tagGay MaleStill You Want Me Ch. 08

Still You Want Me Ch. 08

byMrsgnomie©

Thank you all for all your encouragement! UK Student, I hope you nailed your test, this chapter is dedicated to you and all the students with exams!

Again, I cannot thank LaRascasse for helping me with grammar and Oldnakeddad for really polishing these stories and making them shine! Miracle workers.

(All characters are over 18 and this is a work of fiction with a dash of my own life experience. Not the TFB part, sadly.)

Keep the comments and feedback coming in. I love reading and engaging!

Enjoy the show!!

* * COLIN * *

[Charles] Where'd you go?

[Charles] Okay, I'm coming to your apartment.

[Charles] I'm standing outside, come out.

Oh, God. I don't want to face him!

Everything happened so fast and I don't know how to explain any of it to him because I don't know what happened or why I reacted the way I did.

Wearing sweats and a threadbare shirt, I open the door and step outside. It's fucking cold at midnight!

I casually ask him.

"What's up?"

His concern is obvious and so is the fact he's cold and shivering.

"Why'd you leave the bar like that? What's going on?"

I don't understand why he cares? He has a new boyfriend! I lie.

"I was tired, so I decided to go home."

He looks at me and crosses his arms, he knows I'm full of shit and he's not interested in any of it.

"I don't think so! Can we go in and talk?"

Shit! I have pictures of my parents everywhere!

"Uh?"

Cat's got my tongue.

"Seriously, Colin? We've been friends for seven months. I don't care if your apartment is messy or covered in One Direction posters. I want to go in, it's freaking cold outside!"

It's clear that Charlie's done waiting. I hesitate.

"Okay?"

I don't have any pictures in the kitchen, maybe we can talk in there?

I lead him upstairs, through the laundry room, and to the kitchen island counter. I point to one of the bar stools that will have him facing away from the living room. Still in a bad mood from watching him and Ben together, I snip at him.

"Why are you here? Why aren't you with Ben?"

"Ben's at the club...I think? I don't know."

His blue eyes relay concern as he continues.

"You just took off! You left without saying anything to anyone. I was very worried!"

"Well, I'm okay and safe at home."

I didn't mean for it to come out the way it did. I feel like a stubborn thirteen-year-old girl fighting with her parents, 'OMG, Dad! Stay out of my life! I'm totally a grown adult so I don't need you!', but also like, 'Dad, can I have twenty bucks for the movies and will you drive me there and stay with me because I'm scared?'.

"God, Colin, shut up! Tell me what the fuck is wrong. I don't want to sit here while you pout like a bitch. If you tell me you're okay, I'll leave, but you can't ignore me or be angry with me."

Whoa, this is unexpected behavior. Charlie's never agitated with me, none-the-less when he's at fault, too!

"Get off of your high horse, Charlie. I asked you to go out with me! It was supposed to be my night, but you hooked up with someone else and left me as the fifth wheel."

All of a sudden I can hear myself and I'm embarrassed! I slouch against the counter.

"When I say it out loud, it sounds stupid."

"That's because it is stupid! Ben was my college roommate. I ran into him at the bar. He happens to be here for one night so I asked if he wanted to join our table and he didn't have a hotel room, yet, so I invited him to stay in my guest room."

"Oh. If I didn't feel stupid before...I do now!"

I put my face in my hands and we sit in silence because I don't know what to say or why I'm acting the way I am, either.

"Is being the fifth wheel the only thing that's bothering you?"

He's staring at me, again, with his dark-blue eyes. It's as if he knows something I don't, but he's asking me a question that I don't have an answer to. I quickly nod, and with a false finality, I gently clap my hands together.

"Uh, yeah, I think that pretty much covers it."

He narrows his eyes at me, unbelieving.

"Okay. So, can I go back to the club?"

"Yes, of course!"

"And you won't have a problem if I find another guy and take him home with no intentions of having him stay in my guest bedroom?"

Fuck yes, I'll have a problem! But that's not what I say.

"Is that what you want to do?"

I'm flipping the question like a boss. I should be a psychologist!

The barstool makes a loud noise as he pushes it back and abruptly stands.

"Alright, Colin, have a goodnight."

I panic as he heads for the stairs! I don't want him to leave! I especially don't want him to leave and go find Grindr Guy or anyone else!

"Where are you going?!"

"Back to the club. I think I might pick up a guy—or maybe two? We'll see. The night is young!"

He doesn't look at me as he continues to walk away.

Shit!

"Wait!"

I don't want him to go! I anxiously tap my fists on the countertop.

"Just stay for a minute!"

He turns around and, while standing inside of the door frame that separates the kitchen from the laundry room, stares at me as he waits for me to tell him the truth.

What the fuck is the truth?

"Charlie, I don't want you to go back to the club."

"Why?"

I'm frustrated. Not with him for asking, but with myself for not knowing why so, because of my frustration, I yell.

"I don't know!"

He's clearly not amused with my response and turns to leave, again.

"Cool story, bro."

"I'm serious, Charlie! Fuck, I don't know!"

He stands silently with his arms crossed and his face has softened some, but not much.

"Argh! Charlie!"

I pause before yelling with my arms flailing about.

"Do you really want to go back to the club and take home a strange guy?"

He answers confidently and without hesitation.

"No."

"Why not?"

"Colin, during the last seven months, I've only taken one guy home and I shared my bed with him for a whole month. He's the only person I want to take home and share my bed with, again!"

Ho-ly-shit! I know this is a pivotal moment in my life so I need to choose my next words wisely.

*Two minutes later*

Or just acknowledge the fact that Charlie has confessed his feelings for me and they are sweet and wonderful!

"Cool beans! This has been a really good conversation. Let's do it again, soon!"

His eyes look very dejected as he walks away.

* * CHARLES * *

"—and he didn't say anything!?"

Ryan and Quinn look horrified.

"Yep. Two minutes' worth of silence!"

I take a shot of whatever they bought me and grimace at the taste—and the situation.

"Fuck!"

They nod in agreement.

Ben comes back to the table, frowning, he knows that whatever happened was bad but doesn't say anything, he has someone with him.

"Hey, you're back! This is Tim Hall, my coworker."

Tim is very tall (maybe six feet, five inches), has brown hair, brown eyes, and is close to my age. He was in very good shape, at one time, but didn't follow through with it. He's also attractive, but not prime anymore. Very forgettable.

They sit at the table. Ben's watching me and I give him a head shake meaning, I don't want to talk about it, and he respects my silent request.

"So you were Benny's roommate in college, in Washington, eh? That must've been a riot! I wish he would've been my roommate at UCLA! That would've been a bomb!"

Tim appears to be chill and is eager to hear all about our shenanigans so I'll let Ben tell the tales of our run together. Once they finish he returns his attention to me.

"So, Ben tells me you work for ClarkeCo."

"Yep."

I'm normally a lot more interested in talking about work, sue me for being preoccupied. It's not like I just confessed my feelings to my best friend only to be rejected.

Oh wait! I did!

Tim continues.

"I grew up with Mr. Clarke's son, Stan. We went to school together, but I haven't seen or heard from him since graduation. I thought I heard he was working for his dad now and he's gotten a bunch of degrees or something?"

"Not that I know of."

I look at Ryan to see if he knows something I don't, but looks just as confused as I am. I return my attention to Tim.

"Actually, I've never heard much about Mr. Clarke's son. What's he like?"

Stans always fascinated me. I mean, I know his parents. I've had dinner at his house several times a year for the last few years, yet, I've never met him and barely know anything about him.

"He's somewhat of a freak. Maybe not a true freak, but he's super weird! He's like five feet, and some change, tall and less than one hundred pounds. I remember he had long, dark emo hair, thick glasses, and he was super geeky! It's hard to imagine such a loser came from so much money. I feel bad because we gave him a hard time and I do mean a very hard time!"

He shrugs apologetically, but a blind person can tell it's not sincere. I've seen pictures of Stan at his parents' house and he was definitely geeky, but not unattractive, just small and insecure looking.

"The rumor is, his trust fund is eighty-five million dollars. I guess it's more of a trust fund plus inheritance wrapped into one package. After his parents die, he'll get the house and the company, but nothing else. All of their money is going elsewhere. I can't imagine having that much money. My trust fund is only two million. I'm not complaining, but given a chance, I'd try to imagine eighty-five mill!"

He smiles with wonder at the thought.

"All I'm saying is, I don't feel bad for picking on him because he has enough money to do whatever the fuck he wants. Here I am, working, and he's probably sleeping his way through life, wherever the hell he's at, with not a care in the world. Seriously? Eighty-five million!"

He whistles with appreciation. I can't imagine eighty-five million dollars. My trust fund isn't shabby, but I don't think my parents are worth anywhere near that much!

I'm aware that Colin would really hate this guy. Even though I think Tim seems nice, I suddenly don't like him. Since when am I the guy that hates rich douchebags? Seriously! Less than a year ago, I was Tim! Luckily, Ben and Tim go somewhere else, the bar or the dance floor, I don't know.

"What are you going to do about Colin?"

"I don't know. There's not much to do. He knows how I feel so either he says something or we forget it happened. Are we done talking about this?"

I look at them in case they have any objections, but they don't.

"Alright, I'm going to go take a piss. BRB."

They both chuckle at my lame valley girl impression.

* * *

I go back to find Colin has returned and is sitting at the table with Ryan and Quinn. I stop for a moment before cautiously taking my seat across from him.

The tension at the table is suffocating. My heart's racing and I don't know if I'm nervous or embarrassed about my confession.

Both! Definitely both.

We're staring at each other and I'm trying to read his expression when he finally opens his mouth to say something, only to be interrupted by Ben and Tim's return.

"You're back, too! This is so cool!"

Ben's officially drunk and lacks all social awareness.

"Tim Hall, this is Colin Clarke. He works with Ryan and Charles!"

Tim's staring at Colin, which is a normal occurrence because Colin is ridiculously attractive, but I'm not in the mood for it today. He can keep his eyes to himself.

"Nice to meet you, Colin."

He pauses for a second.

"You look very familiar! Have we met before?"

Fuck no you son-of-a-bitch! Colin's mine! Try your pick up line on someone else.

I look at Colin, who looks petrified, as he shakes his head no and looks at me.

"Charlie, can we go and talk? I need to get out of here."

"Yeah, absolutely."

I'm getting ready to slide out of my seat when Tim, still staring at Colin, says again.

"You look so familiar!"

Colin's squirming and asks.

"Are you ready, Charles?"

His eyes are pleading to be anywhere other than here, but Tim's clearly not ready to let Colin go, a sentiment I understand.

"Where'd you go to college?"

I feel the need to let Tim know that there's no way they know each other so I clarify for him.

"He didn't go to school in California, he went to Columbia."

Instantly, something in his eyes click and whatever he's been searching for has been discovered.

"Stanley. Colin. Fucking Clarke the Third! I thought you looked familiar—though, you look nothing like I remember!"

He leans back and slaps his hands together with celebration.

Come-a-what?

Everyone, including myself, turns to Colin, who's trying to quickly recover from this monumental revelation.

"Hey, Tim! I thought the name sounded familiar."

He smiles, unconvincingly.

"Dude, look at you! Who would've guessed! You're not a shrimp, not anymore! You're a damn lobster! You're hardly recognizable. I'll bet you get all of the ladies!"

Tim's grinning from ear to ear. The rest of us, unsure if we understand what's happening, silently watch this unfold.

"Uh, not exactly. I'm currently sitting in a gay club for a reason."

Tim looks around.

"Oh, fuck! Is this a gay club? That explains so much!"

His face is priceless with shock and epiphany. The rest of us can't help ourselves as we start laughing. I don't care what's going on here, that's funny shit! Tim pats Ben's back and says.

"Ben got me good on that one!"

Colin looks at me and his eyes plead his apology. Suddenly, Tim is interested in this, so-called, freak.

My freak.

"So, are you working with your dad?"

"No, I don't work with my dad, but I do work for my dad. I'm an associate in marketing, the same as Charles is."

Colin's looking at me for some sort of approval and jokes.

"I'm sure he makes more than I do, although I have more degrees and I'm smarter, but he's worked there longer. The same benefit package, the same vacation, and the same one hour lunch."

"You're dad's so lame! I'd be pissed if my dad did that to me."

"I'm sure dad would've let me come in at the top if I'd wanted to, but I didn't, so I'm not!"

Colin looks beyond annoyed by this point and my mind is still reeling.

Is he really Mr. Clarke's son?

"I do need to get going. Tim, it was good seeing you and, Ben, it was nice meeting you."

Colin removes himself from the table and grabs his jacket. I'm not sure if he actually wants me to go with him now. Was he only using me to get him out of the club?

Also, he's Mr. Clarke's son?!

"Same here. I wish we had more time to catch up. Hey! There's a bunch of us going to Mexico for ten days in November. You should join us!"

For a moment I imagine Colin, on a beach in Mexico, with a group of TFB's that use to bully him. I'm sure he'll jump at the opportunity, not.

"Oh, yeah? I don't think so, I've only been working for seven months so I'm not going to request time off, but thanks for the offer."

Colin looks at me and nods for me to go with him.

He do doesn't have to ask me twice. Good-bye, everyone! See you later!

I glance at Ryan and Quinn and they both mouth, good luck!

* * COLIN * *

It's a fifteen minute walk to my apartment from the club and I'm not sure what to say. I'm not sure I want to talk anymore, not after everything that's happened. Charlie finally interrupts the silence with a question. Well, it's not so much a question as a confirmation statement.

"So, you're Stanley's son."

There's no judgement in his voice—thank you, Jesus!

"It would appear so."

"You know, things have been so strange since you started work. Very weird things kept happening and I couldn't put my finger on it—but it all makes sense now."

Thankfully, there's a little humor in his voice.

"You're not mad?"

"Yes. No. I don't know! I mean, I think I get it. I know you well enough to understand why you did it, but I'm somewhat upset because I feel as though you lied to me. Obviously, you don't owe me the truth or anything..."

His voice is soft and genuine, but tainted with a little twinge of hurt, which I hate.

"If you would've started as the son of the CEO with a big trust fund and all of the privileges, I don't think we would've become friends. l would've tried to befriend you for all of the wrong reasons and I'm sure you never would've given me the time of day."

He's right. It feels great to hear him acknowledge this fundamental difference between us.

"You know, I was going to tell you! I really was! I even told dad I was going to tell you. I was trying to find the right time, I didn't mean for Tim to beat me to the punch."

"Why would I have been a part of that conversation with your dad?"

"Because you're my best friend, Charlie. For that reason alone, I owe you the truth."

He doesn't respond, so we walk in silence. Not much is happening at one thirty in the morning and most of the homeless are asleep.

"Colin, did you actually want to talk or was it only an excuse to leave? My car is parked at the club and we're currently walking in the opposite direction."

He's analyzing the distance as he looks back toward the club.

"I wouldn't use that as an excuse, at least not after our earlier conversation. I do want to talk to you, but I'm not exactly sure what I want to say. Can you let me verbally process my thoughts?"

"Yes."

"You're my best friend. The best friend I've ever had and I'd hate to lose that. At the same time, I've been feeling more than friendship for you and I'm not sure I can articulate those feelings correctly, but I'll try."

I try to collect my thoughts—how do I explain something that I don't understand myself?

"Do you remember the other day at the gym when that loser was flirting with you?"

He laughs.

"Yeah, I vaguely recall you going crazy."

"Yeah, no shit! One minute, I was drooling over your muscles and your, barely there, gym shirt. I was super confused as to why I was having all of those sexual thoughts about you, my best friend! The next minute, I wanted to rip the face off of that guy for flirting with you, but I wasn't exactly sure why. That day at the gym was beyond confusing for me. Then, that night when we were wrestling on the bed, I kind of wanted to kiss you. No, not kind of, I definitely wanted to kiss you!"

I want to look at Charlie to gage his reaction, but I can't.

"And tonight, when we were dancing? I don't know!"

I toss my hands up. I'm frustrated with my inability to know my feelings enough to communicate them.

"I guess I always want to be around you, like that. I like being close and intimate with you."

We continue walking.

"But, I don't know if my feelings are legitimate! Are they because I was living with you and sharing a bed with you? Because I miss Jesse? Because I spend all day and every day with you? All of this after you picked me up from my broken heart? That could confuse anyone!

"That's why I decided to move back to my apartment, to try and figure myself out. I didn't expect tonight to happen like this! I assumed, or hoped, we'd come out and it would just be us, me and you, like it's been for the last month.

"It never occurred to me that you'd find a guy. I mean, you haven't paid attention to anyone in months. I know, now, you didn't actually find anyone tonight, but in that moment I thought you did? I know, I'm so stupid."

Okay. I think I'm done, which is great because we've arrived at my apartment.

"What do we do now? I'm all in and you're...undecided? I don't want to do anything that would jeopardize my relationship with you, Colin—friendship or romantic."

Charlie's standing in front of me with his hands in the pockets of his red jacket as it highlights his blonde hair, or maybe it's the street light? Either way, he looks incredible! I never imagined we'd be here and talking about having feelings for each other.

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