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The Light You Cast - 11. Chapter 11

I'm a week late on this one. Aiming for one chapter a week is a lofty goal for me! Enough excuses though, I'll continue aiming for once a week. Hope you enjoy :) 

“So, Michael. I visited the Gordans' today,” I said as I wrapped spaghetti around my fork. I’d finished all of Jonathan’s articles and decided to make dinner before he and Michael got home. It wasn’t anything special, but I wanted to do something for them after they’d been working all day.

“You did?” he asked. He looked like he was about to fall asleep right in his bowl. “How come?”

I shrugged. “You said you were scared and I wanted to help out. It’s not like I had anything better to do today.”

He smiled at me gratefully then lowered his head somewhere down between his shoulders and poked at his spaghetti with his fork. “How was it?”

“I liked them. They doted on me like I was their own kid. Made cookies and everything. The house is comfortable and there’s plenty of room. As far as I can tell they’re nice to each other. And they’re eager to meet you. They asked you to stay for one night as a trial run.”

Michael gave a hum and mulled it over while he ate.

“Ethan bought a phone today, too.” Jonathan chimed in. Several messy locks of his shoulder-length hair had fallen forward from his ponytail, one of them stained red at the tip from spaghetti sauce. I suppressed a smile.

“Gimme your number,” Michael said. He pulled a phone out of his pocket and slid it over to me on the table. It looked sleek and modern with a large screen. Much more expensive than mine.

“What?” I asked. “How’d you afford this?”

“I didn’t. Rayna gave it to me on loan. She said it’s my work phone.”

I picked it up and fumbled around until Jonathan couldn’t take it anymore. He grabbed it from my hands and added the contact for me with a few swift taps of his thumbs, then slid it back to Michael.

“You need lessons on how to be a modern human,” he grumbled.

“You have spaghetti sauce in your hair,” I countered. He made a grunt and cleaned it off with a napkin.

“Why are you so exhausted anyway?” I asked. “You weren’t this tired yesterday when you got off work.”

“Inventory,” they moaned simultaneously.

“Every six months we have to go through every single item in the store and check it against the inventory,” Jonathan explained. “We spent all day on it and still didn’t finish.”

“I felt like I was gonna puke by three o’clock,” Michael added. “And Chuck kept diving for my head every time I tried to count the necklaces.”

“Who’s Chuck?” I asked.

“The green cockatoo,” Michael said. “He doesn’t want me anywhere near his shinies.”

“Don’t you have customers complaining about that?”

“He doesn’t bother the customers. Just me. His girlfriend has a crush on me and his jealousy is out of control.”

“Really?” I laughed. “Jealous?”

“Oh, very,” Michael said venomously. “Chuck is evil and conniving, and if Rayna didn’t love him so much I’d make parrot soup for dinner.”

“Ew.” Jonathan wrinkled his nose.

“I’ll pass on the soup,” I said. “So about the Gordons. What do you think, Michael?”

He shrugged dismissively. “They sound good. There’s no way to know until you really spend time with people though. They could have dead babies piled up in their closet for all I know.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Do you want me to go there with you?”

“No. I want to do it myself. Thanks for checking it out though. It makes me feel a lot better. I’ll give them a call tomorrow and maybe go tomorrow night.”

“Rayna wants us over for dinner tomorrow,” Jonathan reminded him.

“You can go without me. I want to meet them. No point in putting it off.”

“Makes sense,” Jonathan replied. “Hey, Ethan, Rayna suggested I invite some friends to join us. What do you think about meeting the crew?”

“The crew?” I asked.

“Yeah, my only friends from college who stayed in Toronto. Astrid, JC and Nigel. They’re friendly, you’ll like them. JC is a photographer and Astrid's a graphic designer. Nigel’s working on his MBA.”

“Sounds fun,” I said. But it wasn’t entirely true. Intimidated was a more apt description of my feelings. Luckily, he was too tired to notice the reticence on my face. “Why don’t you both go to bed. I’ll clean up.”

Jonathan gave me a bleary smile. “Okay.” He pushed his bowl toward me and stood up, yawning and stretching. Then he set a hand on my shoulder and whispered in my ear. “Come be my security blanket when you’re done?” he asked.

Startled, I glanced at Michael, who appeared to be engrossed in a game on his phone. I gave Jonathan a slight nod, feeling my heart rate rise. About an hour later, the dishes were done, Michael was snoring away on the couch, and I had an arm wrapped around Jonathan in his cloud-like bed. As we drifted off to sleep, I marveled at how warm and right it felt to hold him. The goodness of it spread through me like honey, and my dreams that night were tinted gold.

*****

My phone read 7:15 PM. I flipped it closed and tried to shake off the cold as I approached the costume shop. I’d opted out of taking the bus again, convinced it would sweep me away into a maze of bus lines that I’d never return from. Two miles into the cold dark journey, I had learned to regret the decision deeply. I was shivering so hard my teeth were shaking.

The bell rang noisily when I entered, and the shop’s warmth passed over me like a weighted blanket. There was a coat rack by the door but I ignored it. It was going to take a while for me to thaw. When I blinked, the frost on my eyelashes melted down my cheeks.

Rayna didn’t notice me at all. She was too busy muttering angrily and scrubbing at a white smear across the shoulder of a frilly blue dress.

“He’s supposed to be trained!” she lamented.

“He’s acting out,” called Jonathan from upstairs. “We’ve got to convince him that Beebee isn’t madly in love with Michael! Oh, hey Ethan!” Jonathan ran down the stairs looking far more put together than he had at the end of his shift yesterday. He appeared sharp as always in a white collared shirt with suspenders and a gray cap.

“How does training a bird like that even work?” I asked, baffled.

“It takes a lot of repetition,” Jonathan admitted. “And a lot of treats.”

“And a lot of cleaning messes,” Rayna cut in. “I think this is salvageable. But we might have to fire Michael.”

Michael leaned out from behind a rack of clothes, making a sound of hurt and shock. “You would choose Chuck over me?”

“Oh! Sorry, Michael. Didn’t know you were there,” she winked and Michael stuck his tongue out at her. “You boys ready for dinner? I already made everything, we just have to heat it up. Jonathan, you got the birds in their cages, right?”

“Taken care of,” Jonathan affirmed. “Don’t forget, we have to drop Michael off at the Gordons’. I texted you the address.

We piled into Rayna’s car, a tiny beat up four-seater with a dusty dream catcher hanging from the rearview. She turned up the volume on a radio station that blasted out 80s pop, then proceeded to drive so fast I found myself gripping to the door handle as she made the turns.

“So, Michael sold another $500 plus worth of merchandise even while doing inventory the past two days,” Jonathan told me casually, oblivious to Rayna’s driving even as she slammed on the brakes at a stoplight. “He’s so enthusiastic when he’s talking people up. It’s infectious. Now I want to try his style.”

Jonathan looked me up and down while I shifted under his gaze, wondering what he was up to.

“Woah, you are really pulling off that casual grunge," he mocked with a cheesy salesman's grin. "Right, Michael? I mean look at how he’s rocking those jeans.”

“I don't sound like that at all,” Michael scoffed. “Do it like this.” He tapped his lip and studied me with sparkling eyes in the rearview. “Hold right there! Don’t change yet! I have never seen anyone wear that the way you do. Turn around, let me see the back.”

“Not a chance,” I said.

“Here, put this in your hair and tell me who you see. A young Mark Ruffalo, right?” He reached toward me over the back of his seat with a green feather in his hand.

“Stop it,” I laughed, pushing him away. “I do not.”

“Maybe,” Jonathan said with a considering tilt to his brow. “But sorry, Michael. You still lose. I think you failed to read his personality. If he were a customer he’d be running out of the shop right now.”

“It’s just an example! Most people eat it up when you compare them to a famous person. It’s not like Ethan’s gonna be impressed by any of that.”

“Failed,” Jonathan reiterated. Michael huffed and crossed his arms dramatically.

A few minutes later, Rayna pulled into the Gordons’ driveway with a squeal of the breaks. Michael grabbed his bag from the trunk and gave us a wave. We watched him approach the front door. He looked a lot smaller when he was alone and nervous. Soon enough the door opened and he stepped inside. I hoped he would find it as welcoming as I had.

It took another twenty minutes to reach the driveway of Rayna’s narrow home. In that time, I felt a tightness rise in my chest. I wondered how Jonathan’s friends would perceive me. The jokes about my grungy clothes made me self conscious. Not that I would have been any more comfortable wearing something sharp and neat. I just felt so certain that I wouldn’t fit in.

Seeming to sense my feelings, Jonathan reached over and squeezed my knee. I put my hand over his, finding a look of empathy in his eyes. That melted me somewhat. It felt nice to be understood. I would have leaned in and kissed him right then, but the car came to a sudden halt, pitching me forward in my seat. Rayna pulled backwards after that and parallel parked with another couple of jerky motions.

It was too dark to see the details as we got out of the car and into the cold night. I did observe that her home was squished into a row of other houses without any breathing room between them. She had no driveway, and the yard consisted of a few fenced in square meters on either side of the door. Three shadowy figures hovered on the tiny porch.

“Oh my God, they’re here already!” Jonathan shouted, slamming the car door behind him. “Hey guys! Sorry we’re late. Are you cold?”

“Freezing! Let us in!”

Rayna pushed her way to the front door while I hovered a little behind everyone else. She opened it and they all tumbled in, chattering happily over each other in a way that made it impossible to hear what anyone was saying.

Rayna’s house was just as cluttered and colorful as her shop. Her shelves were filled with trinkets and sculptures, artwork and posters plastered the walls, and a hodgepodge of furniture crowded the living room. I could see the kitchen from the entryway. It contained an old teal fridge that looked like it was from the 50s, covered in magnets.

“This will just take half an hour, people,” Rayna said over their cheerful voices. “Take a seat and I’ll give you a few bottles of wine to get started.”

Everyone piled onto the living room furniture.

“So Ethan, this is Astrid, JC and Nigel. Guys, this is Ethan.”

They took turns shaking my hand.

“Ethan, it’s good to finally meet you," Astrid said. "We’ve heard so much about you. “Jonny told us you were coming and we all got so excited. How are you? How was the trip?” I couldn’t place her accent but I liked the way it sounded. Like a mix of Spanish and French. She spoke with an air of drowsiness and ease, like someone who’d just woken up from a long night’s sleep. Her cheeks blushed against shiny hair dyed blue-black. She also had a pierced lower lip and sharp eyeliner that made her eyes seem huge.

“I’m doing good now. But it was a very long trip and I’m glad it’s over.”

“You took the train, right?” JC asked. “I can’t even fathom it. Seriously. If I was stuck on a train for more than an hour I’d probably explode.”

JC wore black rumpled skinny jeans and a white shirt over his dark skin and a small frame, topped off with a floppy purple beanie. He sat between Jonathan and Nigel on a wide gold-hued couch. Nigel wore black-rimmed glasses and a black blazer. I noticed tattoos sneaking out under his sleeves.

“I felt the same way after a few days," I said. "But I really don’t want to think about it to be honest. I’m glad I’m here.”

“Cheers to that -- just in time, Rayna!” Jonathan jumped up to help her as she walked in, arms full to the brim with two uncorked bottles of wine and a bunch of glasses. He relieved her of the glasses, holding them out for her to fill and passing them around. I took mine gratefully, immediately taking a gulp.

“What’s for dinner?” Nigel asked. “It smells amazing already.”

“Oh just a little something I threw together. Stuffed portabellos, garlic bread, asparagus, my famous kale salad.”

“Sounds... healthy,” JC replied. “I don’t know how my stomach is going to handle all that. I don’t think I’ve touched a vegetable in two years. You sure you don’t have any pizza?”

“Sounds amazing, you mean,” Nigel cut in. “Thank you, Rayna. Ignore the ungrateful swine. I can’t wait. Toast to the chef.”

“You’re my favorite, Nigel,” she grinned. We clinked our glasses together in her honor.

I let my wine do its work while everyone got caught up. JC showed us some of his latest photography. I didn’t know much on the subject but it seemed quite good to me. Worn down factory buildings, abandoned homes, kids on skateboards, regular people on the street looking poetic in one way or another.

“When I open my first restaurant, I’m commissioning him to put his work up on the walls,” Nigel said, and JC beamed. “I think it will create the perfect urban atmosphere.”

“What kind of restaurant?” I asked.

“Fusion. Thai-Indian. A blend of my heritages. Imagine biting into a samosa filled with larb gai. Or coconut curry over saffron rice. Thai iced tea with a tumeric kick.”

“Every time you talk about it I get hungry,” Jonathan said with a wistful sigh. “I already have his feature article written up and ready to go the minute you open your doors. Doesn’t it sound good, Ethan?”

I grimaced. “Sure. But I’ve never actually eaten Indian food or Thai food.”

Nigel, looking shaken, held a hand to his chest. “I am heartbroken for you. We are going to fix that immediately.”

“Poor baby,” Astrid said. She got up from her lounge chair and sat next to me on the sofa across from the others, snuggling up to my side. I shifted a bit to give her room and drained my glass. Jonathan took it from me and refilled it.

“When are you all free?” Nigel asked.

And just that easily, plans came together for Monday. The wine began to do its work. I eased up, feeling the warmth of Astrid by my side. I liked how comfortable she felt and how she treated me like I was something special just for being part of Jonathan’s world. A sense of belonging blossomed timidly in my chest, and I marveled at how easy it became to join the conversation with Jonathan’s friends.

“So, you might have noticed I don’t have a kitchen table,” Rayna called from the kitchen. “Come in here and make yourself a plate. We’ll eat in the living room.”

We lined up and piled our plates with Rayna’s cooking. When we got back to our seats, Jonathan insisted on squishing in next to me, so I was sandwiched between him and Astrid. I was surprised to find I didn’t mind. Between the delicious food, the ample wine, and the friendly conversation I melted into a sense of complete ease.

Rayna scurried back and forth to the kitchen often, ever the restless host. She let us enjoy our time together and didn’t join the conversation much, other than to interrupt us with more wine. She spent a lot of her time on the phone as she worked on dishes in the kitchen. The evening passed in a haze of conversation, good food and wine. I shared details about my life in Alberta. In exchange, I learned more about Toronto and everyone’s busy lives here.

While JC and Nigel argued over which street artist was responsible for a new piece in Kensington Market, I found myself leaning in toward Jonathan, drawn in by the rosy hue coloring his cheeks and his lips stained red from the wine. I don’t know what came over me, but we soon found ourselves engaged in a kiss that deepened until I could feel it in my toes. He tasted like salad dressing and wine. I felt drawn to him like a magnet until JC cleared his throat.

“So Jonny,” he said, giving us the eyeball with a smirk. “This is a whole new new side of you I’ve never seen.”

Astrid covered a smile.

“What?” Jonathan squirmed a bit and pushed himself up straighter on the soft couch cushion. “You’ve seen me get kissy with a guy before, haven’t you?”

JC laughed. “I’ve seen guys get ‘kissy’ with you, okay? But this is the first time I’ve ever seen you so,” he licked his lips and snapped his tongue. “into it.”

Jonathan blushed and buried his face in my arm.

“Oh?” I asked softly. Maybe it shouldn’t have, but the thought of being the first person Jonathan was really into made me warm inside. I could easily say it was the same for me. These growing feelings I had for him were going to break me, sooner or later. I felt my nerves prickle even through the wine. Good thing it was easy to hide behind a full glass.

“Stop embarrassing me, JC,” Jonathan whined, voice muffled by my shirt.

“Sorry! Blame the wine, not me.” JC gestured for the bottle and I reached out to refill it for him.

Nigel took over from there. “So moving on to something that doesn’t mortify Jonny. Where’d you go to university, Ethan?”

He’d skipped over embarrassing Jonathan and landed right on me. My reply came out quieter than I hoped. “I didn’t.”

“College?”

“No. And before you ask about my high school, I dropped out.”

“Oh.”

That seemed to draw more attention than I desired. Everyone looked down awkwardly like Nigel had just committed a faux paux and didn’t know how to take it from there. I felt just drunk enough to try and turn it around.

“Life just didn’t turn out the way I expected it to. But if I can say I’m happy about one thing, it’s being here right now having a good time with everyone.”

“Cheers to that!” Nigel said with a grin, grateful for my save. We all clinked our glasses together, and I downed the whole thing in one gulp.

The night didn’t last much beyond that. No one wanted more to drink, and people were beginning to feel full and tired. We thanked Rayna profusely for hosting the dinner, and Jonathan claimed them even for all four dinners he’d provided her.

Jonathan and I stumbled down the street and caught the next bus, arms locked together. My vision spun a little but I felt happy. The people and buildings and traffic didn’t phase me at all this time. I leaned against Jonathan in my seat.

“So how did you like my friends?” Jonathan asked, leaning right back.

“They’re great,” I said. I interlocked my fingers with his. We even crossed our ankles over each other. I felt a little silly but at the same time I couldn’t get enough. “It felt so easy to be around them. I thought it was the wine making me so comfortable at first. But I now think you’re just good at choosing friends.”

He took a long breath and smiled contentedly as he let it out. “I’m so lucky. Good friends are essential when you don’t have a family.”

I nodded my agreement.

“Speaking of family,” he continued, “have you gotten in touch with Sophie yet?”

He’d left her number on a sticky note for me. Bright blue in the center of his cork board so I wouldn’t miss it. I hadn’t touched it.

“No. I spent the whole day avoiding it.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know. Maybe she’ll be angry I never left a return address for her. What will she say? What will I say? ”

“There’s only one way to find out. Call her tomorrow, Ethan. Please? Because Monday’s going to be so much fun and I don’t want any clouds hanging over it. Okay?”

“Okay,” I said. “I will, I promise.”

He snuggled into me a little more. “Ethan?” he asked.

“Yeah?”

“I’m really glad you met my friends tonight. Everyone loves you. I could tell.”

“Thanks," I smiled. "Should I start calling you Jonny like they do?”

“No, it sounds weird,” he laughed. “I like it when you say my whole name. It’s sexy.”

“Jonathan,” I grinned. He pushed his face into my arm the same way he had when he was embarrassed at dinner.

The rest of the ride home seemed to pass in a blur. When we got to his apartment, Jonathan dragged me toward his shower by the arm as if he couldn’t get me there fast enough.

“I’m pretty drunk,” I said. I found myself holding onto the sink to balance myself.

“Me too,” he laughed. “Now take off your clothes.”

Something strange happened to me after that. A time lapse. Like my consciousness blinked its eyes closed, then opened them again to a new moment. My clothes were scattered on the floor and I stood under the hot water, covered in soap suds, kissing Jonathan. My hands roamed down his slippery body, and his gripped my sides. I drowned myself in him and willed myself to ignore the strange lapse in memory.

Blink. Now we were in the bedroom. He kneeled in front of me by the bed. Fire seared through me, lust drowning me, shaft hard and leaking against his tongue.

A sense of disorientation made me waver. I wanted to languish in it, truly feel it and enjoy it. But it was passing by too fast. I felt out of control.

Blink. Blink. I had him pinned back against the bed, his arms squeezed tightly in one hand. His knees were up close to his ears and I was thrusting inside him, moaning against his neck. I squeezed his flesh and stroked his length between us. I called his name and slammed against him. He cried out.

Too hard, I thought. I’m being too rough. Blink.

He came in the space between us, hot liquid pumping onto his stomach and getting smeared by my sweat. I squeezed him even harder if that was possible at all, and everything inside me wound up with a deep tension that reached farther and farther into my mind. Then it shattered into a million pieces. I gasped and spasmed, my orgasm ripping through me like an arrow. I thrust again heavily and barked out a moan as I released inside him.

My breath trembled. One by one the pieces of my mind fell together again. My length softened and slid out of him with a shiver. My hands released their grip from his wrists. My fingers felt stiff.

The monster won, I thought in terror. It took over when I least expected it. When everything was going right, it stole my mind from me. Frozen with fear, I looked down at what I’d done.

Jonathan peered back at me with his mouth open, eyes glossy and vacant, chest heaving. His skin glistened in the low light of his bed lamp, hair tousled out against the bedspread. Red marks marred his arms and his skin was littered with more red streaks that would surely turn to bruises.

With a groan, I laid down next to him on the bed.

“I hurt you,” I said.

He let out a breathy, shaking laugh. “Only in the best possible way.”

“You’re okay?” I asked. I felt strangely not like myself. I was floating somewhere outside my body, I realized. Terror had separated me. I’d lost control. I thought he’d be hurt, at best. I couldn’t reconcile that he seemed happy. The dissonance made my thoughts vibrate like a discordant melody. At the same time I felt so light. Almost fluttery.

“I’ll recover eventually,” he said breathily. “I don’t think I’ve ever come that hard in my entire life.”

I looked over at him. The dissonance began to subside as I realized the world remained true. Nothing bad had happened. I’d lost control maybe, but if a different way than I was used to. Maybe in a good way, if Jonathan had anything to say about it.

I didn’t want him to know what had gone through my mind. So I got up and grabbed a towel for us to wipe down, and cleaned both of us up since Jonathan didn’t seem to want to move from his position sprawled out on the bed.

“Will you hold me?” he asked. I nudged him to get under the covers with me and wrapped my arms around him. He nuzzled into my chest, intertwining his legs with mine. I kissed his forehead and lay my cheek against the top of his head.

“That was crazy,” he whispered.

“I’m sorry, Jonathan. I drank too much. I lost control.” The words tumbled out all at once. I would have said more but he put his fingers over my lips and I stopped.

“Don’t ruin it by apologizing,” he whispered with an incredulous laugh. “Now go to sleep.”

I frowned a little, but I closed my eyes. I didn’t think I’d be falling asleep any time soon. I stroked his back and watched the moonlight through the blinds, following the stripes it made against the sheets. Life was so odd sometimes. Beautiful and terrifying all at once.

Eventually I tried not to think about anything at all. Hours later, as the moonlight stretched its glowing lines over Jonathan’s skin, my heart rate finally slowed to a normal pace. I fell asleep thinking I was still awake, and didn’t realize I’d drifted off until the morning peeked in through the blinds to replace the night.

Copyright © 2021 headtransplant; All Rights Reserved.

Thanks for reading my first story here on GA. Your feedback, commentary, and critique are most welcome.

If you enjoyed what you have read, please leave a reaction and/or comment for the author!

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Chapter Comments

weinerdog

Posted (edited)

Excellent chapter meeting his friends went well.But Nigel did indeed commit a faux pas I  personally seen that one play out a few times never ask that question to someone you don't know.

I do worry about Ethan and his losing control.The obvious thing would be if he perceives somebody threatening Jonathan watch out.

BTW I live in San Diego and we have a place called Kensington market and it sounds like the same kind area you were describing.Speaking of California Reyna drives like she's from California only Californians drive like that in perfect weather let alone freezing weather.

So are we going to meet Sophie next chapter or is that still a ways off?

Edited by weinerdog
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Interesting chapter! 

Ethan seems to be much more self-aware. He's socially awkward, but learning to navigate being around other people. 

Jonathan is a good balance for him, gently coaxing him our from his self isolation and showing him he's not the bad person he thinks he is. 

Life was so odd sometimes. Beautiful and terrifying all at once.

I think these two sentences sums it up nicely.

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84Mags

Posted (edited)

Ethan lives too much in his head.  It’s completely normal to be somewhat outside yourself while drunk, and especially if you are in the moment of really great sex.  It makes me sad that he seems to view that as the monster taking over.  On a more positive note, I do think this chapter shows him becoming more self aware and much more open with Jonathan. It is good Jonathan calmed him by letting him know the perceived loss of control during sex was a good thing!

 I enjoyed meeting Jonathan’s friends. Oh, and Chuck, I think I might love Chuck! 

Edited by 84Mags
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2 hours ago, weinerdog said:

Excellent chapter meeting his friends went well.But Nigel did indeed commit a faux pas I  personally seen that one play out a few times never ask that question to someone you don't know.

I do worry about Ethan and his losing control.The obvious thing would be if he perceives somebody threatening Jonathan watch out.

BTW I live in San Diego and we have a place called Kensington market and it sounds like the same kind area you were describing.Speaking of California Reyna drives like she's from California only Californians drive like that in perfect weather let alone freezing weather.

So are we going to meet Sophie next chapter or is that still a ways off?

It’s so annoying when people make assumptions like that! Nigel maybe had too much wine like everyone else, but he also have a bit of a pompous nature he has to keep in check.

Ethan is hyper aware of his actions, and losing control is his worst fear. This time it was just the alcohol, but I agree it’s still a potential red flag.

It’s cool that there’s a Kensington a market in San Diego too! I was only aware of the neighborhood in Toronto. I wonder which one came first. And Rayna is a little bit wild 😂

Sophie is appearing in the next chapter. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

 

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2 hours ago, kbois said:

Interesting chapter! 

Ethan seems to be much more self-aware. He's socially awkward, but learning to navigate being around other people. 

Jonathan is a good balance for him, gently coaxing him our from his self isolation and showing him he's not the bad person he thinks he is. 

Life was so odd sometimes. Beautiful and terrifying all at once.

I think these two sentences sums it up nicely.

I agree, Jonathan’s such a great person to help Ethan start healing. He’s nonjudgmental and about Ethan’s issues and his emotional consistency makes him feel safe.  


Thank you for reading and for the great comments!

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2 hours ago, 84Mags said:

Ethan lives too much in his head.  It’s completely normal to be somewhat outside yourself while drunk, and especially if you are in the moment of really great sex.  It makes me sad that he seems to view that as the monster taking over.  On a more positive note, I do think this chapter shows him becoming more self aware and much more open with Jonathan. It is good Jonathan calmed him by letting him know the perceived loss of control during sex was a good thing!

 I enjoyed meeting Jonathan’s friends. Oh, and Chuck, I think I might love Chuck! 

You make an excellent observation. Ethan’s not used to being drunk, and that lack of self control hit straight on his worst fears about losing control. I agree that Jonathan’s good communication definitely helps him take a step forward!

Thanks so much for reading and for your sharing your thoughts! I really appreciate it 😊

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