Friday evening, Nora’s kitchen.
It still felt strange to Jason to be in the Walker kitchen, no longer as Kevin’s boyfriend, but as Robert’s brother and Kitty’s brother-in-law. As usual he watched in awe how easily Nora seemed to handle the organization of a Walker-family meeting. Especially since Walker-dinners had these devices built in that would cause a normal conversation to explode in everyone’s faces. He sighed, wondering how sinful it would be to come up with some lame excuse to get out of here.
Jason seriously wished he had not come here. Why did he let Robert talk him into this? He had no desire to meet the Walkers and especially not Kevin and Scotty. After their last meeting, a month ago, and his meeting with Chad, last night, Jason felt he had successfully gotten over Kevin and he saw no reason in opening old wounds.
But Robert had insisted. Jason should go and show his face. He was not a stranger to the Walker-clan and Kevin would just have to deal with seeing his ex, who was after all also Robert’s brother. Jason could not escape the thought that his brother seemed to have more trouble in dealing with Kevin and him breaking up, than Jason had himself. Almost as if Kevin had personally insulted Robert by breaking up with Jason.
So here he was, wishing he was anywhere but here. Around him people were talking, but he was not listening. Kitty’s voice could clearly be heard as she, once again, discussed the current status of politics. Robert tried to get his own voice in while Sarah and Tommy were poking fun at the both of them.
“Hey, sleepy head! Take care of the dishes will ya.” He suddenly heard Justin say. He quickly looked up, but Justin wasn’t talking to him, but Sarah.
“Has any of you heard from Kevin?” Nora asked. “I left a message on his answering machine, asking if he and Scotty were coming tonight, but he didn’t call back.”
“Wow, leaving messages and not replying. One wonders where Kevin would have picked up such a bad habit.” Tommy teased as he exchanged looks with Sarah, who gave him one of her big grins as Jason felt a blush come to his cheeks. Kitty and Robert looked annoyed while Nora added fuel to the flames by, absent-mindedly, saying:
“Tommy, you know that Kevin has asked you to at least be polite to Jason.”
Jason smiled courageously. He was amongst the Walkers now, and ofcourse that meant that they would be on Kevin’s side. Fickle as the Walkers can be, the subject quickly changes and Jason was left alone again with this thoughts. For a moment he allowed his mind to wander to Chad. Their night together had been incredible. Jason always thought that Kevin had been exaggerating when he talked about Chad’s capacities between the sheets, but he knew now that was not the case.
He longed to feel Chad’s strong arms around him again. He shuddered. He shouldn’t be thinking of Chad. He should forget last night. Just another one-night-thingy like he had so many times before. Meaningless. Emotionless. Careless. Unimportant. But if he closed his eyes for just 2 seconds he could feel Chad stubbles scratching his belly as lips latched on to his skin….. He shook his head. Forget it, Jason!!!
Friday night, Kevin and Scotty’s loft
“Are you ready?” Kevin asked.
“No, but let’s get it over with.” Scotty’s remark was followed by a gentle smile, that showed that he wasn’t serious. “Besides, why so early? We still have enough time.”
“We have to pick up someone.” Kevin smiled mysteriously.
They locked up and took the elevator down. Halfway Kevin said, turning to Scotty:
“Shall we take the Ranchero?”
“Wh… What?! Why?!” came Scotty’s shocked reply.
“ Oh, don’t worry. We’ll go with my car, but the look on your face was worth it. Priceless.” Kevin laughed.
“Tease!” Scotty scolded him, with a smile on his face. “You’ll pay for this.” And, paying no attention to Kevin’s protest, he started to kiss him.
Friday night, Nora’s kitchen.
“That was Kevin. He and Scotty are on their way. They will be here in 10 minutes, but they bring a guest. I am curious.” Nora said as she came back into the kitchen. At her request Jason picked up the salad and brought it to the dinner-table, he then quickly disappeared into the garden. With no one around him, he indulged in a few moments of reminiscing about Chad. He thought of the warm mouth that had covered his. The deep voice close to his ear.
He sighed. He should stop thinking about it. He remained where he was, just a little longer, enjoying the view of the flowers. Then he regretfully left the peaceful place he’d found to return to the noise and crazyness inside. And to his luck, or misfortune, whichever you chose, Jason walked in, just in time to hear Paige yell.
“Uncle Scotty!!!” She slid off the couch and ran into the arms of the young man, who caught her and smiled at her. Kevin was just in time to catch Cooper and immediately Cooper’s own priorities come to light.
“About time you got here. I’m hungry.” He pouted.
“Phew, and here I was, thinking you were happy to see me.” Kevin laughed. Recognizing he might lose a source of pocket-money Cooper immediately replied:
“I am.... I’m also hungry.”
Scotty smiled as he was greeted by Nora, Sarah, Tommy, Julia and Justin in the cheerful way, that made it obvious that he accepted in the family. Kitty’s greeting was stiffer and with a quick look at Jason. Robert ignored Scotty altogether and Scotty didn’t seem to care about it.
Why did Robert have to take this so hard? He never liked Kevin, he never liked their relationship, but now that they has split up he didn’t like seeing Kevin with someone else either. Was Kevin supposed to be miserable for the rest of his life or something?
Jason took a long look at Kevin. God, Kevin looked good. His smile was ready and genuine. He cuddled with Paige and hugged his mother. He was in a terrific shape. Lost some weight, but also gained a bit of muscles. Jason’s jaw nearly dropped to the floor when he saw Kevin pour himself some fruitjuice. He felt more relieved when he saw Kevin hand over the glass to Scotty and take some wine for himself. Good, the world made sense again.
Only then, did he pay attention to the guest, who, so far, had not been in his field of vision. But now he saw who it was and he stopped breathing for a few seconds. Chad!!! What on Earth was he doing here?! Chad greeted Nora with courtesy and she was obviously impressed. Kevin grinned as he introduced Chad to her.
“This is Chad Berry, the actor, mom. I would sometimes run into him. Don’t know if you remembered, really, I might have dropped his name once or twice, …occasionally …”
“More than occasionally, kid-brother.” Sarah grinned as she shook Chad’s hand.
“We all squeezed as much info from you as was possible.” Julia admitted.
“Well, in that case, I’m happy you kept everything so well to yourselves.” Chad laughed, his voice once again sending a shiver down Jason’s spine.
“Trust me, bro. That alone is a miracle in this family.” Justin confirmed.
Jason had feared the rest of the night would be an ultimate disaster, sitting between Kevin and Robert, with across from him Chad, nicely tucked between Scotty and Kitty. But, quickly, his mood changed. Kevin and Chad were nice and caring to each other, without displaying an ounce of regret about their split up. Scotty and Robert had a little debate about politics, slightly pushed by Kevin and Chad
Although the debate had been intense, somehow it had shifted his feelings for Scotty. He had sort of imagined Scotty to be more a drama-queen type, but his calmness and rational had surprised Jason. The entire conversation had been polite, with no quips, no attacks, but a strong yet respectful other opinion and Robert and Scotty ended up agreeing that they disagreed. When Jason looked at Robert, he saw that the debate had not only changed his opinion of Scotty, but also Robert’s.
When he looked at Kevin he could hardly suppress a smile. Kevin nearly beamed with joy and pride at how Scotty had stood his ground and had handled Robert. Kevin displayed a tenderness he wouldn’t often show and… Jason caught Chad’s look, he had been looking at Kevin as well and when he saw Jason looking at him, he rolled his eyes, to show how funny it was to see Kevin so in awe and so oblivious to the fact that others could see it. Jason smiled in return. He got the message.
The evening went without a hitch after that. The conversations went fast and the topics changed at lightspeed, but eventually Kevin decided to show Chad the rest of the house and Scotty and Jason came along. Once in the garden, close to the pool, Kevin turned to Chad and suddenly said:
“Ooh, look at the time… Didn’t you say you had to get up early tomorrow?”
For a few seconds Chad was surprised but then he replied:
“Yes, that is right.”
“Jason? I know it is a bit inconvenient for you, but could you perhaps bring Chad home? It is a huge detour for us. From here it is shorter. ”
Stunned Jason looked at Chad. He wanted to refuse, but Chad’s blue eyes looked him with desire and longing and … in his mind he could once again feel the stubbles on his belly.
“It’s not inconvenient.” He stammered, staring at his shoes, suddenly afraid he might give himself away… But when he looked up again, he caught the smile that played around Scotty’s lips, the meaningful looks passing between Chad and Kevin and he understood…
“You knew? About Chad and me?” he asked directly. Kevin, no liar, nodded.
“This little excuse provides you both with a cover.” He said. “Take it.” Kevin advised.
And now they were in front of Chad’s house and Jason was at a loss. He had to say goodbye and he didn’t want to. Not knowing what to do, he was not surprised when Chad took the lead:
“You left without saying goodbye.” he said quietly. “I really would have loved it to have breakfast with you.”
“I.. I…I couldn’t stay.” Jason stammered, suddenly feeling bad because Chad sounded so hurt.
“Why not? I thought you liked me? Don’t you? Was I just a one-night-affair? Just… sex?” Chad’s sadness was suddenly so tangible. Jason shook his head. He wanted to say ‘no’, but somehow the sound didn’t leave his mouth. He knew that Chad was entitled to an explanation for his behavior and Jason found the courage to confess:
“I didn’t know what to do. I really like you, but… I wasn’t sure how you felt about me. I didn’t want to hear you say that I was just a one-night-thing, but I cannot offer more either…. You see, starting next week, I’m transferred to a congregation in New York. I took it because I needed some space between myself and Robert, Kevin, the Walkers, the campaign and LA in general… I had not expected to meet you… or to like you as I do…”
“So, you do like me? But you are leaving for New York, which is why you walked away?”
“Right.” Jason felt even more miserable. Chad nodded that he understood.
“Well, that IS inconvenient… You see. I really, really like you too, but, like you, I wouldn’t have been able to offer anymore either, because I’m leaving Los Angeles.”
“Where are you going then?” Jason asked curiously.
“I’ve been offered a part in a play…. In New York. I’m leaving in a few days.
For one moment Jason thought he would go mad.
“You? You’re heading for New York?”
“And I don’t know that many people there….” Chad said with a smile, letting the suggestion hang in the air between them.
“So maybe…..” Jason picked up on the suggestion.
“Yeah, maybe we should.” Chad’s voice was soft and low as he moved closer to Jason and kissed him…. Not frantically and bruising, like last night, but tender and gently. Jason’s lips parted. Chad caressed Jason’s cheek with his thumb.
“Come inside?... Stay tonight. Wake up in my arms. Have breakfast with me. Please.” He begged, his lips against Jason’s. “Please say yes.” This time Chad kissed the little spot right under Jason’s ear. Jason’s fingers are in Chad’s hair as he murmured.
This time, their love making was more sensual, more gentle, with more tenderness than Jason had ever dared to dream of. This time Chad took his time, time to kiss Jason’s lips, time to caress his body, time to explore what reactions a certain touch would provoke, time to laugh when Jason shivered under his hands, time to gaze in Jason’s eyes and time to slowly lay down on his back and take Jason on top of him and let Jason do some exploring of his own.
Chad’s body reacted to Jason’s lips and fingertips, moaning as he pushed Jason’s head further down his body, desiring to feel Jason’s mouth on him. Jason smiled and complied with the unspoken demand.
“Oh.” Was about all Chad could say, tilting his head back, pushing his lower body closer to Jason’s face. It is only when Chad was very close to coming that Jason stopped abruptly, much to Chad's dismay.
Jason brought his lips close to Chad’s ear and whispered something. Chad smiled and pointed to the third drawer of the night-stand. Chad believed that Jason would take him this time, but Jason had another plan. And it didn’t take long until, to Chad’s excitement, Jason lowered his body and felt how Chad penetrated him. Jason noticed how Chad kept a close eye on Jason’s reactions, how Chad tried not to move until the initial look of discomfort disappeared and when Jason carefully started to move, Chad picked up on the rhythm.
“This so good.” He heard Chad whisper. ”So good. Please don’t stop. Please….” He pushed himself up, it took Jason’s breath away and he was so close to coming. He touched himself carefully. It had been so long ago since he had actually done this. He couldn’t even recall if he had done this with Kevin. His grip became firmer, but he couldn’t bring himself to come, not until he felt Chad’s hand take over and he was no longer in control.
Knowing that Chad was on him and inside him, was more than Jason could handle. Chad’s firm touch took him over the edge and caused a chain-reaction as, now, Chad came as well. He sank into Chad's arms, feeling Chad slip from his body, the sticky wetness of his own release between them. His lips were in touch with Chad's skin, small kisses along Chad's jaw. Chad's fingers on his back, soothing and gentle.
Jason closed his eyes. He could hear Chad's heart beat and it was so calming. Chad's chest went up and down with a steadier rhythm now and Jason relaxed. He rolled off Chad. On his side, looking at Chad, he realized he was actually very happy. Chad wrapped his arm around him and pulled him closer and with head against Chad's shoulder Jason fell asleep.
"Jason..... Jason... wake up." Chad's voice was soft and gentle and Jason wasn't sure if he was still in a beautiful dream or really waking up. A hand caressed his back taking the sheets down his body. A mouth kissed his shoulder, coming closer to this hear and he heard Chad's voice rumble:
"Breakfast is ready, love, so move your ass, or your coffee will be cold." His lips covered Jason's and Jason really woke up.
He wrapped his arms around Chad's neck and replied whole-heartedly to the kiss. Chad released him and after one more warning he left the bedroom. Jason quickly followed him to the kitchen, where they had breakfast together. Jason was surprised by how familiar it felt to just be with Chad and enjoy his company.
But all good things had to come to an end and Jason had to be in church and Chad had his own schedule for that day. After a quick shower, Jason felt ready to take on the day and he knew he had to leave Chad. Reluctantly Chad walked with him to his car. With his thumbs in his pockets, Chad shyly admitted:
"I'll miss you. It felt good to be with you." And to Jason amazement, a blush appeared on Chad's cheeks. Jason smiled as he looked amongst his papers and gave Chad a piece of paper.
“My address in New York. My brother used to have an apartment there. I took it.”
“You have an apartment? I have to make do with a hotel-room for the time being.” Chad complained.
“Wellllllll, I do have a guestroom?” Jason replied, caught somewhere between not daring to assume, wanting to ask and considering what he was suggestion. Chad raised an eyebrow. “The guest-room is right next to master-bedroom and it is spacious. We will both be very busy and I think, that if we do have time off together, we will be hardly in each other’s way….” Jason smiled seductively.
“Hard, yes. In each other’s way, no.” Chad grinned. “I’m leaving next Saturday.”
“Next Friday. I will be waiting for you.” Jason said breathlessly. “I’d love to see you this week, too, if…..”
“I’m sorry. I have a million things to do before I leave. And you too, I assume.” Chad said carefully, Jason nodded. Silly of him to think….. “Can I call you?” Chad asked. And somehow the idea of that sounded exciting too. “I can’t promise you anything. But sometimes between shoots I have time and privacy and I can call…. If you want me to.” Jason nodded, this is what he wanted.
One more kiss and Jason knew he had to leave. He watched his new lover in the rearview mirror and as he drove away he longed strongly to just turn around and return to him, but at the same time there was the anticipation for next weekend. The early sun warmed the day, the birds were everywhere, the flowers seemed more radiant than ever and to Jason it felt as if the whole world, including himself, had come to life again.