Gale Force Ch. 27byvelvetpie©
Season Five, cont.
Two more weeks and Sundays passed and Gale and I grew closer. We had dinner one night after a late shoot and ended up going out to a club. When he walked me to the door, I resisted the urge to invite him inside, vowing not to let his body overtake my mind as it had last time. I did play tonsil hockey with him, though, pulling him into an empty room at the studio or behind a truck at the location shoots. I never did it in front of Jenifer intentionally because I didn't want him to think that I was mean but I made sure that she caught sight of us parting and of the huge smile he usually had afterward.
The fourth Sunday, he arrived with an uncharacteristic spring in his step and a huge bottle of Asti Spumante. He greeted me with sweet kiss and shoved the bottle into my hands.
"What's this for?"
"For later." He gave me a wink and turned to the others. After another great gathering, he stayed to help Stacy and I clean up as usual. I went to the bathroom and when I came back, Stacy was gathering her jacket and heading for the door.
"Where are you going?"
"Over to Chad's." She had met a nice guy and had been spending a lot of her free time with him. "I'll call you later."
I told her to have a good time, then shrieked at the sound of the cork popping from the Asti bottle. I went around the corner and found Gale sitting on a stool, filling the second of two champagne flutes. He patted another stool and I sat, taking the glass that he was holding out to me.
"So, I asked you what this was for."
"Yes." He moved closer, training those dark, dreamy eyes on me. "And it's later."
"Yeah, but are we celebrating something?"
"Before I answer that, I want to ask you a question first."
My heart slammed in my chest. "Uh, okay."
"You said that you're moving to Vancouver depended on me?"
"I didn't say that."
"Not in so many words, but you insinuated it."
I took a swallow of Asti. "Yeah."
"What if I told you that I want you to sell it?"
My heart fluttered. "I would say, that depends."
"Depends on what?"
He looked away to set his glass down and refill ours again, a wry smile on his lips. "You were right." He lifted his glass and took a sip. "I need a friend. I need a friend, a lover, a protector and a chef."
I could barely breathe as he smiled on the last word. "And that's me?"
"That's up to you." He stroked my cheek lightly, his eyes focused on my mouth. "I haven't been the smartest of people, Cary, but I know how I felt when I was with you. I felt whole and safe. I want that feeling every day. I want to know that my friend will listen to me whenever I want to talk, that my lover will make me feel like I'm the only man in the world, that my protector will always have my back and that my chef will always make quiche for me."
I blinked and he smiled, using his thumb to wipe my tears away. "Gale ... "
"I know what I gave up, Cary. I know what I lost." My eyes closed as his cool lips touched the overheated planes of my cheeks. "Please give me a chance to convince you. Give me a chance to win you back."
"You never lost me." I whispered with trembling lips and he kissed me softly, his hand sliding along the back of my neck and into my hair. "Oh, Gale." I pulled back, wiping my face and draining my Asti, which he quickly refilled. "I'm not pretty."
"Like me? Don't get to lay around all day and look handsome?" I had to laugh at his use of my words. "No, Cary, you're not pretty." He lifted my chin, searching my eyes. "You're fucking beautiful! And it has nothing to do with physical beauty. Can you imagine how many pretty girls I've met that had no substance? I thought Jenifer was different but I was wrong."
"I don't want you to settle for me because I'm convenient."
"I'm not 'settling' for anything. You know me better than that." He caught my mouth again, his tongue delving deep. "I thought it was a joke."
"'Once you go black, you'll never go back.'" I started laughing and he chuckled along with me. "No, I'm serious! I've never had any one make love to me like you do." His voice dropped to a husky murmur. "Because no one wanted to know me. They always want Brian."
"I don't want Brian." I set my glass down. "I want Gale Morgan Harold, the third."
"Then come and get him."