Chris had no idea how much he was going to like having David live with him. Aside from the obsessive-compulsive grooming, that is. And the socks, exploding everywhere, and David was testy as all hell about getting them matched up.
But the guy brought home groceries, and took Chris out to play golf with Nicky, and Chris had to laugh at how little Nicky paid attention. Chris couldn't believe that Nicky couldn't see how crazy he was about the big lug. Hair gel or not. Chris got used to him in a hurry, used to waking up and feeling David's leg thrown over his leg. All that time they used to snap at each other, and Chris wouldn't have believed how sweet the guy was, how interested in hearing about shit that happened to Chris back in Oklahoma, about the weird crappy jobs he held. How David painstakingly remembered what kind of shit Chris liked to eat and brought it home from the store.
My boyfriend, Chris thought, smiling at himself. The guy I used to irritate like a rash.
Except for the simmering anti-union hostility that eminated from the big guy like a mist.
"Our union doesn't have anything to do with the hockey strike," Chris found himself saying.
David just crossed his arms, looking stubbornly away.
"I don't even know any of the players' reps."
"Look, unless you stop sulking about the hockey strike, I'm gonna kick the shit outta you."
David sighed, and looked up. "I know," he said. "I'm just not happy."
This made Chris want to make David happy in the quickest ways he knew how.
So when the news came out about the cancellation of the entire season, Chris got into his truck and went to Penny Savers' to see if David had taken an Uzi to the store.
It wasn't that bad, but the clerks were eyeing David much as a pen full of sheep would eye a growling dog.
Snow didn't have time to chat, since she was frying doughnuts like a madwoman.
"Where's James?" Chris asked, hiding a smile.
"Fuck him and his little dog too," she flashed out, "I saw him coming out of your house! What did you do to him?"
Chris held up his hands. "Hey, he wanted advice about Jules. I told him to go after her."
Snow glared at him. "So, you're to blame. He smashed his hand on some crates and she's taken vacation time to take care of him. I was perfectly happy with them fighting each other!"
"Hey, chill the fuck out. I told him that I didn't like him."
Snow leaned against the rack that held the pastry sleeves. "So, no go with you and James and Jules?"
Chris shook his head. "She's not my type," he said solemnly.
Nicky was eating a croissant with his coffee, at the little coffee shop, as he filled out his paperwork. He pushed the saucer of creamer to Chris, when Chris sat down at his table. "Hey, man. Weird day here at the store. No one wants to talk to Snow, they're all afraid she's gonna fry 'em up. My girl is all 'can't talk now,' and--" he stopped, a look of wonder on his face.
Chris snorted. "What?"
Nicky coughed. "First time I ever heard myself say 'my girl.'"
Chris rolled his eyes, but he was secretly, entirely in sympathy. Wasn't he the one that went around thinking "my boyfriend" about David, like some sixth grade girl?
And there he was, in the flesh, in his starched pink long-sleeved shirt and pink-and-gray tie, and charcoal slacks, and only Chris knew that he was wearing Bugs Bunny boxers. "Hey," he said. "You guys wanna go get a steak? Watch some college stick?"
Nicky and Chris looked at each other. "Yeah," Nicky said. "You better get your hockey jones before someone gets hurt."
So the three of them were peaceably eating a steak at Outback, watching
college hockey play-offs at lunch, when they saw Snow come in with the big guy called Nice Adam.
Nicky nearly stabbed himself in the hand with his steak knife. "She's cheating on Seth!" he hissed. "My man Seth!" He poked David. "Go do something."
"Fuck you," David said, forking in bites of steak, without taking his eyes from the big-screen television. "I don't have to manage 'em on my lunch hour."
Chris looked towards the back. "Maybe they're just---no, she's cheating on Seth." He and Nicky exchanged glances.
"There's only one thing to do," Nicky said authoritatively. He pulled out his cell phone and hit a speed-number. "E? Listen, here's the idea for the next book---Cheats and Peeks, who's zoomin' who, who's most likely to step out."
Still without looking up, David reached in his pocket and slapped a five on the counter.
"David bets five that Snow cheats on Seth," Nicky said.
Chris put a ten down on the bar.
*does the dance of glee*
Thank you, Tesla!!!
And whoot! okay, Seth is cool and all, very mystical and zen and so freakin' cute . . . but dude. Adam Baldwin? Those arms? That chest? Those thighs?
I know who I'd pick.
You know, since I can't have David.