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When Vecchio hugged Fraser, I I I just knew it was over between us. That Fraser and me wouldnt be partners anymore. I mean, Vecchio is the real Ray. Me? Im just Stanley Raymond Kowalski, a pretender. I pretended to be Vecchio, and fell in love with Vecchios partner, and thats, thats just bad. Its bad cause I cant have Fraser. Vecchios got him. I want him he doesnt know that but I do, God knows I want him. I used to lie in bed at night, all alone, holding a pillow, imagining it was Fraser, just holding it, sometimes talking to it, and yeah, sometimes crying on it damn, Im babbling. To myself. Shut up. Just shut up.
I look at them and now?
Seeing Vecchios arms around Fraser?
God, it hurt. Seeing them together hurt worse than when Stella walked out on me. And when she left, it almost killed me.
I had to turn away.
I couldnt stay. Frasers got what he wanted Ray Vecchio. Me? I got nothing.
I left without saying a word.
Ysee, I should be glad. I should be glad that Frasers got Vecchio back. But the selfish prick that I am, Im not.
Ive known forever that Fraser loved him. Why? I dunno. Guess he sees something in Vecchio that no one else does. Thats the way it goes everyone has hidden depths. Maybe Vecchio no, I dont wanna go there.
Anyway, I should be happy for Fraser.
I know that.
But I aint.
Sucking down coffee for about an hour like there aint no tomorrow, I finally feel human enough to dress.
Finally feel up to facing this day. My stomach flutters a bit thinking about seeing Fraser and Vecchio together today, but I can do it. It wont even hurt much.
Didnt sleep worth a shit last night, couldnt stop thinking of Fraser and Vecchio. God, I got it bad. Im acting like some lovesick school kid. Im a grown man, for chrissakes!
I oughtta just go bust Vecchios head. Nah, thatd upset Fraser. Dont want to upset Fraser.
Looking at myself in the mirror, I run my hand through my hair, and smirk. At least I got hair.
Cheap, private digs against Vecchio are allowed.
I grin and put on my holster and head back to the kitchen for another cup of coffee.
Im miserable. Watching them together is worse than I ever thought. Fuck it. Im leaving. I push myself up out of the chair Ive been sitting in and grab my coat, cursing under my breath at Vecchio for ruining everything.
Ray? Fraser follows me, and touches me, and I just freak.
I whirl around and get close to him, staring
him in the eyes, almost nose to nose. The words just pour outta
me and no matter what I cant stop them dont
know that I want to. I dont like him, Frase. I
dont want anyone to have you but me. I love ya, and
cant nobody love ya like I do!
Leaving Fraser standing there, I stomped off, growling at anyone that dared get in my way.
Im sitting here, staring down at the food on my plate, and I wonder where it came from. I dont remember making anything to eat, but I mustve, right?
I stand up and dump the plate of food into
the trash and wash the plate. I clean up in the kitchen and then
head on over to stare at the TV.
The screens blank, but I cant be bothered to push the button on the remote control to turn it on.
So I sit there. And I think. And I keep thinking, and thinking and wondering
Could I have done something better? Something to make him want me?
And with those fun fucking thoughts rattling through my brain, I head to bed. And you know what? That beds gonna be even lonelier tonight than it normally is. Why? Because my hearts just realised what my brains figured out that no matter what, I aint gonna be able to be loved by Fraser.
Someones knocking pounding on my door and I squint my eyes to look at the alarm clock. Its two in the damn morning. What the fuck? I mutter as I slide out of bed and stagger out of my bedroom.
I peer through the peephole and slump
against my door. Shit. I slowly unlock the door to let
What? I snap as I jerk open the door.
Did you mean it? he asks right off.
I run my hand through my hair and stare at
him blearily. What?
His voice is quiet and he says, Ive been thinking all night, Ray. Ive been turning it over and over in my mind. Do you love me?
Shit. Shit Shit Shit and Double Shit!
Running my hand across my face, I realise I gotta say
something. I got only myself to blame for this me and my
big mouth. Looking at him, Im surprised at the intense look
on his face.
Yeah, I finally mumble, stepping back to let him in. I may be a lot of things, but a coward aint one of them. Yeah. I love ya.
You mean it? He steps closer to me and I look at him, confused.
Hes on me then, his big, strong body pressing against me, his lips moving across mine and for a split second Im too stunned to respond. But that doesnt last long.
I grab the front of his shirt, my fists bunching up in the soft fabric, and I kiss him back, letting my tongue twist around his, almost moaning out loud from the hot slickness and the way he tastes.
Were all but melded together when I
think about Vecchio again.
Wait, I gasp. Is this real? For me? Or you thinking about Vecchio?
What? Fraser asks stupidly, looking mussed and dazed and fucking delicious.
I let go of his shirt and step back, panting
a little. I said
I heard what you said, but why? Why would you think that?
I stare at him good and long and he looks at me steadily. I seen how you hugged him. I know you love him. I know damn, Fraser. Im just pretend.
Youre pretending? He looks horrified and touches his lips.
Im shaking my head. No! Not about that! Im not really Vecchio.
He looks at me from head to toe and then up and down again, causing me to flush under his eyes. Damn. Hes all but undressing me right here with his eyes.
Im well aware you
are not Ray Vecchio, he says with a little twist of his
lips, a small smile meant for me alone. I wouldnt
want you to be. He is my friend. I would like to
that you will be much more.
Oh yeah? That kinda just warms me inside and out. But I know you loved him.
Fraser shook his head. Not like I love you.
I said, not like I love you. I musta looked like an idiot or something, because then he says, He is my friend. Thats all. I never loved him, not like I love you.
Yes, he says softly before pulling me close and hugging me tightly. I want Ive wanted you for a very long time, Ray. He pauses then says, Ive loved you for a long time. His eyes are very serious and his face is very solemn, and I realise then and there Ive got the ball in my court. Somehow I know that this is one of the hardest things hes ever done. Hes showing me a side of him that no one sees.
This aint no pretending.
I think Im gonna just choke to death on what Im feeling, because thats the best thing that Ive ever heard. With Stella, nothing I ever did got that kind of reaction from her. Yeah, we was good together, but me and Fraser? Were partners. And friends. And I guess were going to be lovers too. And Im good with that. Its great.
Its what Ive wanted for a long time.
I want forever, I hear myself
say, and he nods.
I can give you forever.
We come back together and kiss again, and then he just holds me close. Just wraps his arms around me and holds me tight like nothing in the world can touch us like forever is right here in his arms and hes never gonna let go.
And you know what?
Im gonna do my best to try for that forever.