Brad’s Search : Part 29


I wake up to the sensation of Derek circling his finger around my nipple.

“Good morning, sleepyhead.”

I yawn and open my eyes. “Good morning.”

He continues playing with my nipples and chest hair. “So, remember everything from our lesson last night?”

I nod. My memory of the previous night is a bit fuzzy, but I can definitely recall the lesson.

He continues, “I bet you can’t wait to use what you learned on James.”

Oh shit. How the hell could I have forgotten?! How much did I have to drink last night? I don’t know, but one thing is certain: I need to get the hell out of here. And fast.

I lift the blanket and see I am still completely naked.

“Where are my clothes?”

“What’s the rush? Where do you have to be on a Sunday?”

I couldn’t think of anything else. “Church.”

“Church? Hah. Well, your clothes are still over there on the couch. Hopefully whatever church you go to has nothing against two naked guys sharing a bed.”

I hop out of bed and run to where my clothes are. I dig my phone out of my pants pocket and check my texts. James had sent me a text a few hours ago saying he and his dad had gotten on the flight back to Seattle, which means they should both be landing here soon.

I quickly pull my underwear and pants on, then whip my shirt over my head and pull it down. Derek walks over to me as I’m putting on my socks and shoes.

“I wish you didn’t have to rush out so fast.”

“Me either.”

“Is there some eleventh commandment I don’t know about? Thou shalt not be late?”

“Yeah, something like that.”

I finish tying my shoes and head for the door.

“Brad, can I call you sometime?”

“Yeah. Sorry I have to be leaving like this. See you later.”

I open the door, run to my car, get in, and speed off.

I call Gary on the way. Pick up, pick up, please pick up!

“Hey Brad. How’s it going?”

“Gary, I’ve done something horrible.”

“Don’t worry. Just tell me where to meet you and I’ll help you hide the body.”

“It’ll probably be my body you’ll be helping James bury after he’s done with me!”

“What the hell happened?”

“You know how I told you Derek and I had planned to hang out last night?”

“Yeah - oh, no, Brad, you didn’t.”

My silence is enough to confirm his suspicions.

“You’re right; James is going to kill you! Where is he now?”

“Somewhere up in the sky. His flight took off from New York a few hours ago. Gary, what am I doing to do?”

“Calm down. What’s done is done. But here’s what I suggest. Remember how nonchalant he was when you told him about Kelly?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, do the same thing now.”

I’m a bit confused. “What do you mean? Tell him the truth?”

“Yeah.”

I admit that option had yet to cross my mind. I’m convinced any mention of my tryst with Derek will certainly set James on a rampage and he will either murder me or turn around and never want to see me again.

Gary continues, “Honesty has worked in your favor thus far. I say stick with it.”

“But I basically messed around with someone else while we were dating! He’s not going to want to have anything to do with me after I tell him!”

“Look, with how much of a blabbermouth Derek is, James is going to find out anyway. It would be best if he found out from you first.”

I sigh. “I guess you’re right. He should be getting in soon. Hopefully he heads straight to my place and doesn’t take any calls.”

“Good luck. Tell me how it goes.”

* * * * *

I get home. I’m so nervous my heart feels like it’s about to pound out of my chest. I strip down and shower, taking some deep breaths and trying to relax in the hot water. I get out and dry myself off. The phone rings. It’s James. My heart rate shoots up again.

“Hey James.”

“Uh, hey Brad.” He must have noticed the anxiety in my voice. “Everything OK?”

“Yeah. You back on the ground?”

“Yep, we just touched down and taxied in. We have to get luggage and all, so it should be another half-hour or so before I can start heading your way. I can’t wait to see you!”

“Me either. All right. Let me know when you’re on your way.”

“Will do.”

We hang up. While I wait for him to arrive, I pour myself a lemon drop. Nothing like some strong liquor to help calm nerves. I sit at the counter and drink a bit faster than usual. Several minutes later, I pour myself another. James texts and says he and his dad are on the way to his dad’s, and from there, he will head to my place.

Time passes by at an achingly slow place. I finish my second lemon drop and start making a third when I hear a knock at the door. I guess the moment is here.

I walk to the door and open it. James stands there, smiling, with a bouquet of flowers in his hand.

“Hey, cutie. It’s great to see you again.”

He leans in and kisses me. He hands the flowers to me.

“Thanks. Come in.”

He comes in, and I close the door behind him. He walks to the couch and sits down while I put the flowers in a vase.

He notices the lemon drop I’m in the middle of making. “Hey, can you make me one of those, too?”

“Sure.”

I make two lemon drops and hand him his. “You let anyone else know you’re back?”

“Not yet. I haven’t spoken to anyone over the phone today except for you.”

“How was the flight back?”

“Pretty good. It was direct, so no layovers this time, which means I get to see my cutie that much sooner!”

He reaches up and squeezes my hand, but I’m slow to respond. He tilts his head and looks into my eyes. His tone of voice turns serious. “Brad, I can tell something is wrong. What is it?”

“I, uh, don’t know how to tell you.”

“It can’t be that bad. Just say it.”

I take a large sip of my third lemon drop, swallow it all in one nervous gulp, and clear my throat. “I slept with Derek.”

James gasps loudly, and his jaw falls to the floor.