I stepped into the apartment at fifteen until five, loaded down with groceries and ready for the weekend ahead: me and James, no work issues, no phones. His high school’s glorious production of A Streetcar Named Desire had closed the weekend before, after a successful run, and director/producer extraordinaire James Rogan deserved a chance to chill out and unwind.
Totally naked… oh yes, we were having a not-a-stitch-of-clothing-allowed weekend, and I had purposely purchased all of my baby’s favorite foods, including chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and cherries, which most certainly wouldn’t be used to adorn anything as mundane as ice cream. Oh no . Chocolate covered James was what I had in mind, thank you very much. This weekend would be about me and my baby, and frankly, it was time we needed. We had been working so much, me at the New Haven Sports Injury Clinic and James in school. It was hardly the second honeymoon I was ready to take, but James felt we should wait at least a full year after our commitment ceremony and first honeymoon before indulging in a second.
Me? I was pretty much willing to give my Jamie whatever he could possibly want. Damn, but I loved the man. Honestly, I couldn’t recall a time that I hadn’t loved James Rogan (well, technically he had been James Truman until he had taken my last name after our commitment ceremony), but we hadn’t gotten together until three years earlier, when Jamie’s sister got married and both Jamie and I ended back up in our hometown for the wedding.
Was that awkward? Painfully. For a dozen reasons, among which were: a) during our high school years, Jamie’s sister Ave and I had staged a relationship that allowed me to stay in the closet while Ave dated her bad boy (now husband) Matt Cassa; b) Jamie and his father Russ failed to forge a bond because his father couldn’t deal with Jamie being a less-than-graceful athlete; c) Russ showered all his fatherly attention on me because I was very much an athlete, and I sort of become the chronic and agonizing bane of Jamie’s existences; d) I was too much of a freakin’ coward to come out of the closet until Jamie confronted me with the truth after we were both in different colleges, in different states; and e) while home for said wedding, Jamie and I finally figured out/acted on our feelings, and needless to say, good ol’ Russ wasn’t pleased. Far from it. He treated Jamie like shit, leading to a confrontation (in the drug store, where my poor baby got caught buying condoms and lube), and since that confrontation, Russ and Jamie hadn’t spoken.
Okay, so our relationship hadn’t exactly been all wine and roses, but what Jamie and I had was real, intense. After three years, I loved him more than ever, and I knew he felt the same. “It doesn’t matter if I never speak to my father again, Pay,” he had told me, “because we have each other and my mom and my sister and Matt, and we’re a family.”
Ave, Matt, and Emma, Jamie and Ava’s mother, had happily attended our commitment ceremony. For two years now, Russ and Emma had lived separately, but Emma hadn’t filed for divorce, and Jamie suspected she was holding out hope Russ would finally remove his head from his ass.
“I think it’s late in the game to hope for that kind of miracle,” Jamie had said. Jamie was pretty much at peace where Russ was concerned, and as long as Jamie wasn’t upset, I really didn’t give a damn if Russ ever realized being a bigot and an asshole was a tragically sad way to spend his life. Fuck him . He could be alone and miserable while Jamie and I continued with our lives together.
Humming to myself as I stepped into the kitchen, I set the bags on the table.
I intended to make Jamie’s favorite: shrimp linguine, garlic bread, salad, and for dessert (other than each other, of course), I had strawberry cheesecake.
After placing the cheesecake and wine in the refrigerator, I hit the flashing