Moss On The Grass : The Blade Files

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Chapter 7

Chapter Seven

Bells chime endlessly in my mind until I finally open my eyes and it registers that the bells belong to my own front door. I look at the small grandfather clock in the corner by the door. It is seven o’clock. Who would be so bold to call on me at such an early hour? Who could be so bold to call without first telephoning? I never receive visitors unannounced. If I want them, I will telephone them to invite them to my home and no one has ever been bold enough to show up on my doorstep without first receiving my consent.

I throw the satin sheet off my naked body and sit on the edge of my bed. The bells continue to chime as I pull on a pair of blue jeans, which I for some reason left on the floor last night. That is not like me at all. I never leave my clothing scattered on the floor, as that would mean carelessness and I am not careless, I crave perfection, however, for some reason, I have acted out carelessness.

I slowly walk down the staircase and head for the door. The bells continue to chime and they seem to have no mercy on my aching mind, no remorse.

I open the door, ready to crucify the preposterous and unwelcome bell ringer; however, my anger subsides as my eyes fall onto Tom’s beautiful face. “Tom. You should have let yourself in.” I tell him as I open the door wider. “Come in,” I add.

Tom walks through the door without saying a word. I close the door behind him and turn to see he has already taken a seat on my sofa. He watches as I walk across the room and sit in front of him on the coffee table. “I believe you have something to say to me,” I say, staring him in the eyes.

“Yes, I do, but I don’t really know how to say it.”

“Just let the words flow Tom. I am sure that I can handle whatever you have to say.”

“Okay, I thought very hard about all this last night…I stayed at Dover’s, but I never talked to him about us…I just thought…”

I feel an enormous pain run down the left side of my face and Tom’s words drift away… I place my hand onto my left ear as it begins to ache from the most excruciating pain I have ever encountered. My eyes have fallen away from Tom’s and as I bow my head I close them tight. The pain is growing at an uncontrollable rate, as though someone has just taken a gun, pressed it to my head and shot straight into my left ear.

“Davad…Davad!” I hear Tom’s voice and look up to meet his eyes once more. “Davad, are you okay?” He asks.

“What?” I have hardly heard a word that he has said.

Tom frowns at my puzzled expression, sits forward on the sofa and takes hold of my hands. “Davad, are you okay?” He repeats.

“No. I am not! I have this pain.”

“Pain? Where?”

“My ear… It feels like my ear just exploded,” I tell him.

“Do you want me to get you something? Do you want to go to the hospital?”

“No… I will be fine. Marshall told me that this might happen.”

“That what might happen?”

“That I would probably go deaf,” I tell him and stand.

“You’re deaf?” Tom asks.

“It seems as though I am… in my left ear.”

“What else did Marshall say?”

“He said a lot of things.”

“Like what?”

“This thing that I have Tom… This cancer is going to eat away at me. It will cause a lot of damage, so if you want out, take your chance now.” I walk over to the fireplace and lean against the wall. Tom follows and spins me around to face him.

“Then you did hear me say I was leaving you. I thought that you didn’t hear me…Look Davad, I don’t really want to leave you, but I worry that you will lie to me again. Can you promise me that you’ll be honest and let me help you with this?”

I had not heard Tom say he was leaving me; imagine missing something as important as that. He could have stood and walked out the door, out of my life and I would not have even known. How pitiful of me, how repulsive. I do not like this, for no love exists in a silent world, no sympathy and no words. Silence is not for me, not for Davad Moss, it cannot be and I will not allow it, not without Tom.

“All right Tom,” I finally say, looking him in the eyes. “I will be totally honest with you if you stay. No matter what happens I will inform you the first instance, even before I inform Marshall.”

“You promise?”

“I promise,” I tell him then wrap my arms around his waist. “I love you Tom. I love you more than I love my own life,” I tell him before kissing him gently on the lips.

Tom pulls his t-shirt on as he walks through the front door. “Natalie,” he calls as he walks into the kitchen and begins making himself a cup of coffee.

Natalie enters the kitchen and sits at the table. “What’s up darling?” She asks with a smile.

Tom carries his coffee cup to the table and sits down, facing her.

“Did you work things out with Davad?”

“Yes I did. I was going to leave him…I told him that we were breaking up.”

“You and Davad are through?”

“No! We’re going to be honest with each other from now on.”

“You mean Davad’s going to be honest.”

“That’s what I said.”

“How did you end up staying together after you told him you were breaking up? Did you let him dominate you?”

Tom drinks a mouthful of coffee then leans back on his chair. “No! I was the one who took control. I guess you could say that I swallowed my pride or something.”

“I don’t understand,” Natalie is confused.

“He’s gone deaf in his left ear,” Tom tells her. “And Marshall said he’ll get worse.”

“What? I suppose he told you this after you said you were leaving.”

“Yes he did. What are you trying to say Natalie?”

“I don’t know. Maybe that Davad did take control.”

“No! It wasn’t like that!”

“It wasn’t? So you break up with him and all of a sudden he tells you that he’s deaf in one ear and he’s all honest again.”

“Why are you doing this Natalie?”

“I just care about you and I don’t like to see Davad take advantage of you.”

“All right, you have a right to be concerned but he’s not taking advantage of me. I made the choice.”

“Did you really?” Natalie asks, not willing to let it slide.

“Yes! I know how it sounds Nat, but he didn’t just tell me about the deafness, he lost his hearing while I was there. It just went.”

“What’s going to happen now?”

“I don’t really know, Davad said that Marshall told him things will get worse, so I guess I’m going to be there for him and I’m going to take care of him Natalie. That’s what I want to do.”

“Where’s Davad now?”

“He went to see Marshall.”

“Why didn’t you go with him?”

“He didn’t want me to go.”

“What! You’re going to take care of him but he won’t let you go with him to see Marshall.”

“That’s up to Davad. It’s his choice.”

“What’s up with Davad?” Joseph asks Dover as he takes his place at the corner table.

“What makes you ask a question like that?” Dover asks before pouring Joseph a glass of bourbon.

“He was just acting strange, that’s all.”

“Haven’t you heard,” Monty butts in. “Tom and Davad are no longer an item.”

“They’re not!” Joseph is truly surprised.

“We don’t know that for sure,” Dover says before drinking from his glass.

“What’s the big secret anyway? You seem to know what’s going on between them so why don’t you spill the beans,” Andy says and stretches his arm around Dover’s waist.

“I would love to tell you guys the whole story, but…I won’t,” Dover laughs then has another mouthful of alcohol.

“You’re such a tease Dover,” Monty tells him.

“And teasing is all he does,” Andy laughs.

Dover glares at him for making such a comment and Andy’s laughter stops dead.

“I wouldn’t have thought that he could tease,” Joseph says then looks down into his glass.

“Why is that Joseph?” Andy asks.

“Well, who would be interested?”

Monty and Joseph laugh while Andy tries not to laugh at the comment fearing the repercussions while sitting next to Dover.

“Do you like coming here, Joseph?” Dover asks him.

“Of course,” Joseph smiles.

“Well, that’s a shame because this will be the last time.”

“Oh so touchy Mr Dover, all’s fair in our world remember, as long as it stays in the family.” Monty tells him while smiling at Joseph.

“Okay, you’re right, but I will get all of you bastards back soon enough,” Dover promises.

The pain in my ear has subsided and Marshall has told me that the deafness was to be expected, however, he is concerned about how quickly it has occurred. This visit, like all visits to the Angel Centre lately, has turned out as I had anticipated, badly. More bad news, of the kind I would have preferred not to know, more news that Tom will not hear of for some time. Not that I will be lying to him, not even keeping the truth from him, it is just news of something that could occur and I will not need to tell him, until it does…

Tom and I are kissing in the elevator as we descend to The Gallery. Dover will be expecting us, as his phone would have begun ringing the moment we had entered the first floor of The Dungeon. Dover’s phone calls to inform him of Tom’s location in the building, is one thing I do not like, the thought of Dover knowing my every move, disturbs me as I prefer to enter The Gallery unannounced and unexpected. Tonight is not one of those nights, we are definitely expected and the conversations at the corner table will be expecting us too.

Dover places his phone onto the table for the fifth time. It has been his final call, informing him that Tom has entered the elevator on the fifth floor.

Joseph stares across the table at Dover, who leans back in his seat with a grin from ear to ear. “Is Tom on his way?” Joseph asks.

Dover looks at him, then picks his glass up and has a drink. He does not answer, just places the glass back on the table and continues to grin.

“He’s alone, isn’t he?” Monty asks.

“Actually he’s not,” Dover says, glaring sideways at Monty.

“Is Moss with him?” Joseph asks while lighting a cigarette.

“Yes, Davad is with him Joseph. What’s your hang up with Moss anyway?” Dover asks.

Joseph takes a long drag of his cigarette, savouring the tobacco taste before answering. “I’m not hung up on him, I just wanted to know if they were together, that’s all,” Joseph says and stands. “I have to go to the men’s room,” he adds before walking away from the table.

“What’s up his arse,” Andy asks.

“Davad Moss,” Monty smiles.

“Very funny, Monty! Like that would happen in this lifetime or any other,” Dover snaps.

“I don’t get it? You have this strange grin on your face and Tom’s still with Moss, so why are you grinning?” Andy asks and lights one of Joseph’s Marlboro’s.

“You’ll see,” Dover smirks, his eyes fixated on the entrance.

All eyes gaze in our direction as we enter The Gallery. Tom and I stand out more than ever tonight and we must make an extraordinary sight as we walk through the doors. I have agreed for the first time in our relationship to dress as Tom wants me to. I am no longer in my usual attire of jeans, t-shirt and leather jacket. Instead, I have agreed to let Tom dress the both of us and now I walk into The Gallery wearing a shirt with a collar for the very first time. I am not comfortable in the shirt, nor the black pants with braces, however, Tom told me that I look so handsome dressed this way, so there was no point arguing. Tom is dressed exactly the same and everyone has noticed us within seconds of our entrance.

As we walk to the bar I am conscious of all the eyes, especially those at the corner table. I know that they are all staring, subconsciously agreeing with Tom that I look very handsome. All the eyes in the room are probably undressing me at this very moment, hoping that my change of attire will also mean a change in attitude and they will all be hoping to take me home with them tonight.

Of course, they will all be very disappointed because although the clothes are different to the usual Davad Moss attire, the man inside them remains the same. There is only one man who will ever take this handsome guy home and he has just handed me a glass of water from across the bar.

I watch as Tom takes hold of a bottle of vodka and I smile at him as he walks back around the bar to join me.

“You hate me, don’t you?” Tom asks as he slings his arm around my waist and scans the room for onlookers.

“No Tom, however, I am a little uncomfortable,” I tell him then kiss him softly on the cheek.

“You didn’t have to wear the clothes if you really didn’t want to.”

“I know, but you are right Tom, I do look good and now everyone in this room is jealous that you are with me and they are not.”

“That’s not unusual Davad, everyone’s always jealous that they’re not with you,” Tom grins and squeezes my hip.

I smile because he has never told me that before. Is it true? Are they really jealous? I know that I am an attractive man and that I have a presence that induces a kind of fascination with others, however, I have always thought that it was Tom that people looked at and wished to be with.

“Then we should give them something to be jealous about.” I pull him close and kiss him passionately on the lips.

It is strange kissing Tom while I am aware that all eyes are already glued to the both of us. It brings back memories of my dream and how we had made love in front of anyone who cared to look in our direction. This public display is obviously not so obscene, although to willingly kiss Tom so passionately in front of so many onlookers is a major step on my part. I want them all to know that Tom belongs to me, I belong to him and none of them will ever step between us, especially none of those at the corner table.

The group at the corner table watch with wide eyes as we kiss.

“That’s why you were grinning,” Andy whispers to Dover. “You knew that Moss was all dressed up. Didn’t you?”

“Sure did,” Dover smiles. “And it’s better than I imagined.”

Andy picks up Dover’s empty glass, refills it, and hands it back to him. “I think you need a drink,” Andy tells him.

“I need more than a drink. I need to take them both home tonight.” Dover drools.

“Oh really! I thought I was staying with you tonight?”

“If they’ll come home with me Andy, I don’t give a shit where you sleep.”
“That’s just lovely, and by the way, you’re dreaming if you think you could ever get in between them,” Andy tells him, then picks up Dover’s glass and skulls the alcohol.

“Believe me Andy; my dreams are more explicit than that. I dream of taking both of them to…”

“Shut up!” Andy warns. “They’re coming over.”

Dover turns his attention back to us as we walk to the table and sit.

“Must be a dull night,” I say as I drape my arm across Tom’s shoulders.

“Why?” Andy asks.

“Everyone has nothing better to do than look at Tom and I, and we are not all that interesting.”

“I beg to differ.” Dover looks us up and down.

“Why do you say that?” Tom asks.

“He’s been talking about you two all night. That’s why!” Monty butts in.

“Is that so?” I ask, staring Dover in the eyes.

“Shut up Monty, I thought it was Joseph who talked about them all night,” Dover says trying to put the focus on someone else.

I look across to Joseph’s empty seat and notice his cigarette’s sitting on the table, a clear indication that he is in the building. “Where is Joseph?” I ask.

“He’s in the men’s room,” Andy tells me.

“He’s been in there a while. Probably picked up,” Monty adds.

“Maybe you should try that.” Tom smiles at Monty.

“Don’t be funny Tom. Monty couldn’t pick up, he’d probably throw up if anyone actually showed any interest in him,” Andy says before pouring Dover another drink.

“Actually, I always thought that Monty just wouldn’t have a clue what to do with them.” Tom laughs.

“Ha! Ha! Ha! You’d be surprised what I know, Tom,” Monty snaps. “Why don’t you let me show you?”

Tom leans across the table until his face is inches from Monty’s. “You wouldn’t be able to handle the first hour Monty. Let alone the full six hours,” Tom tells him then sits back.

“Six hours?” Andy asks. “You go for six hours?”

They all look in my direction, perhaps waiting for some conformation, however I am not about to reveal anything to them. “I will be back shortly Tom,” I say as I stand.

“Where are you going?”

“The men’s room.”

They all watch as I walk towards the men’s room.

“I wouldn’t let him go in there alone, if I were you,” Dover says, bringing all their attentions back to the table.

“Why not?” Tom takes a swig from his vodka bottle.

“There will most likely be a rush for the men’s room in a couple of seconds,” Dover tells him.


“Davad looks very nice tonight. Haven’t you noticed all the tongues on the dance floor?”

“Oh! Yes, I’ve noticed but Davad can look after himself,” Tom has another swig of vodka.

“Can he handle a men’s room full of lustful men?” Dover asks

“There will be some bruised ego’s if they try anything and Davad won’t be nice about it,” Tom tells him.

“Why is he dressed so incredible anyway?” Andy asks, changing the subject from the men’s room.

“I dressed him,” Tom boasts.

“And he agreed to wear it?” Dover is surprised.

“Of course, Davad would do anything for me,” Tom smiles.

Joseph is seated on the bench beside the basins, with his feet up and his head resting on his knees. I stand and watch him for a few minutes before I speak, and realise that Joseph obviously does not want to face me after last night’s incident and he probably does not know whether or not he and I will still be friends. I have intimidated him to a point that is beyond forgiveness and now I will have to make amends.

“You must have a lot on your mind,” I finally say as I step forward to lean against the mirrored wall beside him.

Joseph looks up. “You look good tonight Davad,” he says and smiles as he looks me up and down.

“Thank you, and so do you. Listen Joseph, about last night, I apologise. I tried to take advantage of you and I am truly sorry. Please do not let this ruin our friendship, I value it too much,” I tell him and extend my hand out for him to shake. Joseph takes my hand and shakes it.

“I thought that you wouldn’t speak to me again Davad,” he says and steps down from the bench.

“Now why would I do that? It was my mistake, not yours. You did the right thing.”

“Can I tell you something Davad?” Joseph asks as he sits back on the bench.

“Sure,” I agree, taking a seat beside him. “You can tell me anything.”

Joseph sits silently watching as a young man walks through the tinted glass doors and stands at the urinal, relieving himself. The young man looks over his shoulder and smiles. He is attractive in the old fashion sense, his light brown hair has been slicked with oil and parted at the sides and he has the nicest royal blue eyes I have seen in such a long time

“He is cute Joseph,” I smile. “Maybe you can take him home.”

Joseph smiles, but still does not say anything, he just sits there watching the young man until he walks back out the door. “You were going to tell me something,” I say as I lean back against the mirror.

“Oh yea! I really wanted to stay with you last night Davad, I wanted to make love to you, but you’re with Tom and I couldn’t have a one night stand with you. If I had stayed, I know I would have wanted more,” Joseph says without looking at me.

“Do you know that last night Tom and I were not together? We were, I suppose, separated, so if you had stayed, perhaps your desires may have came true.”

Joseph turns to face me. “Really! You really would have stayed with me?” He asks, surprised.

“I do not believe in one night affairs. I believe that when two people connect, they should stay connected for eternity.”

Joseph smiles at what is clearly a lie. I would never have committed myself to Joseph, I would have made him feel very loved and wanted, but in the morning I would have forgotten all about it and it would have been nothing more than a beautiful night of passion that would never have been repeated.

As Joseph and I approach the table, the young man who had been relieving himself in the men’s room stops in front of us. “Hello, I’m Sam,” he informs me with a smile, then adds, “would you like to dance?”

I smile at him before glancing at Tom, who appears to be giving Sam the evil eye.

“No. I must decline, Sam. Thank you for the offer. Joseph!” I grab hold of Joseph’s arm before he can walk away. “This is my friend, Joseph. I am sure Joseph would love to dance with such an attractive young man as you,” I say as I sit down beside Tom.

Joseph reluctantly walks to the dance floor with Sam and they begin to dance to a rather slow song.

“What was that all about?” Tom asks as he wraps his arms around my waist.

“Nothing. He just asked me to dance.”

“He’s got a nerve.” Tom glares at Sam and Joseph on the dance floor.

“Are you a little jealous Tom?” I ask and run my hand gently across his chest.

“Not a little, I’m very jealous. Who does he think he is coming up to you like that?”

“You do not have to worry. I actually found it quite flattering, but that is all.” I kiss him softly on the cheek.

“Tom?” Dover asks as though he is not quite sure whether our conversation is over. “Can I talk to you about that thing now?”

Tom and I both turn to face Dover as he has a drink of alcohol from his glass.

“What thing?” Tom asks, dumbfounded.

“You know, the thing we need to discuss in my office.”

“I haven’t got a clue what you’re going on about.”

“Just come to my office Tom, I need to talk business with you,” Dover tells him a little annoyed.

“Okay,” Tom agrees and begins to rise.

I grab Tom’s hand as he stands. “What business?” I ask.

Tom shakes his head. “I don’t know.”
“Well, does it have to be tonight?”

Tom looks across the table and Dover nods his head. “Will it take long?” Tom asks.

“No! Not really.”

“Okay, go!” I tell him, letting go of his hand.

Tom and Dover have gone to the office. Andy and Monty are cruising the room and I suddenly find myself alone at the table for the first time in all the years I have been coming to The Gallery. I look towards the dance floor, where Joseph is still dancing with Sam. They are talking to one another as they dance and I wonder if Joseph will take him home or will he dance a few more dances then rejoin me with the knowledge that we may have been a couple, if only he had stayed last night.

As I watch Joseph dance I slowly slip into a daze, listening to the music. It is a little faster in tempo than what Joseph and Sam had been dancing to before, and I know the song from the very first beat. It is a Blood n Fire track, ‘Magic Man’, subtitled, ‘Chosen One.’

“So what if you were the chosen one, left alone, standing there, risking your life for folks everywhere.”

I let the words take me deep inside my own mind. I have liked this song since I heard it for the first time. It is a song that Gunna Lane wrote after a stint recuperating in the Angel Centre. It is an amazing ballad that has so many unknown connotations to it, connotations that Gunna Lane is perhaps not even aware of, yet the song holds meanings that I know so well.

“Were you born to save us all from this dark and blackened world. Years went by, no one heard the cries of helpless passer by’s.”

The lyrics always remind me of those nightmares that take me to another world, a place in the past full of darkness, in a world covered by blackness and mist. It is as though Gunna Lane had stepped inside my head and wrote down all that I dreamt, as though he has somehow made sense of all the madness of my mind. He has made complete sense of it, yet I cannot understand those nightmares, because even though they seem as real as the words that now touch my soul, they cannot possibly be real. They are so old and so far away, too far to be a part of me, not a part of Davad Moss, but at the same time they are the very essence of me.

“The pain and the terror stained our hearts, taking away our lives. Many tried to escape it all, this only meant more lives would fall.”

To live life without acquiring a stained heart is an interesting concept, as you would need to be a saint of some sort. We all possess stained hearts, even I, Davad Moss, man of much purity and like all others my life will soon be taken away. There is no escaping it, and I am finally beginning to accept my inevitably downfall. Fancy that!

“Out into the barren land, people would hide, praying for the chosen one but no one ever came to save them. There was no magician in their eyes.”

There really is nothing I can do, but accept there is no use trying to hide from the truth. No hiding it from myself or anyone else. It will soon be so obvious to all, that I will need them to pray for my soul, to pray that a miracle comes along to save me from my destiny. Destiny is after all, not being very kind to me, it holds no magic in my future, and it holds no future at all. The only thing that is definitely in whatever future lays ahead is an eternity full of nightmares.

“The brave tried to stop it all, searching the world for the key, but one by one the young men would die trying to set their love one’s free.”

There is no key floating in the vastness of this world that can possibly open up my mind to let the disease out. It is there to stay and not even if Tom searched every inch on the face of the earth will it make a difference. I am totally trapped in the disease, surrounded by my nightmares, preserved forever in the lyrics of a Blood n Fire ballad.

“Now your time has come, for you to save this blackened world, you must believe you’re the one, the magic man you must become.”

If only Gunna Lane were my saviour! It is a disturbing thought, which is somewhat more disturbing than my nightmares. I know I am beyond salvation and no one, not even a magic man is capable of producing enough magic to free my mind. I cannot believe anything else, cannot believe in a saviour and do not believe in salvation. There can never be such a thing, not in this lifetime, nor any before or after as it is something of a myth or perhaps folklore that such a being can exist and I can never allow myself to believe in such nonsense. It is against my better judgement, against my own sanctity.

“You must search in your soul to find the answer that you alone only know, but don’t deny you’re the chosen one, for it’s only he who can set our dreams free.”

If I truly search my soul I know that deep down it holds the answers to all my questions.

It also holds the keys that can free my decaying mind, however, I will never endeavour to that point, never allow myself to retreat that deep inside as that would be so dangerous that it could lead me directly to the beholder of my anguish and I would have to look into those eyes with the hint of red, and I, Davad Moss, would never return.

“I see you guys have made up,” Dover says as he pours Tom a glass of vodka from his personal office supplies.

“Yes we did. I can’t leave Davad, not when he needs me so much.” Tom accepts the glass.

“Has he told you how bad things are?”

“Why? What do you know?”

“I don’t know anything, that’s why I’m asking you.”

“Well, Marshall said it will get worse,” Tom tells him, before drinking some vodka.

Dover sits on the arm of the black leather chair. “What’s going to happen to him Tom?”

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know! Surely Marshall would have told him.”

Tom faces Dover. “I don’t think he did or Davad would have told me, I don’t think Marshall even knows what’s going to happen.”

“What! You haven’t gone with him to the Angel Centre?”

“No! There’s no need. Davad will tell me anything Marshall says.”

“Will He? Will he really Tom?”

Tom stands and walks to the door, then stops. “I don’t think I like your tone. I know that Davad will never lie to me again. I trust him and that is a lot more than I can say about you,” Tom snaps, before walking out the door.

They all arrive back at the table together, Tom from his business discussion with Dover, Joseph from the dance floor and Andy along with Monty. Dover does not return to the table.

“What did Dover want?” I ask Tom, while handing him his vodka bottle.

Tom just shakes his head as if to say, leave it alone.

“How did the dance go Joseph?” I ask, taking the hint.

“It went okay,” Joseph grins then lights a Marlboro.

“I suppose you will not be going home alone tonight then.”

“I was never intending to, but Sam’s not the one,” Joseph smiles and sits back in his seat blowing rings with his cigarette smoke.

Andy and Monty whisper to one another, probably discussing their options in the room. I do not care to know of their conversation as I know it will not interest me. Tom stands up as I turn my attention back to Joseph.

“Where are you going?” I ask, clasping his hand.

“I need to clear something up with Dover. I won’t be long.”

I watch him walk away until he disappears into the corridor. I am not a moron; I know that they are speaking about me, just as I know Tom has told them about my sudden deafness. They are being very discreet about it, but I have already noticed how they will lean ever so slightly to my right, so that their voices carry. I am not angry that Tom has told them because it will make things so much easier; although I am slightly annoyed that Tom is speaking to Dover about me as that is something I would rather he did not do.

“I didn’t mean to storm out,” Tom apologises as he enters the office.

Dover looks up, smiles, and stands up. “Take a seat Tom,” he insists, pointing to the chair.

“Actually, I’d rather stand. Everything between Davad and I will be fine, we know what we’re doing.”

“Do you really know what you’re doing?” Dover asks and sits back down.

Tom walks across the plush red carpet and sits on the edge of the desk. “I know exactly what I’m doing. I’m taking care of my lover,” Tom smiles. “And he needs me more than ever now.”

“Okay, you’re right. I’m sorry that I thought otherwise.”

’You should be sorry. What is it with you and Natalie lately, anyway?”

“Natalie and I? I don’t understand,” Dover says, confused.

“Natalie’s on my case about Davad too and I’m just sick of people thinking that Davad controls me. We’re a couple and I’m just doing what a lover should, that’s all.”

“I know. It’s just that we care about you Tom and I care about you a great deal. I just don’t want to see you get hurt.”

“I’m not going to be hurt.” Tom places his hand on Dover’s arm. “But thanks for being concerned.”

I must have fallen asleep because I did not notice Andy and Monty leave the table and I did not even realise that Joseph had slid across into Tom’s chair. I did not notice any of this until Joseph placed his hand on my upper thigh. I turn to face him and he has an incredible smile on his lips, which brings with it a momentary flash back to last night and his bare chest.

“Would you really have stayed with me?” Joseph blushes.

“Pardon?” I ask, not quite catching his words.

Joseph smiles, reaches across the table for his Marlboro’s, slides one out of the packet, then lights it. I keep my eyes fixed firmly on his face as he lights the cigarette and blushes once more.

“Would you really have stayed with me last night,” he repeats as he runs his hand up the inside of my leg.

“Of course I would have,” I admit with a smile.

Joseph’s face comes alight with my answer, his eyes seem to beam and his smile reaches almost from one ear to the other.

“Why don’t you come home with me tonight?”

“Tonight!” I consider the offer as I pick up my glass and have a long drink. “You know I really do like you Joseph, but…” I stop to have another drink of water and I watch as the smile drops from his lips. But, always means no. I know very well that I cannot go home with him, not that I do not want to, as I would be overwhelmed by the experience, however, I have to consider Tom now. If he was not here and I was not so tired, I would definitely accept Joseph’s offer.

“But what?” Joseph asks anxiously.

“I made up with Tom,” I explain as I place my glass back on the table. “I would be honoured to go home with you Joseph, however it would not be fair for any of us.”

Joseph moves his hand from my thigh and places it on my chest. He stares directly into my eyes as he runs his hand lightly down the front of my shirt, not stopping until his hand rests on the front of my pants.

“I won’t tell him if you don’t,” he grins and gently rubs the front of my pants.

I close my eyes as Joseph rubs his hand on me and I am sexually aroused. The adrenaline is pumping at an uncontrollable rate inside my body, yet I am more tired than I have ever been. I do not even open my eyes as I feel Joseph unzip my pants, nor as his hand slips inside.

“Think about it Davad. Just think about it,” he whispers into my ear as his hand explores Tom’s property.

“I’ve just got to grab a bottle of vodka,” I hear Tom’s voice call out from somewhere across the room and my eyes are open within seconds. Dover is on his way to the table and Tom has just walked behind the bar. I turn to face Joseph, as I remove his hand from my pants. “Perhaps some other time,” I apologise as I zip up my pants.

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