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    Headstall
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Cards on the Table - 1. Chapter 1 Deuces Wild

The card game begins

Chapter 1

 


It was astounding how beautiful he was. Kendall shifted in his seat, trying not to stare at the best friend he had in the whole world. Swallowing down the lump in his throat, he felt the dread crawl over him, and he steeled himself for what he was about to do. He'd entered Sticks and Suds by the side door, slipping into the booth unnoticed. The waitress, having seen his arrival, approached him with a welcoming smile. He waved her away with a, "Thanks, Cora, I'm good."

As she nodded, turned, and retreated, Michael caught his eye, giving him one of those heart-stopping smiles he seemed to reserve just for Kendall. Gesturing, he indicated he was almost finished his pool game.

Candy, the flavor of the last couple of months, chose that moment to plant a big kiss on Michael, reaching up and wrapping her arms around his muscular neck. Kendall smirked to himself at her obvious act of possession, knowing how Michael felt about his women when they got that way. That smirk turned to a frown as he wondered if Candy might be different. She'd already lasted a few weeks longer than most of them did. The feeling such a thought gave him was exactly the reason he had to follow through on why he asked Michael to meet him here.

He watched Michael disengage himself from Candy's grip, powerful arms gently setting her aside as he turned away to prepare to take his next shot. Leaning over the table, the view he provided was impossible to look away from. His flaring back was on perfect display as his arm drew the cue back in preparation, and his was an ass Kendall had stared at and fantasized about for the entire six years he'd known him.

From roommates the first year of Police College, to sitting in this booth today, Michael was never far from Kendall's thoughts... and that had to change. His resolve wasn't wavering, but his body was showing signs of the great stress he was under. Nausea threatened to overtake him and there was a noticeable tremble to his hands. He found himself wishing Michael would hurry up.

As if he heard Kendall's thoughts, Michael replaced his cue in the rack and turned to look his way with a smile he recognized as victorious. Chalk up another win for the big Irish/Italian cop no one seemed to mind losing to. Careful not to drown in those intense blue eyes, Kendall glanced away as Michael started his short trek towards him. True to form, Michael stopped to say a few words to a couple sitting at the booth closest to the group of pool tables. His deep, rumbling laugh brought Kendall's eyes back to him.

That natural charm and friendliness gave Kendall a chance to take in his incredible appeal for a few more seconds. Those muscular, jean-clad legs with that bulge that couldn't be hidden in any pants, up his amazing set of abdominal muscles, to the power packed chest stretching the navy blue t-shirt that had POLICE printed across it, Kendall got lost in the masculine perfection that was Michael. His gaze continued up to see a frown flicker across the face that haunted his days, and his nights, as Michael stared back at him.

Quickly looking down, Kendall wondered what his face had shown. Normally he was careful about hiding how he felt, but knowing there was an expiration date on the option of admiring the person he loved most in this world, had, for a split second, caused those cautious walls to drop. A rueful smile appeared on his face at the mental acknowledgement he wasn't going to hide anymore, and it hit him again, the enormity of what his intention was going to cost him.

Looking back up, he was startled to see Michael slide into the seat facing him, running a hand through that glossy black hair of his. There was a look of genuine worry on his face, and that caused a deep searing pain to run through what was either Kendall's heart or his soul.

"Hey, buddy. What's going on? Are you okay?"

His concern was so evident, Kendall's conviction wavered, and he found himself floundering in a pool of emotion, robbing him of his ability to speak.

"Hey? Did something happen? Do you need something to drink? You don't look very good."

His determination slowly exerted itself, and Kendall was soon able to give him a weak smile. "I'm okay...I just need to talk to you about something... something important." A couple of deep breaths calmed him slightly, and he continued to convince his friend he was all right. "I am not sick or anything, but what I have to talk about is really hard for me, so I need you to listen and let me get things out, okay?"

Michael, looking perplexed, nodded.

"Okay, so first you need to know something, and I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner. You've been my best friend for so long and I was being totally unfair to you... I was being unfair to both of us." He looked away as his heart started to race, and he could feel a horrible kind of sweat breaking out on his entire upper body. God, this was so hard.

"Just tell me, Deuce," Michael said softly. "Whatever it is, it can't be that bad. Best friends forever, right?"

Hearing Michael's nickname for him got him back on track, barely, and he tried to give him a reassuring smile... one he didn't feel. "I hope so, Ace, I really do."

Michael started to react, but Kendall's agonized plea to "Wait," stopped him cold. It was clear he didn't know what was going on here, but Kendall saw the realization dawn on his friend's face just how serious this was.

He'd never seen Kendall like this before because he had never allowed him to. As hard as he tried to stay calm, a nervous hand was gripping and releasing the blond hair on the top of his head while he fought the terror of what he was doing and how it would all turn out. The uneasy expression on Michael's face as he watched him struggle not to lose it was making things worse, but he knew he had to do this.

"I'm sorry, Ace... just bear with me please." Another plea to hold a now anxious Michael in check. "I should have told you this a long time ago. No excuses... I told myself I couldn't figure out how, but the fact is, I just didn't have the guts. I'm gay." Those two words came out softly, but the sob that followed had him swallowing fiercely. He watched as Michael's face went totally blank. Forcing himself to really look at the man, he found he couldn't read him. He could always tell what that familiar face was thinking, but this time, as he searched it, he couldn't decipher anything. When a sick fear started to overwhelm him, he saw Michael's eyes come back into focus.

"How is that possible? You're kidding right? I know you've slept with a lot of women." He rubbed his face with large hands as if to wake himself up. "We've had sex with women in the same room. Remember Kelly? You had her climbing the walls. I know because I was there." The confused expression matched his words.

"Yes, you were there. There haven't been a lot of women, though. As a matter of fact, I haven't had sex with a woman in a couple of years... not since Amanda. I just let you think I did because it was easier than this." Kendall stopped to take a few deep breaths, trying to regain some control. He was right on the edge of breaking down completely, but he knew he was only halfway done. "I realized what I was doing wasn't right, and I stopped. Dragging other people's feelings into my messed up life was wrong. All it did was make me feel worse. I'm gay. I'm not here to convince you of that. This isn't a joke. I wish it was, but it isn't."

 

The sadness coming from Kendall hit Michael full force. He had a strong urge to take the big man in his arms and hold him. It hurt so bad to see him like this. "It's okay," he said softly. "I had no idea, none at all, but it's okay. I don't care. You are still my best friend and always will be. You didn't think that would change, did you?" He waited for his friend to finally meet his eyes. The look he saw there was one of utter despair.

"The thing is, we can't be best friends, not for now, not like we have been...."

That was Candy's cue to slide into the booth beside Michael. He hadn't seen or heard her approach. "Baby, you're ignoring me and I don't like it. You told me you were going to teach me to play pool."

Michael shifted his stunned gaze over to Candy. "What the hell are you talking about? Not now, Candy. I told you Kendall needed to talk to me, so could you just piss off." It wasn't a question, and it came out as a hiss as he glared at her for a second before looking back at the man across from him. The tension was excruciating, and he wanted Candy gone. He turned and glared at her again, watching her pout go from hurt to indignant. He couldn't have cared less in that moment. Finally, she slid out of the booth and stalked away, throwing a comment over her shoulder as she left.

"Fine. Stay here with your boyfriend then. I'll find someone else to teach me."

"Bitch," Michael uttered as he focused on Kendall. "What the hell do you mean? I told you I was fine with it and you say we can't be best friends anymore?" He couldn't help it. His words were spit out with anger and hurt. This part was something Michael couldn't accept. He had never been closer to any other person, outside of his parents, in his whole life. He relied on Kendall and his almost daily presence. They did everything together. They had coffee every morning, they ate together most evenings, they went to the gym, movies, hockey games, camping, fishing... fuck, even shopping. They hardly ever went a day without seeing one another, and told each other everything.

Okay, so apparently not everything, but that didn't matter right now. How could Kendall even think of ending their friendship? "You can't be serious? You've got to be fucking kidding me. Why in hell would you think we couldn't be best friends? Haven't I always been supportive of you? Fuck man... don't even go there. Seriously, you're freaking me out here. I don't give a rat's ass if you're gay."

A long silence followed those words, and Kendall looked like he was dying inside. What the fuck?

"Say something. Tell me you don't mean this. Please, Deuce, " Michael pleaded. Desperation combined with disbelief, but those feelings were giving way to a fear stronger than any Michael could remember experiencing. This could not be happening.

 

Now they were at the part that had Kendall twisted up in knots. This was what'd prevented him from telling his best friend sooner... the reason why his life has been on hold for so long. "Ace... you need to understand everything. I need to have my own life. The last thing I want is to end our friendship, but I don't see any other way." He couldn't stop the tears from welling up... he didn't even try. He felt so fucking raw, and imagined cutting off a hand couldn't hurt any worse. "I need to find someone for me, and I can't do that when I see you every day. I'm sorry. I couldn't ask for a better friend. I lose here too." This time the tears spilled over with a vengeance and he could no longer meet the pained look in those dark blue eyes.

"Hey, am I missing something here, because I don't get it? If I take up too much of your time then I'll just back off. I really am okay with... with the gay thing. Hell... I'll even help you if you want. I'll help you find someone, whatever it takes, man. Just please don't end our friendship. It doesn't make sense and there's no reason for it. And please don't cry. We can get through this. I just can't imagine us not being friends. Fuck, Deuce, I need you."

"I love you, Ace," Kendall whispered. It came out so low he wondered if Michael heard him.

Obviously, he had. "Hey, I love you too. You mean more to me than a brother ever could... you have to know that."

"No." The word came out wreathed in the pain he felt. This was it... what he'd dreaded and avoided for so damn long. "You don't understand. Shit. I know you love me, but what I am talking about is something different. I am in love with you. I am in love with you and I have been since our first year of college. I don't have a life because I can't think of any other guy but you. I crave being around you and I'm lost when I'm not. I think about you all day and I dream about you at night. That's why I can't be around you anymore. It's not what I want... it's what I need. Do you get it now? I am in love with someone who can't return it. I look at you, and I feel all this love I have to hold back and try to bury, and it's fucking killing me." Kendall would not have thought it possible to feel so exposed, so brutally vulnerable, but he had done it and there was no going back.

 

Michael was reeling. The anguish in Kendall's confession ripped him to the core, and the shock of his words hit him like bullets. He knew what he was hearing, but he couldn't react. One thing that got through loud and clear was that Kendall was in love with him and it was preventing him from moving forward. 'Someone who can't return it' was rebounding in his head. What should he say to that?

He did love Kendall, and seeing him so unhappy, hearing such suffering in his voice... knowing he was the reason this six foot, three inch man was reduced to this painful mess, robbed him of the ability to fathom a solution or produce a reaction... so he just sat there feeling like the world had dropped away beneath him. He felt defeated. He hadn't expected this, nor was he prepared, and he felt embarrassed that he had been so dense, so oblivious, to his best friend's pain.

 

Kendall waited for Michael to respond but nothing came. He understood. He was feeling shell-shocked, and he was the one who dropped the bomb. The time had come. "I'm going to go now. I am really, really sorry I dumped this on you. I hope you're going to be okay. You're probably pissed at me right now, and I don't blame you. Maybe someday we can be friends again... as hard as this is, I need you to respect what I have to do. I have to get over you... I've tried for years, but it hasn't worked. You know what they say about out of sight, out of mind." He tried a little smile, but it wasn't returned, not that he expected it to be. "Take care of yourself, Ace." There was nothing more to say, so he got up and slipped out the door behind him, taking one last glance at a man who looked like he had just lost his best friend. Pain punched him in the gut as he watched a tear drop from that chiseled jaw and land on the table top.

 

Michael couldn't, for the life of him, figure out what he could have done or should have done. He had never felt so lost in his life. He'd tried to speak... to say something... anything... but nothing came out. And now it was too late. His best friend was gone.

 

Kendall stumbled to his truck with that last image in his head. Seeing Michael's tears was something he hadn't been prepared for. He'd never seen his friend cry before and it devastated him that the first time it happened, he was the cause. He'd convinced himself he would feel better once he came clean... free, and ready to move on with his life. Maybe that would come someday, but for now, he had never felt lower.

The door had just closed completely on the man he loved with his entire being. The last thing he wanted was to replace him with someone else. Kendall's mind rebelled at the thought, and reality hit him as he pulled out of the parking lot. Sobs that came from the depth of his soul began to make their way up and out. He knew nothing would ever be the same again, and he had only himself to blame. The very real thought occurred to him that Michael would probably never forgive him for walking away from their friendship. The sobs became hoarse, screeching howls that threatened to stop his heart with their intensity. Driving was no longer an option as he pulled over onto a weedy shoulder and tried to get himself back under control. Flinging open his door just in time, he spewed the contents of his stomach onto the pavement. Again and again, his body convulsed.

So this was the start of his new life? All he could think of was that handsome face with the tears running down its cheeks...a testament to the pain he had caused. Over and over in his head, one question repeated itself, so he let it escape his lips and said to no one, "What have I done?"

Writing a story for the first time is a terrifying thing for me to do. Let me know what you think if you are so inclined...Cheers...Gary

Copyright © 2017 Headstall; All Rights Reserved.
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On 01/12/2015 06:38 AM, Irritable1 said:
Wow, that was incredibly powerful, Gary. I'm welling up. It's a really strong start.
Thank you Irri. I must admit that I am terrified right now. It is quite a commitment to make and I have no idea if I am up to it. You actually planted a seed that wouldn't go away. Again, thanks for the kind words. I will try to get better as I go along...Cheers...you gave me my first review!!
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Oh man, you have reduced me to tears and left me with a gut tied in aching knots. Such anguish! It's almost unbearable. My only consolation is the story status doesn't say Complete. If it had I would never have forgiven you. Please tell me you'll continue writing and bring them out of the pain and give them hope for the future.
Awesome first story, Gary. Cheers, Tim

Edited by Timothy M.

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On 01/12/2015 06:55 AM, Timothy M. said:
Oh man, you have reduced me to tears and left me with a gut tied in aching knots. Such anguish! It's almost unbearable. My only consolation is the story status doesn't say Complete. If it had I would never have forgiven you. Please tell me you'll continue writing and bring them out of the pain and give them hope for the future.

Awesome first story, Gary. Cheers, Tim

OMG Tim. Seriously?You just made me tear up. I don't know what to say. Your opinion and your respect means way more to me than you know. I was already overwhelmed and you just tipped me over. I will try my very best to tell the story that's in my head and use everything I have learned from the amazing people on here. Thank you so much for this review. I really cherish it. Two of my favorite people have made me feel this wasn't such a bad idea...Cheers, Buddy

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That was absolutely heart-wrenching. I really felt the pain of both men. Great job, especially for a first story. I look forward to reading more.

You might want to consider adding some double-spaces to break up the paragraphs a bit. Even though you added some indents, it looks like one giant paragraph. Formatting aside, I loved it. Nicely done.

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On 01/12/2015 07:07 AM, Valkyrie said:
That was absolutely heart-wrenching. I really felt the pain of both men. Great job, especially for a first story. I look forward to reading more.

You might want to consider adding some double-spaces to break up the paragraphs a bit. Even though you added some indents, it looks like one giant paragraph. Formatting aside, I loved it. Nicely done.

Thank you Val! This is my first time using any kind of word processor(wordpad)and I did space between the paragraphs but the "how to post a story" help told me I should go in and adjust the fields and that removed the spaces. I guess I did something wrong. This will be a real learning experience for me...a lot of trial and error...I am not much of a computer savvy person to begin with. Your kind words mean so much to me. I will try to do my best in every way. Cheers...

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Lovely start. You really brought the emotions home with your characters, and that's a big part of the battle of writing. Readers must identify with the people in your story, or it just doesn't work. If you're interested in some editing tips, please PM me!

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I could see everything right before my eyes. It was very emotional and absolutely believable. I can't wait to read more. Good job, Gary! :2thumbs:

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On 01/12/2015 07:30 AM, Cia said:
Lovely start. You really brought the emotions home with your characters, and that's a big part of the battle of writing. Readers must identify with the people in your story, or it just doesn't work. If you're interested in some editing tips, please PM me!
Thank you Cia, for taking the time to review and offer your help. It is somewhat surreal to have someone that I am such a fan of, say something so nice about something that came from my brain to paper...well, screen...You honor me with this...emotion is the biggest part of me. Again, thank you...cheers

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On 01/12/2015 07:34 AM, aditus said:
I could see everything right before my eyes. It was very emotional and absolutely believable. I can't wait to read more. Good job, Gary! :2thumbs:
I am so glad to hear from you Adi...it means a lot. I love authors who paint pictures with their words so you saying that puts me over the moon. So much pressure now lol..I don't know how you do it Adi, but I guess I will have to learn quickly, since I dove in without a life jacket.Thank you, thank you...Cheers

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That was absolutely beautiful Gary! I'm teary right now! I could feel for both men. They were both in agony, and neither one knew how to fix it. I look forward to reading more. You have me hooked!

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On 01/12/2015 07:56 AM, impunity said:
Gary, I like it! Great characters. :yes:
Thanks so much, impunity. These guys have been in my head for awhile now. I hope I did the right thing letting them out...cheers

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On 01/12/2015 08:03 AM, Napaguy said:
Great story line-- all laid out .. Now let's see what happens!
Story line? I have a story line? Just kidding. Thank you very much Napaguy. I hope I can keep you interested in my guys...and do them justice...Cheers

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On 01/12/2015 08:23 AM, LitLover said:
That was absolutely beautiful Gary! I'm teary right now! I could feel for both men. They were both in agony, and neither one knew how to fix it. I look forward to reading more. You have me hooked!
Thank you LitLover...You are absolutely right...they are both floundering right now...i don't know who I feel the most sorry for. Hooking you was a goal of mine...much respect for what you have to say..."absolutely beautiful"...I'll take it...Cheers

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Well...shoot. Gary--now I have another author who can make me cry. All the time I've been bugging you with my chapters to beta, and you had this inside? I was hoping you'd write something since your reviews and comments are always just right, and your first effort pulls my heart to shreds with its intensity!

 

Don't gripe at the exclamation point--it's for you, and well-deserved.

 

I used wordpad when I started and had the same problem...but I also found EXTRA spaces and it too Cia to get me to figure it out I think. Just remember when you put the text in the box, to put in the extra line where you want your paragraphs to be, and that should fix it. You can also put a few spaces in their first lines manually to help set them off--that isn't computerese, but it's what I learned in school. :)

 

I wish there were more than five stars to rate things here, or I could push the 'like' button until I ran out. Gotta go wipe my eyes and blow my nose.

 

I already knew you were awesome, but you've jumped into the stratosphere with this new aspect of your personality!

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On 01/12/2015 08:42 AM, ColumbusGuy said:
Well...shoot. Gary--now I have another author who can make me cry. All the time I've been bugging you with my chapters to beta, and you had this inside? I was hoping you'd write something since your reviews and comments are always just right, and your first effort pulls my heart to shreds with its intensity!

 

Don't gripe at the exclamation point--it's for you, and well-deserved.

 

I used wordpad when I started and had the same problem...but I also found EXTRA spaces and it too Cia to get me to figure it out I think. Just remember when you put the text in the box, to put in the extra line where you want your paragraphs to be, and that should fix it. You can also put a few spaces in their first lines manually to help set them off--that isn't computerese, but it's what I learned in school. :)

 

I wish there were more than five stars to rate things here, or I could push the 'like' button until I ran out. Gotta go wipe my eyes and blow my nose.

 

I already knew you were awesome, but you've jumped into the stratosphere with this new aspect of your personality!

Wow CG...every review has been wonderful but this one from you choked me up. You have to know that you inspire me. Working with you is a great boost to my creativity and your work ethic shows me what it takes to do good work and that is what I aspire to do. The fact that you like this first chapter puts me over the moon, again. Seeing my work posted on this site is humbling in itself, and scares the crap out of me...but to hear you say these things puts me into that stratosphere. Thanks again, my friend...i feel so encouraged...Cheers!!!! Those ones are for you

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I agree with everything Columbus said - except for all the computer-speak. lol

 

I, too, had tears running down my face while I was reading this. It's not only the anguish of telling his best friend in the whole wide world his secret and fearing that he'll be rejected, but it's knowing that he has to tell Michael that he's in love with him and he can't find someone of his own if he's constantly comparing everyone to Michael, and he can't be around Michael all the time b/c his feelings just keep getting stronger.

 

And I felt Michael's pain and confusion b/c ok, he has no problem with his best friend being gay, so why should they need to stop hanging out? Then Kendall drops the bombshell of being in love with him and he's speechless.

 

I love the way you showed us what Michael looked like instead of told us. You did an awesome job with the details; I felt like I was looking at Michael with Kendall's eyes.

 

And I'm not surprised your first chapter of your first story is so fantastic; you are one of the best reviewers on GA. You put your heart and soul into each and every review, so it doesn't surprise me that you do the same for your stories. =) In fact, I used to be a pretty good reviewer myself, but now with you, Columbus, and Tim always beating me in reading the chapters, I can never match the great reviews you guys give. :P So truthfully, I'm usually inclined to just write: Ditto what they said. lol At least now I don't have to think as much when I review stories. :D

 

Seriously though, Gary, this is a terrific start and I can't wait to read more, so you better start typing!!!! :2thumbs:

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On 01/12/2015 09:03 AM, Lisa said:
I agree with everything Columbus said - except for all the computer-speak. lol

 

I, too, had tears running down my face while I was reading this. It's not only the anguish of telling his best friend in the whole wide world his secret and fearing that he'll be rejected, but it's knowing that he has to tell Michael that he's in love with him and he can't find someone of his own if he's constantly comparing everyone to Michael, and he can't be around Michael all the time b/c his feelings just keep getting stronger.

 

And I felt Michael's pain and confusion b/c ok, he has no problem with his best friend being gay, so why should they need to stop hanging out? Then Kendall drops the bombshell of being in love with him and he's speechless.

 

I love the way you showed us what Michael looked like instead of told us. You did an awesome job with the details; I felt like I was looking at Michael with Kendall's eyes.

 

And I'm not surprised your first chapter of your first story is so fantastic; you are one of the best reviewers on GA. You put your heart and soul into each and every review, so it doesn't surprise me that you do the same for your stories. =) In fact, I used to be a pretty good reviewer myself, but now with you, Columbus, and Tim always beating me in reading the chapters, I can never match the great reviews you guys give. :P So truthfully, I'm usually inclined to just write: Ditto what they said. lol At least now I don't have to think as much when I review stories. :D

 

Seriously though, Gary, this is a terrific start and I can't wait to read more, so you better start typing!!!! :2thumbs:

What an amazing review, Lisa, and an amazing feeling it gives me. To be honest, I felt the same anguish that they did while I was writing it. Everything you say is so encouraging and affirming and I can't thank you enough for that.I think that Kendall's feelings for Michael couldn't get any stronger than they are now and he has felt that way for so long that he is starting to die inside. It used to be enough to spend so much time with Michael...but now it has become torture.The irony is that walking away from him is killing a piece of him too. I will try to do their story justice, Lisa. A review like yours will help keep me motivated and determined. Thank you so very much for this...Cheers

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Okay, I'm writing this before I read the other reviews so I won't be influenced...Not certain whether to scream Author! Author! (it certainly felt as if I was watching a scene in a play at the theatre) or Bravo! Bravo! (you made that chapter flow as easily as a nice musical composition.

Take two cops, make them both hunky, throw in some sappy romanticism and add a dash of confusion and drama.... What's not to like?

From the bottom of my heart, Gary. I loved it and I look forward to more.... get writing, buddy!

xoxoxo

Carlos

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It seems l am a little late to the party. Apparently the story posted right after I left the house for the afternoon.

One word comes to mind.

WOW

When you decide to finally write down what you are thinking and feeling you don't mess around! The characters come to life in the pages, the emotions run deep, and you have made me feel every stab of pain both men are dealing with. I wanted to slap the girl silly when she tried to interrupt the conversation, and found myself shouting at my computer screen that Michael should follow Kendall and go somewhere private to continue to talk.

Don't you DARE consider not finishing this story! You do not live THAT far north of me that I can't come up there and slap you silly. I bet I could find reinforcements to join me too! Dughlas lives less than 2 hours from here.

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On 01/12/2015 09:48 AM, Carlos Hazday said:
Okay, I'm writing this before I read the other reviews so I won't be influenced...Not certain whether to scream Author! Author! (it certainly felt as if I was watching a scene in a play at the theatre) or Bravo! Bravo! (you made that chapter flow as easily as a nice musical composition.

Take two cops, make them both hunky, throw in some sappy romanticism and add a dash of confusion and drama.... What's not to like?

From the bottom of my heart, Gary. I loved it and I look forward to more.... get writing, buddy!

xoxoxo

Carlos

Carlos! Carlos! Bravo for helping to make an already awesome day so, so much better. Your review means the world to me..did that sound sappy? Yeah? Good! I was waiting for your review, but I didn't expect this!From the bottom of MY heart...Thank You xo...By the way...Who said they were both cops?

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On 01/12/2015 09:52 AM, Kitt said:
It seems l am a little late to the party. Apparently the story posted right after I left the house for the afternoon.

One word comes to mind.

WOW

When you decide to finally write down what you are thinking and feeling you don't mess around! The characters come to life in the pages, the emotions run deep, and you have made me feel every stab of pain both men are dealing with. I wanted to slap the girl silly when she tried to interrupt the conversation, and found myself shouting at my computer screen that Michael should follow Kendall and go somewhere private to continue to talk.

Don't you DARE consider not finishing this story! You do not live THAT far north of me that I can't come up there and slap you silly. I bet I could find reinforcements to join me too! Dughlas lives less than 2 hours from here.

Yikes! You know I am a little afraid of you already, right? I promise you Kitt, that I will give this my best shot. I am so honored that you reviewed and that you feel this way. Yeah, Candy is a bitch and as the author(how cool does that sound)I am in control of her interfering ass so I will see what I can do to make you happy. In all seriousness, Kitt, thank you for making me feel so good about taking this rather frightening plunge. The support this gang has shown me is so fulfilling...and you are the delicious chocolate(my favorite)icing on the cake. Much respect and many thanks, Kitt xo...Cheers

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I admire your ability to latch on to the emotional depth of a story while digging deep into the underlying rationality of a character's behavior—the reasoning for doing what is done, if you will—in your reviews. These elements make for a great review. They are also essential to get right for a great story. I suspected that if you were to attempt your own story, that your ability would serve you well—and it has, Gary.

I was struck by Kendall's despair. It came through loud and clear, as did the underlying determination of his need for distance—and clearly, his desire. The description of Michael made me think of rock stars and sports heroes followed by groupies named Candy willing to grab on and ride as long as they can, but not able to offer anything of substance. I grasp hints of the depth of what Kendall's friendship means to Michael—and what the loss of it might mean to him. <-- This is very important to not lose track of, I think.

Aside from the formatting snafus, which seem to be inevitable at the beginning—me included—and, maybe, leaning on the emotional aspect, you've a fine first chapter, Gary.

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