caught his arm.

“What’s this story about me pushing you in front of the fire truck? You know it’s not true,” he hissed at the other.

Alex shook his arm free.

“No, it’s not,” he admitted, as he searched his man purse for the car keys.

“So why are you insisting on it? Do you want to see me thrown in jail? Will that make you happy?”

To Carter’s surprise, Alex’s eyes became even darker. Suddenly, the guy was looking older than his age. Now that was one of Alex’s faces he could not remember seeing.

“No one’s throwing you in jail, don’t worry,” Alex sighed. “I’m not going to say that.”

“So? Did you tell Aron that?” Carter asked, hope rising inside.

“Why should I?” Alex said, the corners of his mouth dropping lower. “It’s the only way I’m keeping him right now from shutting down our marriage.”

“You’re impossible!” Carter exclaimed, fighting with the guy over the car door.

“And what do you care?” Alex hissed like a wild cat. “Aron loved you like a shmuck for years, and you were blind. I come along, I marry him, and you suddenly want him? Is that it? You only care when the toy’s taken away from you?”

Carter gaped in shock. The scumbag was right. In a fucked up way, but he was right. What could he say to defend himself against that? He had practically given Aron the cold shoulder for years. And he had no excuse for that.

Alex took advantage of his surprise to slide inside his car and slam the door shut. Carter barely managed to get out of the way, as the asshole kicked the Spyder into gear.

***

Cereals. Without milk. He didn’t care for food much lately. At least he wasn’t leaving Taz unfed. Yay. He could congratulate himself for doing something half right, and that was taking care of his dog. If it hadn’t been for Taz, he was pretty certain he would have gone without food or leaving the house for days. At least, he was going through the motions. Sleep, work, shower, shave, stuff like that. But he wasn’t in the mood for eating, that was all.

The problem was, that asshole was right. How could he claim Aron when he had been such a stupid piece of shit for years? He wasn’t in his right to do that. Not that he wanted to let Alex have him. If there was one thing he was certain of, that was that Aron should be free from that asshole. And then, well then, Carter was going to love him for at least 15 years, until he was going to muster the courage to tell Aron how he felt. It was only fair. 15 years for 15 years.

The TV blared as some energetic anchorwoman wearing vibrant war paint was reading the latest in show biz.

“And, now, we are live with our correspondent on the ground,” the woman spoke cheerfully.

Carter was busy searching for a piece of raisin in his cereals, when something from the reporter’s commentary drew his attention. He almost had to turn the couch upside down to find the remote and pump up the volume.

“Yes, we all heard the rumors,” the reporter was conversing with the anchorwoman in the studio. “But it looks like Alex Ruskin is back in love with his husband, as they are both attending this very special event for our fashion icon.”

The camera panned over a beautifully adorned room, where people dressed up to snuff were seated at tables, in what looked like a restaurant or club setting. His heart clenched as the camera zoomed in on Aron and Alex who were at the same table with others Carter remembered to be Beauty X employees.

“So, no more trouble in paradise?” the anchorwoman demanded to know.

Alex was clearly busy chatting with the others at the table, but, when he made a move to take Aron’s hand, as the man was keeping one resting on the table, Aron stood up brusquely. Alex turned his head to watch his husband with a frozen look on his face.

Carter watched in fascination, while tuning out the reporter’s commentary. He was too busy looking at Aron. The man’s face looked dark, his lips pursed as he leaned over his husband, probably whispering something only the two of them could hear.

Alex seemed surprised for a fraction of a second, and then he seemed to notice the camera focused on him. Right away, he began smiling charmingly, and waved. The camera zoomed in for a few seconds. When it zoomed out, Aron was nowhere in the picture.

Carter sighed. Aron looked good. But pissed like hell. So, at least, whatever Alex was doing to fix that so called rough patch, it wasn’t working.

I thought you wanted to save that marriage.

No way. I decided to be an egoist. I hope that marriage gets wrecked.

Wow.

Yeah, wow. Sue me if you don’t like it.

He was done fighting that kind of moral dilemma. Aron wasn’t happy with Alex. He was better out of that marriage.

Anyways, he thought, as he took his half eaten bowl of cereals to the kitchen. He needed to be patient. Aron was going to come back to him. He had to. And then Carter was going to make sure that the guy was going to be happy until a faithful day, 15 years from now, when he was going to be in his right to say the words. And ask for Aron’s hand in marriage.

Yes, he thought to himself, satisfied with that order of things.

What if Aron gets bored and finds someone else?

No way. I’m going to keep him so busy, he won’t have time for chasing guys.

You know what they say. Even the tastiest food, if you eat it every day ...

Shut up. I’ll learn how to be kinky. I’ll have David teach me. Aron will never get bored with me.

It’s not all about sex. What if you two run out of things to say to each other?

We’ll travel. And I’ll learn ten foreign languages, so I can impress him when we go abroad. Donde esta la biblioteca? Shnelle, shnelle ... Voulez vous coucher avec moi? See, I’m already more interesting than five minutes ago.

His brain was right. That was a serious issue. At least until they were going to get married, 15 years from now, he needed to make sure Aron wasn’t bored. Hmm, he needed a plan. Something to cover all weekends and vacations.

But, first things first, he needed a daily plan. And a list of things he needed to learn to keep Aron next to him for the next 15 years.

So you’re planning to let yourself go after he says ‘yes’?

No, but he’ll already be so used to me, that after he says ‘yes’, I won’t have to learn so many new things. Now focus, we need a list of things to learn and do so that we can make and keep Aron happy for 15 years.

Maybe he should use his laptop, but decided against it right away. Using pen and paper was making the commitment he was taking more solemn and serious.

“So,” he said out loud. “Cooking? But Aron already cooks ... No, no, no, I need to be serious about this.”

He began scribbling down. Once he started, he was on fire. Yeap, he was going to keep Aron so busy.

He was already scribbling down item number 46, when he heard an energetic knock on the door. Who could be so late?

Making a sign to Taz to go back to sleep, he headed for the door. He pulled it open and stood there, dumbstruck. Aron was in the door, with such a pain stricken look of longing on his handsome face that Carter felt his heart clenching. The guy was wearing the classy suit Carter had seen him in on TV just earlier.

Without a word, Aron walked in, pushing the door closed with a short flick of the hand, and grabbed Carter, cupping his face with both hands and making him walk backward and fall on the couch.

Carter’s surprise was short lived. He answered to the hungry kiss with hunger of his own. They were trying to tear their clothes apart, but Aron’s jacket was way too well made to give in to the clumsy attack.

“Wait,” he whispered, pushing Aron back only a little. “Bedroom.”

Aron nodded shortly. Carter didn’t complain as Aron made him miss one or two steps by half-dragging him. When they collapsed on the bed, Aron’s jacket was already gone. The man pulled at his tie and managed to make some buttons fly as he hurried to get rid of his clothes. Between his bouts of anger directed at his own clothes, he was busy kissing Carter, biting the lips a little, famished and impatient.

Carter was in just as much a hurry, shedding his t-shirt and track suits pants with the speed of light. Now he was congratulating himself for taking a shower just earlier. They had no time to waste with stuff like that.

Aron was still partially dressed when he pushed Carter’s legs apart and climbed on top.

“Fuck, I missed you,” Aron murmured, as he took Carter’s mouth again, making rough love to it.

Carter searched blindly for the only thing they needed to make this happen.

“Wait, just a sec,” he said breathlessly as he got busy to lube his ass fast. “C’mon, fuck me,” he urged the other, and Aron didn’t wait for another invitation.

The invasion of his body was a bit too much, but he didn’t mind it. Aron curbed his enthusiasm, sensing Carter’s involuntary resistance to the attack.

Carter moved just enough to ensure Aron had the right angle to gain access inside.

“Sorry, I just need to …” Aron’s words became muffled, as Carter dragged him down to kiss him again.

They were clumsy, their moves were short and brusque, but Aron’s increasing patience, and Carter’s willingness to relax, finally made it happen. Carter grabbed Aron by the back of his neck and clamped his body down hard on the guy’s cock.

“Oh fuck,” Aron whispered, as he let go of Carter’s mouth, and began moving. “Did you miss me?”

“Yeah,” Carter said simply. “Just give me all you got.”

Aron was not one to ignore such a direct request. The bed was squeaking, and Carter was pretty damn certain that his groans of pure pleasure could be heard half a block away, if not more. Ah, well, he could not care less. Until now, he had been an exemplary citizen. No one could exactly reproach him anything. If anyone was going to ask, he planned to say the truth.

My man came back to me and screwed my brains out.

Aron was pushing himself in with all his might, and Carter was making sure to meet him half way. It was like it wasn’t enough. From up close, Aron’s dark eyes looked straight into his soul.

“Let me, too,” he whispered, and turned the tables, ending up on top, in a riding position.

Aron kept his hips steady, and he began moving. Hard, fast, just as he needed it. Given the circumstances, it was everything they needed.

“Ah, damn,” Aron whispered, watching him. “You’re going to make me come like this.”

“Fill me up,” Carter urged him, moving faster and faster.

Aron embraced him fast and again, he was on his back.

“You want me to give it to you hard like this?” the man finally understood how much Carter wanted it.

Not only hard. Fast, too. And he needed to be filled, right to the brim, because it had been so long, and he could not take it anymore.

The bed was no longer just squeaking. It was making some strange sounds that not even some rickety old man’s bones could. It was going to break. Hell, whatever.

“Missed you like fucking crazy,” he told Aron as he focused on the sensation of having his ass wrecked.

It was pure fire licking his arteries, nothing less. His cock was hard, and he had no idea if he was going to come without touching, but that had to happen because there was no way he was going to let go of Aron.

Holding his man like this was everything. It made everything real. Aron growled and pushed his lover into the bed, making both sink with each fluid motion of the hips. He grabbed Carter by the hair at the back of his head, and diving low, he began biting the exposed neck.

Carter felt an instant jolt, something akin to electricity, at that raw and honest claiming. His own dick seemed to agree, swelling and responding to the quick hammering of the bud of pleasure inside his ass.

“Coming, coming, coming,” he murmured, and Aron didn’t let go of his neck, nor of his body, instead going stronger, faster, his moves a bit jerkier, but even more efficient that way.

It was fucking magical, Carter thought, as they came together, he hands free, while Aron’s cock remained prisoner inside the tight channel of muscles squeezing him.

Their heavy breathing was filling the room as they remained glued to each other, joined at the hip.

They stood like that forever. The TV was still blaring in the other room, but it sounded so distant, like it could have just been part of another galaxy, far away.

Carter was certain that the only sound that mattered was the beat of their hearts that must have been, just like in books and movies, chanting in the same rhythm.

Aron finally fell to one side, but he kept one hand on Carter’s chest, making that synched heartbeat theory even more a reality. For minutes, they said nothing.

Carter finally turned to watch Aron in the eyes.

“You’re not staying, right?” he asked, although he knew the answer.

Aron blinked instead of answering.

“How come Alex let you …” Carter wondered out loud.

“I just came up with a lame excuse and made myself scarce,” Aron replied. “He doesn’t know.”

“He’s not going to say it. That I pushed him. He told me so,” Carter said. “So you don’t have to go now.”

Aron’s face turned to stone.

“Don’t believe a word he says. But don’t worry. I have set a plan in motion. It won’t be long, I promise.”

“What did you do?” Carter asked, relishing in how Aron began to caress his cheek.

“I hired the best guy in the country to find the witness. That girl who saw the accident. I will put that to rest, once and for all.”

“Ah, the eyewitness,” Carter remembered.

“This guy guarantees results,” Aron continued. “He’s great at finding people. I should hear from him any day now. And then Alex will have nothing to keep me away from you.”

“You’re really pissed at him. I saw you at that event …” Carter trailed off.

“He doesn’t want to see reason. I offered him a fortune to walk away. I offered him everything, actually. But he is just stubborn and continues to say ‘no’. I’m not pissed at him. I seriously hate him,” Aron said, his eyes dark.

“I’m sorry,” Carter spoke, caressing Aron in turn.

“Don’t be. I made my bed. But I will un-make it, don’t worry. And then nothing will stop me from being with you.”

Do you love me?

It’s not exactly a good moment to ask that. Just take what he’s giving you right now. He wants to be with you. That’s enough.

Carter pushed away any thought of asking Aron such a thing.

“It doesn’t matter, you know,” he said instead. “If it takes a while until … I can wait. I will wait.”

“So I’m the only one who’s impatient?” Aron laughed.

“No. I just came hands-free. That’s a clear sign of impatience. Also, I haven’t jerked off since you left, so I suppose that’s what happens.”

Aron’s eyes filled with warmth.

“I haven’t, either.”

“Seriously? So Alex didn’t jump you, or anything?”

“Probably he wanted to. But I suppose that I have murder written all over me, so he doesn’t dare,” Aron joked.

“Did you tell him about us?”

“Yes. Apparently, he knew from Simon, anyway. But I don’t care. He’s selfish and mean. I don’t know what I saw in him. Maybe I just tried … well, it doesn’t matter now, anyway. I’m through with him, and once the private eye I hired gets hold of that girl, and she tells us what the hell happened, he won’t be able to stop me from filing for divorce.”

“So I won’t be seeing you until then?” Carter asked.

Aron shook his head slowly.

“It was a chance I took tonight. But I cannot risk it. Not until I have the ace up my sleeve.”

“What made you take the risk tonight?” Carter asked again.

“I couldn’t stand it, not seeing you for so long.”

“Not fucking me, you mean,” Carter snickered.

“Shut up, you came like a hose. The feeling’s mutual.”

“Of course it is,” Carter agreed. “Then it’s back to waiting for me, then?”

“I’m afraid so,” Aron confirmed. “But I’m paying this guy a small fortune. He is pretty damn motivated. I cannot wait for the truth to be revealed.”

“Okay. I cannot wait for you to come back for good,” Carter said simply.

Aron opened his mouth, as if he wanted to ask something, but then decided against. He kissed Carter, long and passionately.

“Can you stay for another round?” Carter almost pleaded.

Aron sighed and pushed himself up.

“No, unfortunately. I will go and take Alex home. Then I’ll phone the detective to see what progress has been made.”

“Okay,” Carter said softly.

Aron caressed his hair.

“Oh, stop it, man,” Carter forced himself to laugh and pushed the guy’s hand away. “You’re making doe eyes at me while you know we can’t fuck again. That’s cruel, you know?”

Aron nodded.

“Just wait. For a little while longer. That is all.”

***

Three days later, Carter was up early. He could not really say why he felt the need to be up at 6.30, but he was up, so nothing to do anyway but wake up.

He turned the TV on, while he stretched and yawned.

“An interesting new development has us on the edge of our seats,” the annoying voice of the anchorwoman almost screamed into the mike. “Finally, it looks like we’ll know the truth about the accident our favorite fashion icon Alex Ruskin was involved in, several months ago. Strangely enough, none of those involved could remember how it happened …”

He froze, his arms stretched above his head in an awkward position. On TV, the camera switched from the studio to another setting, where a bunch of reporters were practically assaulting a girl with ponytail. Next to her, someone from the local police stood proud and vigilant, while a few other people in uniforms were busy keeping the crowd away.

As the girl began speaking, Carter’s arms fell to his sides.

“I’ll be damned,” he said matter-of-factly.

Well, he wasn’t that surprised. After all, all of a sudden, his memories began flooding his brain, like long awaited rain.

TBC

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