If You Just Smile
Matt has everything that he has ever wanted, or at least he thinks he does. His career is blossoming, and he has recently been promoted to vice president of the bank in the small town where he has worked since graduating from college. Matt’s boss is the best, and Matt has lived with his partner and lover, Kent, for the past few years. If there is one thing that Matt would love to change in his life, it is the anger which he seems to cause in his lover, yet he has no idea what he is doing to anger him. Matt does his best to be a good partner to Kent, but is embarrassed about the black eyes and bruises which he finds very difficult to hide or find excuses for. Matt feels certain that his and Kent’s relationship is no different from any other couple’s, but when Matt’s boss asks Matt to take his place at a yearly conference, Matt meets a man who shows him a completely different life from the one that has now become perhaps a little too familiar to him.
Matt had met Kent in college, and the two had fallen in love within a few short months. Kent had completed only two years of college, stating that it was clearly a waste of time and that he could make more money without a degree in tips alone from bartending.
Matt left the house very quietly this morning, and didn’t look at the bruise on his face again until he was halfway to work. Matt felt bad for Kent. Kent had watched as Matt had earned promotion after promotion, and was now very well respected in his chosen career and was also earning a six figure salary, while Kent was still bartending at the same bar and grill where he had worked for six years now. Matt looked at his face in the rearview mirror.
Matt kept as busy as he could for most of the morning, not wanting to talk to anyone today. “Knock, knock,” Linda said. “These are for you, Matt.” Matt made a half turn in his chair. “Thanks, Linda.” The sweet woman left Matt’s office, and once he was sure that she had gone, he turned and looked at the beautiful flowers that had been delivered to him. He opened the card, though he knew who they were from. “I love you. You are my life.” They were signed, “Love, Kent.” Matt knew that the words on the card were true. Kent just feels bad about himself and about his work situation, Matt had told himself often. He knew that Kent felt trapped in a dead-end job, and that Kent’s father had been an abusive alcoholic. Kent had told Matt that he had gotten his bad temper from his father. “I can’t help it, Matt. That’s just the way that I am. It’s in my genes.” “He just needs to know that I love him,” Matt said, trying to convince himself.
It was a little after midnight when Kent walked in. “Matt?” “In here, Kent.” Kent walked into the den and kissed Matt on the lips. “I love you, baby. Oh, no. I’m so sorry.” He held Matt’s bruised face in his hands. “You know I don’t mean to do it,” he said. “I know you don’t, Kent. The flowers were beautiful.” Kent smiled, and left the room. Matt heard the shower running, and he knew that Kent expected him to join him. Matt was tired and needed to sleep, but would avoid another scene like last night’s at almost any cost.
Kent opened the door of the shower and pulled Matt inside. “I love you, Matt,” he said, and kissed his neck. He kissed Matt’s chest and caught the droplets of water that landed on Matt’s nipples. Kent was a damned good lover, and Matt was aroused by his slightest touch.
Matt thanked his nice secretary, and then thought it all through. I have to work tomorrow, and Kent works Saturday night, so Sunday morning will be our only time together. Kent hates being alone. He is not going to be happy about me being gone on Sunday. Matt held his head, but touching his face hurt, so he leaned back in John’s comfy chair. He couldn’t think about that now. He had work to do. He just wished that Kent understood the demands of his job.
Kent surprised Matt that night with the promise of a Saturday morning breakfast. They were both exhausted and went to sleep very soon after Kent came home. Matt was glad that Kent wasn’t upset about him working Saturday, but he still hadn’t told him about his trip to Denver. It was one thing at a time with Kent.
“You can see that not much has changed since yesterday,” Dustin informed, as they walked into his house. “I doubt if your house ever looks messy, Dustin. It’s beautiful.” Dustin smiled. “At the risk of sounding like an alcoholic, would you care for a glass of wine?” “Love one,” Matt said, with a laugh. “And I don’t think of you as an alcoholic,” he added. “One drink a day is about all I can handle, if that much,” Dustin assured him. “What do you think of Denver, Matt?” “It’s beautiful, Dustin. I love the view of the mountains, but what I have noticed more than anything is how much better I sleep out here than I do at home. It must be the thinner air.” Dustin knew that this was his chance to say what he thought, and that if he didn’t do it now, he never would. “Perhaps there is less stress here,” Dustin said, looking right at Matt. “If you don’t mind my saying, Matt, when I first met you it appeared to me that you had a mark under one eye, perhaps what we like to call ‘bags’ from too little sleep?” Matt carelessly touched his eye. Had Dustin noticed the bruise? Did Dustin suspect? “It seems to be going away the longer you are here.” “Oh,” Matt said, not offering anything further.
Dustin could no longer ignore his own desires. He set Matt’s wine glass down with his own. He gently ran a finger along Matt’s lips, collecting the wine that lingered there. He kissed the wine from his finger, and then pressed his finger to Matt’s lips. Matt closed his eyes. His lips parted automatically. He wanted Dustin to kiss him. He wanted Dustin to take him to places that he had never been before. He felt the heat of Dustin’s breath as it neared his lips. Dustin’s arm around him caused Matt to gasp. Then he felt the gentle touch of Dustin’s lips on his own, and he could not resist. He did not want to resist Dustin. Matt’s arms went around Dustin, holding him, welcoming his body to his own.
Looking directly into Matt’s eyes, Dustin finally said what he had waited all week to say to him. “If you ever need someplace to stay or someone to talk to, you are always welcome in my home, Matt.” Dustin gently touched Matt’s cheek where the bruise had been. “I would hate to lose you, Matt.” Matt’s eyes were fixed on Dustin’s obviously all seeing and all knowing eyes. He almost hated to return to his former life of loneliness and very little sleep. Matt looked at Dustin’s hand holding his tightly. “I’d better get going,” he said. “I know, Matt. I know.” Dustin gently pressed his lips to Matt’s cheek, the cheek where the bruise had been, and then he gently kissed Matt’s hand. Matt swallowed hard. They said goodbye in the parking lot, and Dustin watched as the huge airport swallowed the man he had known for only a little while. He waited for nearly thirty minutes before driving away, hoping that Matt would come running back to him, but knowing that he would not.
This heartwarming story is available at http://www.beautobeau.com (click on the picture to purchase -six files zipped-lit, lrf, epub, mobi, htm, pdf). Also available from Amazon US and UK, Bookstrand, Rainbow ebooks and All Romance. Links from the Beau to Beau site (click on picture) available to the above listed stores.
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