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Bloodflowers Excerpt 12

July 6, 2013

(*As usual, unedited.)

“Well, yeah, I knew Dave was your partner. And I know he got famous with his book, but are you shitting me?” Jeremiah exclaims one night over dinner on the front porch – our new front porch. “I’m in his book?”

I can’t help laughing at TGB. And, yes, he actually answers to TGB since I’ve explained it to him. But this is the first time I’ve read parts of SIATSIA to him where he is referenced. As I read dramatically, he thrashes on the couch. He is so incredibly embarrassed that he’s trying to bury himself under the plethora of cushions, pillows, and blankets piled up on it.

“Oh my god,” he groans from under a pillow. I cannot believe I’m in someone’s freaking book.” He groans again, and then laughs with me.

I poke him in the ribs. “Baby, I hated you back then. You don’t even know how much I hated you.” I lift the pillow from his face and peck his cheek. “The second I saw you, I felt like I was going to throw up. I couldn’t imagine Dave ever choosing me over you.”

TGB pulls me to him and holds me tightly. He kisses my forehead. “I’m sorry I put you through that,” he says softly.

“Geeze,” I reply. “Don’t apologize. You didn’t even know me then. You didn’t do anything wrong.”

“I know you now. I had my eye on your boyfriend, and that’s shitty. I don’t remember our exact conversations, honestly, but I remember him. I wouldn’t have cared if he cheated on you back then. And I’m sorry that I was that kind of dick. I’m glad he was a faithful partner to you.”

I sigh. My heart still aches sometimes when I think of Dave. But it’s not my heart, not literally. It’s on the right side of my chest that I feel this pain, a contraction of some muscle I’m sure I studied in human anatomy but can’t name now. It hurts, though, just for a second, enough to make me sigh again. TGB squeezes me a little more tightly, and the pain passes. “Dude. You’re a cradle robber.”

“I sure as shit didn’t think he was a young as he was, and I wasn’t really concerned with asking for ID back then. You’re not seriously going to blame me for hitting on a kid with a fake ID, right?” he laughs. “He shouldn’t have been there in the first place.”

I ignore his comments regarding our age difference – a whopping ten years, big deal – and I go in for the kill. “So you’re saying you were a slut.”

He growls at me playfully. “I prefer the term ‘manwhore,’ thank you very little.”

“You were a slore, baby, a manslore.”

“I was a hot commodity.”

I smile at him, wondering if he realizes he’s used a favorite phrase of David’s. “You still are.”

“Eh. You’re not so bad yourself,” he tells me, kissing my forehead again.

I smile, and then I remember something I wanted to ask him. “Hey. Do you remember meeting me?”

“Only vaguely, to be honest,” he says. It doesn’t bother me. I lift my head off his chest to look up at him, and he’s frowning. “It’s weird, you know? I definitely have a memory of seeing you, but I can’t really connect it to you.”

“What’s so bad about that?” I ask, and I rest my head again.

I feel him shrug. “Dunno. There was just this weird connection in my head when you showed up at James’ door a year ago. Like, ‘Holy shit. That’s Bryan Mitchell. Holy shit. He married that kid from 80s night who got famous when they got the shit beat out of them. Holy shit. I think I actually met Bryan once. Holy shit. Why is he standing at my boyfriend’s door with a dog and groceries?’” I look up at him again and he shuts his eyes, thinking.

We don’t talk about David much, and James is but a distant memory. I try hard not to even think about Dave, either, but find myself chattering away to him in my head while I’m working on music sometimes. Even though he no longer responds, talking to him brings me a sense of peace. I imagine that he can hear me – the calm that washes over me in those moments is his response. I may never know, but it is my personal belief.

TGB and I, instead of dwelling on the past and how we came together, instead focus our attention on each other, on Grunt, and amazingly and unlikely enough, on our life together. I’ve moved into a new home with him, both of us leaving the past behind. In my case, that meant leaving the old house in the hands of my lawyer and a property manager; I knew it was something I had to do – getting away from that house – but I also couldn’t bear to sell it. Maybe at some point I will, but not yet.

TGB has been incredibly patient with me. Sometimes, when nothing else is going on, we get a chance to sit down and have a dinner and a drink together. I laugh when he holds my hand and tells me he loves me.

“I’m going to call you UTGB from now on,” I tell him over the bottle of wine with dinner on our porch.

Done with dinner, we move to the new porch swing, and as we do, he raises a dark eyebrow in question.

“Unlikely Tall Goth Boyfriend,” I explain.

“Can you add Faithful? Then it would be FU, TGB. Get it?” He chuckles a little.

“You want me to fuck you, TGB?” I joke at him with the sort of sneer I reserve for stage. Then I replace it with an overly dramatic pout and feigned disappointment. “But I haven’t finished my first glass of wine, even. Can’t you keep it in your pants for 15 minutes?”

He grins at me. “Whatever you want, love.” He takes my hand and we rock back and forth gently on the swing in silence for a few minutes with the wine. Grunt chuffs happily in his sleep on the ottoman in the living room. We hear him through the open window and laugh.

“Do you think he’ll miss me while I’m on tour?” I ask TGB.

“Yeah. And I will, too,” he replies softly.

“You two can hog the bed as much as you want for a change.” I smile at him. “I thought you’d be glad to get rid of me for a while. What have you got to complain about?” I peck him on the cheek.

“Ah, nothing. I just get lonely without you, baby.”

“You aren’t worried about anything, are you? It’s just two months.” I squeeze his hand and then look at him intently. TGB won’t meet my gaze. “My gods, you are worried, aren’t you?”

“I can’t help it, baby. I’m really trying. It’s not like I don’t trust you. I trust you with my life. It’s everyone else…” his voice trails off.

I wrap my arms around him tightly, and I turn to put my legs across his lap. “Honey, no matter where I go or what I do, I am yours and yours alone. Why don’t you come with me, anyway? Please. I know I haven’t really mentioned it… I was afraid you’d say no.”

He sighs. “Bryan, you know I have to say no. There’s too much going on at work. And we can’t take Grunt overseas on the European tour.

“Ask to work remotely then. And Melinda can take care of Grunt. She loves him. She’s offered in the past.”

“That’s just so much for her as a housekeeper, sweetheart.” The hurt I’m feeling is somewhat allayed by the term of endearment.

“Please – like she wouldn’t revel in staying here for two months? C’mon, TGB, get real. Our house is freaking awesome. Come with me.”

“Bryan, I, um, don’t belong in that world, travelling, partying, dealing with paparazzi.”

“Shit, and I do? You know it’s all an act. You know who I really am. And we don’t have to party. The other guys in North have that covered three times over. We,” I smirk at him mischievously, “can spend lots and lots of alone time together on the bus. Lots of it. Until you beg me to stop, in fact.”

He gawks at me. “Alone time… on a tour bus? Right.”

“You haven’t seen the new bus, have you?” I ask him.

“Hon, I still don’t even know if work will let me work remotely,” he says and rests his head on the back of the porch swing.

“It doesn’t hurt to ask, though,” I tell him. “The worst they’ll do is say no.”

For a moment, he is quiet, thinking. Finally he asks, “You really want me to go, huh?”

“I really do. I really don’t want to go without you. I’d give up North if I had to choose between the music and you. No question.”

I’m met with a stare, then his voice is an octave higher than usual. “Don’t ever do that!”

“Why not? It’s my choice.”

TGB gives the swing a push with his long legs. “Two reasons: one, I will never make you choose and two, I’m only screwing you because you’re famous.” He wraps his arms around me tightly, swallowing me in an embrace.

“You’re a real asshole, you know that?” I whisper in his ear and follow with a few generous kisses to his neck. “It’s a good think I love assholes.”

He moans softly at the kisses. “Well, you are gay. I should expect you do,” he teases.

“Shut up,” I command him. “I’m busy trying to get you turned on so I can drag you upstairs.” I slide my hand beneath his shirt and run my fingers slowly down his chest to his stomach.

“It’s working,” he gasps, “as well as it ever does.

I pull away from him for a moment to remove his shirt and mine. “See,” I tell him, “I just got this great idea.” I kiss his chest slowly and deliberately, and then look up at him. “I’m going to make love to you right now, and it’s going to be so good that you’ll not be able to live without me for the two months. You won’t even care if you get fired.” I grin.

He pushes my legs off his lap and untangles from me to stand up. He puts his hands on his hips and looks down at me. “Well, then. Let’s go. Prove it.”


From → Bloodflowers

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