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Chapter Twenty-Seven – Weird Straight Boy
There was still time until Saturday, and Carter had homework to do. He could hire a private detective to follow Alex around, but, somehow, he felt that would not be a good idea. Alex was a star, not a housewife looking for love outside conjugal bliss. He was a star, and getting other people involved sounded like a recipe for disaster. No, he needed to be the detective and gather evidence against the guy, evidence of the guy’s cheating. How he was going to show Aron that evidence was a different matter.
Where should he start? After a short moment of hesitation, he decided to begin by investigating Alex’s past a little. Everyone behaved like they had to walk on eggshells when word of the guy’s family, especially his mother, came up, that it made him believe that something was not right.
Wait, what was Alex’s last name? He had to torture his brain a little to remember. Something with M? Miller? Was that it? He tried that one, but apparently, the name was too common. It was all down to browsing through Alex’s older interviews and archives of crappy tabloids.
Apparently, the guy’s mother had been the perfect socialite in her young years. A long string of scandalous affairs made up the woman’s life, in small sequences of gossip, some of them Carter suspected not completely true. While she had managed to wring dry at least three husbands, she was now apparently retired, or as some people said, she was most probably institutionalized somewhere, away from the maddening crowd.
Okay, so Alex’s mother liked to be the center of attention and changed men like socks, or stockings, or whatever. It was clear Alex took after her, he mused, as he watched old photos of the lady showing her in designer clothes, attending all sorts of social functions. Mr. Miller, Alex’s father, had been husband number two, and the owner of an impressive wealth, like all the other men in the woman’s life. Although the man had apparently made quite a case to take Alex away from her, she had won in court after a very ugly battle.
Yes, Aron was right. Alex had not had a happy childhood. But still, that didn’t justify the way Alex was. Carter could feel something was amiss. There was something he was yet to find. Going back in time seemed a tad difficult. Yeah, nothing was lost on the Internet, but the old gossip was buried in heaps of current and ongoing garbage.
He was about to leave it on another day when a title caught his eye. Ah, now he understood the commentary about Alex’s mother that seemed to be such a pressure point. It looked like the lady had been close to being convicted for involvement with a high profile prostitution ring. Well, that was bad, he pondered. Where was Alex when all this was happening with his mom? Apparently, he was no longer a kid, at least. The woman had begun to realize that no longer being young and beautiful made a dent in her wealth, so she might have decided to make money using other venues.
From that point, the string of gossip stretched. Some kept saying that Alex might have been involved with his mother in the affair, others said he was a victim, while Alex’s lawyers were just trying to convince everyone that Alex had had nothing to do with anything.
“That might explain some things, Taz, right?” he scratched his pet behind his ears.
Had Alex been prostituting himself? For his mom? That was enough to give him the chills. Yet there was something morbid in how Alex desired stuff. Like it was never enough. Maybe the guy really needed to see a therapist. Who knew what he might have witnessed, even without being exploited directly.
All right, he was not going to feel for the man now, right? He had Aron to save. Alex’s life was Alex’s life. Nothing he could do about that.
Ah, and now he felt miserable. Maybe being married to Aron was the best thing in the douchebag’s life.
“Great, so now I feel conflicted,” he said out loud.
Next to him, Taz whined cutely.
“What should I do, Taz? Should I tell Aron he’s married to a cheater? That’s not fair to him, you know? But what if Alex has a chance of becoming a better guy since Aron cares about him? Do I have the right to interfere with that? Aron loves him. Ah, damn it, what a complicated thing.”
He needed to sleep on it. Before going any further. There was no wonder everyone pitied Alex. Yet, Carter did not have it in him to overlook the guy’s cheating on the grounds that he had had a miserable childhood. That didn’t give him the right to ruin other people’s lives. Especially Aron’s. He needed to find a way to solve this.
“Hey, we should stop meeting like this,” Carter heard someone talking, while he was busy tying one shoelace that had come undone. It was the first day he was trying to let Taz alone at home after he had taken the dog out a bit earlier for his morning walk.
He looked up to see Simon less than one foot away. The guy wore tight fitting clothes like last time, and it was clear that he was well aware of how good he looked. Not that Carter’s was staring. Or comparing. casino şirketleri Aron looked better. Yeah, he also had a bigger, nicer bulge in front, he mused, as he eyed Simon’s manhood through his biking shorts. How could Alex choose this dude over Aron? Well, Simon was good-looking, in a twink sort of way, but Aron … Aron was a real man.
He swallowed hard. Way to start the day at seven o’clock in the morning, thinking about Aron’s …
“Hey, earth to Carter,” Simon waved in front of him.
“Ah, sorry, just lost a bit in thought,” Carter shook his head.
“May I know what you were thinking about?” Simon smiled.
“Just stuff,” Carter waved while giving Simon a once over, and deciding again that Aron’s body was way yummier and that Alex was blind not to see it.
“Hmm, could that stuff involve me?” Simon asked directly.
“You? No!” Carter protested. “No, certainly not!”
Simon’s eyes grew wide for a second and then he burst into laughter.
“Let me take a wild guess here. Recently out of the closet?” the guy asked.
Carter looked at him and blinked a few times.
“What closet?” he mumbled.
You know what closet.
Damn. Is it written all over me that I like dick now?
Just Aron’s dick.
Don’t be a dick.
“Okay, sorry, my bad,” Simon raised both hands in surrender. “I just got the feeling that you’re staring at me and I thought you might be …”
“Yeah,” Simon confirmed. “I usually read these signs right, but …”
“Don’t sweat it,” Carter interrupted quickly.
“Okay, so we’re cool?” Simon asked. “And sorry again, my gaydar must be malfunctioning.”
Err, not exactly malfunctioning …
Are we gay now?
Not the moment for a philosophical discussion about what we are and aren’t.
“Told you, no sweat,” Carter insisted.
Wait, there was something to gain from befriending Simon. He had no idea how, but maybe it was the providence that had brought Simon to him. The guy was Alex’s secret lover.
Are we going to take advantage of Simon aka puppy eyes now?
We’ll figure out a way. We need that evidence, damn it.
Brushing aside any thought about committing a not so moral act by trying to use Simon, he smiled at the guy.
“Do you have time for a cup of coffee? That is if you’re no longer in the mood for running,” he offered.
Simon threw him a sideways glance, but then he nodded.
“That would be nice.”
Minutes later, they were seated at a table in a cozy coffee place, where people in sporty getup, like them, mingled with early risers dressed up in dark suits, getting ready for a new day at the office.
“So, Simon, what do you do for a living?” Carter asked.
Wow, you’re playing this like a pro.
Well, it’s Aron’s happiness at stake here. And so far, we’re doing nothing to hurt this guy.
“Ah, I’m working for the Marketing department, at Beauty X.”
“Beauty X? What’s that?”
“A boutique fashion house. It’s not big, but I like it. We do have some important clients and the money is good.”
“Cool,” Carter nodded.
“What about you? And how come you don’t have your dog with you?” it was Simon’s turn to ask.
“I’m my own boss. Freelancing. Programming. Taz is at home.”
You could try to use longer sentences.
It was common for him. He tried to focus on what he needed to learn from this guy, and that left no room for anything else. All right, he needed to handle this carefully.
“And? Any special lady in your life? I don’t see a ring,” Simon proved better at fishing information for the moment.
“Ah, no,” Carter shook his head. “What about you?” he found the perfect opportunity to get close to what he wanted to know.
Simon made a small grimace.
“I … Well, it’s a bit complicated,” he exhaled.
“Complicated how?” Carter asked.
Simon shook his head.
“The guy I’m seeing … He’s married,” the guy spoke.
“Ah, by the way, I’m gay,” Simon added with a small apologetic smile.
“I figured that out,” Carter said promptly. “From the gaydar comment and … earlier,” he gestured vaguely. “But why are you seeing a married guy? A good-looking man like you, you must be getting a lot of attention. Not that I’m interested or anything,” he added quickly.
“I don’t usually talk about this. But since you’re a stranger, I feel like I can confide in you a little.”
“Sure thing, I won’t tell a soul.”
Really? How low can you go?
Shut up. Haven’t you read Machiavelli? The end justifies the means.
Tell that to your immortal soul while it ends up deep frying in Satan’s wok.
We forgot to ask Mark about hell and all that.
“He’s really beautiful,” Simon said dreamily. “And it’s like he knows what I want and …” he trailed off.
“So he loves you and you love him? Is this how things are?” Carter asked.
“Yeah, I guess,” Simon spoke, although Carter’s questions seemed to sow doubt in his heart, by the way his eyes clouded.
“Then why casino firmaları is he still married? Wait, is he married to a woman or a man? Could it be that he’s still … in the closet?”
Way to go, playing this like a pro.
“No, he’s out, that’s no issue,” Simon waved. “But I think … that he might still love his husband. It’s strange because lately … well, he’s been through many changes, and I don’t know what to think anymore.”
“Changes? Like what?” Carter leaned across the table.
“Well, first he’s involved in some weird accident, and next he’s coming to work …” Simon trailed off, swallowing his words.
“Do you two work together?”
“Ah, I shouldn’t talk anymore. You’d figure out who he is, and that shouldn’t happen. I might not be the brightest tool in the shed, which means that I should not yap my mouth like this.”
Ah, damn it, he’s shutting down on us! Do something!
“Hey, it’s okay. I’m not interested in learning who this guy is. And if opening up to me, a stranger,” Carter pointed toward himself, “makes you feel a little better, please do.”
Simon smiled, and Carter felt his heart growing a little smaller. He had the distinct sensation that he was doing the wrong thing. But he couldn’t just stop now.
“Well, the thing is he seemed changed. Telling me we should be through, that he’s in love with his husband and all that. But, unlike before his accident, he starts treating me … how should I say this? Like …”
Simon seemed to be lost for words. He was obviously trying to work things out in his brain, and it was worse than the worst math problem for him.
“Like he didn’t like you anymore?” Carter tried to supply the missing info that was eluding Simon at the moment.
“No, actually, in a strange way, he made me feel like … I somehow mattered?” Simon wondered out loud, the last words spoken mostly to himself than to Carter.
“What? Weren’t you important to him before?” Carter asked.
Simon’s beautiful face was now all scrunched up in a frown.
“Yes, I mean … oh damn. He’s usually like this. Sweet. Pleasant. But demanding,” Simon added after a short second of hesitation. “And, I don’t know, a bit cruel? It’s not like he’s insulting you, but after he leaves your side, you feel like … you’re not enough?”
There were way too many question marks in Simon’s little speech about Alex.
Sweet my ass. Poisonous would be the right word.
“And, after the accident?” Carter tried to help Simon get over his little conundrum about the man he seemed to love.
“Oh, after,” Simon’s eyes lit up. “He’s abrasive and all about not wanting to deal with me anymore.”
“So it got worse,” Carter nodded, hoping he seemed sympathetic enough.
“Actually, no,” Simon smiled. “He’s getting me into some crazy … BDSM stuff,” the guy’s voice dropped to a whisper. “And it’s frigging exciting.”
It was Simon’s turn to lean over the table, to share his dirty secrets with his new found friend.
“I mean, he still keeps me at arm’s length, and that’s making me, you know, hot, like super hot. And he even gives me a cute nickname, and says that I should be modeling because my nose is perfect.”
Carter could feel his tongue gluing to his teeth. Talking about the misunderstanding of a century.
“But wait, do you have sex with him all this time?”
You know the answer to that.
Hush, I just cannot make sense of this guy.
“No, but it’s like that doesn’t matter that much,” Simon spoke quickly. “You see, before the accident, he was clearly giving me the impression that I wasn’t good enough for him. You know, not beautiful enough.”
“Then this guy must be a supermodel if he thinks like this.”
Simon pursed his lips.
“Ah, well. Anyways, that was then. And now he seems to be back to his old self. And …”
“Do you have sex with him?”
Straight to the point.
We need to find out, right?
“Yeah,” Simon sighed. “Everything’s back the way it was. But I still feel like I lost something. I miss something from his crazy, so-called amnesic period. Because as he stood there, in his office, and told me he only cared about his husband, and his husband only, I only fell for him harder. And now, that he’s saying again that he would rather be with me than his husband, I don’t know …”
It appears that we just successfully applied the Socratic Method on poor Simon. He might just realize he’s not that much in love with Alex anymore.
Yes, it appears so.
“I must sound really messed up,” Simon smiled apologetically.
“No, not at all,” Carter murmured.
“Well, but enough about me,” Simon straightened up in his chair. “I confided in you, yet I know nothing about you.”
“Ah, well, that’s because I’m completely dull.”
“I wouldn’t say that,” Simon laughed. “You certainly caught my eye when we bumped into each other.”
“Really? I thought you were the one who caught an elbow to the stomach or something,” Carter replied promptly.
Simon güvenilir casino laughed louder.
“You’re funny. Are you sure you’re not gay? Not even a little? Sorry, I’m just joking. I seriously thought you were checking me out earlier.”
“I’m just weird like that,” Carter explained.
“I’d rather say interesting,” Simon smiled with his eyes, too.
“Well, I must say thank you for a pleasant conversation, as I need to head back home now,” Carter spoke, as he reached for his wallet to pay for the coffee. “I have to check on my curtains.”
“Your curtains?” Simon asked, a bit confused. “And, please, let this one be my treat. I feel better now than if I saw a therapist.”
“Ah, thanks, you’re cool,” Carter said.
We’re spying on him, and also enjoy coffee on his tab? Clearly, Hell and never-ending fire await. How do you feel about damnation for all eternity?
“And I say my curtains because Taz might feel disgusted with them after watching them for,” he checked his phone, “the last hour or so. I have to see if he took it upon himself to redecorate.”
Simon burst into laughter.
“You’re both handsome and fun. The ladies in this city must be pretty lucky,” Simon said.
Carter smiled, forcing the corners of his mouth to go up, up, up. But apparently, he was doing fine at playing games. Poor Simon wasn’t suspecting a thing.
So, finally, he was entering the dragon’s lair. He hadn’t progressed much on finding how to prove Alex’s cheating, and he hoped he could have an extra word or two with the asshole when Aron wasn’t around. Which seemed like a slim chance, but it was worth considering, anyway.
To his surprise, the one who opened the door was not Aron, but his supermodel slash douchebag husband. Who threw Carter the sweetest smile in the universe as he held the door open wide.
And that wasn’t the weirdest thing. The guy wasn’t talking. He was just staring at Carter as if the guest had just gotten off from a carriage pulled by flying stallions.
“Um, hi?” he managed.
“Hi, Carter,” Alex leaned against the door like he was trying to make love to it.
“Is, um, Aron home? We talked over the phone,” Carter spoke.
He could not just blurt out all that he wanted to say to the guy. Aron could be near and overhear their conversation.
“Yeah, he is,” Alex continued to smile, but this time he bit his bottom lip seductively.
What the f is going on here?
Beats me. Is he on drugs or something?
Frankly, he looks like …
Like he wants the D.
A, B, C, D, E, F, G …
“Can you let him know I’m here?” Carter shook his head, in terrible need of getting a hold of himself.
This was not the moment to contemplate why Alex was trying to rub against the door like a cat in heat.
“Sure thing, come on in,” the host finally moved and allowed enough room for the guest to enter the house.
Carter felt a bit of a painful squeeze as he looked around.
Yeap, that’s the sofa where Aron blew your mind … literally. For the first time.
I like it how you don’t include yourself in this particular memory.
Come on, the only thinking you were doing was with your dick.
“Aron, honey, your friend’s here,” Alex called in a languorous voice that was making Carter’s hair stand on end, for some unexplainable reason.
“Hey, buddy,” Aron came into the living room and opened his arms wide.
Was it really okay to embrace his best friend in front of the guy’s husband? He made an effort to make the hug as manly and friendly-only as much as he could, but he could still feel Aron’s body heat and …
“Ready to play?” Aron patted him on the back and then grabbed him by one shoulder to steer him toward the backyard.
“Can I come and watch?” Alex chanted, in his annoying, languorous voice, again.
“Sure thing, baby,” Aron replied. “But maybe you should grab your phone. Basketball usually makes you bored.”
“Oh, I’m pretty sure I won’t be bored,” Alex cooed. “After all, I’ll just be watching my husband and his bestie playing. Not some strangers.”
“Okay,” Aron shrugged.
“Is it okay with you, Carter?” Alex asked him.
“Yeah, sure,” Carter replied quickly.
What the hell was going on with the guy? What part was he playing now? The loving husband? Did he want to trick Carter into thinking that he was Aron’s faithful little spouse, so that no word of the cheating was going to start flying around?
That had to be it. There was no other possible explanation.
“Aren’t you guys hot?” Alex asked, only a few minutes into Aron’s and Carter’s game.
Apparently, the guy had chosen to use the opportunity to catch some tan and he was wearing nothing but some skimpy bikini. That had earned him an instant whistle of appreciation from Aron, and pretty much consternation from Carter.
He knew that body well. He wasn’t going to be impressed by some hairless twink. But he was going to be impressed by …
“Yeah, a little,” Aron replied to his husband’s question and pulled out his t-shirt.
Carter stared at Aron’s perfect pecs. Okay, now how was he supposed to continue playing now? He threw Alex a small murderous look. So that was how the guy wanted to play this game.
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