tagGay MaleStill You Want Me Ch. 11

Still You Want Me Ch. 11

byMrsgnomie©

Acknowledgements: LaRascasse and Oldnakeddad for all the time they've spent editing and improving this story.

This is a work of fiction and everyone in the story is 18, as should be the readers.

*****

* * CHARLES * *

My phone extension doesn't ring too often because most of the people who need me sit within ear shot so it's always startling when it does. After jumping slightly in my chair and glancing around to see if anyone noticed, I answer my phone.

"Charles Gabett speaking."

"You're phone voice is gross. It's not sexy at all."

"Good to hear from you, too, Ryan. Are you having a busy day in Research and Development?"

"Always, but I didn't ring your extension to talk shop. Quinn and I want to go dancing tonight. Would you like to come with us? You've been, understandably, mopey for almost two months. No pressure, just come and have some fun!"

"It's been five weeks and three days. So, not 'almost two months', but I get your point."

It's been two weeks since Colin and I officially broke up on that abysmal evening outside of the gym. We haven't talked about us at all. It appears he's made his decision and it doesn't appear to be in my favor. I mean, he hasn't said anything to me, anyway.

We still work well together, but that's it. He doesn't show up at the gym much and Thursday night Karaoke has been postponed until further notice because no one wants to take part in the awkwardness that has overwhelmed our relationship.

"So? Do you want to come with us? We'll get you drunk! Or not. Whatever you want, but drunk Charles is my favorite."

"Yeah, sounds good."

* * *

I'm finally starting to loosen up and Ryan starts being a bitch.

"I know I said we'd get you drunk, but you should pace yourself a little. Take a break and dance."

"Fine. Whatever."

I push the empty shot glass toward him and make my way to the dance floor. The music is loud and the light show is making everything more seductive than normal. The floor is packed with hot bodies and it's hard to tell where one person ends and another begins.

I'm generally unhappy and I want to dance alone, but that doesn't stop company from finding me. Song after song introduces me to a new face I don't want to remember. I humor them by allowing them to dance against me, thinking we're dancing together. Whatever they want—I don't care. The fact I'm not reciprocating doesn't seem to bother them anyway.

In my mind, I'm completely alone. I dance alone for a while, with countless and nameless nobodies, before a deep, smoky voice breathes against my ear.

"Jeez, Charles. You're on fire tonight."

I know this voice, but it's been a while. I look up and find myself face to face with Mr. tall-dark-and-handsome.

He has short, black hair, the darkest brown eyes I've ever seen, tanned skin, and a short, clean-cut beard. He's six feet, three inches tall and strong. I'm not sure if I'm happy or nervous that he's here.

I decide not to respond because I have no clue of what to say so I continue dancing. He takes this as an invitation, joins me, and presses his chest against my back as his movements easily sync with mine. The dancing and close quarters feel easy with him. He's the first guy, all night, who hasn't irritated me with his presence.

He moves his hands to my hips, gently moves with me, and carefully holds us together. Soon, though, he moves one of his hands to my waist, slowly wraps the other around my chest, pulls me closer to him, and completely closes the distance between us. I feel his hardness pressing against my crack as I close my eyes. I hate the fact that everything he's doing feels good.

The constant rejection from Colin has me feeling completely broken and empty, yet, having these strong arms around me, and feeling his desire for me, feels good...and that terrifies me. The thought of having to move on, at some point, and my future possibly lying with someone other than Colin, also terrifies me.

I close my eyes, again, run my hands over his, and grip them tightly so he won't let go of me. We're not dancing to the music anymore—we're lost in our own embrace. He's still wrapped around my body and grinding himself against me when he surprises, and disappoints, me when he whispers into my ear.

"Let's take a break, get some water, and then come back."

I sigh my disappointment, but nod and let him take my hand so he can lead me off of the dance floor. He's walking toward the bar, but I get his attention and point to the table I'm sharing with Ryan and Quinn.

It's not uncommon for our table to have a constant rotation of people coming and going because we're all very social, which tends to attract a crowd. Tonight, I don't feel like socializing though. I want to focus on only a few people and tune everyone else out.

As I approach the table, I'm acutely aware that something's off because Ryan and Quinn look uncomfortable, but I don't have the energy, or patience, to care. Now it dawns on me—they're surprised to see me with someone else. I think they, like myself, were holding out for a miracle with Colin. My having someone else might be making them uncomfortable, but they'll get used to it. We'll all have to get used to it. I decide to pull the band aid off and introduce everyone.

"Eric, this is Ryan and Quinn. Ryan. Quinn. This is Eric."

Eric flashes his gorgeous, giant, smile and shakes hands with both of them before putting his arm around me and squeezing me tight against him.

"It's nice to meet you guys!"

Ryan and Quinn nod and their eyes widen, uncomfortably, as their glances bounce around the table. I follow their line of sight until I land on a, much unexpected, table guest.

Tonight of all fucking nights!

I try not to react, but I wish I'd been prepared. Why the heck is he here? I gently touch Eric's chest, as a way of starting this awkward introduction.

"Eric?"

I point to the unexpected table guest and complete the introduction.

"Colin."

Eric leans into me and asks in a hushed whisper.

"The Colin?"

I nod.

Yes, the Colin.

* * COLIN * *

Ryan and Quinn had invited me to go dancing with them this evening, but I had to decline because my Uncle Dan (my mother's childhood friend) was coming to town. Uncle Dan had to postpone at the last minute, for one reason or another, so I decided to surprise Ryan and Quinn by coming unannounced.

I feel like a member of Oprah's giveaway episodes. You know the ones. Where she's screaming at the audience, You're surprised! And you're surprised! And you're surprised! Everybody's fucking surprised!

Ryan and Quinn are surprised when I show up. In fact, they look downright ghostly when they see me.

I'm surprised when I see Charlie dancing with man after man as they line up for their turn to use him as their own personal scratching post.

I'm surprised when, suddenly, one man replaces them all and more surprised when they leave the dance floor...holding hands!

I'm very fucking surprised to find out it's Eric, aka Grindr Guy, aka the fucking devil! All of a sudden, I miss Shorty McWasn't-so-threatening-after-all.

Charlie's surprised when he realizes I'm at the table and Eric's surprised when he hears my name.

Sur-fucking-prise!

I can't be mad, though. I'm not allowed to feel anything because it's my fault. I have to sit here and take my punishment. Is this how Charlie felt during all of those months I was with Jesse? Shitty, shitty, shitty?

Fuck. I can't blame the men who lined up to dance with Charlie and I can't blame Eric for trying to weasel his way in (although I hate him!).

Charlie's not wearing his normal club attire, nope, not tonight. He looks more suited for a casual co-ed baseball game. He's wearing a tight pair of khakis and a white, quarter-length, baseball shirt with maroon sleeves from a previous year ClarkCo. softball tournament. He looks fucking amazing...locker room fantasy type stuff! His blonde hair is sweaty and messy and I don't want to think of all of the fingers that have contributed to that.

Charlie's a damn specimen.

He's staring at me, but his blue eyes are dull, heavy-looking, and lacking their normal shine and excitement. I know it's all my fault and I hate seeing him like this! He's not supposed to look sad. Fuck! I need a drink! So I make an offer.

"How about I buy us a round of shots?"

Everyone accepts. Make it two rounds of doubles. Stat!

I've already had three shots, and a drink, while watching Charlie on the dance floor so it doesn't take long for me to feel the additional shots starting to work their magic. My inhibitions are practically nonexistent as I point between Charlie and Eric.

"So, you two, huh?"

I can see Ryan and Quinn covertly shaking their heads.

Shut up Colin. Shut the fuck up.

But I don't listen. No, that'd be so unlike me. I never say stupid shit.

Eric has a certain look on his face. What do people call it? Cat got the canary? Something like that. He's a smug son-of-a-bitch. I resolve to the fact that I'm going to punch him. I know he'll definitely knock me the fuck out, but I'm still going to punch him. How fucking dare he?

He squeezes Charlie and pulls him closer.

I take a deep breath. Jesus, keep me calm. I'm going to hit the bitch!

I clench my fist. I have no clue if I'm doing a good job of hiding my facial expressions, but hell, I don't know if I care!

"We'll see! I've wanted him for a year, now."

His shit-brown eyes are full of hope and sparkling like a fucking stupid poem about starry nights, or some shit such as that, as he smiles at Charlie. Do you know stars are balls of burning gas which are billions of miles away? I learned that watching The Lion King. So yeah, Eric's eyes look gassy.

Much to my disappointment, Eric (and his gassy poop eyes) isn't done talking.

"He's been unavailable so imagine my excitement when I saw him dancing, alone, tonight."

He crosses his fingers in the air and smiles brightly.

One can only hope!

I narrow my eyes at him and silently hope his gassy eyes explode and he dies. I glance at Charlie, but I can't read his face. He's watching me as intently as I was watching Eric.

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

I feel rage rushing through my veins as Eric whispers something into Charlie's ear. I can't believe Charlie is falling for his shit, but he is! In fact, he's allowing Eric to lead him back to the dance floor so they can dance to Gettin' Jiggy Wit It. That's our song!

I realize I'm holding my breath and need to breathe before I pass out. As soon as Charlie and Eric disappear, Ryan starts to yell at me.

"Dude! You need to chill the fuck out!"

"Why the hell did you invite me here if Charlie was going to be here with...him!"

I dramatically point toward the dance floor.

"We didn't know! We invited you and you told me you were busy so we invited Charles. You showed up out of the blue and you're making things awkward for everyone!"

"What the fuck am I supposed to do?"

"Go home? I don't know! Colin, you had your chance. A stupid, long, ridiculous chance! It's almost been a year since you started working together. I wanted you two to work things out and we've been rooting so hard, but I don't know anymore."

They both look apologetic and Quinn adds.

"We're not going to give you advice because you've made your choice. We only want Charlie to be happy, again. You have to let him go!"

I can feel my chest tighten. This isn't how I thought this evening was going to go. Defeated, I sink into my spot.

"But I don't want to."

Ryan points to the dance floor where Charlie and Eric are dancing. Eric's towering over Charlie, whose eyes are closed and is allowing that monstrosity of a man to cradle him.

"It's too late, Colin."

Bleh. Charlie was never supposed to find someone else.

"Fuck this!"

Despite a stream of objections from the table, I get up and walk toward the dance floor. I have thirty seconds to figure out a plan and, hopefully, it'll be better than every stupid plan I've had before. I reach the spot where they're dancing and pull on Charlie's arm.

"Can we dance or talk?"

I plead with my eyes. Please, don't say no. Eric answers on behalf of Charlie.

"We're actually dancing right now."

No one asked you, Eric!

My eyes are locked on Charlie's and his eyes are locked on mine, but they're unreadable. I silently beg.

Please talk to me.

He nods and I follow him off of the dance floor. I thought we'd go outside and maybe talk somewhere private, but Charlie walks back to the table. It's more public than I'd like, but I don't really have a leg to stand on at this point.

I almost immediately realize Eric, evidently not keen on the idea of letting Charlie go, has followed us. I understand his thoughts. Unlike me, Eric is doing something about it. I can't tell him to scram because, for all I know, he's Charlie's new boyfriend. The thought curdles my stomach. Charlie's looking at me intently.

"What's up Colin?"

I went into this without a plan and I've successfully gotten him off of the dance floor. Now it's time for the smooth talking.

"Please, don't. Please, please don't!"

Begging might work, too.

"Don't what? I haven't done anything!"

I nervously look at Eric and then back at Charlie, who rolls his eyes and frustratingly asks.

"Are you serious? Is there anything you want to say to me?"

"Yes. There's a lot of things I want to say!"

But I don't want to have this conversation with a table of people. Something flashes in his eyes, but it's gone before I can catch it.

"Okay, say it!"

He crosses his arms and waits for me to continue.

"Please, come home with me?"

Mr. Perfect Teeth interrupts.

"Don't fall for this Charles! He's only pissed because I'm here. He wouldn't be talking to you if he wasn't jealous."

No one's talking to you, Eric!

Charlie doesn't take his eyes off of me. His eyes are asking me if it's true.

"That's not true. I promise. I was planning on talking to you."

Eric runs his hands over Charlie's arms and continues to interfere with my life.

"Charles, don't. Come home with me. I've been there for you every time you've needed me. I've never denied you and I never will."

I don't like Eric touching Charlie and my only saving graces is that Charlie still hasn't broken eye contact with me.

Please, don't leave with him!

Eric is mauling Charlie with his hands. Fuck, his hands are gigantic! I can't take it anymore.

"Dude, seriously! Fucking cut it out! Can you not touch him for two fucking minutes! We're trying to have a conversation!"

Both Eric and I look at Charlie for his response.

Eric decides to stop mauling him and, instead, firmly wraps his arm around Charlie's waist, anchoring them together.

Even if I wanted to do something about Eric's excessive need to touch Charlie, I can't. The guy's arm is as big as my thigh!

"Colin, I wish I could believe you. I want, more than anything, to believe you, but the only time you ever fight for me is when you're convinced you're losing me or when you're jealous, or both. Tomorrow, when you feel safe, again, I'd find out you're still not sure you can climb out of your hole. At this point, I don't know if I care."

He looks at his phone and leaves the club with Eric trailing behind. I immediately feel my phone vibrate.

[Charles] Apple Music: Two Feet-I Feel Like I'm Drowning.

"He sent me a song?"

I read it outload to no one other than myself, but Ryan and Quinn hear me.

[ I feel like I'm drowning (ah-ah, drowning)

You're holding me down (holding me down)

You're killing me so (so slow, oh no)

I feel like I'm drowning (ah-ah drowning)

My life's ok, yeah Just when you're not around me ]

Ryan and Quinn look at each other and cringe.

Fuck!

He's gone for real this time and there's nothing I can do. Instantly, and without my consent, the tears start falling.

* * CHARLES * *

Eric reaches down and grabs my hand as we walk out of the club. I can see him looking at me and measuring my response.

How do I feel about this? I don't know. All I can think about is Colin's face when he saw me with Eric, when he begged me to go with him, when I declined, the cringe every time Eric touched me, and the hurt and heartbreak when I left. I wasn't expecting to see him tonight nor was I expecting to see Eric, either! What a terrible night to run into Eric. I'm thankful as he interrupts my thoughts. Anything to stop me from thinking about Colin!

"It's true, you know."

"Huh?"

"I've liked you since the first time we were together. Grindr's weird so I couldn't exactly tell you. Every time you reached out to me, I got excited. Seeing you tonight, alone—"

He affectionately squeezes my hand.

"It made my whole year. I want to be there for you. I want to make you forget him."

He turns so we're facing each other and I can see his smile is sincere and happy. Eric is a cool guy. He's very sexually talented and he's incredibly handsome. Dammit!

I visibly cringe.

"Eric—"

It doesn't take more than a moment for him to realize what's happening. I can see the frown lines on his perfectly dark skin.

"Oh. You're going to go back to him, eh?"

"No, probably not, but fuck if he's not in my head all of the time. I may not be dating him, but I'm not capable of seeing anyone else, either. I'm too hung up on him! It's not fair to you or anyone else."

"I'll wait! If you want, we can mess around with no strings attached...like before."

His heat and scent are overwhelming me as he moves closer to me. I'd like some physical release. Feeling his hard muscles against me would be a slice of heaven!

"That'd be awesome and I'd like that—"

His face lights up before I have a chance to finish.

"But it's impossible. You admitted you like me and want more, so no strings is impossible. You'd end up where I'm at, now. Shit, Eric! You are me nine months ago! Run! Run far away!"

I take a step back to put distance between us and he laughs, but his face is sad.

"I understand what you're saying. Call me, though, if things change for you. No matter when that might be."

He leans down and gives me a simple, gentle kiss and his short, sexy beard prickles my face.

"Definitely."

I don't wait for him to leave first. Instead, I take the first cab I can find because I want to go home. Tonight wasn't the carefree evening I was promised.

[Charles] Come dancing, you said. It'll be fun, you said. Blow off some steam and forget about Colin, you said.

His reply is almost instant.

[Ryan] Fuck me. I'm so sorry!

[Charles] I'll bet you are! I'll get you back when you least expect it. Keep one eye open!

[Ryan] Sounds fair. I won't resist. I offer Quinn as a sacrifice!

[Ryan] So, did you go home with Eric? Who, by the way, is a babe!

[Charles] I didn't and yes he is. It's complicated, though. I don't need more complications.

[Ryan] Colin's still here and he's a wreck! Quinn's on babysitting duty.

What the fuck do I care?

[Charles] Cool? I'm sorry, I don't know why you're telling me.

[Ryan] I don't know. Fuck! You guys were something! He's an idiot and you deserve better.

[Ryan] Have a goodnight and I'll see you Monday.

* * *

Brett pops up on my caller ID. He never calls, let alone on a Saturday morning.

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