Lights, Camera, Action Part 02byMilliemoon©
For a moment Yanik fought for control, Nathan had backed up, trying to get away from the onslaught, until he was up against the wall and had nowhere else to go.
"Did you think I'd knock you back too? Or maybe you make a habit of lying to those you sleep with. That's what hurts the most, the lying. You really had me fooled, Nathan, I thought, maybe, I had finally ..." he trailed off, suddenly realizing where the words would take him. "Oh, just go to hell, Nathan, go to fucking hell and stay there."
His departure was as sudden as his arrival. He swept out of the room, slammed the front door, and left Nathan distraught and sobbing in his wake
Most of the people Yanik worked with knew his sexual preferences; they had also known how happy he seemed with the new man in his life. Those who had been at his barbeque had seen the relationship on home ground, seen how the two men complimented each other, blossomed when they stood together, and all were amazed when Yanik came in on the following Monday obviously distraught and disappeared into his office without a word.
Everyone Yanik looked at he was sure had known about Nathan. He felt a fool, someone who had been ridiculed behind their back, been laughed at, and he wasn't sure how to deal with that. He also felt emotionally drained. He had loved Nathan, had been wondering whether there was some way they could live together and still carry on their individual jobs. Jobs, that was a laugh. When Yanik had returned home from his emotional visit to Nathan's house he'd looked him up on the Internet. Nathaniel Long, as it said on the DVD cover, had a litany of films to his name, all of them X rated and none of them more than four or five years old.
The betrayal seemed to hang over him like a shroud. Everyone knew something was up, knew it had to do with Nathan, but no one was close enough to him to ask or offer help. He concentrated on his work, made sure no one could accuse him of letting anyone down, and then went home, ate, slept, ate again and went back to work. For a month, apart from a few trips to the gym, that was how he spent his life until, after waking from the same nightmare for the third night running, Yan knew he had to do something.
Ever since he had confronted Nathan the young man had been appearing in his dreams. Sometimes he was loving and kind, just as he had always been, in others he was a stranger, someone, with or without a face, who passed him on the street or sat next to him in a bar. He always knew it was Nathan, even when the persona was totally different to how he had actually been. Gradually though the movie side of Nathan's past had begun to creep into the dreams and now, each time Yanik fell asleep, it was he who was the movie star, he who did all the things he had seen on the internet and he enjoyed it all. He partnered Nathan, they would be in a park, a train, his own home but, just as he was about to cum, someone would shout 'cut' and he would wake up shaking and crying.
He had taken a morning off to try and find a local shrink who could see him fairly quickly and had been pleased to locate one only five minutes from his office. He began going to see him twice a week at eight in the morning, which meant no one from work knew anything about it, and he didn't have to use up any holiday.
The first two sessions had been taken up with generalities but, as he sat in the pleasantly situated suite of rooms for the third time, his therapist, Jack Rowland, began pressing him a little harder.
"So, can you tell me yet what it was that finally made you decide you needed to see a psychiatrist?" Jack was tall at six feet two inches, roughly Yan's age, and married with two children, pictures of whom were on the walls in ornate frames.
"I have some things I need to get into perspective so I can move on with my life."
"Hmmm, that was a very neutral answer." Jack's face was also neutral, he made a quick note on the pad he held on his lap and then waited a moment before speaking again.
"We've talked about your occupation, what you do, who you work for and with. From what I've learnt and observed, I don't see any problems there. What we haven't really covered is your social life. I know you're not married, you told me you were gay, and that was it, closed book. So I'm going to assume, until you tell me otherwise, that the problems lie there. Am I right?"
Again the room was silent but then Yan nodded. It was difficult to talk about but this was what he had come for, to talk about Nathan and how what he had done to him made him feel.
"I split up with my boyfriend about a month ago. It wasn't amicable, we haven't spoken since."
"Ok, who made the break?"
"He ... I ... found ... he lied to me."
"If you broke up with him over it, it must have been a pretty big lie."
"Oh yeah!" Yanik's face flushed with emotion and Jack saw the anger glint in the eyes of his patient.
"Tell me; this is what you're paying me for, what you came for, so, at whatever speed you want, tell me." Jack's voice was soft, encouraging and, after taking a drink from the glass of water at his side, Yanik did as he had been told.
"I met Nathan, his name is Nathan, I met him at a hotel, we ... well, we sort of picked each other up. It's a cliché to say I'd never done it before, but I hadn't, and I believed him when he said he hadn't either." Yanik paused for a moment, running his hand through his hair before continuing. "The ... the sex was wonderful, we fitted together so well, or I thought we did. I had to leave the following morning but, he stayed the night in my hotel room, I dropped him home and we started dating."
"When was this?" Jack was taking notes as he listened and a tape was recording Yanik's every word.
"January. Nine months ago now."
Jack just nodded. He didn't want to interrupt, but he'd needed a timeline to work from.
"Everything was wonderful, we spent almost every weekend together and sometimes we met up in the week as well. You know where I work, well, Nathan told me his job was in the film industry and sometimes he had to go away for business, Amsterdam mostly, and then we would be apart for about four days each time. I ... I missed him so much and I, he told me he missed me too. At the end of July I had a barbeque for my birthday. Loads of people came, some stayed the entire time, and others popped in. My ex-boyfriend, Colin, was there. He ... well, he seemed taken with Nathan."
"Did that worry you?" Jack had been watching body language and he could see Yan was beginning to fidget, to become uncomfortable with what he was saying.
"No, he has a new partner too. We're still friends, just not lovers any more."
"Ok. Go on. You will feel better when you share this, trust me."
Yanik nodded his head, he had a feeling his therapist was right; he just wasn't sure how to explain his shame.
"Nathan got wine spilt on him at the party; he took his t-shirt off before going in to shower and change. He had, has, a tattoo on his back, across his shoulders, Celtic, dark blue with a red outline. I commented on it ... I ... I thought it was hot, but I told Colin I wouldn't be brave enough to have one myself. He wandered off, and I forgot all about it.
"Then, about a week later, Colin came to visit." Yanik was talking fast now and Jack was glad for the tape recorder. He was used to client's blurting out their problems, forgetting to breathe, sobbing, talking slowly and hesitantly. All sorts of tactics to deal with the effort of finally spilling the beans.
"He ... it was awkward, it's never been awkward between us, not even when we were splitting up, and he left me a package, told me he didn't want to hurt me, that he loved me and then he left."
Yanik gulped another mouthful of water. He could feel tears prick his eyes and he knew he wouldn't get through this without crying. The hurt, the humiliation, the anger, were all there, so close to the surface and he had to will himself to carry on.
"It was a DVD, a porno DVD, what they call 'bi', men and women together, but two men, one woman. One ..." He closed his eyes and a tear rolled down his cheek. Ignoring it Yanik began again. "One of the men was Nathan.
"At first I didn't recognize him. His hair, Nathan's hair is short, like buzz cut short, but this guy, he had long blond hair, almost as long as mine." His hand went through it, unconsciously pushing it back behind his ear. "But then," his voice was hushed now, tentative, as he continued. "They showed him from the back ... the tattoo, right there was the tattoo. I knew ... I've, oh, God, I've kissed that tattoo, traced the shapes, it was him, I knew it was him. I saw his eyes, then his mouth, his ... I knew it was him, he wasn't in the film industry, he was a porn star, he ... he had sex for money, and I hadn't known anything about it."
Jack watched, as Yanik seemed to slump in the chair, and knew he had finished talking and took the initiative for a moment.
"So, what did you do about this?"
"Nothing, for about half an hour, then I went and confronted him."
"What did he say?"
Yanik thought for a moment. What had Nathan said? He thought back to their last meeting, to the way he'd forced himself into his ex-lover's home, harangued him and then left. A blush of embarrassment coloured his face as finally he spoke again.
"Nothing; I didn't let him say anything."
"He said nothing at all?"
"Something like 'Yan, please' but I wasn't in the mood to listen."
"What do you want me to say to you, Yanik?" Jack looked at the young man before him, he knew he was just over a year older and wondered for a moment how he would have dealt with his wife lying to him about something like this. "I can't tell you if what you did was right or wrong, only you know that. You didn't break any laws, but Nathan didn't either. He was economical with the truth and you couldn't handle it. Now you've shared it with someone that could be it, over and done with, but somehow I don't think it's finished for you, is it?"
"No." Yan looked down at his hands. It was true, he hadn't given Nathan a chance to explain things, hadn't even thought about his side of the story, just how hurt he'd been, how hard done by.
"Do you still love him?"
"Yes." The word was more of a sob than a proper answer. "Yes, I do, but ... how do I live with someone, make love to someone, who does that for a living? How do I know he's not just reciting lines, that it's not all same old, same old? I thought we had something special; I ... I love him so much ..." the words disappeared as finally Yanik let himself break down. Jack handed over a small pile of tissues he'd had ready, and then sat back, concentrating on his notes so his client wouldn't feel too observed.
"I'm sorry." Yan looked up, his eyes were red, his chin still wobbled a little, but Jack could see he was pulling himself back together.
"It's not a problem."
"It doesn't answer my questions though, does it?"
"No, it doesn't."
"So, how do I tell?"
"Maybe you ask him."
The silence descended again, Jack knew Yanik was thinking hard; he had a feeling, so hurt had he been, the accountant had only been able to focus on himself. Now, for the first time, he was seeing things, at least slightly, from Nathan's point of view.
"It wasn't just one film you know. He has a stage name and everything, he's done lots of them."
"Does that really make any difference? If he'd said to you, but I only made one film, would that have changed anything?"
Yanik shook his head. The answer was obvious, and so was his course of action, it would just take a type of courage he didn't know if he possessed.
Two days after his consultation with Jack, Yanik's immediate superior, Tom, requested a meeting with him. He had received an internal letter from his colleague asking that someone else attend the Green Accounting conference that was due to take place the following week. Yanik had organized a lot of it, more than he had in the January, and was considered an expert in the field.
"Yan, I'm really sorry to do this to you." Tom began to speak as soon as the door was shut but Yan sat down before answering him.
"I can't replace you at the conference, you're our specialist, it has to be you, I'm sorry, but you are going.
"No, Tom, no, I can't."
"If there was someone else I could send in your place you know I would. We are a national leader in this area and get very good clients from these seminars, as your mid year bonus showed."
"Tom, you know why I don't want to go back. I've tried very hard not to let it affect my work, but ..." his voice trailed off as it began to waiver. The outpouring of emotions with Jack was still fresh in his mind and Yan wanted to turn and leave.
"Yes, I know that, and I'm very grateful. This is one of our big events of the year though, we're expanding our involvement in GA all the time, and I need you there. No arguments." The tone of voice was firm and Yanik knew nothing would be gained from trying to dispute it any further. Instead he ran a hand through his hair before speaking quietly.
"That's your final word on the subject?" Yanik saw his boss nod and stood up. "I'll make arrangements to leave this time next week." He said nothing more but turned, left the room and went back to his own office. Ten minutes later he put a call through to Tom and requested the week following the conference off as holiday. It was agreed without hesitation and then Yanik packed up his desk and went home.
The hotel looked exactly as it had the previous time Yan had stayed there. He had been relieved to find his room was in the opposite wing to his first visit and quickly unpacked his suits and shirts so they wouldn't get too crumpled. He was due at a meet and greet buffet in just over an hour and so, lying down on the bed, he closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep for a while.
Some of the clients were the same as in the January. Yanik chatted to them before introducing himself to most of the people he didn't recognize. The relaxed buffet was held just off the bar area and Yan found himself continually looking in, trying to see if Nathan was there. Finally, after about an hour, he asked to be excused and headed out of the hotel, needing some fresh air.
His heart led him where his mind didn't really want to go and five minutes later Yanik found himself in the street where Nathan lived. The lights were shining in the front window of the small townhouse he hadn't seen in over a month and, with a suddenly dry mouth, he strode up the path and knocked on the door before his courage failed him.
"Y ... Yan!" Nathan stood and stared. The last month had been desperately hard for him; many, many times he had picked up the phone, only to replace the receiver without dialling. He'd written countless letters all of them ending up in the bin, shredded into tiny pieces. Now, just as he was beginning to accept that their relationship was over, Yanik was standing in front of him.
"Can I come in?" Yan's voice was devoid of all feeling. It was the only way he could deal with the emotions swirling around inside him.
"Um, yeah, sure, sorry." Nathan stood back and let Yan in; he closed the door and followed the taller man towards the living room. A young man stood up as the two of them entered.
"This ... this is my brother, Harry. Harry, this is Yanik Fitzgerald."
"Really." The one word was hard and laced with an anger it was impossible to miss. "Do you want me to stay, Nate?"
"No, no it's fine. I can handle it. Call me though, ok?" The two men hugged and then, after giving his brother a friendly squeeze on the shoulder, Harry left the room, but not before a look, which should have had Yan withering before him, was glared in his direction.
The two men waited until the front door closed and then Yan ran a hand through his hair before beginning to speak, his words practised over and over on the short walk to Nathan's house.
"I'll make this quick, I don't want to intrude. I was wrong in the way I confronted you and I'm sorry. I hope your life will be happy." Yan turned, his heart thumping in his chest, tears threatening to fall, as his hands clenched into fists, but stopped when he felt a touch on his arm.
"Yan, please. Don't go. Let me explain, just give me a few minutes of your time."
Yanik nodded his head, not trusting himself to speak.
"Sit down, can I get you anything? Wine, beer, coffee?"
"No, I'm good, thanks." He was anything but 'good', but knew Nathan would understand what he meant. He'd always seemed to do that. Yanik closed his mind to the things he'd shared with his companion. He needed to remain detached, focused on his own future, not the past they'd had together.
"I knew I should have told you, explained what I actually did in the film industry, but the longer I left it, it just got more and more difficult to know where to start. I'm sorry." There were tears on Nathan's cheeks but he made no move to try and hide them. "I've lost lovers before, by being truthful I mean. I knew right away I didn't want to lose you, and when ... when you didn't seem to recognize me I thought I could keep it a secret. How did you find out? I know you don't usually watch porn."
"No, I don't, I did sometimes with Colin, not often, but when we ... well, that doesn't matter. It was Colin, he recognized you."
"Oh. And he just couldn't wait to rush round and tell you, I'll bet." Nathan's eyes flashed with anger. He felt betrayed all over again.
"No, it wasn't like that." Yan rose to his feet as he went to his ex-lover's defence. "He knew at the party, when he saw your tattoo, but said nothing. I only found out about an hour before I confronted you. He didn't want me to be hurt, but he knew I had no idea and thought I should have."
"I'm glad you know. At least I got dumped for the usual reason and not because you had found someone else, or had gotten fed up with me."
"I loved you, Nathan, I still love you, but ... God, Nate, you have sex for money and then people pay to see you get off, how am I supposed to deal with that? What does that make me? If you buy me anything, well, I ... how can I accept it when I know where you got the cash?" Yanik ran his hands into his hair, both of them and, so great was his anguish, they stayed there, fingers grasping hard at the tresses as he pulled at them, glad of the pain he was causing as it distracted him slightly.
"I don't know what to say, Yan, I ..." The sound of a cell phone ringing shattered the scene like a hammer against glass. Yan fumbled in his pocket, looked at the caller I.D. and then spoke.
"Fitzgerald. No, I just stepped out for some air. I'm on my way back now. Thank you, no, that's fine, I appreciate it ... yes, bye." He flipped his phone shut and looked into Nathan's blue eyes, seeing the tears, the apprehension, the love, and his heart melted, just a little.
"I ... I have to go, duty calls."
"Yan, no, please, we need to talk, I need to talk."
For a moment Yanik thought and then nodded.
"I have to get back, I have clients asking where I am. I'm here 'til Friday. We could meet then."
A tear slipped down Nathan's face as he shook his head.
"I have to ... I'll be in Amsterdam, I'm sorry. Can I call you?"
Yan nodded, he knew what it meant now when Nathan had to go abroad and he didn't even want to think about that. He turned and this time Nate let him go. He would have to put it all out of his mind; for both of them it seemed, right now, work came first.
Once again the seminar had been a success. It had also been quite an eye opener, or at least one of the other conferences had been. A regional 'Star Trek' fan club had hired space from Friday through to the Saturday evening and, as Yanik came out of his final meeting, he was suddenly in a room full of Klingons and various other races, none of which he expected to see on the outskirts of London.