After Alexander left things went back to normal. I did my best to put him out of my mind. I concentrated on work, trying to get ahead before I go on my book tour. And on Jorge. I love him so much. I loved how he stood up for me at the dinner party.
It’s not all smooth. He won’t move in with me and I hate waking up alone so much. Still he’s in my bed right now. Today is my last day at work, I have a week off then some TV interviews the week after before I head off on tour.
I do worry a little about being away on tour. I will come back as often as possible and Jorge will fly out a few times. It isn’t forever just 2 months but I am always going to be wary of anything long distance.
I smile as Jorge begins to stir. I love to watch him while he is here.
“Hey gorgeous.” I say.
“Morning big guy.” Jorge says sleepily.
I run my hands over his little sexy body. I love it.
“I can’t wait for today to be over and to have a whole weekend of you.” I say and kiss him gently.
“Did you forget I go to Seattle tonight?” Jorge says.
“I did. Did I know at all? What’s in Seattle?” I ask.
“It’s the west regional round for science Olympiad, St Michaels dropped out and we got their spot. I told you Monday.” Jorge says.
“Oh wow. I’m sorry I totally don’t remember. I’d love to cheer them on, shall I see if I can get a flight for the morning?” I ask.
“No I don’t like them seeing us together outside of class.” Jorge says.
I’m disappointed both that he doesn’t want me there and that I won’t be there. All the team are in my afterschool program and I was there for the local rounds.
“Do you have time now?” I ask kissing his shoulders and back.
“No I have to go, I’m already late waking. You know that.” Jorge says.
I get out of bed to make coffee while Jorge showers. I like to take care of him while he is here.
After work Felix joins me and my colleagues for my leaving drinks as Brandon has gone to Seattle as another chaperone.
“I totally forgot they were going, actually don’t remember it being mentioned at all.” I say to Felix.
“I didn’t know until Wednesday. I was surprised I wasn’t hit up for last minute fundraising.” Felix says.
“They kids didn’t ask for a revision session yesterday like they did before the other rounds.” I say.
“Ah kids are fickle. Let us drink and enjoy being off the hook for the weekend.” Felix says.
“Yeah like you’re even window shopping.” I say.
“Meh, maybe. Though with every excuse that stops us setting a date I believe more strongly that there will be no wedding.” Felix says.
“You’ve got one foot out the door ready to run back east.” I say.
“Yeah. I need to cut the cord but I love him and he’s great company and if I end it Jamie is still married to Brian.” Felix says.
“Happily, blissfully married. Doesn’t stop Jamie being your friend.” I say.
“I know he loves Brian and they are perfect for each other. I still miss him.” Felix says.
“I understand that.” I say quietly.
“You and Jorge are great together. He’s crazy about you. You two are in it for the long haul.” Felix says.
“I hope so, given how bad my luck was last time I was single.” I say laughing.
We drink and dance the night away.
The next morning I skip my run and sleep late. I’m at a complete loose end without Jorge. I had planned a bunch of stuff for us to do. I head out to the farmers market. As I’m picking out some vegetables I feel a tap on my shoulder. It’s Alexander. He pulls me into a hug and I can’t stop grinning.
“Why are you here?” I ask.
“I moved here a few weeks ago.” Alexander says.
“Why didn’t you call me?” I ask.
“I was hoping to run into you.” Alexander says.
“Stalker.” I laugh.
“But not a sperm stealing one.” Alexander laughs back.
“Shame you were so good at getting it out of me.” I say.
“You have a boyfriend.” Alexander says kind of shocked.
“He’s in Seattle. Why didn’t you call? I missed you so much.” I say.
“Seattle for good?” Alexander asks.
“No, nothing is wrong he’s just there for the weekend with school.” I say.
“So want to come see my new place when you’re done shopping?” Alexander asks.
“Of course. Where is it?” I ask.
“A couple of blocks from you.” Alexander says making me smile. Finally, finally we’re going to be friends.
We walk round the market together and he takes my hand as we move between the stalls shopping and chatting. I’m not mad at him for not calling. I’m excited to have him back in my life.
We finish up shopping and head to our cars. He hugs me.
“I love you, see you in a few minutes.” I say the words falling out.
“I love you too.” Alexander says kissing my cheek.
I drive home, put away my shopping and smile to myself. I text Jorge to wish him luck and let him know where I am. I look at the table and remember Alexander’s face as he saw the rings. Then I remember he left his actual wedding ring here. I fish it out the drawer and head off.
Alexander’s place is beautiful, he has a great view of the ocean. We stand outside just looking at it for a while.
“I’m excited to show you my place. You’re the first one to see it.” Alexander says.
“You’ve not had the others round?” I ask.
“Not yet, I only just got it the way I want it.” Alexander says.
“You still could have called.” I say pushing it.
“I promised the others I wouldn’t. They kind of told me to keep away from you, not mess up you and Jorge.” Alexander says.
“You guys all think I’d cheat with you and fuck up what I have, that I have no self-control and that you are better than Jorge?” I complain.
“No. I don’t know. You saying that makes it sound like you think we all hate you.” Alexander says.
“It’s how it feels sometimes. Always leaving me out.” I say.
“I’m left out a lot too. I think we both lost out on invites these last few years. Them not wanting to offend either of us.” Alexander says.
“Is that why I didn’t get a wedding invite?” I ask.
“What? You came though and you got me a gift unlike the rest of our friends.” Alexander says.
“I came as Tom’s plus one. He made me, told me it was the only way to get you out of my head. The others didn’t get you anything? After you were so generous to them? What shits.” I say.
“It’s not like I needed anything. Although I loved the restaurant gift certificate, we used it the day before the honeymoon when things were still good. I’m sorry I didn’t get a thank you note done, that sort of thing got derailed.” Alexander says.
“How are you doing?” I ask. Finally remembering it’s not all about me.
“Better. A whole lot better now all the legal stuff is signed, Cindy has wound down her campaign and Eric is back in rehab.” Alexander says.
“Here you left this at mine last time.” I say.
“Gross ugly thing.” Alexander says.
“So show me this beautiful house. You had to get one bigger than mine.” I joke.
“I didn’t care about the size I just loved the view.” Alexander says.
He shows me round and we end up in the main room starring at two large photographs he’s had framed. One of each of us nude from behind that we took of each other on the island. Our heads turned so it looks like we’re looking at each other.
“We were hot.” I say.
“You still are the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen.” Alexander says.
“You’re looking pretty great yourself.” I say.
“Still so charming.” Alexander says.
“I have a reservation for a new seafood place tonight, made it before I knew Jorge was going away. What to come in his place?” I ask.
“Yes please. I’m really enjoying catching up.” Alexander says.
We sit and chat for a good while on his deck enjoying some sunshine.
“I need to go home shower and change.” I say.
“You can borrow something if you want. I think you look fine though.” Alexander says.
“It’s not far, I’ll be 20minutes.” I say.
Alexander walks me to my car and hugs me.
“I’m not used to all this public affection. It’s nice.” I say.
“What? A couple of hugs?” Alexander says.
“And holding hands. You date teachers and professors enough you forget what it’s like.” I say.
“You deserve better. You shouldn’t be anyone’s secret. You should be shown off everywhere. I want to fuck you in the street to make up for it” Alexander says.
“Stop it I might just let you.” I say and head home.
I try and call Jorge on the way home but no answer, I let him know I’m going out for dinner and I’ll call later.
I love how Alexander makes me feel good about myself. How he makes me smile and feel like myself.
I shower and change quickly when I get back to Alexander’s place he’s ready to go. We drive up the coast not talking too much just enjoying the view.
We get a table outside and Alexander begins ordering half the menu.
“I’m sorry if I went too far earlier. I find it hard to be around you without hugging you or holding your hand, it’s just weird to not be touching you.” Alexander says.
“It’s okay. I liked it and encouraged it. You didn’t cross the line, you can’t help it if you’re the only guy in the world who can’t resist me.” I say only half joking.
We laugh and move on to safer topics we talk books and music, we’ve been to some of the same tours and our reading lists are near identical. We’re having a lovely time it is like the last 5 years didn’t happen.
We are debating having dessert when Alexander abruptly stops talking.
“What’s up?” I ask.
“Jorge and Brandon just went inside. They looked to be on a date.” Alexander says.
“No! He’s in Seattle.” I exclaim.
“I’m so sorry.” Alexander says.
I get out my phone and text Jorge “Seattle looks a lot like California from here.”
“Are you going to confront him?” Alexander asks.
I nod and push through the door. I feel sick.
“Oh shit.” Brandon says as I approach.
“Plane delayed so you thought you’d leave the kids behind and take my friends fiancé out for dinner.” I spit.
“Shit.” Jorge says looking white.
“Why?” I ask quietly trying to hold it together.
“Don’t make a scene. I’ll come outside.” Jorge says.
He follows me out and we sit on a wall by the parking lot. I’m shaking. I don’t know if it’s anger or fear.
“How long has it been going on?” I ask.
“Since that stupid dinner when we met.” Jorge says quietly.
“Holy fuck that is months ago. Why string me along so long if you wanted him?” I ask.
“I didn’t know what I wanted, neither did Brandon.” Jorge says weakly.
“Why wasn’t I enough? I love you so much, I thought we had a future.” I say totally distraught.
“You’re just not real. You are literally from the pages of a magazine. Too much to live up to.” Jorge says.
“I loved you. You constantly made me feel like I had to work to make you happy and now you say I was the problem. Fuck you Jorge.” I say and walk away.
I feel Alexander’s hand on my back to steady me. I feel like shit. My world has caved in again.
“Let’s get you home.” Alexander says.
“I need to call Felix.” I say.
“Do it in the car, I’ll drive.” Alexander says.
“Jorge and Brandon have been having an affair since that shitty dinner.” I blurt it straight out.
“Shit. That’s what it was. Are you okay?” Felix asks.
“Yeah, I was out with Alexander for dinner and he spotted them. He’s taking me home.” I say.
“Are you two fucking?” Felix asks.
“No! We ran into each other earlier, it was just dinner.” I say.
“Just checking.” Felix laughs.
“Are you okay, you sound fine?” I ask.
“Yes, I’m free to go back east. I’ll be mad and upset later I’m sure. |Fuck I’m sorry I thought there was maybe someone I had no idea it was Jorge.” Felix says.
“I had no idea. Explains why he wouldn’t move in.” I say.
“I’m so sorry, I know you really loved him. “ Felix says.
“I’ll be okay. What’s one more rejection? I’m resigned to being single forever.” I say.
“He’s out there. Or rather he’s right there in the car with you.” Felix says.
“You’ll find someone too.” I say.
“I’m looking forward to being single for a while.” Felix says.
Alexander leans over to squeeze my leg at some lights. I lean back and let the tears flow. I can’t believe he was cheating for so long. I thought things were great, not perfect but good enough. I guess I’m just a poor judge. Karma for my own cheating.
Why couldn’t he have been honest and tell me he found someone he liked better.
“Can you stay a while?” I ask Alexander as he pulls up at the house.
“I’m hardly going to leave you like this. Of course I’m coming in and I’ll stay as long as you need me.” Alexander says.
“Hey I’m single now, you don’t need to worry about inappropriate touching.” I say laughing.
“Ah baby I just want to take you in my arms and take away the pain. Jorge is a fool.” Alexander says.
“Was it Bobbie who told you to stay away?” I ask suddenly.
“Yes, why?” Alexander asks.
“I bet he knew. He had to.” I say quietly.
“Why would he warn me off if he knew?” Alexander asks.
“Want to watch a movie? Something fun?” Alexander asks.
I nod numbly.
Alexander sits on the couch and flicks through the tv while I go and wash my face. I come back and lie with my head in his lap, him stroking my back trying to calm me. It feels good.