Greyson is a mess--okay, a hot mess. We're about to learn a bit more of what makes our news anchor tick.
There are a few surprises in store as well!
GOODNIGHT & GODSPEED
CHAPTER 2 – Epic Life: Talking it Out
I was lying in my bed, trying to get to sleep, but my phone kept buzzing. It was Lucas. Sometimes he would leave a message. Sometimes he would leave me a voicemail. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t hear what Lucas had to say. I was an ass.
SEVENTEEN YEARS EARLIER
Raphael was my best friend. We practically grew up together, and since we were both five, we were pretty much inseparable.
It was Rafe’s sixteenth birthday. With my new driver’s license, I drove us out to our cabin in New Jersey. I still couldn’t believe Mom let me drive alone!
The weekend trip, all the food, and the bag of pot was my present for Rafe. I like those kinds of presents—especially since I get to enjoy them, too!
When we got to the cabin, we opened everything up, let the place air out, and fired up the grill. We had steaks for Rafe’s birthday dinner. I pulled out my notebook that had all the instructions Mom had written out so I could make Rafe the perfect dinner.
Before we started cooking, Rafe rolled a couple of joints, and we sat out back and enjoyed the hell out of them. We were most definitely feeling no pain. The steaks and baked potatoes were perfect. Mom had also packed a birthday cake in the cooler. It was the best cake she had ever made! When I said that to Rafe, he giggled and said it was because I was stoned. He was probably right.
We watched a movie that he had brought with him. It was called Boys Briefs. Rafe said it was a bunch of short films about boys who were the same age as us. What he didn’t tell me was that the stories were all about boys and their first loves…and they were all other boys.
I was confused. I knew I wasn’t supposed to like those kinds of stories, but hell—I was stoned and didn’t have the strength to object. Besides, it was Rafe’s birthday, and he was allowed to pick the movie. I wondered if he was trying to tell me something.
After the movie ended, Rafe asked me if I liked it. I told him there were a couple of stories that I enjoyed. He just stared at me for a while. Then, he took a deep breath. “Grey, I chose this movie because I wanted to let you know—I’m just like them. I’m gay, Grey. Please don’t hate me.”
Rafe started to get a teary-eyed. I wrapped him in my arms and told him to stop being stupid. “I kinda figured that was what you were trying to tell me, Rafe. You didn’t see me get up or look uncomfortable, did you?”
“That’s because I’m your best friend. You’re mine. You’re the most important person in my life, Rafe. I love you because of who you are—not because of what you are.”
“I was so scared, G.!”
Rafe wrapped his arms around me and cried some more. I told him not to be sad, and he said it was because he was so relieved.
“I love you too, Grey.”
Rafe pulled his head off of my shoulder and looked at me—right into my eyes.
“I really do love you.”
He leaned forward and kissed me. Hell, it was only the third kiss I’ve ever had in my life. It was really nice. I started to kiss Rafe back. He was moaning, and that was getting me excited. He reached down between us and put his hand on my cock—my cock that was getting hard pretty fast. No—can’t do it!
I pulled away from Rafe and ended the kiss—and everything else. “I’m sorry Rafe. I can’t. I’m not gay!”
“But you were hard, G. You said you loved me.”
“No. I can’t. I’m not gay.” I got up, ran to the bedroom, and closed the door behind me. Rafe didn’t talk to me for the rest of the weekend, and we ended up leaving early to head back home.
I lost my best friend that night. I ruined everything because I was a chicken-shit friend. I lost my best friend.
In my mind’s eye, all I can see is the look on Rafe’s face. It was this strange mixture of hurt, shock, anger, confusion—and for the rest of my life, I will never forget that look.
Then it hit me—it’s the same mixture of looks that I had just seen on Lucas’ face. For the second time in my life, I put that look on another person’s face—another person I cared deeply for.
I picked up my phone and didn’t even bother looking at the eight texts—or listening to the three voice mails.
“Hi, Lucas. I hope I didn’t wake you.”
“No, I couldn’t really sleep.”
“Me either. Umm—look—would you be okay to talk a bit? I think that’s the only way either of us will be able to sleep tonight.”
“Good idea. How do you want to do this? Phone? Meet somewhere? I’m good with whatever you want.”
“Thanks. Why don’t you come to my room?”
“On my way.”
“I can’t. I’m. Not. Gay.”
The look in his eyes was nothing but pure terror. I was shocked, hurt, and a little pissed. Greyson Myers was giving me those “I’m into you” signals all day. There was the way our arms would brush against each other while we walked on the beach—and he never backed away.
But it was the way I would catch him looking at me. It was so much more than a casual glance. I could feel his eyes bore into me. No one—not even Erik—had ever looked at me with such intensity or—I don’t know—curiosity, maybe?
By the time we were eating dinner, I knew I was into Grey more than anyone in years. It was a good, if not perfect, fit. I had never shared my story of Erik’s passing with anyone—well, not the entire story. I have never told anyone about the actual reasons he had for doing that to himself.
But with Grey, I just knew I had to tell him everything—truthfully. When he held me in his arms while I cried my ass off, it felt good. Grey had given me the permission I could never give myself—the permission to let things go.
But then, I had to go and fuck things up by kissing him. He kissed me back. His tongue danced with mine. Then he moaned—and freaked out. Before I could say anything, he was practically out my door.
I tried to text and apologize, but I got no answer. I sent Grey a few voicemails, and nothing came back. The best man I’ve met in years wanted nothing to do with me.
And now—I’m heading to his suite. I have no idea what’s going to happen, but I have to believe in the Epic Life process. As hard as it is, I have to believe that all of this is exactly what Greyson and I need. 728. Here goes nothing.
I knock on the door, and almost immediately it opens. Damn! Grey looks completely stressed.
“Hey, come in.”
I walk in the door, and Grey leads me into the living area. There’s a teapot on the coffee table with two glasses.
“I made some lavender tea. It’s supposed to help you relax.”
“So, the smart thing isn’t just an act, huh?”
I was happy to see the corners of Grey’s mouth do a slight upturn. I’d take anything on the positive side right now.
We sat down, and Grey poured the tea. “Do you take anything in yours?”
“No. I like my tea all by itself.”
“Cool. Me too.”
We each took a sip, set our cups down on the table, and at the same time said, “I’m sorry, Lucas/I need to apologize, Grey.”
We both smiled, and I told Grey to go ahead. He told me about his best friend and how they went away to celebrate his sixteenth birthday. His friend came out to him as part of a very emotional conversation.
Grey told me that his friend confessed that he was in love with him. They kissed, and things ended in much the same way as our evening ended. Grey took my hand in his and leaned toward me.
“I lost my best friend because I couldn’t handle the fact that someone was in love with me who I couldn’t love back in the way he wanted. When I got back to my room, I thought a lot about that night. When I remembered the look on Rafe’s face when I told him I couldn’t do it, it was practically identical to the look on your face.
“In just one day, I found this amazing man who found his way into my life. In just one day, you became the only other man that I have been comfortable enough to let in. We haven’t known each other for even 24 hours, but I know that what we have started is far too important to lose. I want you in my life, Lucas. No—I need you in my life. I’m sorry—so fucking sorry—that I allowed my own insecurities nearly destroy what we have started.”
We just sat there and looked at each other and smiled—eventually.
“Thank you, Grey. I appreciate your telling me that. But, I need to apologize to you as well. So—do you remember me telling you that since Erik, my only relationships have been the quick one-night stands I would get from Grindr. I’m really not a slut—at least I don’t like to think of it that way.
“You see, I’ve not been able to allow any man to get anywhere close to me—emotionally—since Erik died. It just hurt too much to go to that place. But even those weren’t typical hookups. I would seldom allow the other guy to do anything to me. I was in charge. I did the sucking. I did the fucking. When I was done, I would thank him for a good time and push him out of my bed. Oh—and there was hardly ever a kiss—not even a chaste one.”
“How did that make you feel after your guy walked out the door?”
“Dead inside, to be honest. No matter what I would say or do, I had zero influence on what Erik ended up doing. No matter how much I would show him I loved him, it wasn’t enough. He went and killed himself despite me or my feelings. Those Grindr hookups were a way for me to take control. It’s ironic when you think about it. I went from having no control in my relationship with Erik to having total control in my hookups. The irony is that I didn’t feel any better about things after the hookups.”
“Am I hearing this right? Do you want to control me and whatever this relationship we have developing.”
“No! Not at all. For the first time since I first met Erik, I found someone I wanted actually to share my life with. And I fucked it up. I completely misread what I thought were signals from you—that you were interested in something—I don’t know—more?”
“Now that you mention it, I probably was sending you signals that could have been taken in a completely different way. Okay, Lucas—your eyes—you do realize that you have these hypnotic eyes, don’t you? I couldn’t look away from them—no matter how hard I tried. It was like you were pulling me in with your eyes. I was trapped. Does that make sense?”
“Of course it does, Grey. You see—you have the same thing—eyes that pull someone in so deeply that they can read your soul—that they can see your heart. Of course, I thought it meant that you wanted me—and the little touches all day only confirmed that—in my mind. The more time I spent with you, the more attracted to you I became. For the first time in years, I found a hot guy with an amazing brain—and I wanted to figure out how to build a relationship for the ages. And for all that, I am sorry. I hope we can move past this, Grey. You are the most important person that’s come into my life for a long, long time.”
“Really? You were that attracted to me? You? Have you looked in a mirror lately? You are easily the most attractive man I’ve ever seen. Your mind—your outlook on life—those things only make you even more attractive. I’ve never looked at a man this way. It scares the shit out of me, Lucas. I—I—I can’t be gay—even if I wanted to be.”
“You know, you can’t decide if you are gay or not. It is what it is—you are, or you aren’t. It’s like this—I didn’t choose to have this wavy-as-hell blond hair. It’s what I ended up with. I didn’t choose to be attracted to guys. It just happened. I’m gay—whether I want to be or not.”
“Are you happy that you’re gay?”
“I’m happy with who I am, yes. And today—for a short time—I was so fucking happy I was gay because I finally found this amazing man that I wanted in my life.”
“I’m sorry. I wish I could be what you want me to be—and for you, I really wish I could be. But—I just can’t. I can’t be gay. It would kill my mother.”
“And that’s why you are here. Didn’t you say that you wanted to start living for yourself and not others?”
“Yes, but my mother has been through so much, I would never do anything to add to the shit she has to deal with.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I guess it started with Dad dying when I was just twelve. He left my mother with two boys—a twelve and seventeen-year-old. If that wasn’t hard enough on her, Sammy—my brother—made Mom’s life a pure hell. He was always getting into trouble. He’s a total smart-ass and does shit without thinking how his actions might affect the people around him. He’s been married and divorced twice already. He has a daughter that he pays child support for, but he doesn’t want anything to do with her. That kills my mother—she wants to spend time with her granddaughter.
“But for my Mom, the worst part is her awareness of people talking about her behind her back. It makes her feel useless and embarrassed. I think the absolute worst thing a Jewish mother has to endure is knowing that she’s the subject of the temple gossip.”
“And so you deny yourself the things that might make you happy in order to keep your mother happy with you?”
“Pretty much. After Dad died, I was the only one she could be proud of. I was the only one she didn’t have to worry about. If I can give my mom even the slightest amount of happiness, then I’m happy to do that. And I know it’s fucked up. I know I need to change that about myself. But I’ve done it for most of my life. The divorce was the first time I let Mom down. It’s been harder on her than on me, actually.”
“Grey. This breaks my heart.”
“I know—it’s terrible.”
“No. I don’t think we're quite on the same page. I would like to try something with you that I learned when I did the Epic Invitation weekend a few months ago.”
“It’s a weekend-long version of this program—kind of an introduction.”
“Okay. Why do you want to do this now?”
“They did it with me. It can get pretty intense. I don’t want you to have to go through that in front of the whole crowd.”
“Can you trust me? I should tell you that I might get rather personal. But I will also tell you that no matter what I say, it will be much gentler coming from me than from Francesca. She can be brutal.”
“Really? She seems so kind.”
“She is—Francesca Gideon is exactly what she needs to be to get what she needs to get done. And you will love her when this thing is over.”
“Did it help you when you went through it?”
“Yeah. It helped me realize that I needed to get to a place in my head where I can let go.”
“Okay. I trust you. I would rather do this with you than with Francesca.”
We both gulped down the rest of our tea. I turned on the sofa and faced Grey. I took his hands and told him to take a deep breath. He did, and I began.
“Grey, you’ve shared a lot with me today. That means so much to me. I don’t know if I can truly put it into words.”
Grey smiled and nodded—although he looked terrified at the same time.
“Relax. I promise you that anything you say to me will stay with me and no one else will know what you say. Okay with that?”
“Yes. And thank you.” Grey took another deep breath, and I gently squeezed his hands.
“Okay. I want to talk about your friend Rafe. You said he showed you a film that was a collection of gay love stories. How did you feel about that?”
“It was okay with me. It was his birthday. I told him we could watch whatever he wanted to watch.”
“I get that, but what I’m asking is what was going through your mind when you realized that the boys on the screen were attracted to each other? What did you think when you saw them kiss?”
“I had never seen anything like that before. I mean, I was a pretty naïve kid. At first, I was pretty shocked. I didn’t even realize two boys could do that sort of thing together.”
“Did it bother you? How did you feel about watching two boys kiss?”
“I don’t remember it bothering me. I remember thinking it was interesting—fascinating, even.”
“Did it excite you?”
“What do you mean?”
“Did it turn you on?”
Grey chuckled and said, “Of course it did. I was sixteen years old and a total virgin. Trust me, at that stage of my life, watching two of anything getting it on would have turned me on.”
“When Rafe told you he was gay, what was the first thing you thought? Do you remember?”
“Yeah, I remember thinking it didn’t matter. Rafe was my best friend, and nothing would ever change that.”
“But something did change that.”
“Yes. Rafe kissed me.”
“A kiss on the cheek, perhaps?”
“No—it was a full-on, deep kiss—full of tongues and moans.”
“So, you were participating in the kiss?”
“Well, yeah. I was stoned—relaxed—in the moment. It was my first kiss, too.”
“What ended the kiss?”
“He put his hand over my cock.”
“How did that feel?”
“It felt good—and that scared the shit out of me. I knew it was wrong. I knew I wasn’t supposed to like that.”
“Okay, I get that. Tell me about the first time you and Elizabeth kissed.”
Grey went into some deep thought and then huffed.
“There’s not much to tell. It wasn’t anyone’s first kiss.”
“Who initiated the kiss?”
“Oh. That would be Elizabeth.”
“How was it. Do you remember your feelings about that kiss?”
“No. I honestly don’t. I mean, I remember it happening. I remember Elizabeth’s fingers in my hair. Weird, huh?”
“No, it’s not weird, Greyson. It is what it is. If you find it weird, then it can be weird. If you find it perfectly normal, then it’s perfectly normal. What I feel about your first kiss with your ex-wife is of no real significance. How would you describe your physical relationship with Elizabeth.”
“At first, we had sex quite often. I got into it. I was relieved that it worked well.”
“You weren’t expecting it to?”
“It’s not that I had any expectations. I just wanted everything to feel good—and to go well—I wanted to make Elizabeth feel good.”
“After a few months, it just was happening less and less. We were both really busy with our careers, and both of us would blame it on our crazy schedules. I started to feel bad about things when we began to pretty much ignore each other when we were actually together.”
“I’m sorry to hear that. Do you think there was a reason that the two of you lost touch with the friendship you had?”
“Yes. There—there was a reason.”
Grey reached for his teacup, only to find it empty.
“Can you say what it was?”
“I—I’ve never told a single person what the real reason was. It’s—I don’t know—embarrassing, maybe?”
“No need for embarrassment. Like I told you—there’s no judgment whatsoever here.”
“There was someone else.”
“For you? For Elizabeth?”
“Elizabeth. A hot new photographer her agency had started to use. She told me that he made her feel things like she had never felt before—both emotionally and physically.”
“How did hearing that make you feel?”
“Inadequate. Useless. Like a total loser.”
“That’s understandable. How do you feel about it now?”
“Like I failed. But I’m okay. I’m here to move on, right? Figure things out, right?”
“Right. Okay, Grey. We’re going to talk about the last twenty-four hours. Look at me, please?”
Grey slowly raised his head and looked at me. When I could feel those beautiful eyes lock into mine, I continued, “Please, please know that there is absolutely no judgment on the things we are about to say to each other.”
“Of course. I may not understand it, but for some reason, I have complete trust in you, Lucas.”
“That makes me really happy, Grey. Thank you. Now, this time, when you answer a question, you can ask me something back. This will be more about two-way communication. Okay?”
“Yes, definitely.” Grey was still locked into my eyes—as I was his. “Umm—Lucas? Umm—can I hug you before we start this part? I don’t know why, but I just feel the need to hug you.”
I held out my arms, and Grey wrapped his around me. I couldn’t believe this beautiful man—an international celebrity—was hugging me. Actually—he was holding on for dear life. Grey began to tremble in my arms.
I wrapped one arm tighter around his waist and moved my other hand up to his head. I pressed his head against mine and whispered in his year, “Relax Grey, there is nothing to be afraid of here. I have your back.”
“Thanks, Lucas,” Grey’s voice was shaky, but he kept talking. “I’m just a little—no, more than a bit afraid of—of—what I’m probably going to be saying now.”
“And that would be?”
“Let’s just wait and see how this conversation goes, okay?”
“Of course, Grey. Take a deep breath. Let the tension out.”
He did what I had asked him to do. But rather than pull away, he settled his head against mine.
“Okay. I’m ready.” His head didn’t move.
“Grey? Do you want to move your head?”
“No. This is better for me. You make me feel better—more relaxed.”
“Okay. Can you tell me how you felt this morning when you and I saw each other for the first time?”
“I don’t have any words for how I felt. It was—I don’t know—like nothing I’ve ever felt before. All I knew was that I couldn’t pull away from your eyes. It’s your eyes. They’re amazing—magnetic, even. How did you feel?”
“It’s funny you said there are no words. I speak three different languages, and still can’t come up for a word to describe how I felt when you let me look into your soul. But, I guess I would say that there was a calm that I haven’t felt in years—and feeling that calmness got me excited. It seemed like you were a little excited, too. Were you?”
I felt Grey’s head nod. “Yeah. It was nice, too—well, until I started thinking about it. I can’t even remember the last time I got hard like that—without being touched. And then it kind of freaked me out that I was getting spontaneous wood over another man. It didn’t matter that he is easily the most attractive man I’ve ever seen.”
“Did that ever happen with Elizabeth?”
“No, it’s never happened with anyone. That’s why I’m so fucking confused.”
“Okay. So I have a question for you. What to the letters in LGBTQ stand for?”
“Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, and Queer.”
“Good. But for a lot of people, the ‘Q’ also stands for ‘questioning.’ I think that might be where you are. You don’t have to place a label on what you’re feeling, but you certainly can question those feelings as you figure out what they mean to you.”
“Yes. I think that’s what I’ve been looking for. The journalist in me wants to classify what all of this is. Maybe if I can identify what’s going on, I can relax a little more.”
“Exactly. You don’t have to be gay—or bi—or queer. But you can explore without feeling the pressure to classify your feelings or yourself in any particular way.”
Grey looked into my eyes again. Only this time, I could see the relief overcome his body.
“Thank you, Lucas. You’ve helped me make sense of all this commotion going on in my head. I don’t know how I could ever thank you enough.”
“You don’t have to thank me, Grey. Just seeing you relax and accept yourself is all the thanks I need.”
Grey placed his hands on either side of my face. The corners of his mouth turned up ever-so-slightly before he leaned toward me. He gently pushed his lips against mine and began one of the sweetest and most gentle kisses I’ve ever experienced.
I held back my urges and let Grey control what was happening. It wasn’t long before I felt his tongue pushing into my mouth.
Yes, I initiated the kiss. I didn’t think about it. I just went with what my heart told me to do. That in itself was a major breakthrough for me—following my instincts before I let my brain talk me out of or into the stupid shit I’ve done my whole life.
But that kiss. It definitely didn’t feel stupid. If felt—amazing, perhaps? I know I’ve never felt someone’s soul in a kiss. I know I’ve never felt so connected to someone else with just a kiss.
When Lucas broke away from the kiss, he gave me the sweetest smile as he ran his fingers through my hair.
“Yeah. I don’t want to do anything else, though. I mean—if that kiss was any indication, I’ll most likely want to do a lot more stuff—but not yet. Is that okay?”
“Grey, you can do whatever you feel like doing—whenever you feel like doing it. I will never pressure you into something you’re not ready for.”
“Thank you, Lucas. Can I ask one more favor? This might be a strange one, though.”
“Would you consider staying with me tonight? Nothing physical. I just feel like I won’t get any sleep at all if I’m alone with my thoughts. My thought processes can sometimes fuck me over big-time.”
“Of course, I’ll stay with you. And, so that you know, I think I would be in the same predicament tonight.”
And that’s how I woke up for the second day of Epic Life—with the most beautiful man I’ve ever met wrapped around me. I don’t know why, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t just have the best night’s sleep I’ve had in at least seven or eight years.
I sighed, smiled, and pushed back into the arms of Lucas Bachman. Surprisingly, I didn’t freak out when I felt his hard cock pressed into my back. Oh, and I may or may not have accidentally rubbed up against it a couple of times, causing Lucas to hold me tighter.
In just twenty-four hours, a lot of things have changed in my life—and I get to just be in the moment and see how it all feels. That should scare the fuck out of me. But somehow, with Lucas, it seems to be okay. We’ll see.
There are going to be a lot of intense conversations that are a part of the Epic Life program. Grey doesn't know how lucky he is that Lucas had done the short preview weekend and experienced those conversations for himself.
Grey was able to work through some of his insecurities and allowed himself to kiss the beautiful Swiss boy--but on his terms. Is Grey going to explore his sexuality? Oh please--your reading one of my stories--so you know the answer to that one! But you also know I'm might just make it a difficult journey for our news anchor!
Thanks for your interest in my writing and in this story. Your comments and reviews mean a lot to me. For a lot of us who write on GA, it feels like our pay for writing these little stories. Thanks for that!