The One that was Lost
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by TC Blue
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
Description: Elliot is a player until a traumatic evening sends him running a friend's errand to Boston, where he meets up with Jamie. Jamie's a former short-term lover, and the two get along well enough, but Elliot doesn't want a relationship. Jamie and Elliot end up being friends who are very attracted to each other, separated by distance. Jamie likes Elliot and thinks they could have some fun together, right up until he realizes he wants something more, but Jamie tells himself it will never work. After they spend a night making love, the intensity of which scares Elliot enough to run away, Jamie tries to put Elliot behind him. When Elliot realizes what he's given up, he goes looking to get Jamie back, but will Jamie make it easy on him?
eBook Publisher: Torquere Press/Top Shelf, 2009 http://www.torquerepress.com
eBookwise Release Date: August 2009
55 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [224 KB]
Reading time: 150-210 min.
"So you're the new sucker, huh?" Elliot said, pitching his voice low enough that Jim wouldn't hear. Of course, he could probably bellow the question without having his current roommate notice, the guy was so unaware of anything besides that fucking Michael who'd broken Jim's heart. For fuck's sake, didn't Jim have any dignity at all? Sure, Michael was back for a visit--and looking nothing like the reedy, pasty, moping man Elliot remembered--but he'd brought his boyfriend. That should have at least had Jim trying to seem less like ... a moron, Elliot supposed.
Jim was just staring at Michael, even though he was obviously trying not to look like it ... and fuck if Michael wasn't staring back, though the man was much better at hiding it than Jim was. And meanwhile, Michael's boyfriend was just standing there, acting like he didn't see, didn't know ... which Elliot figured meant the big, studly moron was in denial.
Laughter wasn't the response Elliot had been expecting. In fact, he'd been hoping the boyfriend--Jamie, he reminded himself--would get offended. Possibly grab Jim's "Mike" and get the hell out of Trish and Chandra's apartment. That would have been perfect, actually. But it didn't happen, wouldn't happen, because Jamie laughed and shook his head.
"I'm guessing that's your way of asking about me and Michael," the man said, his blue eyes sparkling merrily. How could anyone be that fucking casual when their lover--presumably monogamous lover, which just made Elliot cringe--was paying so much attention to someone else? "It's really not any of your business," Jamie said, "but Michael and I aren't together. Or not in the way that you seem to think."
Elliot snorted. "Yeah, right." But for whatever reason, he wasn't at all surprised when Jamie took his arm and pulled him away from the others, settling in the far corner of the girls' living room. "Is this the part where you tell me that you're not fucking him? Because I may be younger than you ... much younger than you. But I'm not stupid."
Jamie rolled his eyes, which was surprising. "Depends," Jamie said. "Is this the part where you try to convince me that you're fucking Jim? Be warned, though. I already know you're not."
The worst part was, it was the truth. He really wasn't fucking Jim. Or being fucked by Jim. Whichever. There was nothing even remotely sexual going on between him and the guy he lived with, which pretty much sucked beyond the telling of it.
Oh, he wasn't in love or anything; Elliot knew that much. But he wouldn't have minded the occasional night or two. Jim was fucking gorgeous. Tall, built, funny, smart ... and still saw Elliot as some sort of annoying little-brother type. "We're not fucking," Elliot said. "We're friends."
Jamie smiled at him then, a real smile, and Elliot thought it was because he'd been honest. Of course, Elliot also thought it made Jamie even better looking than he'd already been, what with the way those azure eyes were shining. "But you want to be," Jamie said smugly, and Elliot let out one short, sharp puff of air.
"Well, duh," he said. "I mean, have you even looked at him? Yeah, I want us to be fucking. Just like you want to be fucking Mike." Because he'd just realized that the way Jamie watched Michael wasn't that "I can't wait to get out of here and naked" kind of look. It was the "God, please let me have this" look that Elliot tried to convince himself he'd never worn. "Shit," he said a moment later, looking into Jamie's eyes and noticing that he and Jamie were almost the exact same height, "Sorry, man. I just ... we all figured that Michael coming back and bringing someone with him meant he was ... y'know. My bad."
If he hadn't been watching so closely, Elliot thought he would have missed the small, pained smile that twitched Jamie's lips. But he was watching, so when he saw it, he pretended he hadn't. He didn't know the guy, but there was no point in making Jamie feel worse. Not when that bastard Mike had obviously hurt this pretty man just as much as he'd hurt Jim. And, huh. He thought Jamie was pretty, now that he knew Jamie wasn't responsible for any of Jim's pain. Go figure.
"Jim still loves him?" Jamie asked. Okay. Maybe Jamie wasn't as smart as Elliot had thought. He couldn't be, if he was even asking that. "By which I mean," Jamie went on, and Elliot started blushing about halfway into the man's next words, "He lives with you and hasn't given in to temptation, so he must still love Michael. Unless he's been dating other guys because he doesn't want to screw up another friendship."
And that was just wrong. Wrong and fucking rude. "Hey!" Elliot started to say, but then Jamie was shaking his head and groaning in a way that Elliot knew was meant as an apology.
"No, no. That came out all wrong. I..." Jamie shrugged, and somehow it looked sheepish. "I know what happened, Elliot. From Michael's side, anyway, and he took all the blame for how things ended. Or didn't end," he added, gazing toward the girls and Jim and Michael. "What I meant was ... Christ. I should be better at this. I meant ... even if Jim wants you, he sees you as a friend, and the last time he let being friends turn into something more, it went badly. So even if he were ready, willing and able to jump into another ... relationship ... it wouldn't be with someone he calls a friend. Not after what happened the last time. No matter how attractive he might find you."
It was a perspective Elliot hadn't considered before, mostly because it hadn't occurred to him, and while he wanted to argue, he really couldn't. In fact, there was just something about Jamie that had Elliot speaking the truth, as he understood it.
"Jim wouldn't be fucking me, anyway. Even if he'd never met Mike." Elliot sighed. "He used to be all hot and heavy with my brother. It got them kicked out of town, even. So Jim's known me pretty much all my life, and ... just because I turned out being gay, that doesn't mean he sees me as anything other than Trav's kid brother, you know?" He grinned quickly. "And that's one hell of a shame, because I've been told I'm a damned good fuck. It wouldn't be a 'relationship,' though. I don't do those. Too much work; not enough fun."
Just like that, Jamie was laughing, and if Elliot hadn't seen the sympathy and understanding in Jamie's eyes, he would have been incredibly pissed off ... and convinced that Michael's friend was an enormous jackass.
As it was, Elliot could only join in the chuckles, odd as it seemed even to him. Still, there came a point at which denying the truth pushed a man beyond being a dreamer and right into the ranks of the pathetic. He would never be pathetic, Elliot promised himself. Not like Jim ... and apparently Michael, based upon the few things Jamie told him then.