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Busted chapter 17



[Writing things like this on the train is a really surreal experience. I think I won't do that again -- it's tough enough to get past the puritan mores and write it in the first place. Luckily for me I was wearing a heavy jacket... (And yes, Joe gets laid, so be warned. Or encouraged. Whatever)]


Joe should have gone out to the club. He knew he ought to. He could dance. He could laugh. He could see Alex.


And that was why he didn't.


Guilt had gnawed at him ever since he'd left Steve Russell's house. Not because he'd kissed Chris Gagnon. That was a surprise to both of them, and he'd done it to prove a point. But because Chris had kissed back. And Joe had liked it. Maybe better than when Alex did.


He hadn't stopped for any good reason. Not self-control, not fidelity, not anything. The only reason he hadn't thrown Chris down and f**ked him stupid was the shame of knowing exactly how close he'd come to cheating on Alex.


That thought was enough to keep him home. Instead of dancing, he was on the couch. Alone. In sweats. Wrapped in a blanket. With hot cocoa. It didn't help that he was near-insanely horny. At least the guilt was keeping that under control.


Joe snorted as he contemplated the cup he was holding. It was July, and he was curled up with a comforter. He'd even turned the air conditioning up some just so it would be chilly. It was pathetic, but that didn't get him off the couch. Instead he held his cup a little tighter, and sipped from it until it was empty.


He probably should have gone out, or at least gotten up. Instead he set the cup on the end table, pulled the blanket up, and went to sleep. It was 9:30. He hadn't been to bed that early in years. Maybe he was just getting old. He'd make it up to Alex later.


Joe was woken up by a soft caress on his cheek. He was having the most amazing dream. The details were vague, but there was something in it about whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and pineapples. And sex. Lots and lots of sex. He was even more aroused than when he'd fallen asleep.


"Hey," said someone softly.


Joe looked up, barely able to see. The face in front of his eyes blurred in and out a little, as he tried to engage his brain. Strong nose. Good cheekbones. Tan. Black eyes. Longish hair.




He smiled. "Who else would it be?"


"Alex," Joe said, waking up.


"Right here," Alex said. He was grinning.


"Alex," Joe growled. He was fully awake. Fully aroused.


"You already said that," Alex said.


Joe grabbed Alex and kissed him hard, with a rumbling at the back of his throat. He felt Alex start to respond, bringing his arms up. That wasn't what Joe wanted.


He grabbed onto Alex and launched himself off the couch. He landed flat out on top of Alex, in the middle of the living room carpet. Alex laughed softly. Joe didn't.


Joe leaned down, putting his nose in the crook of Alex's neck. He breathed in deeply, smelling Alex. He smelled clean and light, and faintly of cologne. It was enough. He lunged in, kissing wildly at the base of Alex's throat while his hands scrabbled at Alex's chest, trying to undo the buttons of his shirt. Three seconds were enough for frustration to hit. Joe grabbed the shirt and ripped it open. Buttons popped and flew everywhere.


"You're all worked


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I like that Joe is disturbed by quite different things than I would have expected him to be. I like that he's noticing in Chris things that he misses in Alex -- I'm eager to find out what they are.


You have a little thing about ripping off buttons, don't you? I'd hate it if somebody did that to me. Particularly since if you undo the first couple buttons on most shirts you can yank them off over the head like a tshirt only more awkwardly.


Eager for 18.

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But buttons are FUN to rip off Lucy, and fairly easy to repair if you get lucky enough that the shirt itself doesn't rip. And hell, even if it does rip, the shirt might still work for a barfly like Alex.


I've been following this story from the first bit, and I have to say I like it, and I like watching your creative process even more. I'm also eager for 18.

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I'd considered having a scene right after this where Alex is gone and Joe can't find any buttons, but that didn't seem to be worth the space, since it'd only be driving home Alex's unreality (so there wouldn't actually be any buttons to find) and we've already established that for the reader. If this was all third-person from Joe's POV it might be worth it as a clue, but we've already skipped out of that.


(And minor not for me for later -- need some more Chris/Steve scenes about the investigation, and Steve nudging Chris about Alex...)

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For now, though, I don't know if Alex is unreal like a projection of Chris's dreams or unreal like a dissociated part of Chris's personality, so the presence or absence of buttons is actually information.

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My take is that Alex/Chris is a single person with a distinct split personality, and depending on where or who he finds himself with, the personalitty best suited to cope comes to the fore.


Wicked chapter, btw! Roll on 18!


Camy B)

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Well, I've figured out what's going on with Chris and Alex. (And Mike, and Toby, and possibly Chris' maternal grandfather, though I'm less sure about that) That's good, so it gets to play out for the next ten or twenty thousand words or so. That leaves me figuring out what to do with the suspense/thriller part of the story, which is more of a challenge.

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