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Well, after much thought, I decided that I’d actually finish this story. I wasn’t going to after the feedback I received on part 1, but as a writer, I could not leave the story unfinished. So after completing this series, it will be my final entry/attempt into the M/M world. Good reading to all of you.
When Saturday rolled around, nothing had changed for Derek. He still didn’t know what to do about his reaction. He couldn’t talk to Jason about it and he definitely couldn’t talk to Callie or even Julian. What was he supposed to say? By the way Julian, even though I told you I wasn’t gay, I’ve been dreaming about you ever since we met. Ugh! He was disgusted in himself. Derek had no idea when he would be seeing Julian and no clue if the man would even call him back after his little episode.
Derek had been spending all his free time in Central Park in hopes of seeing his blonde god, but with no luck. He was getting the feeling that he would have to swallow his pride and call him. Derek’s ego wasn’t prepared to do that just yet so he walked around for a bit. When he got near his apartment, he for some reason, stopped in front of the local gym. Punching things had always been his outlet during high school so he went in.
As soon as Derek made it past the registration desk, he saw the man who had been captivating his thoughts. Julian was just a few feet away, but he wasn’t alone. Who was the man he was with? Derek decided to walk over and say hello. As he grew closer, he heard part of their conversation.
“… Dinner was wonderful this week and I can’t wait for you to come over tonight.”
“Me either, baby. I hope you’re as good of a cook as you claim to be or we’ll be eating pizza.”
Julian laughed and leaned into the tall man. The tall man then looked as if he was about to kiss Julian. Derek knew that no matter his internal battles, he couldn’t deal with seeing that. He walked over and knew the instant Julian spotted him.
“Derek! What are you doing here?” Julian exclaimed.
“Well, it’s a gym. I work out a lot and this is closer to my apartment than my current gym, so thought I’d test it out. What are you doing here?” Derek answered.
“I, um, I own this gym.” Julian said, as Victor wrapped an arm around his shoulder.
“Oh. I didn’t know that. Small world. So … Who is your friend, Julian?” Derek asked looking at the figure wrapped around Julian.
“I’m Victor. Victor Gonzales. You are?” Victor asked as he extended his hand.
Derek reached out and shook it. Then replied, “Derek. Derek Ellis.”
“Nice to meet you, Derek.” Victor said.
“Likewise.” Derek said before returning his attention to Julian. “I haven’t heard from you in a little while. Everything okay?”
“Kinda perfect actually.” Julian answered and leaned into Victor.
“Oh. So … Are you two a couple now?” Derek asked unsure if he’d be able to deal with the answer.
“Well, not exactly, but we’re well on our way. Right, Victor?” Julian countered.
“That’s right, baby.” Victor said as he kissed the top of Julian’s head.
“Hey! Are you coming to Callie and Jason’s house tomorrow night?” Julian asked Derek.
“What? No. Are you?”
“Well, yeah. They invited us over for dinner along with a few of their other friends. I assumed that you’d be there.”
“No. I didn’t know anything about it. I, um, hope you two have good time. I’m gonna go spare with someone for a little bit. See you around.” Derek walked away before Julian could reply.
Julian thought that the man had an annoying habit of just ending conversations with him. It didn’t make sense. None of it did. Why would Callie and Jason invite him and not Derek? Why did Derek always seem to be upset with him lately? Julian’s thoughts were interrupted by Victor.
“Baby? You okay?”
“Huh? Yeah. Sorry. I was just thinking. Hey. I have to take care of a few things. Just come by my place at like 7, okay?”
“Yeah. Okay. I’ll see you then.” Victor grabbed his bag off the bench behind them and kissed Julian deeply before heading out.
Julian immediately went up to his office to call Callie and figure out what was going on.
“What do you mean he isn’t invited? He’s your husband’s best friend?” Julian was practically screaming into the phone.
“Would you calm down, Jules? Please. Just listen. Tomorrow night is mostly couples. Derek has been single for a long time now. We didn’t want him to feel like we were hinting at anything. That’s why we hadn’t invited him.” Callie said.
“Well … That’s logical, but you could’ve told me that. He’s downstairs pounding on my punching bag. I can only imagine which one of he’s imagining it is.”
“Well, I’ll have Jason call him tonight. That way he isn’t mad at you, okay?”
“Alright. Um, Callie, can I ask you something?”
“Sure. What’s up, Jules?”
“Has Derek, um, ever been with a guy?”
“Not that I know of, Jules. Why?”
“I don’t know. It’s just a vibe I get from him. He saw me with Vic a little while Çapa Escort ago and he really seemed bugged by the idea, but he didn’t seem homophobic when I told him I was gay. So just trying to put it together.”
“Oh. Well, I’ve noticed he isn’t really himself around you. I can’t say I know of him being interested in men before, but last weekend, he definitely seemed interested in you.”
“Are you serious?! No! He was just being considerate.”
“Hmm … If you say so, honey. Not the way it seems, but if you think so. By the way, how are things with you and Victor?”
“Great! I’m making him dinner tonight at 7.”
Callie laughed and said, “Just dinner? No dessert? Or are you dessert?”
“Callie! I’ve barely known the man a month. I’m not going to sleep with him. No matter how long it’s been.”
“Hey! You told me about the little phone sex episode so don’t act like you aren’t attracted. How long has it been anyway?”
“That was a one time thing caused by extreme horniness and it’s been nearly 3 years.”
“Wow, honey! You need to get laid!”
Julian laughed so hard he could barely breath. Getting himself under control, he said, “I’m sure you think so when you and Jase are all over each other every night, but I don’t need it like that.”
“Doesn’t mean you can’t take it when it’s offered or should I say sitting at you dinner table.”
“We’ll see, Callie. I still sorta have a thing for Derek and I just don’t wanna have sex because I can.”
“Derek might be a lost cause, but it’s your decision to make. You better get a move on though, hon. Didn’t you say he was coming over at 7?”
Julian looked at the clock on his wall and it read 6:04. He hadn’t realized they’d been talking for that long. He still needed to head by the market to pick up everything for dinner and he needed to get ready. “You’re right, Callie. I better go. I’ll see you tomorrow night.”
“Have fun, honey. See you tomorrow.”
Julian hung up and gathered his things. Luckily his secretary would be closing up this weekend and he didn’t have to worry about it. As he made it to the first level, he spotted Derek heading out. Part of him wanted to talk to the sweating man, the other part just wanted to get away. The way Derek has been acting towards him lately, he didn’t know what to make of it. Deciding he didn’t have time for a chat, Julian walked out of his gym.
Just as Derek raised his head, he saw Julian turning away from him and heading out of the building. He didn’t think about what he was doing, he just knew he had to apologize. Catching up with Julian at the end of the block, Derek said, “I’m sorry.”
Julian had been totally oblivious to him being there. With all of the people walking down the street on this particular Saturday, Julian was ignoring all of them. Going over the mental grocery list to be sure he’d pick up everything he needed. Derek’s apology caught him completely off guard.
“You have nothing to apologize for. I get it. You aren’t comfortable around me or something. I’ll leave you alone. I’m sorry if it felt like I was taking your friends. I was just being friendly. I wouldn’t have accepted if I knew it wasn’t okay with you. I can’t really talk though. I have to get to the market.”
“Yeah. I heard. You’re making dinner for your boyfriend.” Derek said the last word as if he was going to vomit at the thought and Julian picked up on it. He didn’t want to make the situation worse, so he decided to make an even quicker exit.
“Victor isn’t my boyfriend, Derek. Just someone I enjoy spending time with and who enjoys spending time with me. Now if you’ll excuse me.” Julian crossed the street and was on the other side before Derek fully processed anything that had been said between them.
Derek couldn’t let Julian just walk away with apologizing again. So he followed him into the grocery store and then around it. Julian had known he was being followed, but couldn’t figure out what Derek wanted. This was a role reversal he hadn’t seen coming. He weaved through the aisles until he ended up behind Derek.
“You were right. That is creepy. What do you want, Derek?” Julian asked startling the man just as he’d been startled the week before.
“Ah! Don’t do that. Are you trying to kill me in the store?” Derek answered holding his hand over his heart.
“No. I wasn’t. Just trying to figure out why it is you’re following me and what you want.”
“I want you, Julian.” Derek said without even thinking about the question or his answer. Was that true? Did he want Julian? Based on the look on Julian’s face, he was just as shocked at the answer as Derek was from saying it.
“What?” Was the only thing Julian could say.
“I’m sorry. That isn’t … Actually, no, it’s exactly what I meant. I just can’t figure out when I found myself so attracted to men. Or maybe it’s just you, Julian, I don’t know, but I do know that I don’t like you being with Victor.”
Julian just stood there staring at Derek. This really isn’t something he wanted to deal with Çapa Escort Bayan because Julian knew from experience that the curiosity of straight men didn’t last long. He was in no position to go down that road again. Not with the way he felt everytime he was around Derek.
“Well … Julian? Hello? Are you going to say something?” Derek was beginning to worry that Julian didn’t even see him that way.
“I … I can’t do this with you, Derek. I can’t get hurt again. I’m sorry. Maybe you should just leave. I’m flattered, but I like Victor. A lot. I don’t know where this attraction came from either, but I can’t be the one to help you experiment with it.”
Julian walked away and continued his grocery shopping. He couldn’t get his head around what Derek had said to him. Was this some kind of joke? Just last week, he’d told Julian he wasn’t gay and now, the feelings were there? No. He wouldn’t think about it. It would become another Grayson and that had taken him years to fully recover from. Shaking his head, Julian made it to the check out counter. He hadn’t felt Derek following him and that made him sigh with relief. Now all he had to do was stop all the thinking and he’d be fine.
Derek walked out of the market and into the brisk New York night. He was finally honest with not only himself, but Julian as well and he had gotten slammed. Derek didn’t understand his feelings, but he understood rejection just fine. Julian didn’t want to be with him. Well! That’s just fine with him! He’d go get drunk and forget it ever happened.
As Derek walked down the crowded streets, he saw the rainbow neon flashing sign of a bar up ahead. He didn’t care where the bar was, all he knew was that he need a scotch.
Walking into the bar, it was wall to wall men. Young, old, thin, heavy, all various heights. He laughed to himself at the irony of the situation. He’d just been rejected by his gay crush and then he landed himself in a gay bar.
Derek was still laughing when the bartender came over to talk to him.
“What can I get you, sugar?” The bartender was a handsome and muscular dude and he felt a twinge in his cock.
Derek looked down at his lap. Was it possible that he was attracted to this man too? He looked nothing like Julian. The bartender stood at 6’4″, at the least. Bald head, black guy with muscles bulging out of his white t-shirt that seemed to have a glowing effect thanks to the lights. His thoughts were interrupted as a soft hand reached out and touched him.
Derek looked at the hand and then up at it’s owner. The bartender had the softest hands he’d ever felt.
“Are you okay, sugar?” The bartender asked with what seemed like genuine concern in his voice.
Derek cleared his throat and then said, “Yes. Sorry. Kinda having a bad night. Can I get a scotch?”
“Sure thing.” The bartender turned and made the drink for Derek. When he came back he said, “Don’t let whatever happened stop you from having a good time. You’re new here, I know, but the boys are going to be tripping over their feet to get a dance with you.”
“Thanks.” Derek laughed and took a sip of the drink. The burning smoothness was just what he needed to settle his nerves. No sooner than he turned to look at the dance floor, did someone speak to him.
“Ready to get out there already?”
Derek turned to see the man on the next stool was the one talking to him.
“No. Not really. Just looking.”
“Ah! Trying to decide which one to take home and bed?”
“What?! No! That’s not what I meant at all!” Derek was taken back by the forwardness of this man and his assumptions.
“Relax! I was just messing with you.” The man said to him and turned to the bartender. “His next round is on me, Mike.”
The bartender looked over his shoulder and said, “You got it, Petey.”
“So your name is Petey?” Derek asked as his neighbor turned back towards him.
“Peter, actually, but just about everyone calls me Petey. You are?”
“Well, it’s nice to meet you, Derek. Wouldn’t have pegged you as gay though.”
“Well, technically, I’m not. I, well, it’s a long story.”
Peter moved closer to him and said, “Lucky for you, I’ve got time. Let’s here it.”
“Um, alright. Well, I met this guy last weekend. Before him, I’d never seriously thought about being with a guy. Now, he’s all I think about. I tried telling him today, but it was after I saw him with the guy who I’m sure will be his next boyfriend. He blew it off because he thinks I want to experiment with him or something, but that it isn’t it. I’ve had thoughts about men, but there’s something about him that makes everything in me tingle. Is that completely ridiculous?”
“No, it’s not. I think it’s really sad and sweet. There could be a hundred different reasons why he doesn’t want to get involved with you and many of them probably don’t even relate specifically to you. It could be a previous guy. There are some gay men who prey on others. It’s not always easy to recover from.”
“So you think someone else hurt Escort Çapa him? Someone who, in a way, is common to me?”
“That’s exactly what I think. Have you talked to him about his past at all?”
“No. Like I said, we just met. These feeling hit me out of nowhere. Fast!”
“Well, what about tonight? Try talking to him.”
“Can’t. He has a date with the potential boyfriend tonight.”
Peter looked at Derek’s expression and laughed lightly. This guy has it bad for this guy and probably doesn’t even know it. Shaking his head, Peter decided to do something he didn’t do often. Help.
“Well, when can you and him be together alone?” Peter asked.
“I don’t know. He, Julian, and Victor, the potential, are going over to my best friend’s place tomorrow night, but I wasn’t invited so I guess it’s some kind of couples thing. I don’t know.”
“What if you had a date?”
Derek looked over at Peter with a suspicious expression.
“You? You want to be my date at this dinner thing?”
“Sure. Why not? Make this Julian guy a little jealous and that way you could keep an eye on him and Victor.”
“Well … I could call Callie and Jase to let them know. If you’re sure.”
Peter nodded his head and said, “Make the call.”
As Derek made the call to Callie, he wasn’t sure if he could go through with all this. A date with a guy other than Julian … It was new, but he was actually excited to go out with Peter.
Julian had just walked into his house and he immediately at the clock. It was 6:30. He had essentially half an hour to cook and get ready. As much as he was looking forward to his date, Julian’s mind couldn’t get off of Derek and what he’d said to him.
Making his way into the kitchen, Julian decided to focus on creating the perfect Chicken Parmesan Casserole. Putting the dish into the oven, Julian left to get ready.
By the time the doorbell rang, dinner was ready and Julian was dressed casual. Opening the door, he took in Victor. No matter how many times Julian saw him, Victor would always take his breath away. Being this close made him think about Derek again. He had to shake his thoughts or he’d never get over this trivial crush.
“Hey, gorgeous. Something smells delicious.” Vic said as took off his coat.
“Thanks, hon. I hope you like Italian.” Julian replied snapping out of his thoughts.
“Love it. What’d you make?”
“Chicken Parmesan Casserole.”
“One of my favorites. Why don’t we sit down and eat?”
As Vic sat at the dinner table, Julian went into the kitchen to fix dinner. Going to the table was the last thing he could distinctively remember.
Julian had no clue what happened last night. He looked out of his bedroom window and squinted his eyes. When did it hit morning? Where was Victor? Holy crap! Did I sleep with him?! Throwing the sheets from his body, Julian looked down at his still covered body and sighed. At least I didn’t have to worry about that.
Julian needed coffee and to remember what the hell happened last night. As he made it to the bedroom door, he spotted Victor asleep on his couch. What the hell happened?!
“Vic? Victor wake up.” Julian whispered as he knelt beside the sleeping god.
Victor stirred and said, “Hey! You’re up. Are you okay? I didn’t want to leave you after last night.”
“Um … What happened last night?”
“Well, you spaced out while we were eating dinner. You were mumbling something about Derek and then you just walked into your room and climbed into bed. You cried for awhile and then you fell asleep. I cleaned up the table and crashed just in case you needed me.”
Julian was touched and horrified. What exactly had he said?
“Um … That was really sweet of you, Vic. I could make you some breakfast if you want.”
“No, Jules, that’s okay. I think we should just talk,”
“Talk? About what?” Julian didn’t like the idea of talking. He somehow had the feeling the topic of Derek would come up and that was the one thing Julian didn’t want on his mind.
“I think you know. Who is this guy to you?”
“Derek? No one. I mean, he’s a friend, but that’s all. Why?”
“You mumbled about not getting hurt by him last night. Why would a friend hurt you?”
“Victor .. I really appreciate you helping out last night, but I really don’t want to talk about Derek. Maybe you should just go on home and we’ll talk later. Okay?” Julian had since the beginning of the conversation moved to the kitchen. He had his back to Victor so he didn’t have to see the hurt look on his face.
Victor moved around the living room putting on his boots and grabbing his shirt. Making his way to the door, Victor looked over his shoulder to see Julian still facing away from him. It irritated him, but he wouldn’t force Jules to talk and said, “Fine. I’ll pick meet you downstairs at 6 to go over to Callie’s.”
Julian sank to the floor as soon as he heard the locks click when the door closed and wrapped his arms around his knees. How is it that everything is turned upside down just like that? It’s Derek’s fault! Julian thought as the first tears fell. Straight men! He thought and surged to his feet. He was going to get the bottom of Derek’s so called feelings before going any further with anything.
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