No Regrets Ch. 05bynem0©
Thanks to everyone who sent me feedback, I really appreciate it -- however, I write like a snail, so I'm pretty shocking with the updates, sorry : /
NB: Fictitious story with fictitious people and situations, always use protection, blah blah blah
Deacon fastened the final button on his shirt and grabbed his name badge off the dresser, knocking over a picture frame with a sharp clatter. Biting his lip, Deacon glanced over at the bed and saw no movement. He checked himself in the mirror, attached the badge and crept towards the door, banged his knee on the edge of the bed and cursed softly. Grasping the door handle, Deacon winced as the tumbler squeaked in protest.
"You're not very good at being sleuthy," a muffled voice remarked from behind him. Smiling, Deacon let go of the door and looked over to the bed, where Mark was still laying prone, his face buried in the pillows.
"Sorry. It's early, I was trying not to wake you," Deacon explained. Mark raised his head from the pillow and squinted at the bedside clock.
"Mmm...yeah," Mark mumbled. He rolled over on the bed and stretched. "Take a piss for me too, wouldja? I'll keep your side warm," he added with a sleepy grin.
"Thanks, but I'm already dressed," Deacon said. Mark opened his eyes and propped himself up on his elbows. He saw the name badge on Deacon's work shirt and raised his eyebrows.
"Well, I know it hasn't been three weeks already," Mark said slowly, "so unless this is some kind of weird sex role play thing, then I'm confused." Deacon laughed and walked over to the bed.
"Sam called from work a little while ago," Deacon said. "The server went down yesterday, Hale has gone to Portland for a funeral and nobody there knows how to reboot the system except me. So, I'm going in for a bit to show them how." Deacon crouched down beside the bed and bit his lip.
"Hmm. Shit," Mark replied, a small frown on his face. "What am I supposed to do with this then?" Mark asked, nodding to the tenting sheet at his crotch. Deacon looked across and chuckled when he saw Mark's morning glory.
"Do what you did before we started this," Deacon said, making a loose fist with his hand and moving it up and down an invisible shaft. Deacon laughed at Mark's indignant face, and kissed him briefly. "Or save it for me, for later," Deacon added in a low voice, his eyes burning into Mark's. Mark swallowed with difficulty, his throat suddenly dry. "Yeah, you save it for me," Deacon grinned knowingly and nodded, the pair holding each other's gaze steadily. Mark rolled himself onto one elbow facing Deacon. "Save it for me. Just for me," Deacon murmured and leaned into Mark, their lips meeting softly.
Deacon smiled into the kiss, pleasantly surprised at how naturally this new aspect of their relationship was merging with their friendship - although something at the back of his mind told him their easy intimacy with one another would be trouble later. A low moan rumbled out of Mark's throat as he felt Deacon's tongue at his lips. Mark parted his mouth and sucked Deacon's tongue inside, gripping his lover's shoulder as he savoured the taste of the warm, wet kiss.
"Mmm," Deacon mumbled, moving his lips to taste Mark's jaw and neck before pulling back. "I said I'd be there by nine."
"That's twenty minutes from now," Mark said, his fingers fumbling with the buttons on Deacon's shirt. The blonde boy grinned and closed his hand over Mark's.
"One hour, I swear. I'll be back before you know it," Deacon said. He kissed Mark firmly and stood up, his hand still grasping Mark's. "Go back to sleep and have a nasty dream about me, and then I'll be back and we can do whatever it was that you dreamt about." Mark huffed a laugh and flopped back down on the bed. Deacon squeezed Mark's hand and let it go. He walked over to the door and glanced back at his lover.
"Fuck off then," Mark said playfully. "And get some milk." Deacon smiled and nodded. He kissed his fingers and held his hand out in a wave to Mark, who rolled his eyes. But he was grinning as he put his head back on the pillows and closed his eyes.
"Thanks for coming in Deac," Sam, the acting manager said as he spotted Deacon come through the store front. "I know its your vacation, but..." Sam shrugged.
"It's okay man, these things happen," Deacon replied with a friendly smile, noticing dark circles under Sam's eyes. "It's pretty easy, but only after you know how to do it." Sam laughed and led the way into the back of the store to the main computer terminal and pulled up an extra chair to the screen. "Where is everybody?"
"Charly went home a half hour ago, and Scott...he's in the mall somewhere," Sam answered with a shrug. Deacon raised his eyebrows at Sam, who chuckled and shook his head. "Don't give me that look, man. It's a slow day, the boss is away."
"You're too good to them," Deacon said as sat down next to Sam and started working on the problem, explaining each thing he did to Sam along the way. After a while, they had nothing to do but wait for the server to scan all the internal files. Sam let out a long breath and slouched back in his chair, his eyes closed.
"Tired?" Deacon asked. Sam shrugged and nodded.
"Long night. Family stuff," Sam replied curtly. He didn't elaborate, and Deacon knew he wouldn't, even if asked directly.
Deacon stole a surreptitious glance at the guy sitting next to him. He had dark brown hair, though you could hardly tell, as he sported a shaved head. Both ears had earrings in them the size of quarters, the hollow middles creating gaping holes in his earlobes. Masses of dark tattoos could only just be seen through the thin white fabric of his shirt, and the studs in his eyebrow and lip were made of clear plastic. Deacon hadn't understood why Hale had given the kid a job in the first place, with his appearance the way it was, and no previous experience to speak of, but however he had landed the job, Sam had proven to be a fast learner and a hard worker, and he and Deacon had become fast friends.
The kid had high cheekbones and a wide jaw, and although he was just shy of seventeen, the lines around his mouth and the large burn scar stretching down his neck and underneath his shirt collar made him look older than he was. Deacon had been curious about the burn since the first time he had met Sam six months ago, but after getting to know him, Deacon knew that Sam would only open up if he felt like it; otherwise, he was like a closed book.
Deacon tilted his head, still looking at Sam, and realised he didn't really know much about Sam at all - he had a girlfriend, Jill, who was gorgeous but very awkward and shy about it; he lived with his grandfather in the suburbs; his weekends and evenings that he told Deacon about consisted of watching TV with Jill and visiting his grandmother; and Deacon thought it was a bit strange that a guy with so many tattoos and piercings lived such a quiet life - no drinking, no drugs. No trouble. 'Except that scar,' Deacon thought. Sam's nostrils flared and he frowned, his eyes still closed.
"What're you looking at?" Sam asked. Deacon cleared his throat and felt his cheeks redden as he realised he'd been caught staring at the mysterious scar.
"I...I was just wondering..."
"The burn, right?" Sam asked. He sat up and looked at Deacon with faded brown eyes. Deacon swallowed heavily and nodded. Sam sighed and rubbed the shiny, disfigured skin. "I was in a gang in junior high. Hence all the tats," Sam said, gesturing to his arms and chest. "I got jumped by another gang. Things got bad," Sam concluded with a shrug.
Deacon raised his eyebrows and nodded slowly, taken aback by the amount of significant information Sam had just revealed to him in a few very short sentences. Deacon wasn't sure how to respond, but he got the feeling that Sam wanted to continue, when the computer beeped twice and the screen announced that the scan was complete.
Sam cleared his throat and shifted in his seat awkwardly. He nodded at the computer. "Done?" Deacon leaned forward and pushed ok, and stood up. Sam was obviously done talking.
"Yeah. All done," Deacon said. Sam walked Deacon out to the front of the store and clapped him on the shoulder.
"Thanks man, I really appreciate this, you being so cool about coming down here," Sam said. Then he grinned wickedly and nodded his head at Deacon. "Now I'll let you get back to whatever it was that girl of yours was doing to ya." Deacon stared at Sam, puzzled.
"Huh? Sarah's on a course for a month, she's not in town," Deacon replied. Sam raised his eyebrows.
"Really? Well, then I suggest you cover up that monster of a hickey before anyone starts to question your virtue," Sam said with a wink. Comprehension dawned in Deacon's eyes and his hand drifted up to the bruise on his neck that Mark had created the night before. Sam laughed as Deacon's face turned red.
"It's not...I mean, it's nothing like that," Deacon stuttered. "Sarah...she gets jealous, she was just...marking her territory before she left, y'know?" Sam shrugged, the lecherous grin still on his face.
"Whatever, man. None of my business," Sam said, his eyes twinkling. "Thanks again, Deac. Later." And with that, Sam turned and walked back into the store, leaving Deacon red-faced and stunned behind him.
After Deacon left, Mark dozed for a while, fleeting images of a naked, moaning Deacon flashing through his mind. Finally, he couldn't take it any more and got up. He walked naked to the shower and jerked off quickly under the hot water, his mind filled with his best friend's face, body and voice. Mark dried off and was sitting on the couch playing a video game when he heard Deacon's cell phone beep from the kitchen. Hearing it reminded Mark that he hadn't checked his own phone since the day his family had left.
Pausing the game, Mark rifled through his bag until he found his phone. Switching it on, Mark felt a stab of guilt in his chest when the display informed him that he had three missed calls and five unread text messages, all displaying the same ID tag: MARIE CELL. Mark took a deep breath and called his girlfriend's cell phone.
"Hey baby," Marie's voice exclaimed. "I'm so glad to hear your voice! I was starting to think something had happened to you guys." Mark closed his eyes and tried to swallow the lump in his throat.
"Hey yourself. We've just...been hitting the bottle a bit too hard." Mark felt the knife in his heart wrench further inwards as Marie's smooth laughter caressed his ear.
"I thought as much. And I hate being the clingy girlfriend, but with Deacon being MIA as well as you, I couldn't help thinking..." Marie left the sentence unfinished. She gave a conclusive sigh and Mark could almost hear her smiling over the phone. "Never mind all that. How are you, besides the definite hangover?" Marie asked with a giggle. Mark forced his feelings of guilt aside and gave Marie a patchy summary of the last few days, his version consisting only of getting drunk and hanging out with Puck, Stella and Jon. He listened with a heavy heart as Marie told him about the course and how much she missed him.
"Oh jeez," Marie said all of a sudden. "I didn't realise how long we've been talking. I'm supposed to meet Sarah at the café in ten minutes. I'm gonna have to go."
"That's ok," Mark said, a wave of guilty relief washing over him. "But hey, I promise that it won't be such a long time until you hear from me again." Mark smiled as Marie clucked her tongue.
"Don't worry about it, sweetie. I know how you and Deac are probably enjoying a break from us, getting to do all your guy things for once," Marie said. Mark blushed unintentionally as he thought of the kind of things he and his guy had been doing. "Sarah's paranoid anxiety just rubbed off on me a little," Marie explained. "Speaking of which, could you do me a favour and ask Deac to call Sarah? She's going out of her mind here."
"Yeah," Mark said quietly. "Yeah, I'll tell him. I'm sorry, babe."
"And I told you, don't worry about it," Marie assured him gently. "I really have to go. I love you, Mark. Bye." Mark held back a pained sigh and nodded.
"Yeah. I...I love you too," Mark replied, unsure if he meant it as he ended the call. His head was full of confused feelings of guilt and lust, his heart heavy with betrayal and something else, something he couldn't bring himself to identify. He looked up at the clock on the wall and saw that Deacon would be back soon. With his stomach churning, Mark scribbled a note to Deacon and left it on the kitchen sideboard before tugging his trainers on, stepping outside and locking the door behind him. Turning left at the driveway, Mark started running, his body falling into the familiar motions of exercise while his head and his heart battled to find answers to his confusion.
Deacon pulled his car into the driveway, yanked the handbrake up and grabbed the milk carton from the passenger seat. A huge grin on his face, he trotted across the patio and to the front door, more than ready to continue with what Mark had wanted to start that morning. The door was closed, which was strange given the weather, but Deacon shrugged, assuming Mark was still asleep. He frowned as he tugged on the door and found it was locked; he was sure he hadn't locked it when he left. Deacon fished his keys from his pocket and unlocked the door. A videogame was paused on the TV set, but there was no sign of Mark in the living room or kitchen, and when he entered his bedroom, he saw the curtains were open and the bed was made, but still no Mark.
"Mark?" Deacon called through the silent house. "Hey, you here?" Deacon opened the refrigerator and put the milk carton inside before glancing around the kitchen There was a piece of paper on the sideboard where he kept his keys. Deacon picked up the paper and saw it was a note which read:
I've gone for a run. Call Sarah - Mark
Deacon turned the paper over and found nothing else, his brow furrowed at the brusque tone of the note. He crumpled the paper and picked up his cell phone from the sideboard, his stomach turning as he saw the number of missed calls and messages from Sarah. Deacon stared at his phone for a moment, then dialled Mark's cell.
When he heard the Jaws theme song that Mark used as his ringtone, Deacon followed the sound to the couch, seeing Mark's phone on the coffee table. He ended the call and picked up Mark's phone, scrolling through his call log. The last call made was only an hour ago to Marie's cell. Deacon slumped onto the sofa and tossed Mark's phone aside. Trying to still the queasy feeling in his gut, Deacon dialled Sarah's number.
Mark leaned on the letterbox in front of Deacon's house, panting heavily, his face covered in a sheen of sweat. He saw Deacon's car parked in the driveway and drew his hand across his face. Crossing the patio, he saw Deacon sitting on the couch, facing away from the door. Mark kicked his running shoes off and walked to the kitchen, where he drew a glass of water and gulped it down in two large swallows. He leaned on the counter and looked over at the blonde boy, who was staring straight ahead, no expression on his face.
"Did you call her?" Mark asked eventually. Deacon looked over at Mark, his face still blank.
"Yeah," Deacon answered quietly.
"Is she okay?"
"She was a bit pissed off, but otherwise..." Deacon said with a shrug. "Yeah, it's all okay." The room was silent, the air heavy with tension. Mark sighed and sat on the coffee table in front of Deacon.
"But it's not all okay, is it?"
"No. No, I guess it's not," Deacon admitted, his eyes on his clasped hands. "I...I feel so fucking guilty. I thought it was okay, but talking to Sarah... " Mark nodded and ran his hands through his hair.
"Yeah, I know," Mark agreed. They were both silent for a while, staring at their feet, lost in their own thoughts. Eventually, Mark spoke hesitantly, his heart aching as he spoke. "Maybe...maybe we should..." Mark shrugged, unable to finish the sentence. He looked up at Deacon with sadness in his eyes.
"Maybe we should stop this?" Deacon finished, his heart in his throat. Mark nodded slightly and looked away.
"Yeah," he said after a moment. "Maybe we should." Deacon leaned forward and stared at Mark until he looked back; Deacon's eyes were large and troubled.
"Okay," Deacon said, choking on the words. "If that's what you want." Mark punched his knee with a tightly clenched fist and frowned at Deacon, a frustrated sigh escaping his lips.
"No, it's not what I want," Mark said, his eyes blazing fiercely at Deacon. "You know I don't want that. Is that what you want?"
"No. Of course not. But...I just..." Deacon reached up and caressed Mark's cheek with his palm. Mark swallowed heavily and leaned into Deacon's hand before shaking his head and pulling away from the blonde boy's touch, the electricity he felt scaring him. Deacon stood up abruptly with a frown and walked toward the patio doors. "Well, then...what do you want? I mean, what the fuck is this? What we're doing, what is it?"
"I...I don't..." Mark stammered. He threw his hands up in defeat and stood up, glaring at his friend. "Jesus, Deac, what do you want me to say?"
"It's not about what you think I want to hear, Mark! I want to know what you think it is we're doing, I really want to know what you think this is," Deacon said, his eyes pleading with Mark to answer him. Mark scrunched his eyes shut and sighed.
"I...fuck, I don't know," Mark said, the words feeling like lies on his tongue. He knew what his heart thought it was, but he was too afraid to say it. "I don't know. I'm gonna have a shower."
"No you're not, not until we're done here," Deacon said, grabbing Mark by the arm and pulling him back in front of him. Mark yanked his arm out of Deacon's grasp and frowned angrily at his friend.
"Then why don't you give me an answer!" Mark yelled, cringing inside as he saw confusion ripple across Deacon's face. "What do you think this is? We're just going to keep on fucking on the side for, what, forever? Cheating on Marie and Sarah, lying to everyone, sneaking around?" he asked, his hands curled into fists at his sides. "Because I...I can't do that. I thought I could just go with this, try and block out my conscience like you seem so good at doing, but I can't! Not when I don't know how long this is gonna go on, and how long I'm gonna have to keep feeling guilty for," Mark said, biting his tongue before he said anything he would regret; before he let slip the real reason that he couldn't bear to carry on with their affair.
Mark already knew that his heart was too involved with their fucking, and the longer it carried on, the harder it was going to be when it ended. All the anger drained from Mark as he realised what they had to do. He heaved a deep sigh and turned toward the kitchen, his shoulders slumped. "It probably is best if we end this now. Before it gets any harder than it is," Mark finished, walking through the kitchen. Deacon just stood silently, a sad and confused look on his face.
Mark drew his hand across the foggy bathroom mirror and frowned at his dripping reflection. He thought the shower might have washed away his indecision, given some closure on what he and Deacon had just ended. But as he stared at himself in the mirror, he realised it hadn't done anything. He felt just as guilty about what they had done, and his heart was just as certain of who it wanted as when he had stepped into the shower. He wanted Deacon just as much as he had after their first kiss. Before that, if he was honest with himself.