literature

Tale 59

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Literature Text

He'd spotted the man--the gorgeous, sleek, smiling man--as soon as they'd entered. Of course he turned his attention to Ariana, who was pretending not to notice him checking out the other guy. She led them to a cozy table, making sure his back was to the eye candy and he sighed gratefully.

"How was work last night?" she asked nonchalantly, although her eyes were flickering over his shoulder.

"Fine. There was an emotional explosion between some guys and it got ugly, but Jack took care of it before it got out of hand."

She giggled, "Jack takes care of everything."

"That's the truth." Their waitress arrived and they ordered while she shamelessly flirted with Dade, probably unimpressed with Ariana's boyish figure. He didn't flirt back, just smiled, amused, and turned back to the conversation. "Did you finish that project Kemp was railing about?"

They talked about her insane boss, work and the horrors of public transportation that Friday before Ariana excused herself to the bathroom. Dade couldn't resist peeking over his shoulder to see if that man was still there.

He wasn't. He was walking toward Dade, who was caught peeking and instead of turning away and being embarrassed, he smiled, knowing he shouldn't. The other man matched his smile, showing off straight white teeth behind those soft pink lips. His skin was a golden hickory, smooth and warmly flushed with the heat of the pub; his eyes were endless coal mines and his long, straight hair was dark chocolate. Mixed metaphors aside, he was edible.

"Hello," smooth voice with the slightest rasp that ran down Dade's hand like a spine. God, it had been too long since he'd even thought about--and he shouldn't. No. "My name is Robb." His tongue slipped out to wet his lower lip.

What did those lips taste like? Dade smiled, more of a grimace. "Dade."

"I don't mean to interrupt your date," he started, before Dade cut him off.

"It's not a date." Immediately cursing himself. He should have said it was, then there wouldn't be that hope in those dark eyes and the evitable disappointment. "I mean, I don't date."

"Oh." The slight sadness was amplified by Robb's eyes lifting, probably catching sight of Ariana returning. But before Dade could look, the eyes dropped back down, a trying-to-be-playful smile forming, "Any reason why?"

"Yes," and he pushed up his sleeve, revealing the scrawl of black ink.

The flicker across Robb's face wasn't disappointment, but it was sad. "Can I ask why?"

"Why?"

"Yes, why would you get that tattooed? You're not likely to forget are you?"

"No," he glanced toward the bathroom, to see if Ariana was returning, then back again. "I got it so that I could never forget to tell someone, if I ever were to slip up."

"That's very honest," and he sat down. Dade didn't want him to sit down. He didn't want him to leave either, but God was he lovely and did someone think it was funny for him to want that so badly? "So, who is she?" His eyes glanced up, but before Dade could answer or look, Ariana was leaning on their table, grinning and offering out her hand.

"The platonic girlfriend to this very gay boy. Ariana."

"Robb."

"Nice to meet you."

Dade sent her a pleading look. She ignored it. He didn't know why she thought he should see people. Wasn't she happy in their situation? He was. As happy as he was permitted to be. With her he had contentment and companionship that he'd never be able to have with someone like Robb. Someone like Robb would want to touch him, want to be physically intimate. Dade couldn't allow that.

"I didn't want to interrupt, but I saw the waitress getting our dishes in the back. Are you eating dinner here? Want to join us?"

"Ari…" Dade threatened.

She glared and he stopped. He'd learn that she didn't glare often, but when she did, she meant business.

"I don't want to make this uncomfortable…" Robb went to stand and Ariana put a firm hand on his shoulder, pushing him back into the seat, even though she was at least a foot shorter and had muscle mass equivalent to a house cat, total, not per pound.

"Nonsense. Dade is just trying to be a gentleman so I don't feel like a third wheel, but I insist."

"Okay," he gave in, although he didn't put up too much of a fight. Dade sighed as Ariana went to get another stool and Robb leaned over to whisper. His cologne was a rich scent and Dade unconsciously leaned closer. "If you want me to go, I'll go. But I'd like to say."

He wanted to ask why but just nodded and said, "Stay." Maybe Robb wasn't interested in him like that, at least after seeing the tattoo. Maybe he was new in town and wanted to make friends. Maybe he was infected too and just didn't talk about it. Maybe one day he'd find out.
This is the second part of an ongoing series of Tales with our dear Dade. Or my dear Dade.

I know HIV/AIDS is a serious subject, so I hope it doesn't come across as if I'm making light of it (in this and other pieces).
Published:
© 2010 - 2021 SimplyKitten
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Soleste81's avatar
i feel sorry for Dade... :(