Five Years Ch. 02byPallaton©
Jared knew that there was more to Colton than what he just witnessed. He was sure that they guy was nice and caring. Jared, however, was very curious as to how he got into such a tragic car crash...and on the same note he wanted to know how he managed to survive.
Regardless, while Jared was going to leave he wanted to stay in contact with Colton. He felt like he and the older man could become friends.
Deep down, Jared thought, I think I'm done with relationships.
Mike had hurt him deeply. He thought what they had would last more than five years. He always thought that perhaps if he didn't have to marry Elizabeth that he and Mike would get married. But then again those were completely different circumstances.
Jared was done with romance. He washed his hands of that when he crashed into the tree. Mike had shown him that romance was just a lie. Either it was a lie or it was dead. He didn't want to be part of what this new form of 'love' was. It was too rough on his emotions.
However, being around Colton gave him a sense of ease. He was comfortable around him. He was sure he could be his self in front of the stranger.
One thing that Jared noticed was the lack of his wife. There was nothing to signify her being around. It was possible that she was out, but even then...there would be a sign to show that she lived there. The house was sparse of the things that most ladies would get. No candles, or flowers, he knew that Elizabeth loved incense and he couldn't get a whiff of any. So who lived here with Colton?
Colton stumbled out of his bedroom and looked around the empty living room. Jared was nowhere to be seen, however the smell of bacon was potent and inviting. He scratched his head as he wobbled into his kitchen. His house guest was frying some bacon and buttering toast.
"Hey, what kind of eggs do you like? I hope you don't mind that I barrowed you kitchen," Jared said smiling.
"Scrambled please... You cook?"
"I prefer to, yeah. Why?"
"Well...I figured that you'd have cooks."
Jared tilted his head as he took the bacon off the burner and started on the eggs.
"Why would I have cooks?"
"Aren't you rich?"
"Kind of..." He sighed, "I guess I am but I'm afraid I didn't do a lot to get the money. I was born into it. I like to cook because it's fun."
The kitchen chair slid across the tiled floor and Colton sat down waiting for his breakfast. He looked at Jared and was reminded of his past. It hurt to look at how sweet and kind Jared was. He was perfect, perhaps almost too perfect. As much as Colton wanted...No, he couldn't betray Robert ever again. Even after five years he couldn't.
Robert had been the love of his life. And Colton had made stupid choices and lost him. But Colton made vows "for better or for worse; for sickness and in health"...until death do they part. Colton shook his head and stopped thinking about it. He was reminded enough about Robert each day that it was even harder for him to come to peace with his...past.
A plate of eggs appeared under Colton's nose. He looked up and watched as Jared sat down with his own plate of eggs. Both men sat quietly as they ate. Neither one looked up or said anything. They just ate their food.
Once the meal was done, however, the conversation started.
"So I will be leaving soon," Jared said, waking Colton up from his trance. He had been staring at the grain on the table.
"Oh, So soon?" Colton found that even though he didn't normally enjoy the company of others he really enjoyed the company of Jared. It wasn't awkward. It was just...Normal. After five years of being alone, normal was what he needed. Surely Robert would be okay with him having a friend. But...maybe not. After all it was his fault that Robert left.
"Well, I'm sure you have a life of your own that you want to get back to. But if you're willing maybe we can have coffee sometime. As a thank you for helping me." Jared said.
"Oh...I don't think I could date...." Colton began, fiddling with his wedding band.
"OH!" Jared laughed and clutched his stomach to ease the laughter. "I didn't mean as a date. I'm sure your wife would get mad at me for that. No, as a friend Colton."
"My husband died five years ago..."
The words swallowed all the sound in the room making it completely silent. Jared was at a loss of words and Colton...Colton was scared and hurt. He missed Rob so much...
Jared picked up the plates and put them in the stainless steel dishwasher and walked back to his seat. He looked at the table for a few moments, unsure of what he should say.
"I'm sorry. That must have been hard for you to admit." He looked at Colton's red eyes. "Thank you for sharing that with me. I will be getting married to my fiancée in a few months. She knows I should be home soon."
"Oh, congratulations," Colton tried to say. His voice caught a little bit neither of the men said anything about it.
"I wrote my number on a scrape piece of paper for you in the living room. Call me any time Colton. I would love to have coffee with you. I also have my work number there too in case you can't reach me on my cell phone. I have to go now, but thank you for letting me cook you breakfast." Jared smiled as he stood up. They walked to the main entrance and Jared shook Colton's hand. "I mean it; call me any time you'd like to chat. I would like to make you my friend."
Colton nodded as Jared left the house in a taxi. He turned and walked to the living room in search of the note that Jared left behind. He found a business card...
As luck would have it, Jared was Colton's boss.
"Where on Earth have you been?" Elizabeth shrieked as Jared walked in. "I've been calling everywhere for you. Mike said he had no idea where you were. What happened?"
"I don't really want to talk about it..."
Elizabeth shook her head and placed her hand on the middle of his chest, stopping him from escaping upstairs.
"Look, I'm not giving you a choice anymore. You don't talk to me about anything and that's not okay. Talk to me now. What the fuck happened?"
"Mike broke up with me. I crashed into a tree." He looked up at the stairs, trying to ignore Elizabeth's heated gaze. "A guy found me and brought me to the hospital. I stay at his place for the night. And now I'm here."
Jared tried to walk past her but she held her own.
"You got in a crash and you didn't call me?" Her voice was starting to rise. "And on top of that you stayed at a *strangers* house?"
"Yes, he was nice enough to offer his couch to me, Elizabeth. And no, I didn't fuck him nor did I have the intention to." He stared at the short female. "Yes, I was with Mike while engaged to you but I loved him. I'm not the type to have one night stands. But thanks for that." He pushed her to the side gently and walked up the stairs. His back was stiff and his jaw was frozen. He knew he was being a dick, but that was his plan the whole time.
Secretly, he wished that if he was rude enough she would leave them. Then he would be free to do whatever he wanted and so would she. He was smart enough to realize that she hated being around him. Neither of them got any pleasure from the other. It was merely a business relationship, and even then it wasn't nearly as nice...
"I was never mean to you, Jared, never. I don't understand where this is coming from..." She started to sob.
"Elizabeth, it was never you. It was everything else."
He walked to the guest bathroom and locked the door behind him. He was lucky to sleep in the guest room, it meant he had privacy. He hated hurting her and his family. He hated hurting Mike. He hated how he hurt himself, but sometimes it was the pain that made everything fade.
He reached into the top drawer of the vanity and pulled out the razor. He never had this habit when he was younger, but it developed after he got engaged to Elizabeth. He found out that it helped one day while he was shaving. The pain was just enough that it made him focus. Not on his soon to be wife, or Mike, or even his job. It let him focus on the cuts. Sometimes he would get so focused he would forget about all his problems. He didn't like the pain, but he liked the effect the pain had on him.
Of course Jared knew that what he did was dangerous and unhealthy, but it *helped* and that's what he needed. It took the edge off.
He pulled his pants down then sat on the floor of the bathroom. He took the clean blade and grazed it across his thigh. A light ribbon of blood escaped his body. The pain wasn't nearly enough. He needed more. He hurt so many people in the past 24 hours... He needed more.
On the other leg he pressed harder, careful not to cut into any major arteries. More blood ran down his leg. He cringed as he pressed into the cut with his palm, the razor blade at his side on the floor. The harder he pressed with his palm the more pain he felt. The more pain he felt the less he cared about reality.
Once the pain started to fade away into numbness he stood to get the rubbing alcohol. It was another form of 'help'. It stung, but it also cleans his injuries.
Mike never liked that he cut. But Jared didn't like that he cut. He had to explain to Mike over and over that everything was fine—that he promised nothing bad would come out of it. Jared wasn't sure if he believed in that or not but it helped Mike feel better about the cutting.
By the time he was done in the bathroom, fixing and cleaning himself, Elizabeth was gone. She left a note on the kitchen counter.
"I'll be gone for a few days. I'm going to talk to my father about our 'wedding' to see what we can do. Hopefully by the time I get back you'll have yourself sorted out.
Jared took a deep breath of relief. Tonight he could be himself. That is if he didn't get a call from his father.