It had been a slow day in the ER.
When that happens, people start looking for something to keep them occupied. Then the ER turns into Soap Opera Central.
Today, all day, one of the topics was ‘did anybody notice that glow Kevin had?’
He wasn’t even trying to hide it. Kevin is one of those guys that you don’t really notice right away. He’s kind of quiet. Every now and then, he lets loose with a zinger, something crazy, dry and humorous that gets everybody rollin. His bizarre sense of the ridiculous is one of the reasons I’ve always felt like the two of us were on the same fucked up biorhythm.
In the ER, sometimes the things we find funny, are funny only because they’re so horrific. It’s an insane way to maintain the sanity. Today Kevin had been in rare form. All day, he kept those zingers coming in a continuous flow that had the nurses' station buzzing with laughter as everyone else tried to keep up with him.
Every now and then, he'd catch my eye and give me a wide smile. A couple of times, I overheard people curiously asking him what was up with him today. I never stuck around long enough afterwards to hear his reply.
At the end of the day, when I walked into the parking garage, all of a sudden, he was right there at my side. He was real casual about it and it looked almost coincidental but in all this time it had never happened before, so c’mon.
As soon as I noticed him, my heart started racing. The look in his eyes halted me dead in my tracks. I couldn’t move.
I’m the one who’s trained. I see him. I want him.
“I need to be with you, David,” he said.
This time, my heart stopped. No lie. Just like that.
He stood there silently, waiting for my answer. Somehow, I regained speech and said, “C’mon, if you’re working tomorrow, we can take my car.”
He nodded and continued to walk with me. The drive to my apartment was quiet. I use the short ride home to let go of the day and I was glad that he didn’t feel the need to talk. He probably has to do the same thing.
I wondered if this was what “normal” people do. Lovers on their way home from work would probably have this kind of silence: comfortable and open, like anything could be said in it, or not. Lovers would probably pick up something to eat to take home with them or even stop somewhere and have dinner out.
But I’d never been normal and I’d never had a lover.
Sometimes when I was younger, I’d watch The Cosby Show or see reruns of shows on the Family Channel and wonder if people really lived like that. If they did, the world I’d come from must have been a nightmarish parallel universe.
Maybe this was my chance to experience an entirely different world.
“Wanna stop and get something to eat?” I asked.
He turned towards me and smiled. “Yeah, I’d like that,” he said.
I took him to an Italian restaurant that I’d go to when I was getting burned out. It was quiet, dimly lit and instead of tables, they had booths that that had high, sound proofed walls. Lasagna was one of the first things I taught myself to cook when Karen and I left the foster home where we’d grown up. She flatly refused to have anything to do with a kitchen as soon as she had a choice.
When she had turned eighteen she had left the foster home and not looked back. She had taken me with her. I was fifteen.
We weren’t related. The only bond we had was one of shared horror and pain. That bond was the glue that held us together and was much stronger than any blood tie could ever be. To me, Karen was a shard of light in a childhood full of darkness.
Lasagna means joy and freedom to me. A place of my own. A real home. When I’m really stressed from work, instead of going to the gym, I stop here and stuff my face. Sometimes I’d call Karen and she’d meet me for dinner.
When I arrived, the staff greeted me by name and Lincoln, one of my favorite waiters, led us to my usual table towards the back. Lincoln knew what I wanted; it hadn’t changed for over five years. I ordered for the both of us.
After Lincoln left, it occurred to me that maybe Kevin might’ve wanted to order for himself. I knew this was a mistake. I’m no good at this.
Work is where I’m most comfortable. Take me out of the hospital and I kinda sorta don’t know what the fuck to do with myself. I’m so used to taking charge and doing what needs to be done, that I have a tendency to take over…in any setting.
For some crazy reason, people let me. I don’t seek it and it’s not deliberate, believe me. The only thing I want to be in charge of is me. And maybe a toy here and there along the way.
I looked at Kevin, grimaced apologetically and said, “Hey, if you want something else…”
“No, its okay,” he said. His face was a little flushed and he had an expression on his face that I recognized. Ooookay. He was liking this. Most definitely liking it.
Realizing that and my growing understanding that all of my little idiosyncrasies and quirks somehow were things that Kevin liked about me kinda amazed me. When I was younger, and first got into the lifestyle, I had run into a lot of guys who’d say they wanted to be submissive, but when it came right down to it, they were really just playing at it. What they really wanted was someone who’d stay in the toy box until they were ready to cum out and play.
For me, it’s that black and white thing. You either is or you ain’t. No halfsteppin. To me, being a Top is not something I put on, not something I become because of a leather vest; it’s an intrinsic part of me. I hate that label anyway. I hate allowing other people’s perceptions to define who I am.
I only call myself a Top because it’s the easiest way to cut what could be a long conversation short. Yeah, I know, what else do you call a twisted, kinky individual who must be in control all of the time, come hell or high water? It’s not that simple.
I’d learned to be the stereotypical, cool, impassive Top that they all expected. Most of the time it worked. I got off. They did too. Everybody’s happy now.
Then there were the times when I missed what I’d never had. The times when I’d play rougher, harder, looking for and hoping to find something that was never gonna be there. That’s when I’d fall the hardest; deep to the center of me, where I was still trying to convince myself that I was worth something.
All of these thoughts were going through my head and landing like tumblers falling into place: click, click, click and at the same time, there was Kevin, looking at me steadily as if he was reading my mind and hearing my thoughts as I was thinking them. It was like he was urging me on until I reached the conclusion that yeah; he wanted me to control him, that yeah, he thrived on it. I could see it in his eyes when he realized that we were on that same fucked up biorhythm again.
He gave me this hot, burning look that made me break out in a sweat. My fists clenched where I had been resting my hands flat on the table. I bit my lip.
“I’ll do anything,” Kevin said softly.
I moaned under my breath and his nostrils flared at the sound.
“Anything,” he whispered.
I was mesmerized by the look in his eyes. I unclenched my fists, reached across the table and grasped his wrists, pinning them to the table.
My heart was pounding. My dick was so hard it was painful.
“You have no idea,” I said.
“Yeah, I do,” he replied.
I saw movement out of the side of my eyes and reluctantly released his wrists. Michael, the owner of the restaurant, was stopping by to say hello. He and I had met years ago at a local dungeon. This was the first time I had ever brought anyone other than Karen into the restaurant with me and the staff must have told him.
After I’d introduced them, Michael smiled broadly and said, “So this is your friend Kevin, I’m glad to finally meet you.”
Astounded, I looked at Michael, when had I ever mentioned Kevin? And what the hell had I said? Whatever it was, it had obviously left an impression upon Michael.
Oh yeah, one time in the dungeon, Michael and I had double teamed one of his slaves. The guy had been short and slender; something about him had reminded me of Kevin and I had mentioned that to Michael.
I looked at Michael, I was glad to see him, but damn, I wanted him to go away. I don’t know what he read on my face, but he smiled broadly again and then quickly left. When Michael was gone, I looked at Kevin curiously, my ‘friend’ Kevin. I guess we were friends. Over dinner, I realized that we knew each other a lot better than I’d ever thought.
When he asked me how Karen was doing, I looked at him quizzically. “How do you know about Karen?”
“Remember that night we worked a double? I know, I know,” he said. “We’ve worked a million double shifts together. This was during that really bad flu season. You and I were just about the only ones who didn’t get it, and they tried to work us to death.”
Damn, he had a good memory. He and I had been working nonstop. Exhausted, we had begged for someone to relieve us so we could go into the break room and get some sleep. Of course, once we were in there, neither of us could sleep. We had spent most of our allotted rest time talking.
Kevin was able to get things out of me that I had never told anyone else. Maybe it was because he always listened so attentively, like he really gave a shit about what I had to say.
“I remember,” I said, shifting uncomfortably. That night, I’d told Kevin about growing up in foster care. Before we’d turned the lights out, he’d asked me about the scars on my back.
I’d never told anyone else the truth about them. Not even the school nurse, who had been the only person to notice a faint bruise above my left eye. That had started an investigation that led to nowhere. But after that, the beatings didn’t happen as often.
“Karen’s fine,” I said. I asked him about his family too and then our conversation drifted towards work.
“What did you tell them about your…” I stopped, a little embarrassed.
“My ‘glow’?” Kevin asked. He had a cute, mischievous expression on his face.
“I told them that I was happy.”
He reached over and stroked my hand with his forefinger. “And I am happy,” he said. “In a way that I haven’t been in a very long time.”