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    Headstall
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Exes and Ohs - 6. Chapter 6 Bloodied and Broken

First contact.

                                                                                                                                                      *   *   *

 

 

Drake led the way along a stone pathway bordered with stretches of spreading junipers and beds of summer flowers. He was heading for a somewhat isolated bench away from the populated clubhouse, and they were almost there. Golfers could be seen dotting the course, and gentle gusts of wind made wearing suit jackets bearable.

“Are we hiding?”

“What? No. Why do you think that?” Drake stopped and turned to face Jimmy, finding himself under scrutiny.

“You were in a hurry to leave the church, and now you seem reluctant to join the other guests.”

“Yeah, well, I need a breather, and this is where I used to sit and read when my mom and dad were socializing after a game of golf.”

“Okay.” He stretched the word out, and Drake heard the question in it.

“You’re looking skeptical.”

“I saw Richard and his wife getting out of their car.”

A groan of embarrassment made its way out. “All right. I admit it. I’m not ready.” He turned and began walking again.

“Drake, stop! It’s understandable.”

“I need to sit,” was his quick response. He made it to the bench and sank down.

“Do you want me to cut it short?”

“Cut what short?”

“When we meet them. Do you want me to make up some excuse and haul you away after a minute or two?”

“I… I don’t know. What if he wants to talk to me?”

“Do you think he does?”

“I haven’t a clue, but if he’s anything like the Richard I thought I knew… yeah… maybe. It would bother him that I didn’t tell him it was all okay.” A bitter snort accompanied the thought.

“Well then, if that’s the case, I think you should talk… for your sake, not his. But, by no means should you feel obligated to. He doesn’t control that—you do.”

Drake considered his words, but only sighed in response.

“It’s nice and shady here. I’m going to lose this jacket and enjoy the breeze.”

Drake watched him as he stood up and shrugged it off. Just like there was something about a man in a suit, there was also something about a fit man in a snowy white shirt, and Jimmy was certainly fit. He turned his attention to the view in front of them as Jimmy sat back down. This weekend was turning out to be way more than he bargained for.

“You know my dad is going to pester me about a golfing weekend now, don’t you?”

“Oh.”

Jimmy’s gaze could be felt as Drake continued to stare straight ahead.

“Is that a problem?”

“It just makes it harder when I tell them we’ve broken up.”

“Right. Sorry… I got carried away again. I’m making it tougher on you, and that wasn’t my intent when I suggested we do this.”

“I know it wasn’t. I think you’ve guessed I’m pretty messed up today.”

“Like I said… understandable.”

“Is it? It’s been years now.”

“You really loved him, huh?”

“Yeah, I did.”

“Do you still?”

Drake turned his head, and stared into compassionate green. “I loved a man who didn’t exist.”

“Meaning…?”

“Richard was never who he said he was. He was bisexual, not gay, and he didn’t love me… not the way he said he did.”

“Drake—”

“That’s the truth of it, Jimmy, and all those plans we made were never going to happen. We talked about marriage and children and where we wanted to live… the whole deal.” Drake swallowed down the emotion that formed in his throat. When he was able to, he spoke again. “Richard just bided his time with me, and kept me in the dark about what he was really feeling.”

“Do you honestly believe that?”

“How can I not? He left me for a woman. A girl he dated and loved before he ever approached me.”

“That doesn’t mean he didn’t love you.”

“Doesn’t it? Okay, even if he did, it doesn’t make it any better.”

“I’m sure he was torn—”

“Sure, because he was never gay in the first place. He should have told me.”

“And if he did?”

“I wouldn’t have gone out with him… and I wouldn’t have fallen in love with him.”

“Don’t you think—”

“Of course you’re going to see his side, but you didn’t live it—I did.”

“I wasn’t….” Jimmy sighed, and Drake felt his frustration. “It’s funny, you know?”

“Funny? Seriously?”

“No, not funny like that. It’s just… we all look at things differently. The gay community, for all we want to be accepted unconditionally, is filled with judgement, like ‘their way’ is the only right way. Some guys who come out early look down on guys who come out later in life, like they were cowards or something. Some guys are judged too fem, and some are too out there. I don’t get it.”

“What does that have to do with anything?” Drake was confused, and beginning to feel defensive.

“Honestly, you got me? I know what I mean, but explaining….” Jimmy shook his head after a rueful glance. “I’m not sticking up for Richard, but didn’t he just do the reverse of what a lot of gay guys do? I mean, a lot of men take a while to figure out they’re gay, and it sounds like Richard took a while to figure out he wasn’t.”

“So.” Drake’s defensiveness sharpened to anger.

“So… does that cancel out his life before? Sorry. I’ll try this again. Everyone’s journey is different. Or maybe not everyone’s, but for some of us it’s not so cut and dried. We all walk in different shoes, Drake, and some of us can move back and forth until we find what we’re looking for, or the picture becomes clearer.”

“How convenient,” Drake scoffed. He had to force himself to stay seated.

“Look, I don’t want to make this about me, and I’m botching this up. This is about you thinking he didn’t care about you… didn’t love you. I was only trying… all I’m saying is, finally realizing he was straight, if he is, doesn’t mean he didn’t.”

“Do you know how stupid that sounds to me?”

Jimmy looked taken aback, and then sheepish. “I suppose it does, and this is not a great subject for us. I can’t speak for Richard, but I finally found the person I would be most happy with, and because I took a different way to get to that point, it ended up costing me dearly. I guess that was about me after all, wasn’t it.” He gave Drake an apologetic look. “Just talk to the guy. Really, I’m not sticking up for him—I just think it would do you good to listen to why he made the choice he did. It might give you closure to understand what happened.”

Drake was caught up in the emotion the man was trying hard not to display. He was failing miserably, and it made him sad to see it. That hadn’t just been about Jimmy. He’d been attempting to help Drake; he just hadn’t done it with his usual finesse, or maybe he had, and Drake just didn’t want to listen. His anger left. “Closure… yeah, there’s a concept I don’t have a lot of faith in. And, I don’t need to understand anything. All I need is to say hello, and not make a fool of myself.”

“If that’s what you want, then that’s what you should do.”

The wedding party appeared in the gardens to the west of the clubhouse, in shades of mauve, white, and black, and their laughter floated over to the bench. They sat in silence, watching the happy antics as the photographer had them posing. Drake did not feel like taking part, and he hoped they would go unnoticed where they were. “I’m sorry I can’t be who you want, Jimmy. Do you wish you hadn’t come?”

He appeared rattled by Drake’s sudden statement, and took some time before he answered his question. “Don’t apologize for how you feel. I just hope I didn’t push you farther away. I would hate to lose our friendship.”

“You didn’t and you won’t. I know you’re a good guy… the best… and I know you care about me no matter what. This weekend clarifies some stuff for me.”

“About me?”

“No, about me. About my family. About where I’m at.”

“And where would that be?”

“Not in a great place. I’m sorry I have this baggage, but the thought of being with a bisexual man again… or even a confused one… scares the crap out of me. I can’t do it.”

“Drake, I’m gay, and I’m not confused. I keep trying to tell you—”

“You’re gay until you’re not. Richard was gay too, until he wasn’t.”

“Please stop comparing us. I get why you have fears, and I wish I could let you inside my head. Victoria… I love her, but only as my friend. It was something that just happened because of where we were in our lives. It was casual, Drake, and it ran its course… it was never going to be anything more.”

“Yet, you went to Vancouver with her.”

“Of course I did, because I promised her I would. She’d been estranged from her dad for eight years, and he was sick. Parkinson’s is a scary thing to wrap your head around. She couldn’t have handled it alone, and you’d already said we were done the night I began to tell you about the trip. She was my friend before the sex, Drake. She still is.”

“You’re right. I did say we were done, so….” Drake closed his eyes for a few seconds as he pushed away thoughts of that disastrous night. “You still see her?”

Jimmy nodded. “Mostly we talk on the phone, but yeah, we still go for coffee, or a movie… sometimes we cook together and watch TV… and no, we haven’t slept together since before you went out with me the first time.”

“Why not?”

“There’s no one reason. Look, it was mostly because you finally agreed to go out with me, and I knew you were what I wanted.”

“At the time, maybe, but why not since?”

Jimmy sighed. “That hasn’t changed, but I know that’s not what you’re asking.” He ran his hands through his hair, sighing again before he continued. “Because I figured out sleeping with women shortchanges everyone, myself included. Maybe I won’t find everything I want in a man again, but I certainly won’t with a woman. Did that make sense to you?”

“No, not really. Why can’t you find what you want in a man again? Is that where being bi comes in?”

Jimmy turned his head quickly, his stare intense. “Fuck, you can’t let that part go, can you?”

“It’s kind of a big deal to me,” Drake shot back. “If you’d told me before you asked me out, we could have been spared all this.”

“Oh, God, I’ve tried to have this conversation with you so many times, and we can never get past this part. I did tell you, on what was supposed to be our fourth date, but I had no idea it was going to be such a big deal.”

“Well, it was,” Drake barked out bitterly.

Jimmy buried his head in his hands, leaning over and looking down. “Yeah, I got that. I didn’t know about Richard when I told you about Victoria.” His voice stayed low and soft. “You’re not the only one who has baggage because he’s gotten a shitty deal from a relationship. Maybe if we finally talk, it will at least give me some closure.”

“Closure? That fucking word again. There’s no such thing as a magical closure, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s gotten burnt. It’s not a contest. Damn, can we stop this?”

“Fuck, you’re shutting me down again?”

“No… no, Jimmy. Callie’s waving to us. I don’t think I’m going to be able to avoid being in a wedding photo.”

“Oh.”

“I’m sorry, Jimmy. I hate disappointing you. We’ll… we’ll finish this later, I promise. You’re right that I never gave you a chance to say your piece. I want to hear what you have to say—just—don’t expect it to change things, okay?”

“I already told you I have no expectations. I meant it.”

 

The walk over to the wedding party was strained, but like always with Jimmy, they were able to get past it once they were met with enthusiastic greetings. Rachel was effusive and radiant, and Rocco looked happily smug.

Drake was dragged to the locally-famous oak tree that appeared in many a wedding album, and soon found out he was going to be in a lot more than one photo. A few times, he had to look away from Jimmy, whose expression as he watched, made him feel exposed. There was a poorly-hidden sadness behind those kind eyes, and he’d put it there.

Just when he thought he was done, Rachel expressed a desire for a picture of him and Jimmy with her and Rocco, and Callie and Luke. Jimmy tried to beg off, but Rachel and Callie were forces to be reckoned with, and he soon gave in.

With the bride and groom in the middle, the other two couples bracketed them, holding hands. Drake felt awkward until Jimmy whispered loud enough for all of them to hear, “You and me are really going to class up this photo.” Drake’s and everyone else’s laughter was most certainly caught by the camera. After one more photo, of just the two of them, their roles were complete. Drake sighed with relief as the wedding party moved off to another part of the grounds.

 

Dinner was served at six, and while the coq au vin was superb, Drake had trouble getting through it. He’d so far avoided coming face to face with Richard, and that fact cast a shadow on his ability to fully enjoy all the happiness that came with a reception.

The speeches were amusing, and the banter among and between the guests and the wedding party was at times hilarious, but Drake was glad to see it all come to an end. They were seated with his parents, his aunt Nadine, and his aunt Charlene and Uncle Raymond, the parents of the bride. Preston and his family sat at the adjacent table, while Richard and his wife were on the opposite side of the room. Drake had no doubt Callie had a hand in both arrangements.

The inevitable happened after the cutting of the cake, when tables were being cleared and rearranged to make room for a dance floor. Jimmy had been quiet, for Jimmy, and they were slowly making their way to the outside patio.

“Hi, Drake.”

He spun at the familiar voice, bumping Jimmy in the process. Clearing his throat because of sudden dryness, he managed to get some words out. “Hello, Richard.”

“Ah, you remember Bernadette of course.”

Drake nodded. “Of course. Hi, Bernadette.”

“Hi, Drake, it’s good to see you again. You look great.”

“So do you. Congratulations… on the wedding and the baby,” he said with a voice that broke on ‘wedding.’ Dammit! He could feel himself turning red as his mind went totally blank.

“Hi, I’m Dean. Nice to meet you both.”

“Sorry”—he looked apologetically at Jimmy—“Dean is my boyfriend.”

“Nice to meet you,” Richard said as he stuck out his hand. Jimmy shook it before addressing Bernadette with a charming smile. “You look lovely, and very pregnant. Nice to meet you.”

Bernadette smiled as she held out her hand for Jimmy to take. “Thank you. Yes, I’m feeling very pregnant, but I still have a month to go. Nice to meet you too. Have you two been together long?”

“A fair while, yeah. We’ve worked in the same building for a year and a half, but we met officially a year ago, and started dating a month later,” Jimmy answered smoothly, sparing Drake the mental work he wasn’t capable of at the moment.

Being this close to the first man he’d ever loved was unsettling to say the least. Richard’s amber gaze was focused on him, and that made it hard to think, and impossible to maintain eye contact. Ugly memories began to surface, but he forced them away. With a start, he realized he hadn’t shaken their hands, and it was too awkward to do it now, so instead he reached for Jimmy’s, clasping it tightly.

“Well, you make a very handsome couple,” Bernadette continued. “It was a wonderful wedding, don’t you think?”

“Yes, it was,” Jimmy answered. “I’ve found out good looks run in Drake’s family.”

“Yes, they do,” Richard responded. Another awkward silence, and Drake watched as the couple exchanged a look. “Can I get you guys something from the bar?”

“Thanks, but not right now. We were just about to go for a walk and get some air. Maybe we’ll see you later,” Jimmy said, squeezing Drake’s hand.

“Yeah, it was good to catch up,” Drake added, instantly feeling stupid at his words, and needing desperately to get away. It might have been his imagination, but it felt like people were staring.

“I, ah… okay. Bernadette, do you want some juice?”

“Yes, please. I’ll need to sit again soon. We should go say hello to Irene and Jason.”

“Right, we’ll go find them and get you off your feet.” He focused on Drake again. “It would be nice if you and I could talk some more before we go. We won’t be staying long because Bernadette needs her rest. I’ll come look for you a little later, if that’s all right?”

“Um… sure. We’ll be around somewhere.”

“Good.” Richard gave him a searching look before they turned and headed toward the bar.

“So much for not making a fool of myself. Let’s get out of here.”

“What are you talking about? I thought you handled that well.”

“Yeah, right. I could barely speak, and now he wants to talk some more. Crud! I can’t believe I said it was good to catch up when I couldn’t even get any words out.”

“Come on,” Jimmy said, tugging on Drake’s hand and leading him out onto the patio and beyond. The sky was only just beginning to darken.

Battling a feeling of inadequacy, he stayed abreast of the long-striding Jimmy, finally realizing they were walking toward the same bench as earlier.

“Why are we going this far?”

“Because you need a few minutes to relax. You are way too hard on yourself, man.”

Drake pulled his hand away causing Jimmy to stop.

“Did I say something wrong?”

“No, not at all. I just… I’m feeling like a child.”

“I didn’t mean—”

“I know, Jimmy, I know. It’s not you, it’s me. You been rescuing me all weekend, and….”

“And what?”

“I’m disappointed in myself. Back there, with Richard, my brain quit on me, and if you hadn’t been there, we wouldn’t have had any conversation at all.”

“Would you like to sit, or do you want to go back?”

“Let’s sit. You’re right about me needing to relax. Were people staring at us back there?”

“Your mom was, and so was Callie. I only noticed because they were standing together. Didn’t see if anyone else was, but I wasn’t really looking.”

“Damn.”

“Drake, come on. What’s it matter if someone was watching. That’s what family does. They knew it might be awkward, and were just concerned for you.”

“I suppose. I didn’t want it to be a spectacle, though.”

“And it wasn’t. Believe me, Richard and Bernadette looked more nervous than you did.”

“No way.”

“Yes way. Bernadette did most of the talking because Richard was too busy swallowing. His Adam’s apple was bobbing like crazy.”

“Really?”

“Yes. Here, sit down.” Jimmy sat on the bench and patted the space beside him.

Drake sat, and a small shiver shook his shoulders.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah. I don’t know why that was so hard. It’s been fucking years.”

“Yes, but this weekend hasn’t just been about Richard, so give yourself a break. I remember running across my ex in a bar, a year after we parted ways. I was as angry then as I was when we broke up. I also felt just as hurt by what he did.”

“What did he do?”

“He cheated.”

“Oh, that’s rough.”

“It was. The worst thing is, I was the one he was cheating with, and I had no clue.”

“Ouch.”

“Yup. For six months I had no idea he already had a boyfriend. He found us together in the dorm… burst in at the worst time… and attacked me, physically and verbally… I didn’t know what the fuck was happening. He pushed me over a wooden storage chest… slammed my head on the floor, and one of his kicks broke my rib. It was brutal. I was on the floor, naked, in shock and pain, listening to the guy I thought was my boyfriend calling this stranger ‘honey,’ and saying how sorry he was.”

“Wow.”

“He told him I meant nothing to him… it was just sex… just fucking sex. I lay there bleeding and he didn’t even look at me.” Drake felt a slight jerk in the shoulder that touched his, but Jimmy’s voice was flat, holding little in the way of emotion. “I watched them walk out… got dressed and drove myself to the hospital.”

“Holy shit! That must have been horrible. How… how did he keep it a secret for so long? Gossip got around quick at my college.”

“Mine too, but the boyfriend went to a different one, and when Travis said he was going home on weekends, he was actually going to see James. Yup, same name… couldn’t mix us up that way,” he said ruefully, and Drake finally heard some pain. “Anyway, my point is, I think it’s hard for most of us when we’ve loved someone, and then cross paths again.”

“I guess.” Drake ruminated about this insight into his friend. Jimmy had integrity, and that would have been a double whammy. “I’m sorry you got screwed over like that.”

“It’s in the past now. I was a fool… ignored all the signs.”

“What signs?”

“Well, for one, he said I couldn’t visit his parents because their house was too small and it would be awkward. After a few months, I suggested we could get a hotel room and I’d pay, and he said the real reason was he wasn’t out to his family. I bought it, and didn’t even consider how he’d been lying to me all that time. And who the fuck visits their parents every single weekend when they’re in college? I only went home for the holidays like all the other students. Like I said, I was an idiot.”

“I don’t know what to say, Jimmy.”

“It’s okay. Long time ago, and it never would have lasted anyway.”

“Why do you say that?”

“I know myself better now than I did then, and Travis wasn’t the least bit affectionate. That’s something I need.”

“Oh.”

“You’re the same, you know.”

“Hey, I’m affectionate!”

“Of course you are. I meant you were the same as me, not Travis. You need affection too.”

“I… yeah, I do.”

“Drake?”

“Yeah?”

“Richard is walking this way.”

Drake’s head swiveled to look back up the path. “Damn. I don’t need this.”

“I think you do. You both do.”

“Easy for you to say,” Drake muttered.

“Actually, no it’s not. I never want to see you get hurt, but….”

“Sorry, that was uncalled for. I know you don’t.”

“Will you be okay if I leave you two to talk?”

“Looks like I don’t have a choice.”

“Yes, you do. I’ll stay if you want, or you can get up and come with me?”

“No”—he watched Richard moving closer—“it’s time I heard him out.”

Jimmy stood up, leaned down and kissed him.

The sweetness of it rattled Drake enough he stammered. “We’re getting way too good at playing this game.”

He received a small head shake and an enigmatic smile before Jimmy turned and walked away. He watched him stop and say something to Richard before continuing on.

 

*

As always, I thank Timothy M., my editor and friend, for all he does. I also want to thank you, the readers, for your support of this story and my writing. Please leave a comment on this chapter if you can. I love to hear your thoughts, good or bad. :) 

Copyright © 2018 Headstall; All Rights Reserved.
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Poor Drake so messed up I hope things get better with Jimmy. And of course here comes Richard, and the only hope this goes well is that Jimmy is there!

I feel sorry for Richard wife we will have to see where this all leads.

 

Great chapter:thankyou::worship:

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I was right that the reception would take more than one chapter! We got a teaser with Richard and now we get to wait another 10,080 minutes for more Richard. 604,800 seconds for another installment!  ;-)

 

 

It was good to hear more of Jimmy’s story. But Drake still won’t let Jimmy explain the whole thing. Drake keeps cutting Jimmy off before he is able to tell his side of the situation.  ;-)

 

Jimmy is incredibly patient! I don’t think I’d put up with someone not only negating my feelings, but not letting me express myself. I’m not the most aggressive or forceful person, but when I get angry or frustrated…  ;-)

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There hasn’t been any indication about it so far in the story, but is it possible that Richard’s family has somehow put pressure on him to marry a woman and have a child? Bernadette could have entered the marriage knowing that Richard isn’t straight. Cultural pressures and inheritances have caused many Gay men to marry women, some of whom know what they’re getting themselves into.  ;-)

 

 

Even if Edward or Harry were Gay, there’s too much pressure for a ‘Royal’ to be in a heterosexual marriage. Appearances are more important than emotions, explaining why Charles married Diana and had to wait to marry his frumpy real love (he finally married a woman just like his mother). Edward II wasn’t allowed to be with Piers Gaveston.

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You do realize my pestering will go into overdrive after that cliffhanger, right Gary? :P 

 

Spoiler

I'll make the Spanish Inquisition look tame in comparison! :evil: 

 

 

Hehe, wonderful chapter, Gary! :hug: 

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50 minutes ago, dughlas said:

Would it be different if Richard had gone back to an old boyfriend? He made the decision that the future he wanted was with Bernadette. People make those types if choices all the time. Would he have been better to have married Drake only to divorce him later? We don't know Richard's reasoning we only know what Drake has told us and that is basically that he lied about being gay. We know from his behavior towards Jimmy that Drake doesn't always listen to the other person before he decides he knows that person's thoughts and what they'll. Be damned if I would let him tell me that I was only "gay" until I met the right woman. That argument has been misproven long ago.

I don't think it makes a difference who Richard left Drake for. I feel that all of the "future" talk was just a bunch of bullshit to make Drake happy and to buy Richard some time. To me, it doesn't matter what his excuses are. If he didn't love Drake, then he was just a heartless liar. If he did love Drake, but married a woman just to stay in the closet or to make his family happy, then he's a spineless pussy. Either way, I stand by my opinion that he doesn't deserve forgiveness.

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2 hours ago, glennish said:

More of the past comes out.  Have to wait another week to find out about Richard.  Jimmy is being so patient.  And Drake is being the dick now.  Take the blinders off, and lose the labels.  Drake you could lose the best thing that could EVER happen to you if you don’t let go of the past.   Ok.......end of rant!!

 

thanks Gary until next week. 

Jimmy is being as understanding as humanly possible, but how long can he keep it up for? Drake has pulled inward... not that he didn't already start the weekend that way, but now he is more so after seeing Richard face to face. He knows his flaws, it would appear from his inner dialogue, but he can't seem to help himself. It's that cutting off your nose to spite your face kind of thing. It could cost him dearly, and frankly, the last thing he wants is to feel such an attraction to Jimmy. He's been able to keep him at arm's length since the break up, but being in such close quarters is unnerving to say the least. Yeah, lose the labels is right... I hate those frigging things. :(  ... rant away anytime, glennish... I love hearing how this story affects readers. Cheers and thanks... Gary....

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2 hours ago, Sweetlion said:

Oh man.... Can't you do a mid week post?:P

Great chapter I am so curious too everyone talking... Richard and Drake... Drake and Jimmy finishing the talk they started before being called...

Great chapter

Thanks, Sweet! Sorry, no can do. :P  This whole chapter was pretty much dialogue, yet so much is still to be resolved. Drake and Jimmy did finish some of their talk before Richard arrived... we learned just some of Jimmy's history, and it hasn't been a good one. Even a great guy like Jimmy got shafted... no one is immune. :(  I believe too, that Jimmy's words about judgment in the gay community struck a nerve with Drake. He kind of pointed a mirror at the man in that nice Jimmy way. Drake isn't being fair, but Jimmy gets his reasons... he doesn't agree with them, nor does he like them, but he'll be there for Drake while he needs him. Thanks for your support and the great comment, my friend... see you next Monday... cheers... Gary....

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2 hours ago, FanLit said:

Ohhhhhhhh!!!!!!!  Damnit!!!  LOL!!

Sooooo close!!  You tease!!😂

Just when it doesn't seem J.D. can be more perfect, here he is trying to get Drake to understand that Richard probably was in love with him, in spite of the choice he made in reuniting with Bernadette.  Drake won't see it because he's in it (and truthfully without knowing how the breakup went he may have just other reason to be mad).

It doesn't serve Jimmy Dean to do this, it actually goes against him but J.D.'s whole purpose is to see Jake through this, good bad and ugly.  He truly loves him as well as being in love with him.  

Deeply emotional chapter, Gary.  I feel like I need to read it again a couple times 'cause there was so much going on.

 

Well done.  Cheers, my platonic friend.  🍺 :hug:

Hehe. Sorry, FanLit... not really. :P  I think you struck on some of the irony here... we find out that Jimmy got royally shafted by an ex, yet here he is trying to convince Drake he was loved by Richard. Of course, it is for Drake's sake. He can't stand to see the man hurting... and I think he sees in Drake what Drake doesn't see in himself. God, we humans are complicated. :)  You're right too that Drake is too close to all this to see clearly... it's only been 24 hours, and he's had a lot thrown at him. Last week I talked about how we can hold our pain close, and that still applies....

 

Yes, this is a deeply emotional chapter, for sure... I felt it as I wrote it... I see both sides for different reasons because I've felt that pain and I've experienced that judgement. Both suck. Jimmy handled his pain in a different way from the sounds of it... to think of a man like him subjected to what Drake called a double whammy, is sobering... and sad.

 

Thanks for being so engaged, my platonic friend. :) Cheers... Gary....

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3 hours ago, jaysalmn said:

I agree that Drake is being a total ass! Comparing every man to Richard is gonna leave him a very lonely man. Jimmy has shown he is a trustworthy guy, and obviously still has strong feelings for Drake. Drake just needs to get his head out of his ass! As far as Richard goes, there is NOTHING that asshat could say that would make me give him even common courtesy! If I were Drake, I would tell him to take his explanation and go fuck himself with it! As far as I'm concerned, Richard doesn't deserve forgiveness.

You're right, jaysalmn, he is being an ass. Pushing Jimmy away is a dumbass thing to do... but I have pushed people away too when I'm hurting. As much as Drake appears to hate the concept, he needs some closure... he has an open wound, and it's affecting his happiness. Let's hope he can get his head out of his ass before it's too late. 

 

Richard is an unknown quantity... we only know of him from Drake... there is no doubt he hurt him, but WHY did he hurt him? That could be important for Drake to know. It sounds like he ran before he got answers, and he's been running ever since. 

 

Thanks, jaysalmn. I appreciate how invested you are in these guys... see you Monday... Cheers... Gary....

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3 hours ago, dughlas said:

I want to smack Drake. He's being a self-centered SOB. He hasn't even had the decency to hear what JD has to say he just pushes him away because being bi means you aren't gay. Jimmy has repeatedly told him that he loves him and he just doesn't want to accept it. Tobyn may have been dense but he wasn't unkind.

I want to smack him too, dugh, but he's my character so I'm conflicted. :)  Self-centered is exactly what he's being... as I said last week, he holds onto his pain like a shield, and it prevents him from allowing Jimmy in... even though I think there is nothing he would like better. Jimmy's words about the gay community and their judgments were aimed at him, although I don't think it was a conscious thing on Jimmy's part. Even Drake admits he just doesn't want to listen. He has convinced himself that any man who sleeps with women, like Richard, will hurt him in the end, like Richard. It's not rational, but Drake has been damaged... it's his perception, and Jimmy is slowly kicking holes in it. 

 

You know, when I was writing this, the dialogue spun so fast, with each man in a hurry to get through it, for different reasons, it had a life of its own. There is so much emotion involved in the past twenty-four hours, for both of them... but mostly for Drake, who finally stood up to his family. We all think Jimmy is stronger, and he would appear to be, but after hearing his story, I wonder what it took to get him there. I suspect, in a way, Victoria did for him what he is doing for Drake. 

 

Unkind? Yeah, maybe he is, but not intentionally. He's almost as much down on himself for disappointing Jimmy as he is about anything else. I think Jimmy understands that. Thanks for the awesome comment, my friend... I knew Drake would be a difficult character for readers to stomach at times... thanks for hanging in there, and thanks for your support... cheers... Gary.... :hug: 

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