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    Mrsgnomie
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Dichotomy of Love - 12. Part One. Chapter Twelve.

No matter how he tried to see the pond through Dayna’s eyes, he could never see what she saw. On a perfect day, in the middle of the summer, with blue skies and flowers, it was still a small, decrepit pool of stagnant water to Kyan. He wondered what the pond would look like if Dayna was still alive. Maybe with her help, there would be fairies and sweet woodland creatures hopping around.

Kyan rocked softly in his blue plaid chair, listening to the rain as it pounded on the roof while everyone slept. The pond was surely taking a beating. Kyan could picture it clearly; swirls of black plagued the murky water as Mother Nature stirred the sludge to the surface.

There were no fairies or woodland creatures. Maybe a troll under the footbridge, if he was lucky.

He should probably feel bad that Dayna’s vision for the pond would never come to fruition, but he didn’t. It was a rental house, and he was a single dad with four kids. When they moved in, the owner mentioned selling down the road. It was something he and Dayna talked about frequently.

Without her, Kyan wasn’t sure he was interested. Even if finances weren’t an issue, the three-bedroom and one-bathroom house was too small for his family of five.

Nervousness pulsed through his body as Perry stumbled into the kitchen shirtless, with his work pants hanging low on his hips.

When he left the room earlier, Perry was asleep, face down on the mattress. Now he was pouring himself a cup of coffee without so much as eye contact or a mumbled good morning.

This was the morning-after regret he feared.

On paper, Kyan’s resume of sexual experience seemed extensive, as showcased by a wife and four kids. His reality, however, was evidence of how easily resumes could be manipulated. A real smoke and mirrors situation.

Dayna was the second person he’d ever slept with and they got pregnant the first time they were together. Then they were long distance for a few months while they finished high school. When he moved in with her and her parents, Dayna suffered from pregnancy sickness and insecurity over her changing body. The next few years were much the same. As soon as they got their heads above water and felt normal enough to resume ‘activities’, Dayna surprised him with another positive pregnancy test, despite the use of contraceptives.

The ratio of ‘fuck around and find out’ tilted heavily to the ‘find out’ side of things, while ‘fuck around’ continually took a back seat. All that to say, at twenty-five, he was a sexual fraud who could not hide all his fraudness.

Perry flipped the dining chair around and sat down. “‘Morning.”

Kyan kept his gaze trained on the pond, which was barely visible at the early hour. “‘Morning.”

They sat in silence, which was normal, but had never been awkward or uncomfortable before.

However, Kyan had also never been mortified about his sexual performance before. Could that be why the connection last night had been so stilted?

“I don’t always come so fast,” he blurted, then cringed because he definitely had not intended to bring it up over morning coffee. It was a sacred time of peace and quiet, not for the airing of dirty laundry.

Perry threw his head back and laughed. “I wasn’t exactly the poster child for longevity.”

“What are you talking about?” Kyan scoffed. “My wrist was aching.”

“Then you need to work your wrist more because it was only a few minutes, and that was with some serious zen breathing on my part.”

The comment made him feel better. A lot better, actually. The nerves and embarrassment dissipated as Kyan brought the mug to his lips, covering his cheesy grin. This is why Perry was safe.

“What are you doing today?” Perry asked.

Kyan groaned. “It’s Thursday, so I’m meeting Max after I drop off the kids. If the knowing looks he’s given me all week are any indication, he will want to re-hash Saturday.”

Perry shrugged noncommittally. “I thought Saturday was fun.”

“I’m sure you did.”

Perry rolled his eyes. “I was talking about the entire evening. It was fun.”

“It was, and now Max is going to ask about you.”

Again, Perry rolled his eyes in a cocky and arrogant way that was neither cocky nor arrogant. “I’m sure you guys will have an interesting conversation.”

“What should I tell him?” Kyan prodded.

“Whatever you want.”

“That you say hi?”

“If you want.”

The bastard knew Kyan was fishing, and yet he was circling the lure with no intention of biting.

Perry checked his watch and got up, setting his mug in the dishwasher. “I better get going.”

Kyan followed Perry to the bedroom so Perry could get dressed. On his way, he found Gracie standing in the living room. Her blinks were slow and sleepy and her ponytail was barely holding itself together. Kyan kneeled down and hugged her. “Good morning.”

She rested her head on his shoulder, so he moved an arm under her bum and lifted her up. With Gracie half asleep in his arms, Kyan stopped in front of Perry, who was now by the door, bent over his work boots.

“Maybe I’ll tell him you regretted how Saturday night ended?”

The corner of Perry’s mouth curled in amusement. “If you must.” When his boots were done, he stood and put his hat on.

“Should I give him your number?”

Perry slid his wallet into his back pocket and grabbed his keys and phone from the side table. “You could.”

Kyan growled and followed Perry outside. He would have marched all the way to his work van, but it was dark and raining, and he was holding Gracie. He stopped at the end of the small porch and shouted, “Maybe I’ll tell him you’d like to have dinner with him this weekend!”

Perry rolled the window down enough to stick his hand out and gave Kyan a thumbs up.

Kyan watched him drive away and patted Gracie’s pack gently. “I’m not giving Max his number.”

****

“So…” Max said as soon as they sat down at their regular table at Mo’latte. His eyes sparkled with excitement.

“I’ve barely talked to Perry after we left breakfast on Sunday. He has a big job. Sunup to sundown type thing,” Kyan said quickly. He hated himself for the lie, but he couldn’t stop it.

Max arched a perfect, full, dark blond brow. “It’s November. Sunup to sundown is, like, six hours of work.”

“You get what I’m saying.”

Max sipped his cappuccino and sighed rather dreamily. “It was disheartening when he didn't stay the night, but not all guys are like that—just the ones I’m normally drawn to, apparently. It actually made Perry that much hotter. I’m sure he is literal perfection.”

“I think I’m bisexual,” Kyan blurted quietly as to not attract attention. He knew this wasn’t how he should tell his friend, but he really didn’t want to keep talking about Max and Perry.

Max froze and stared at him in confusion. “Huh? What do you mean ‘you ‘think’?”

“I am.” He nodded, convincing himself as much as Max.

Well, maybe he was. He didn’t really find other men attractive the way he found Perry attractive, but he must be bisexual. The evidence was irrefutable. He got hard when he was with Perry.

Max looked around the cafe, trying to judge if he was being punked. Finally, his gaze returned to Kyan and a slow grin stretched across his face. “Yeaaaah, I’m gonna need more information.”

“I’m trying to figure it out myself, but the club was quite an awakening for me.”

Max clutched his cup. “Really? Anyone in particular? Or just the overall vibe.”

“There was a particular guy,” he said before he could stop himself.

Max’s face lit up, and he leaned in. “Tell me everything.

“There isn’t that much to tell, honestly. I saw him dancing and… you know, my response was anything but straight.”

“Did you freak out?”

Yes, which was ridiculous. Nothing about Perry was scary. “A little, but it didn’t feel wrong or weird, just unexpected.”

“Did you get this guy's number?”

“I did. And we hooked up,” Kyan said. He was an asshole. The lowest scum on the earth. He knew it. But he needed to talk about it and Max was his only non-Perry friend, which was fucking sad. When he moved to Molalla, he left what few friends he had, and now his life revolved around Dayna and their growing family.

Max leaned even closer, his eyes wide with wonder and excitement. “Ho-lee shit. When? I never saw you talk to anyone.”

“While you were in the bathroom with Jessica. And then, after I dropped everyone off that night, he came over.”

Max sat on the edge of his seat as Kyan recounted the events of the night. When Gracie interrupted, Max pressed his finger to her lips. “Shh. It’s not ladylike to interrupt.”

Gracie mumbled against Max’s finger. Then she grabbed her crotch and bounced.

Max pulled his finger back like it touched fire and helped her off the chair. Kyan picked her up and ran her to the bathroom.

When they got back, Max still looked mortified for ignoring Gracie in her time of need. “I feel bad about that,” he said. “But I still want to know everything that happened. Play by play. And go—”

“We just gave each other handjobs. A couple of times.” He left out the tequila blow job because he hadn’t been able to reciprocate, but mostly he wanted to keep some things to himself.

“That seems like a natural first step, given your first time with a guy. What did you think of kissing a man? Was it weird? Different than kissing a girl?”

“Oh. We haven’t kissed.” Kyan tried to tamp down the disappointment.

Max’s jaw dropped, and he dramatically braced the table. “Why the hell not? That’s the best part!”

“I don’t know. We just didn’t.” He really wanted to kiss Perry, but his brother-in-law hadn’t made the move. Maybe it was too intimate—a line that, once crossed, could never be jumped back over. Perry struggled to be chill about handjobs, so kissing was probably too much. It was a crushing reality.

“Well, that is unfortunate. I think kissing a man is the best.” Max looked a bit dreamy as he sipped his insanely large, fancy coffee before remembering something important. “Does Perry know? Have you told him? I suppose not, since you’ve barely seen him all week.”

“Actually, I told him after we dropped you and Jess off.”

Max’s brows pinched as he thought about it, and Kyan worried his lie was falling apart, but then Max smiled. “Perfect. That’s actually a relief. I kind of thought there was something between you and Perry, but I clearly misread the situation. This is great news, though. It means we can all get together! We could double date! Or if a date is too much, we can all just chill. Maybe hit the club back up. Or Barnaby’s on queer night—or any night, really. Let me know what you want to do, and I’ll make sure I’m available.”

“Well, my in-laws are taking us all to Hawaii in a few weeks, so things will be busy. I’ll try to arrange something,” Kyan lied, feeling guilty. Max was too good for their friendship.

He prided himself on being honest, but he wasn’t ready to tell Max that Perry was the person from the club. It seemed like a delicate situation and he wasn’t ready to add any pressure. Maybe down the road. Or, you know, never.

“Why don’t you give me Perry’s number and I’ll reach out? Then you don’t have to worry about it. You don’t need to be the middleman anymore.”

Kyan blinked. He absolutely did not want to give Max Perry’s number, but more than that, he had no good reason not to. The two had gotten along just fine at the club. Perry said wasn’t interested, but he had not forbidden it when Kyan mentioned it this morning. A knot formed in his stomach as he racked his brain for an excuse. Not a single one came to mind.

“You’re sure it won’t come off weird?” he asked in a last-ditch effort.

“I know how to be chill about these things. Besides, I feel good about how Saturday ended, despite how it ended,” he said, then laughed at the irony. “Like I’ve said before, Perry seems like a guy with standards, and I find that attractive. I’m willing to wait it out. It might be a good change for me, honestly. I have a habit of being attracted to conceited assholes.” Max retrieved his phone and began typing, prepping the contact information. “I won’t do it today, though. I’ll probably wait until tomorrow or this weekend so he doesn’t think we talked about him.” He looked up, ready for Perry’s number.

While Kyan recited the number, he wondered what a stress-induced ulcer felt like.

“Oh,” Max said, remembering something else as they walked to the parking lot. “Be careful with the kids. Some nasty flu is going around. Kids are dropping like flies.”

****

The rain meant the kids couldn’t go outside, so they spent all afternoon under Kyan’s feet. The ranch-style home was getting smaller and smaller by the day, but he wasn’t the one paying the rent, so he couldn’t really complain. He pulled out the crayons and set everyone at the table with a project. Anything to distract them.

The kids were distracted, but Kyan wasn’t.

He looked at the time, again. He wondered if Max would actually wait until tomorrow or this weekend, or if Perry was late because of a certain phone call. Ugh. Kyan grabbed the cerulean blue crayon and started coloring.

****

Perry arrived as Kyan pulled food from the refrigerator. He came in and played with his nieces and nephews for a minute in the living room, then came into the kitchen and washed his hands.

“Just a heads up,” Kyan said as he seasoned the chicken. “Max asked for your number. I didn’t have a good reason to say no, so I gave it to him. Expect a call or text tomorrow.”

Perry nodded as he riffled through the pile of food on the counter. “Are we roasting or steaming the veggies?”

Kyan stared at his annoying friend. “Did you hear me?”

“Yeah. Max will probably call me. Got it.” He held up the broccoli and cauliflower. “Roast or steam?”

“Whatever. I don’t care,” Kyan snapped. He leaned against the counter and crossed his arms. “You don’t care that Max is going to reach out?”

Perry ignored him. “I’m going to roast them. The kids eat more when the veggies are cooked that way.”

Kyan took a deep breath to stop himself from strangling Perry and his nonchalant attitude—an attitude that was confusing Kyan to no end. And the confusion only grew as the evening continued.

Kyan caught himself staring at Perry’s lips. He wanted it. It took all his willpower to not plow through their nighttime routine, knowing Perry’s lips were going to be his as soon as the kids were asleep.

“Love you guys,” he said to the twins before closing their door. He paused for a minute, listening for any noise, but mostly trying to calm himself down. He was already worked up, half hard as he thought about what was about to happen with Perry.

He straightened his clothes and checked his armpits. Then he inhaled all the courage he could find and headed to the living room…

…to find Perry putting his boots on.

This again?

Kyan’s jaw dropped. “Leaving?”

“Yeah. I have to get a bunch of stuff ready for tomorrow and I’d rather not do it in the morning.”

But… Kyan whined to himself, though he wasn’t going to seem needy and greedy. He put his hands in his pockets and rested his hip against the kitchen table. “You sure you don’t want to stay?” he asked, the question laced with innuendo.

“I do.” Perry stood up and looked at Kyan. “But I’m not going to.”

Kyan rolled his eyes. “Because you have other stuff to do.”

“Yeah, but…”

Kyan’s gaze shot to Perry. He thought he was good at reading people and his brother-in-law was screaming ‘more to the story’.

Then it occurred to him that Perry might not be interested in messing around if Max was about to throw down the gauntlet. Even he knew a two-pump chump like himself couldn’t compete if good sex was what Perry was looking for.

“But?” he asked, though he wasn’t sure he wanted the answer.

Perry stood and crossed his arms over his chest, and Kyan hated how attractive he found Perry when he was brooding. The work hoodie, backward cap, and worn Carhartt pants called to the primitive side of Kyan’s newly awakened brain. Now, more than ever, he wanted to press Perry against the door and cover the man’s mouth with his own.

The thought made his head spin.

“If we mess around every night, where does that leave our friendship? We haven’t been doing friend stuff, only benefit stuff.”

“It’s only been a week and we haven’t done that much. But we can do friend stuff during the day, benefit stuff at night,” Kyan reasoned.

“We used to do friend stuff at night. Is that gone now? Because I liked it. I enjoyed chilling.”

“Is it because Max is going to call you? Is that why you don’t want to mess around?”

Perry narrowed his eyes. “Max has nothing to do with it, Kyan. It’s all you. It’s us. It’s not letting the best part of us disappear because of sex. Trust me, friends with benefits never works out in the long run. And you and I? We can’t exactly walk away from each other, so as much as it pains me, we have to tread lightly.”

Kyan nodded. Perry was right, which fucking sucked. It also made him feel like an asshole for focusing so much on the sex, even though the need to be with Perry was all-consuming. “I feel like an ass.”

“You’re anything but an ass.”

He shrugged, not sure he believed Perry. He definitely felt like a jerk for pressing the benefits thing and not the friends thing. That was about to change, because Perry was and always would be more than sex. Hell, he was more than just a friend. He was Perry.

“The friend thing is the most important part of who we are, but I really like this new thing between us.” Even if they haven’t done much. A couple of handjobs, one tequila blowjob, and zero kissing. “So, how do we make this work?” Kyan asked. “Tell me what to do.”

Perry flushed pink. One of Kyan’s favorite things about Perry was how he could be cocky and shy at the same time. So cute. “I don’t have all the answers, but we can’t overdo the sex or it will take away from what makes us us.

“Ok, so theoretically, you can still stay the night, just no sex?”

Perry’s face flushed even more. He shook his head. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“We used to do that all the time. The whole point of this is to make sure we don’t lose ‘us’, right? ‘Us’ that used to sleep in the same bed.”

Perry laughed and took a step away. “Maybe. But not tonight. I really do have to get a bunch of stuff ready.”

Kyan huffed and stuck his lip out. “Fine.”

Perry smiled and shook his head. Kyan wondered if his own pouting was as enduring as Perry’s. Was it enough to get him to stay?

He batted his big brown eyes.

Perry placed his hand on the doorknob and hesitated. He looked torn. “I don’t want to mess this up. Believe me. I don’t want to go, but I should.”

Kyan sighed. Fine. Perry had too much damn willpower. But if he was leaving, Kyan would give him something to take with him.

He grabbed Perry’s arm. “Before you leave. I told Max I’m bisexual, and that I messed around with someone from the club. I just thought you should know, in case you guys hang out and it comes up. And … he asked me how it was to kiss a guy, but we haven’t kissed, yet. It’s all I’ve thought about, so—” Kyan stepped into Perry’s space, and brought his lips to Perry’s, the touch so feather-light it barely counted. “Maybe the next time we’re benefiting…”

Perry swallowed hard and nodded. “Yeah,” he choked out. “Okay.”

Kyan stepped away and smiled. “Goodnight.”

Copyright © 2023 Mrsgnomie; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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