AUTHOR'S NOTE: Yeah, I know! I only have about 10 unfinished stories up already. What the hell am I doing writing a new one? Answer: trying to break my writer's block. I'm not even sure if I'll take this one any further, but I wanted to post it to see if you guys like Warren. I'm kind of taken with him right now. He's a bit older than the other characters I'm used to working with. (I know the others are older now, but I started writing the Brian/Kevin series when they were in high school.)

Anyhow, let me know if you like/hate it!


The two men eyed each other across the table. Sitting in the café during the afternoon, they knew they wouldn't be disturbed by many people. It was, after all, a work day. They'd both called in sick so they could have as long or as short a conversation as they wanted. One was a tall and gangly young man, his face long and thin with a nose that was a bit too large for the rest of his features. His hair was a dull dark brown color that contrasted with his sallow skin and matched his eyes, straight and cut into a nondescript hairstyle: not too short, not too long. It somehow reflected his life, he'd mused more than once. Plain and unremarkable. He made every effort to blend into the background and not bring attention onto himself. Since he'd taken the day off, he'd dressed in jeans and a simple white t-shirt, with a grey sweat jacket completing the outfit. He fiddled with the zipper as his gaze swept over the table, the floor, anywhere but up.

His companion wore a pair of tight fitting black slacks with a yellow silk shirt thrown over it. His golden blonde hair was cut a bit shorter than the other man's and his light blue eyes seemed to shine with life. His muscles were toned and his skin was lightly tanned. He was the picture of perfection, and he knew it. His hand curled firmly around the cup holding his cappuccino and his mouth tilted up in amused smirk as he watched his tablemate.

"Oh, come on, Warren," the blonde snorted. "You knew I'd have to find a female date for this. It's my brother's wedding, for God's sake."

Warren winced as he slumped further into the chair. He had known somewhere in the back of his mind that this would happen. He'd held onto the small hope that it wouldn't, but, given all of their history, he'd known it was foolish to set himself up for another disappointment. He darted his eyes up to Chris' for a brief second before lowering them again.

"Why Victoria?" he asked sullenly.

"She was available."

Warren closed his eyes tightly on the lie. He knew why Victoria. Chris was expected to take her to all of the family functions he attended. In fact, Chris' parents fully expected the two to marry someday soon. That's why Victoria. Though Chris always swore to him that he'd never been unfaithful, Warren couldn't quote believe him anymore. Not when he'd found the violet satin panties thrown under Chris' dresser the last time he was over and his lover had asked him to bring out a pair of sneakers for him while he showered.

His sister was right. Chris would never be ready to come out of the closet with his family. They'd been together since college and had just celebrated their sixth year together, but Warren wasn't so sure he had another left in him to give to such an arrangement. Hell, they couldn't even live together because Chris was afraid his family would come over unannounced and discover them together. And worst of all, Chris did nothing to discourage their belief that he would eventually marry Victoria. Warren decided this was it. He couldn't handle the relationship like it was anymore. He felt neglected most of the time, and when Chris did bother to give him attention, it was mostly physical, with little affection involved.

"Well, have a nice time," he said solemnly, lifting his brown eyes up and locking them on to Chris'.

"I knew you'd eventually understand."

"Oh, I get it," Warren nodded. "It's all crystal clear to me now."

Chris' smile slowly disappeared, replaced by a confused frown. Warren wasn't entirely surprised either. He'd always let the other man talk him into going along with things before. And now he braced himself for Chris' reaction. He could be a stubborn brat when things didn't go his way, despite the fact that he was a 25-year-old man.

"I don't …"

"Don't what?" Warren raised his dark eyebrows innocently. "Don't understand? Why, Chris? You're the one who brought us to this point."

Chris sat back in his seat, suddenly wary of his partner. Warren had complained before but he'd never worn such a resolute expression. This time was different. This time he appeared to have had enough. This was a surprising turn of events and Chris had to admit, he didn't like it. Sure, he knew his parents wanted him to marry Victoria, and he didn't mind it in the least. She was pretty hot and a real slut in the sack, just the way he liked his women.

But Warren was just the way he liked his men: meek, unsure of himself, innocent to a point. At that though, Chris had to keep the smirk from returning to his lips. He'd been the first one to take any of that innocence away from his former college roommate, and he loved every minute of it. Warren hadn't been completely sure of his sexuality back then, and Chris picked up on that. After gaining the shy boy's trust he'd gotten him drunk one night and learned all about Warren's uneventful life. He was, predictably, a virgin, never having the nerve to ask anyone out. And Chris goaded him into telling him how he sometimes watched the guys in the gym locker room in high school. That was all he needed to know to begin his plan of wearing Warren down and convincing him that he should date Chris. After that, it was easy to fall into a comfortable relationship, where Warren dated only him and Chris … well, Chris couldn't be faithful to only one person. He had needs.

After college, they both got jobs in the same area where they graduated from. Victoria, who graduated from the same school, came along soon after and he'd bring her home whenever he had to attend anything family related, and kept Warren around for his other needs. The folks loved her and Chris loved fucking her, so everyone was happy with the arrangement. Well, everyone but Warren. But Chris had always been able to manipulate him back in line before. And now would be no different, he'd decided. All he had to do was charm that defiant gleam out of Warren's normally dull brown eyes.

"You give me too much credit," he said smoothly. "It takes two people to bring a relationship anywhere."

"A relationship?" Warren snorted. "Where's the relationship? You only see me once a week now, and after you're done … with me, you barely stick around long enough to zip up your jeans."

It seems my mouse is trying to get out of his cage, Chris mused. "You know I've been busy trying to get that promotion. It's not fair to blame me for it now."

"It's not?" Warren hissed. "The promotion you got two months ago, you mean?"

How the hell did he find out?

"Ran into Victoria at the supermarket yesterday," the quiet man said softly. "She was just gushing with excitement over it. She even showed me the diamond bracelet you gave her."

That airhead! She never could keep her mouth shut. Chris sighed and sat back in his own chair. This wouldn't be an easy argument. Still, Chris took pleasure in seeing the jealousy swimming in his lover's eyes. Though he was normally a shy, quiet man, Warren was absolutely gorgeous when he burst with emotion.

"You want a bracelet too?" he taunted lightly.

"No. I just want to move on."

The finality in Warren's voice caught Chris off guard. "Warren, please …"

"Please what? Please understand why you have to take her to your brother's wedding? I do. I understand that you'll never tell your family about us."

"I didn't say that!"

"You don't have to," Warren said, sniffing back his tears. "You've shown it."

"We've been together for six years!"

"Six years for you to find the right opportunity to tell your parents. Six years for you to finally let me move in with you again. Remember school? At least then I had a chance to be held at night."

Chris was beginning to worry now. Warren hadn't despaired this much before. Sure he grumbled, but Chris was used to kissing it all better … among other things. Warren had an absolutely delectable ass and Chris loved pounding into it after a good argument. Those made Warren needy and vulnerable, just right for Chris' purposes. But this Warren … this Warren was finally fed up.

"I told you it wasn't going to be easy."

"You also told me I was the one you were in the relationship with and that Victoria was the cover."

"She is."

"She isn't. She's the relationship and I'm the fling."

"That's not how it is."

Warren stared him down unflinchingly. His sister, Mindy told him that was the only way to break up with an obstinate partner. Well, she used the word "jerk" but it was all the same to him. He knew Chris thought this was just another one of their arguments. That was why he insisted they have it at the café and not at one of their apartments. Warren knew once Chris got his hands on him, he would cave and things would go back to the way the blonde wanted them.

"Then how is it?"

Chris knew that anything he said now would only fuel Warren's argument. Damn public places anyway. And he had to leave for his brother's wedding that evening so he wouldn't have time to surprise Warren at his apartment and … smooth things over. But this was still Warren, after all, and maybe a week alone would make him think twice about what he was saying. Yes, that's it. It wasn't like Chris wouldn't be able to fix things as soon as he got back to town. And when he showed up at Warren's apartment next week, the other man would definitely be ready to hear him out then.

"Look, I don't want to argue with you now."

"No, you never do."

"Maybe we can sit down when I get back and really talk things through." He kept his voice soft and gentle, patting Warren's hand to at least make a bit of contact. He saw the slight shiver the other man tried to hide and smirked inwardly. Yeah, this would be easy … after Warren had a week to rethink things.

"Like I said," Warren's voice was tight. "Have a nice time."

Oh, I will, Chris smirked in reply. He just nodded with a solemn look on his face and picked up his coffee cup, tossing it into a nearby trash can on his way out.

Warren sighed and took a final sip of his now-cold cup of coffee. He hated cappuccino. Well, at least Chris went with a minimum of fuss. Of course, he still believed Warren would be there when he got back. Since he kept his job transfer under wraps he knew it would come as a shock to Chris when he found out.

Oh well, he thought. Like Mindy said. Sucks to be him.

He only wished the cold, hollow feeling that spread over his insides would go away soon.