tagGay MaleRain Storms Ch. 01

Rain Storms Ch. 01


Author's note: First and most importantly, I'd like to thank Nelle1022, not only for all the time and effort put into reading and editing my stories but also for offering invaluable feedback. Thank you so much! You rock! Also, this is a continuation of Rain Falls. If you haven't yet, I strongly suggest that you read that first. While this story probably could stand on its own, it was not intended to do so.


I prided myself on never forgetting a face or the name that went with it. Even if that had not been true, I would have liked to think that I never would have forgotten his. Dylan. I owed him a debt of gratitude. Thanks to him, I had a life that I could be proud of. I had an education, a career, and I had been loved. I spent five very happy years being loved to a degree that, while it hadn't erased the damage that had come before, it certainly had made up for most of it. Even the tumultuous year and subsequent horrid breakup did not negate the joy that those five years had given me. It had ended so badly with Eric that it had taken us a year to be able to be in the same room without screaming at each other.

Nonetheless, I owed the man sitting across from me a heartfelt thank you. He had changed my life, for the better. Our only prior meeting had been brief and I wondered if he remembered me. I hung back after the negotiations had completed, hoping for my chance to speak with him. Unfortunately, he left with the others. I sighed, thinking maybe next time, and stood to gather my copies of the paperwork.

"Mr. Dutton? Was there something else?"

I looked up from my briefcase to see him standing in the doorway, holding the conference room door ajar. I smiled, "Mr. Granger." Encouraged by his return smile, and emboldened by the knowledge that he, at one time, found me attractive, I took a leap. "Would you like to have lunch with me?"

"It's three o'clock, Mr. Dutton," he pointed out.

Perfect setup. "How about dinner then?" I suggested.

I watched the smile drift from his features as his eyes slowly scanned my body. He stepped forward, allowing the conference room door to close behind him. "Was there something business related that you wanted to discuss?"

He looked concerned. He hid it well but I knew what to look for. There was a slight hitch in his breathing and a small, almost nonexistent, downturn of his beautiful brown eyes. There was nothing in his appearance, dress, or mannerisms that declared his sexuality, but I had inside information. He'd already told me that he was gay. "Not business related, no." I smiled at him again but, this time, he didn't return it. "I would like to talk to you. Someplace not here." I swept my arm to indicate the office.

He studied my face but I wasn't sure what he was expecting to find there. I wondered if his hesitance was due to the fact that he wasn't interested in me, he wasn't out, or if he just had a problem with the fact that we now, technically, worked together.

"Just talk," I assured him. "I promise that I don't bite." I couldn't contain the small chuckle over the memory that the statement brought to surface.

"I remember you, you know," he told me as soon as the hostess had seated him at my table.

"Do you?" I asked. "That's good. It saves me the trouble of a long explanation."

"I didn't," he admitted. "Not until after you left this afternoon. It was the name that triggered the memory. There are not a lot of people named Rain. I guess that I never believed that it was really your name."

I grinned and nodded. "That's understandable."

"So you're in networking now." It was a statement, not a question.

"Yes," I answered anyway. "It's a pretty big change from 'entertainment', right?"

He chuckled. "Not bad. How'd that come about?"

"That's what I wanted to talk to you about." I halted while our waitress came to take orders. I studied him while he ordered, much the same as I had done that afternoon during the business meeting. The past seven years had been kind to him. He was just as handsome as he had been then. There were small lines at the corners of his gorgeous cinnamon eyes, but he still had a full head of light brown hair, cut short in the typical business appropriate style. His tailored suit did little to hide the strength in the breadth of his shoulders or the power in his arms and legs. His glasses had changed but they were still wire rimmed and accentuated his strong, square jawline and masculine features. "Do you still build furniture?"

He looked surprised. "Yes. When I have the time."

He quietly evaluated the changes in me while his drink was delivered and he waited for me to continue. I had changed a lot in the last seven years, and I knew he was comparing what he was seeing now to what he remembered from before. I had filled out considerably from the skinny kid that I was. My body would never be bulky and massive but I had some good definition and I worked to keep it that way. My face had aged but was still more on the pretty side than handsome, with the same blue/gray eyes, pouty lips, and sharp features. My thick, straight, black hair was short now. I had cut it all off in a fit after Eric and I had split up, and I had kept it short since.

"I wanted to thank you," I told him.

"For what?"

"You helped me see some things that I couldn't have on my own. After I left, I talked to Eric."

"Dracula?" he smirked.

"Yes," I laughed. "Him. We were together for six years. Five of them were very good. He put me through school and I discovered a talent for computers. That's how I got into networking. What you said to me that night, it changed my life and I'm grateful."

"You're welcome, but I don't think I actually did anything except give you someone to talk to," he replied. "And on that note, thank you as well. You helped me work out a little of my own issues too."

"With your parents?" I asked.

"Yes," he explained. "I tried to keep what you said in mind every time I had to deal with them. It helped, and I managed to keep a good relationship with them until the end. They've both passed now and I'm not left with any regrets."

"It's hard to fathom that half an hour spent with each other had such a profound effect on both of our lives."

"So what happened with Eric?"

I shrugged it off. "People change. We both changed, me more than him, I think. I love him. I will always love him, and I think he loves me too. He told me from the beginning that he was not good at relationships and he hated talking about himself or his feelings. It made it very difficult to please him when he wouldn't tell me what he was upset about. He would keep everything inside until he flew off the handle and I couldn't cope with his outbursts. He's an artist and he's temperamental to start with. I exacerbated the issue. We became very volatile toward the end."

He frowned. "I'm sorry to hear that."

"What about you? Surely you haven't been single all this time. You're entirely too yummy to not be snatched up."

"I'm yummy?" he chuckled. "That was a pretty gay phrase for a man who wasn't sure of his sexuality."

"Oh, I'm sure now," I said. "I fall somewhere in the range of gay with bisexual tendencies. I'm still attracted to women but I can't imagine ending up with one in the long term."

"Ah. No. I'm single," he confessed. "Boyfriends don't stick around too long when they figure out that I'm never going to introduce them as such."

"You're in the closet," I nodded. "I wondered from your reaction to my invitation this afternoon."

"Half in, half out," he replied. "My friends know, but I don't make it public knowledge, and none of my co-workers know."

"You own the company, Dylan. Why do you care what your employees think?"

"I don't own the company. It's a partnership. But, honestly, I don't care. The clients though, they may care. It's hard to keep a company in the black without any clients."

"I can understand that, but it's an architectural firm. Surely you'd still have clients even if you were openly gay."

"Probably, but I can't imagine that my partners would be happy to find out," he grinned. "How about you? Are you out?"

"Yes," I responded. "Sort of. I don't deny it but I don't advertise it either. I've been single since I started working for this company and I don't make friends very easily. I haven't been on very many dates since Eric and I split."

"How long ago was that?" he asked.

"Fifteen months, six days, and four hours... Give or take," I sighed. "There was a short-lived, and ultimately disastrous, attempt to reconcile a few months ago. It's better this way. I know that but I miss coming home to someone. I miss the love and affection. I miss the passion and the sex." I groaned, "God, I miss the sex. I don't miss the fighting."

He smirked at my misery. "Rain, you're a hot, young guy. You could be getting laid every night."

"I could hang out down on Cedar Springs but I've never been the type," I said.

"What type?"

"Slutty," I replied. "I don't sleep around."

He half choked on his drink, laughing. He set the glass on the table and coughed and laughed. I leaned back in my chair, with my hands folded in my lap and a smirk on my face, and watched him struggle to breathe while he laughed at me. He was still chuckling when our food was delivered.

I dropped my keys on the bar and stripped out of my clothes on my way to the bathroom. The tension in my neck and shoulders didn't start to unclench until I stood under the warm spray of the showerhead. Three weeks and the server room still was not set up. How many times were we going to put up with this kind of shit before the company seriously considered my proposal of hiring our own, reliable, contractors? I attempted to blank my mind and just let the sensation of the water sluicing over my body overwhelm me. There was something about being in warm water that had always somehow brought me peace. I had spent so much time in the shower over the last couple of years that my water bills were atrocious. Thankfully, in my current apartment, the water was included. I could spend as much time as I wanted in the shower.

I needed to go to the gym but I wasn't in the mood to deal with being hit on. I had intentionally chosen a gay friendly gym because I thought that I would feel more comfortable there, but it also meant that it was somewhat of a meat market. I couldn't take a shower there without someone coming on to me. It had been so long since I'd had sex that I might cave and let some stranger have at me. Just the thought gave me chills and flashbacks.

I slapped the play button on the answering machine as I padded by, bare footed and bare assed, towel drying my hair, on the way to the kitchen. The first message made me smile.

"It's Dylan. Just making sure that we're still on for tomorrow night. You don't have to bring anything. And don't worry, my friends don't bite."

We had gone out a few times in the three weeks that my company had been working for his but nothing romantic had come of it. We were just getting to know each other. It was nice but I wanted more. He invited me to his house for a dinner party and I was looking forward to it. I knew that his friends were going to be there but I was hoping that he'd want to take the next logical step with me.

The machine rolled to the next message and I froze with my hand on the door of the fridge. "Rain. Come home. I miss you," the unmistakable sultry voice purred making me both nauseated and rock hard. Then I got angry. I slammed the refrigerator door, knocking the stupid magnets off of it. Why was he doing this to me again? Why now? Did he have some sort of sixth sense telling him that I might be seeing someone else? He had done exactly the same thing the last time I was getting close to intimacy with someone else, and I had fallen for it. Like an idiot, I had run right back into his arms, and his bed, only to find out the hard way that I wasn't the only one sharing it.

I had thought we were doing well. I had thought we were going to work things out and be together again. That was, until I walked in on him buried balls deep inside some chick that I had never seen before. His version of not cheating on me? He only fucks girls on the side. That debacle was six months ago. Now he wanted to do it all over again? I had barely survived the last time. Not again. No.

I snatched the cordless phone off the cradle and dialed. "Hello?"

"Irish, he's doing it again. Make him stop." My voice was whiny but I couldn't help it.

Eric's best friend sighed. "I'll talk to him but you know that I can't make him do anything."

"Why is he doing this to me? Why?"

"Because he loves you, Rain," she replied. "He just sucks at showing it."

A dry, sarcastic laugh was my only response.

"He's not the only one with issues here, Rain," she pointed out.

"I know that, Irish."

She continued anyway. "You're needy and clingy and he's distant and non-communicative. If either one of you could resolve one of those quirks you'd get on like a house on fire."

"He was fine while I was needy and clingy," I argued. "It was after I didn't need him so much that things started falling apart."

"I wasn't talking about financially and you know it," she snapped. "You have this constant need to be reassured of his love and he needs space and solitude."

"What he needs is pussy lined up by the handful just waiting for his pleasure," I shot back.

"Rain," she sighed.

"It's not just little personality quirks, Irish. How many girls did he fuck while we were supposed to be exclusive?" I asked. "How many? I know that you know."

She responded with silence which just confirmed what I had already suspected.

"I love you, Jess. I really do," I told her. "I know that he's your best friend, and I was just the boyfriend, but I should have been told."

"You were told, Rain," she replied. "I flat out told you that the reason I would never date him again is because he couldn't keep his dick in his pants. You knew that he was cheating on his girlfriends with you. What made you think that he'd be faithful to you?"

"He promised me!" I shouted. "I loved him and I trusted him!"

She sighed again. "I'll talk to him."

"Thank you."

I forced myself to fix and eat dinner. Eric had taught me to cook and I had loved doing it. Unfortunately, it wasn't as much fun to cook for yourself as it was to cook for someone else. I was glad that Eric had Jessica but it made me wish that I had a best friend to turn to. I had destroyed my friendship with my best friend, Melissa, when I tried to use her as a rebound. For some reason, she had taken offense to that. I still had hope that she'd forgive me, one day, but it had been over a year and she hadn't yet. I didn't really blame her. As a result, she had been the only person that I had sex with since Eric and I had broken up. Other than Eric, that is.

I turned on the TV but I couldn't get into any of the shows. Instead, I looked around at my apartment. I hated it. I had been there for almost five months, and it was the same as the other three that I had rented since Eric and I had started on the inevitable road to breaking up with a trial separation. I liked the place when I signed the lease, but as soon as I had the boxes moved in, the thrill was over. I had never even bothered to unpack this time. I still had boxes stacked up in the corners. I needed to find someplace else. I had already submitted my intent to vacate and my lease was up in five weeks. It was hopeless. Nothing was going to feel like home without Eric in it.

Christ, I was maudlin. I had to get out. I slipped on some comfortable clothes and gathered up my keys, not even bothering to do anything with my shaggy hair, before I headed out to a local watering hole. I picked a dive bar close to my apartment. I had been there before and it offered cheap but strong drinks, and the patrons were friendly but not pushy.

"Hey, Rain," the bartender greeted me as I took up residence on a barstool. "White Russian?"

"Yeah. Thanks, Barb." This is why I liked this place. I had been there a total of four times and the bartender not only remembered my name but also my choice of poison. She was older, in her fifties was my best guess, with curly hair that was more gray than anything else. She reminded me of a diner waitress with hot pink fingernails and a certain sway of her hips.

"Bad night?" she asked, taking note of my expression as she slid my drink across the bar.

"Bad decade," I replied.

She snorted her agreement. "I hear that. You got girl trouble, Honey?"

I chuckled dryly. "Something like that."

"Well cheer up, Honey," she smirked. "More than one fish in the sea."

"Too many fish as far as I'm concerned," I mumbled as I spun the stool around to watch the billiards game going on behind me. The bar was more crowded than I had expected it to be on a Thursday night. I guessed that there was some kind of celebration going on based on the fact that most of the forty or so customers in the place all seemed to be together. I scanned their faces strictly out of habit. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, and their drunken revelry was starting to affect me in a good way, until my focus landed on a face that I recognized. His big blue eyes grew larger as they locked with mine and his soft little Cupid's bow lips parted in surprise. He definitely remembered me. I watched the expression on his pretty face as it morphed from surprise to suspicion and then settled on something akin to desire as he scanned my body. My body twitched in response.

He wasn't my type. He had never been my type but my body reacted to the lust on his face. It felt good to be so blatantly wanted. I arched my eyebrow at him, wondering if he'd come over. His feet were not quite touching the ground and he had to jump a little to get off the high barstool. I waited until he climbed up onto the barstool next to me before I turned to him.

"Hey." I would have greeted him by name but I doubted that the name I knew was still the one he used.

"Hey you too," he replied. "How long has it been?"

"Seven years," I told him. "You still in the biz?"

"No." He shook his head. "You?"

"No," I told him. "I think the last time I saw you was the night that I quit."

He nodded. "I quit right after that." He glanced around at all the people in close proximity. "Do you want to get a table or something?" he asked. "So we can talk?"

"You want to talk in private? I live close by," I offered.

His perfect little lips turned up in a smirk. "Yeah. Ok."

He followed me in his car to my apartment. He looked around when we got inside. "You just move in?"

"Moving out," I told him. "Would you like a drink?"

"Anything is fine."

I made us both White Russians while he made himself comfortable. "The last time I saw you, your name was Marc," I said.

"It's Ryan," he smirked. "What's yours?"

"Rain," I grinned. "I only ever used my real name."

"So what happened to you? You were there one day and then poof."

"I got involved in a relationship. We lasted six years," I explained. "What about you?"

"I got a sugar daddy." He took a sip. "This is good. Thank you."

"You're welcome. What happened to your sugar daddy?"

"He died," Ryan explained. "He had cancer and I took care of him until he passed. He took care of me in his will. It worked out for both of us. He died happily in the arms of his lover and I get to live in a style that I never would have achieved on my own."

"I'm sorry for your loss."

"Thank you," he replied. "I wasn't in love with him but he was good to me and I made sure that he was happy. What happened with your boyfriend?"

I shrugged. "We fell apart. Spectacularly. But I managed to get an education and a job that I love working with computers. Hopefully, one day, I'll find someone to grow old with. What about you? Are you seeing someone?"

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