“Did you have a good day with Jamie?” Peter asks me as we sit at the airport waiting for our flight.
“Yeah it was nice to get out and about. I’d kept myself pretty cooped up all week.” I say.
“I worried when I woke up without you. But your note was sweet.” Peter says.
“You looked so fast asleep I didn’t want to wake you up.” I say.
Our flight is called. We can’t sit together which puts me in a grumpy mood, after not being sure about getting back with Peter now I’m committing to it I resent the time apart. I’m still finding it hard to switch gears. I’ve spent so long trying to get him out of my head and heart that letting him back in feels wrong and frightening. I need to push all my conflicted feelings away he needs my attention and support.
We get back to an empty house and it is freezing. I turn on the heat and put the fire on in the main room while Peter dumps our bags in the laundry.
“Are you moving back today or waiting until you see your parents?” I ask.
“I know you want to go slowly but I’m not having a night away from you again. We’ll leave my stuff for now. I can wear your clothes.” Peter says.
“Benefit of having a tall boyfriend again, doubled wardrobe.” I say.
“I think it’s very bad, less reasons for you to be naked.” Peter says.
“Too cold to be naked right now, move closer.” I say pulling Peter towards me.
“Maybe we need to get active.” Peter says pulling me onto the floor and pinning me down.
We wrestle and play fight until we’re naked and sweating. Peter pins me again and starts to tickle me. I’m crying with laughter, unable to move him off me. It is wonderful.
“I give up.” I squeal.
“No, you have to escape.” Peter laughs returning to his torture.
I grab his foot and take my revenge, he swiftly falls off me, trying not to kick me in the head. We lie on our backs next to each other panting and giggling.
“I love you baby.” Peter says and kisses my cheek.
“You are adorable.” I say and return the kiss.
We hug and make out and wrestle some more. Until we’re finally worn out.
“I missed being silly with you.” I say.
“Me too. I love it.” Peter says.
“Let’s go take a bath together.” I say.
“Okay, I’m pretty sweaty.” Peter says.
We run a bath, it’s nice to have the place to ourselves and not worry about being disturbed. I get in and Peter sits between my legs leaning back onto me. I love it.
“This is nice.” I say washing and kissing Peter’s back.
“I can’t believe it’s real.” Peter says.
“Why not baby?” I ask.
“I’d given up hope you’d take me back. Then the other week when you looked after me I realized you still cared but you were with Jay. And now you’re mine.” Peter says leaning back to kiss me.
“I am starving. Shall we order in? I cannot face grocery shopping.” I say.
“We could go out.” Peter says not meaning it.
I sit up and squeeze him tight. We make out in the cooling water and eventually get out wrap and dry each other. Both wanting to take care of the other, me because I know Peter is going through shit right now and him I think because he can again.
Without outside distractions I feel myself settling back into being with Peter very easily. It is a lot less effort than with Jay. In part Peter is not himself right now, he’s a lot quieter and less confident.
We pull on shorts despite the cold. Peter orders food and I start sorting the laundry. I look out the window and see Ray dumping Brian’s clothes on the grass.
“Peter come quick.” I shout.
We burst outside, Peter grabs Ray who is holding a gas can, and pulls him away from brains stuff. I grab the can and move it out of reach.
“What the fuck are you doing?” Peter asks holding the struggling Ray tightly.
“Gary asked me to get rid of Brian’s stuff and get the apartment ready for him coming back.” Ray says as if it’s a reasonable request.
“You can’t do this. You are fucking insane.” I shout and start to gather up Brian’s clothes to take inside.
Peter is still holding Ray, not sure what to do. I don’t know if I should call the police. I’m worried about Brian’s computer and books.
“You have to leave. You cannot come here again.” I say.
“It’s my apartment just as much as Gary’s, if he says I can be here I can.” Ray says.
“The lease is only with Brian.” I say feeling glad that that is true.
“And you can’t steal and destroy his things just because he broke up with your boyfriend. Have you called the police?” Peter asks me.
“Not yet. We should.” I say.
Ray’s face falls, it’s like he suddenly realizes what he is doing and he stops struggling against Peter.
“Take him inside and call Brian. See what he wants to do.” I say.
I gather up the rest of Brian’s things and take them inside. I feel sick and scared.
Peter has Brian on video chat and Ray is crying.
“Yes I’m sure I don’t want the police.” Brian is saying.
“Brian do you mind if I go and check the apartment for damage?” I ask.
“Sure no problem.” Brian says far more calmly than I’d expect.
Everything is fine, well nothing is broken. Brian’s things have been packed into boxes. I have no way to know if anything is missing.
I run back to the house.
“If we hadn’t been here he could have burnt the fucking house down.” Peter is shouting utterly enraged.
Brian is still on the call and Ray is sat quietly.
“Ray when is your flight home?” Brian is asking.
“Sunday. I have to meet Gary on Saturday at the airport.” Ray says.
“Can he stay in the house tonight? I’ll be back in the morning.” Brian says so calmly.
“I don’t trust him. But I’d rather he was in the house than alone in the apartment.” Peter says.
“I have to clean up the apartment before Gary gets back.” Ray says quietly.
“Wait until I’m there.” Brian says.
“Are you sure Brian?” I ask.
“Yes, he won’t do anything else.” Brian says.
Peter is glaring.
“What time do you get back? We have to meet Peter’s parents and I don’t want to leave Ray here alone.” I say.
“I’m due in 10.30.” Brian says.
“Okay. We’ll bring Ray to the airport with us in the morning and he can meet you.” I say.
Peter glowers more. We hang up with Brian.
“I suggest you take yourself to a movie or something and don’t come back until late.” I say to Ray.
He nods and shuffles out.
“Wait leave your apartment key. I don’t trust you there alone and neither does Brian.” Peter says.
Ray puts his key on the side and heads out.
“Fuck me that was scary.” I say.
“He’s a fucking whack job. How did Blondie find him and why was Brian okay with him. Fuck.” Peter exclaims.
“He went to school with Blondie, he’s a reformed bully.” I say.
“Nutjob. He could have killed someone. Fucking dumb idiot.” Peter says letting his anger out.
We both look at each other and sigh. Then the food arrives and we both jump as the doorbell rings.
We share a meal and begin to calm down.
“Might as well eat up, there’s no way we’re fucking tonight. I want to be able to hear him at all times.” Peter says.
“Worried he’ll axe you in your sleep?” I joke.
“That’s it, we’re sleeping in shifts.” Peter says only half joking.
“You are very hot when you get all action man.” I say.
“Oh yeah?” Peter grins.
“What did Brian say when you first told him?” I ask.
“He didn’t seem that surprised. Blondie is a psycho, no wonder he and Aaron got on so well.” Peter says.
“Are you okay?” I ask.
“Yeah, kind of. Without you I could have ended up doing something stupid like Ray. I’d like to think I wouldn’t steal and burn clothes but I did feel pretty helpless. I feel pretty shaken. Fuck that was scary, I could have really hurt Ray I totally lost it.” Peter says.
“Let’s go cuddle.” I say. We move to the sofa and Peter wraps himself around me. We kiss for a moment and Peter snuggles into me and falls asleep. The drama of the day has exhausted him. I hold him and just think about the last few days. I’m worried about tonight and about tomorrow. I don’t know how Peter’s parents will feel about us getting back together. I worry that Peter and his dad will still be fighting.
I move Peter so his head is in my lap and watch TV with the sound low. I’m itching to do some study but don’t want to wake Peter yet.
He’s woken up by Brian calling again.
“Hey guys. I spoke to Blondie. He doesn’t seem sorry at all. If it’s okay with you guys I’ll move over to the house tomorrow. Blondie will be back Saturday, I don’t want to see him.” Brian says.
“Sure. Peter’s parents will be here tomorrow so we can’t help though. All your clothes are here already. You’ll need to talk to Jay about rooms.” I say.
“Thanks. I’m sorry to cause you guys stress.” Brian says.
“Not your fault Blondie is a whack job.” Peter says.
“I shouldn’t have moved him to your place.” Brian says.
“Brian we don’t blame you. Ray is fucking disturbed, it’s not your fault” I say.
“Thanks. I best go, one last night out, I sure need the alcohol.” Brian says.
“Go have fun, don’t miss your flight.” I say.
We spend a quiet night together waiting for Ray to return, too tense to do much else. When he gets in I show him a room and we go to bed. Peter fidgets all night long and keeps us both awake.
We take Ray to the airport with us and dump him on Brian. Then wait for Peter’s parents, their flight is delayed.
“You okay Baby?” I ask as we wait.
“No. Yes. Better having you with me. I hope my Dad doesn’t complain.” Peter says.
“At least your Mom still likes me. Still calls me.” I say.
“Really? That didn’t stop?” Peter asks.
“No. I thought it would after the video but she didn’t give up on us.” I say.
“I’m so happy you told me that. Feels like she was always supporting my happiness despite what my dad wanted.” Peter says.
I squeeze his hand.
“They both love you baby.” I say.
“I love you.” Peter says.
“Here’s your Mom.” I say.
“Hey Mom.” Peter says hugging his mother with one arm and taking her bag with the other.
“Oh how lovely to see you Alexander, both my boys back together?” Peter’s Mom asks.
“Yeah since last weekend.” Peter says.
“Well I’m glad, very, very pleased for you both.” She says.
“Where’s dad?” Peter asks.
“He’s not coming. I will explain later. Let’s go to your apartment and talk.” Peter’s mom says.
We drive back making small talk about spring break. I can tell Peter is just as concerned as I am. I make coffee while Peter and his Mom sit down. It’s my first time seeing his place. I feel strange, not knowing where things are, not being able to picture how he lived his life here.
“Your father wanted us to tell you this together but as usual he only thought of himself when he tried to make you come home early. I’m sorry my love but we’re getting divorced.” Peter’s Mom says shocking us both.
I hand out drinks and sit quietly, wondering if I should be here at all.
“So he wasn’t wanting me to come back because of the Aaron mess?” Peter asks.
“No, that is why I am here alone. Why didn’t you come to me? Why didn’t you tell me? Someone at my firm could have handled it.” She exclaims.
“I didn’t even think of that. It was better this way, I’d have hated you to be caught up in it. I don’t understand what that has to do with Dad though.” Peter says.
“You father has been having a long term affair with Aaron’s mother. I caught him naked video chatting with her. He confessed everything. We were going to tell you together then Aarons father filled me in on the extent that Aaron had mistreated you this semester. He was incredibly ashamed at what Aaron had done and even more so that his wife had pushed your father into forcing the two of you to live together. He put his mistress’s happiness above your safety and I will never forgive him for that. You know I hated the idea of you living with Aaron, I never trusted him. That your father convinced me he had changed just to impress his bit on the side makes me feel sick and such a bad mother.” Peter’s Mom says choking back tears.
Peter and I are in shock.
“You are not a bad Mom. He’s a pathetic father and husband. We don’t need him.” Peter says quietly and hugs his mom.
I join their hug.
“If there is anything we can do to make it easier for you just say.” I say.
“Seeing you two back together is more than enough for me. Peter has never been as happy as he was with you. My soon to be ex-husband is moving out while I’m here. Once I pieced everything together I decided you would much rather see me alone and I want everything of his gone as soon as possible. This was the best for me.” She says sounding more determined.
“You should put yourself first.” I say.
“You should Mom. I don’t want to see him again.” Peter says.
I wince inside, Peter’s dad was so nice when we first met but a dick last time. Man no wonder he wanted us to go to Aaron’s for dinner that time, he wanted to see his girlfriend.
“You will in time son and that’s okay with me, I’ll never complain about you seeing him.” She says.
“He is a shit for what he’s done to us.” Peter says.
“Quite. Now I have a second reason for being here. Because of all this upset I’m going to be taking an extended break from work. I know you planned to work this summer but I think we should take a trip together. You need to take breaks while you’re young.” She says.
“That sounds nice mom, I’d like that. I’ll need to see if I can get my job back next semester if I don’t work the summer though.” Peter says.
“I’m sure you can work something out. Now you two have reunited maybe we could time our trip to meet Alexander in some of the places he’s going.” She says.
“I’d love that. I’d have to work out the places I get the most time off. I’d love you both to come to a premiere with me.” I say.
Peter looks at me and smiles.
“That would be amazing, much better than last summer.” Peter says.
“You seem remarkably together, already making plans. I was a mess for ages after Peter and I split, you’ve been married more than 20 years. How do you do it?” I ask.
“I was prepared. I’ve been unhappy since Peter left for school, he left a big gap at home and after thanksgiving I realized I no longer liked my husband very much. Whilst the affair was a huge betrayal it was a relief to have a concrete reason for divorce.” She says.
“Oh mom I thought it was just a rough patch. I’m sorry you were unhappy.” Peter says.
“Look I don’t regret my marriage, we had many happy years and I got you out of it. I’m sad your father couldn’t be honest with me and end things rather than look elsewhere. But I’m determined not to dwell on the past. I’m moving forward.” She says firmly.
After getting the big news out of the way we have a nice day together, a good lunch and visit some galleries.
Before going to dinner I pull Peter aside.
“Drop me at home so I can deal with Brian and Ray and you can have some time alone with your mom.” I say.
“Okay. I don’t want to be apart from you but I think Mom and I should stay at my place tonight. Then we can get on with packing up my stuff tomorrow. I don’t want my mom stepping into the Brian, Ray, Blondie situation.” Peter says.
“Okay. I need to help Jay move his stuff too. I’ll miss you.” I say.