“Hotel Sunbeam”. Kevin would be the first to agree that this is a very corny name for a hotel. Not very original, but it fits. The outside is painted in orange/yellow, giving it a warm feeling. All over the garden small terraces have been created by using low bushes. Kevin knows that from where they stand they can overlook all the terraces, but once on the terrace itself, you can’t see what is being eaten on the next table. This give it a private ambiance, which is exactly what he wants with Scotty. Some privacy.
They quickly check in at the reception and are handed over their key. A real key, not some computer-chipped-card that somehow never opens the door to the room that Kevin wants to get into … He hates those cards. Scotty follows him up to their room. Number 7 is at the end of a narrow hallway. He knows that Scotty will pay attention to the clean white walls, the warm carpet and the Victorian decorations that have survived the many renovations this house has had over the years. The hotel matches old and new, modern and classic furniture, but strangely enough it all fits.
Once Scotty has entered the room. Kevin closes the door and leans against it. He can’t see Scotty’s face, but he can imagine it, because he sees the same things Scotty does. A room decorated in fresh vanilla and blue colors, with a huge four-poster bed, covered with smaller pillows. It breaths romance and cozyness. There is a round table and two very comfortable looking chairs. Scotty turns around, the surprise clear on his face.
“This is not what I expected.” He says, although Kevin is not entirely sure if that is positive or negative.
“What did you expect from me? A business room with internet-connection so I can do my work under romantic neon-light while you sleep?” he teases and then, he becomes even more amused, as the look on Scotty’s face betrays that Kevin guessed right.
The bathroom has a large, deep bath and a separate place to shower. Kevin watches with pleasure as Scotty lets his fingers slide along the bed, small table and chairs. But then Scotty moves over to yet another set of doors.
“We have a balcony.” He says, quickly opening the doors and being awe-struck by the view of the ocean and the rocks underneath their balcony.
From there Scotty and Kevin can see the small beach that seems to belong to the hotel. Kevin points to the stairs that will lead to the beach and suggests they go swimming tomorrow. Scotty is not sure yet, if that is what he wants.
Standing behind Scotty, Kevin caresses Scotty’s shoulder before slowly letting his hand slide along his spine. He can feel Scotty hold his breath. His hands move around Scotty’s waist and his hand traces Scotty’s stomach further down. He unbuckles Scotty’s pants as he whispers in Scotty’s ear:
“Come to bed?”
He can hear Scotty breathe a little faster. Taking Scotty’s hand Kevin leads him to the bed. They quickly undress and slide under the covers, their naked bodies meeting in the middle of the bed. The moment their lips meet they both lose track of everything around them. Kevin loves to feel Scotty against him, moving sensually in order to ignite the fire in Kevin. But this time their kissing is more frantic. All the innuendos, the teasing, the touches and kisses make the hunger for release too big to be controlled. Their hips are grinding.
Scotty’s voice is barely audible when begs:
“Kev, take me. I want you so badly.” But Kevin shakes his head with determination and replies:
“No. Not now, not yet.” His hand slips between their bodies and Scotty arches into his touch. Kevin knows Scotty’s rhythm well enough to make Scotty forget his request. The little needy noises Scotty makes, turns him on even more.
With his lips close to Scotty’s ear he says:
“Tonight we will make love, I am going to take you long and slowly, I am going to do every little thing I know you like.” Scotty nearly stops breathing, Kevin can feel the shiver running through him. “And I will make you beg for more…” he promises and Scotty’s over-active imagination doesn’t need more incentive. With a soft cry he comes all over Kevin’s hand.
Kevin can’t help but grin for a moment. He moves away from Scotty, just a little bit, to give Scotty some room to breathe. Laying on his back he lets his hand slide down, trying to find some release of his own. He bites his lip as he comes closer, but startles as Scotty’s fingers find his and take over.
“Oh!” is about as articulate as he can get. Scotty silences him with a kiss. Caught between Scotty’s able hand and Scotty’s exploring lips, Kevin surrenders.
“Wow. That was very fast.” Scotty says as he pulls the covers closely around them, so they are cocooned in their own body warmth. Kevin is still a bit dazed by their little sex-romp.
“Mhmm, yes, but next time will take longer, I’m sure. This was just to ease the pressure.”
“Next time? Mr Walker, what makes you think that there will second rounds?” Scotty teases. Kevin opens up one eye.
“Hey, I didn’t carry the condoms and lube all the way up here for nothing, you know.”
“Carry? ALL the way up here?” Scotty repeats, barely holding his laughter. “Oh my, you must be exhausted.”
“Yes… I am not that young anymore…” Kevin quasi-complains, then he sees the look on Scotty’s face, and just as he is about to open his mouth, Kevin warns: “Not. A. Single. Word.”
Scotty’s eyes sparkle with amusement. He tries not to laugh, fails miserably and he hides his head under the cover. This boy-ish reaction triggers something in Kevin and within a few seconds they are both under the cover, giggling like a pair of schoolboys… Kissing. Caressing. Enjoying the moment.
Scotty can’t believe how wonderful it is to sit here. Outside, but protected from the wind by the low bushes, the terrace offers privacy from the looks of other guests, which allows Kevin and him to gaze at eachother like they did on their first date. Scotty’s hand is casually covered by Kevin’s and they talk about their every day subjects.
Kevin talks about a possible fraud-case, without mentioning the name of the company once. Scotty is always amused by how much a gossip Kevin can be about his siblings and how, at the same time, he will never slip up when it comes to work.
They discuss Scotty’s friend Mario, who’s most recent conquest, Peter, is considered by them both a big mistake. Peter was condescending and unkind.
“I’m sorry, I wish I could be more optimistic, but I’m not.” Kevin apologizes. Scotty shakes his head.
“No, you are absolutely right. He is an awful guy. And Mario will be better off without him. Maybe I ought to talk to Quin and Jordan and see what we can do.”
“And maybe it’s none of our business and we should take our distance from Peter and concentrate on being Mario’s friends, so we can be a shoulder to cry on once it goes wrong.” Kevin suggests.
Scotty plays with his food a bit. He appreciates the “we” that Kevin uses. It proves that Kevin will be there for Mario.
Though the romantic in him hopes that Peter will change, he also knows that Kevin is closer to the harsh reality. He believes that Mario will not listen to Jordan or him anyway. When you are in love, you don’t want to know about your boyfriend being a loser.
He feels a little squeeze in his hand and he looks up to see Kevin look at him with some concern.
“Hey, don’t let this business with Mario ruin our weekend,…. please.” Scotty shakes his head. No, he won’t. The sun is slowly setting. And he wants to see the beach, before it’s too dark.
“Dessert?” he suggests therefore. “Followed by a walk on the beach to work off the calories?”
Kevin adores the idea of dessert, but is less enthusiastic about the walk. But Scotty seems to want to do this, so why not?
A look at what desserts are available makes Scotty change his mind though. He feels it will be too much after all. But Kevin orders the “Banana-surprise” and they spend a few moments speculating on what the “surprise” could be. It turns out to be chocolate ice-cream, cherry-flavored syrup and some assorted other fruits. Amused Kevin watches how Scotty keeps stealing the fruit from Kevin. Not that Kevin really mind, Scotty is incredibly cute whenever he gives Kevin that almost guilty look.
And although Scotty, at first, hadn’t wanted dessert, they end up sharing the ice cream anyway, because Kevin keeps feeding Scotty.
“Well, this is one way to keep your calorie-intake down.” Scotty jokes.
“Yes, but it is nothing compared to our work-out tonight.” Kevin ‘warns’ Scotty.
“Promises, promises.” Scotty teases right back. He can’t wait!
Scotty can’t get enough of the ocean. The sound of the waves crashing, the openness of the sea, the overwhelming realization that he is watching something of incredible power. He breathes her in and lets her take over his mind and body for a few moments. It is peaceful and empowering at the same time.
Kevin watches with fascination how Scotty can be so in awe by the raw beauty of the ocean. He is always impressed by how Scotty can feel so intensely, just enjoy the simple yet powerful things in life. He never really looked at the ocean, or the birds, or flowers, or … anything else, but Scotty teaches him every day to be a bit more open to all the beauty in life and Kevin has to admit that he feels better for it.
They walk along the water-line. For a while it is quiet between them. Another thing that Kevin had to learn. Enjoy the silence. He knows now, that the silence between them doesn’t mean that Scotty is angry with him, or bored with him, or that he did something wrong. He doesn’t have to fill the silence with meaningless chatter.
“Did you always come here alone?” Scotty suddenly asks, disrupting Kevin’s thoughts.
“No… I occasionally came here with Hank... but that was years ago.”
“What … what happened to him?” Kevin notices Scotty’s hesitation.
“I don’t really want to talk about it.” Kevin replies.
“Why not? Why is it a secret?”
“It is not a secret. I just never told anyone. Too embarrassing. Besides, why do you ask? We never really talked about past lovers before.”
“Ouch! Touché! It is true that I never really talk about my exes either... It’s just… I know and met Chad.. and Jason. And just wondered… ” Scotty sits downs in the sand. Kevin drops himself next to him. “… not even your family seems to know what happened. They just told me things between you two ended abruptly. And I wonder: why?”
For a moment Kevin looks almost mortified, but then he asks:
“Do you really want to know?... About Hank?” Scotty nods.
“Promise me you’ll never tell anyone in the family? I really don’t want anyone to know. It is in the past and not really relevant anymore, now that I am with you… And that I have faith in you.”
“Alright, I promise, not a word to anyone.” Scotty replies. For a moment Kevin stares at the ocean, he is formulating his sentences and choosing his words carefully. He swallows hard… Hank… He really doesn’t want to talk about it… but Scotty is his partner, his lover, his everything and Scotty has the right to an honest answer to question asked.….
Kevin makes a decision and takes a deep breath:
“… I was about 24 years old when I bought the loft, that is now ours, ….” He begins … And all Kevin has to do close his eyes to remember what his place had looked like 11 years ago, when he bought it.
He had fallen in love with the space and the light in the apartment and he was so proud of buying his first furniture. All his own things. His family and friends told him he was crazy, but Kevin wanted a place of his own. He had lived in a house filled with people. Father, mother, 2 brothers, 2 sisters, not to mention all the friends that had dropped in, at their convenience. No one could understand the desire Kevin had for a place that was his, where nobody showed up unannounced, where he could sleep without being jumped on by a brother, where he could raid the fridge without a mother looking to see what he was eating, where he could watch gay porn without being worried his father might walk in…
Yes, above all, he had wanted to be away from William Walker. To no longer feel those hawk-eyes on his back, feeling judged and considered ‘not good enough’ because he was gay. To not have to see the contempt, he believed, was in his father’s eyes, because he was not ‘a man’ like his brothers. He was gay, that was different. Any male friend had been closely observed. Even those who had not even been aware that he was gay and with who he just wanted to be friends, nothing more. This had led to some embarrassing moments and had cost him a few friends, until he gave up bringing them to his parents’ house, but would meet them elsewhere.
Once he had a place of his own, he dated a lot of men. Had some short and some longer relationships, but eventually he met Hank. Hank was everything he dreamed of. He owned his own gallery and although it was still small, it attracted more and more customers. He was financially independent from Kevin. He was athletically built, he had a caring personality, a great sense of humor, a wonderful voice and he was good in bed. In one word: perfect.
And finally, after a steady relationship of 4 years, in which Hank spent more time at Kevin’s place than his own, Kevin decided to take a very significant step in his relationship with Hank. That Valentine’s day he would ask Hank to marry him. Kevin prepared everything. The dinner, the flowers,… the ring.
He would have to be in New York the 13th, but he hoped he would return on the 14th or the 15th. A terrible accident and it’s subsequent traffic stop had however caused him to miss his flight to New York. He had no choice but to go home. And try again on the 15th. Excited that he would still be able to stick to his plans for tomorrow he decided not to call Hank, but to surprise him…
Scotty feels a shock of jealousy go through him, but he sees Kevin’s face filled with emotion, he sees Kevin’s hands tremble as they nervously slide over his jeans, as if tries to keep them dry. Suddenly he wonders if it had been smart of him to ask about Hank. But Kevin is lost in his memory and it seems to liberate him to talk. At first his voice had sounded hesitant and dull, but now it speeds up and it is laced with emotion, above all anger and Scotty looks at Kevin as he talks, more to the ocean than to Scotty. It is almost as if doesn’t dare to face. And then he starts to find out why….
… he knew something was wrong the moment he opened the door to his apartment. The table was set for two. The wine bottle opened and almost empty. The music was playing softly. But the strangest thing was the sound coming from his bedroom. Almost all the lights were turned down low and he stood in a dark corridor, his bedroom was barely lit, but he could see. And what he saw, there on his bed, was Hank. His Hank. He was naked, slightly drunk, handsome, strong, the delicious smile on his face… but the smile was not for Kevin. He was not naked for Kevin. His strong arms were not wrapped around Kevin. He was not alone. He was making love with his business associate Toby…
Kevin had blinked several times, as if that would chase away the image before him. But it didn’t and slowly reality sunk in. Hank was cheating on him and he was looking at it… Outwardly calm Kevin switched on the light in his bedroom. Shocked Hank and Toby let go of eachother. Toby trying in vain to cover his naked body. It was almost funny. And Kevin was sure that one of these days he would have a good laugh at it, but not this day.
“Kevin! Oh God! Kevin… What… What are you doing here?”
“This is my apartment. Where else would I be?”
“But you said… you said..”
“I wanted to surprise you, but… it seems the surprise is on me….”
“Kevin, this is not what you think….”
“No, off course it’s not, you always ‘talk’ with him, with his dick up your ass… Right?” Kevin raised an eyebrow.
“Please, Kevin, I love you and….” Hank’s voice fails him.
“… I am the one you really want to be with?” Kevin finished sarcastically. The look Toby gave Hank suggested another answer and also a surprise about Hank’s words…
“How long has this been going on?” Kevin prayed silently that it was just tonight. Too much drinking… Too much….
“Three months.” Toby answered. For a moment Kevin stopped breathing. He had to. The pain that ran through him was too much. He couldn’t breathe if his life depended on it. It seemed as if the whole room was spinning before him. Kevin clenched his fists.
“I’m leaving. You have 3 hours. But when I come back, you, Toby and anything belonging to you, had better be OUT of my apartment.”
Having said that he had left his apartment, straight to his parents’ house, where he spent the night. He offered no explanations for his desire to be home, his parents didn’t ask.
The next day he returned and hesitantly entered his apartment. There were empty places on his shelves. Books and CDs on the floor. Drawers were left open. His place was a mess. The table still set for 2 persons, the food still on the table, a glass of wine had been spilled and the stains left red dried up marks all over his tablecloth and the floor underneath the table.
Speechless Kevin wandered into the kitchen, where everything had been left behind, as it had been dropped the night before. Nauseous he went to his bedroom. The bed was not made up. There, too, everything had just been left where it fell. He bit his lip. He didn’t want to cry, but this….
He tore the linen of the bed. The ones that Hank and Toby had had sex on. He wanted to throw those away, but mindlessly looked for the washing-bin in the bathroom, where he discovered all his towels and belongings on the floor. Hank had obviously been thorough in his search for his own belongings.
His life, like his home, had become a mess and he didn’t know where to start the clean-up. He sank to the floor, buried his head in his hands and cried. He cried like he hadn’t cried since that terrible night when his father had found out that he was gay and had told him exactly what he thought of Kevin. And although he later apologized for his harshness, Kevin never forgot nor forgave a single word.
He spoke with Hank one more time after that. Hank knew that he his part in this story had not been a good one, so he had interest in keeping quiet, as did Toby. The story became that Kevin broke up with Hank unexpectedly and without reason and that Hank had been fortunate to have a wonderful friend as Toby to fall back on.
Kevin, Hank and Toby never corrected the story. Never talked to eachother again after that night. No one but Kevin, Toby and Hank knew the truth. Although later Hank had tried to salvage at least their friendship, Kevin had slammed the door on their relationship.
For a few moments Scotty is silent, he wraps his arms around his knees. He wants to hold and comfort Kevin, but Kevin has put up this wall, so strong, Scotty can almost touch it.
“And you never told anyone?”
“I was too embarrassed, I guess.” Kevin shrugs.
“You were cheated on. No one would ever blame you….”
“You don’t understand. It didn’t happen to perfect Sarah, who was then happily married to Joe. It didn’t happen to perfect little Kitty who was going so strong with her career and dating men. It didn’t happen to perfect Tommy, who had just met this perfect young girl and was doing everything right. Straight. It didn’t happen to baby Justin who couldn’t do anything wrong.
It happened to me. The gay one. The one who falls in love with other men, instead of women. The one who is not perfect, but flawed. The one who by definition cannot be happy, because he is a failure.”
Scotty is shocked by the hatred and anger that are suddenly on Kevin’s face. For one moment he doesn’t understand what it is about. Nora would never… Nor would Sarah or Kitty or Tommy…. Not even Justin… and slowly he makes the connection…
“This is about your father?” He sees the tears in Kevin’s eyes as he nods. “You think your father would have actually laughed at you for being cheated on?” He is too surprised. A sarcastic smile crosses Kevin’s face.
“No, oh no, he wouldn’t have laughed at me. Mom would have killed him, if he had. No. My father would not have laughed at me. But in all his wisdom, he would make it logical that I cannot be happy. He would have been reasonable about it. You see, in his eyes, I didn’t deserve to be happy. Because I was wrong. Wrong to fall in love with another man, wrong about sleeping with one, wrong to dream about happiness with a man, wrong, wrong, wrong… It would only be natural that my relationship failed.”
Scotty shivers as he can remember his mother standing in her kitchen:
“Scotty, nothing good could ever come from this. It is not right. The fact that you fell in love with a man, is one thing. Acting on such unnatural feelings can never make you happy. You will only know happiness, if you do start to do the right thing.” Yes. He could see what Kevin meant. It would have to be very cold in hell, before he would confide in his mother. because she would see her own theory confirmed, any sign of ‘weakness’ from him, would have reinforced that idea of hers that he was being ‘punished’ for what she called his ‘unnatural’ desires….
Scotty moves closer to Kevin and he puts an arm around Kevin. Kevin looks at him.
“You know, for the longest time, I believed my father was right. That I didn’t deserve happiness. And now I don’t believe that anymore. I love you, Scotty. I really do. I want us to be happy. When we are together, we are perfect.” Scotty looks around. There is almost no one left. He pulls Kevin closer and starts to kiss him. Kevin’s fingers move to the back of Scotty’s head, encouraging him to deepen the kiss even more.. Scotty wants Kevin so much it hurts.
“Let’s go back to the hotel?” Scotty suggests eventually, breathless. Kevin nods. “Let’s forget the past and concentrate on the here and now and on our future. I want to make love to you and make you forget everyone else.” Scotty’s voice is soft and low.
Scotty helps Kevin up. The sun is gone. They slowly walk back. Both in thoughts. Kevin thinking about his dad, Scotty about his mother.
In the faint light Scotty sees Kevin’s face. He looks miserable and lonely. He reaches out and his hand finds Kevin’s. Under the cover of darkness, Kevin lets it happen and, for the first time ever, they walk hand in hand. In Kevin’s eyes Scotty can see his love and suddenly he smiles at Kevin.
“We ARE perfect together.” Scotty states.
END OF PART FOUR