So, with that in mind, this is the last scene you'll see from it. It's going for a long rest so I can tackle all those other things that need to be done, e.g. taxes, census forms, revisions of other novels, beta-reading, etc. etc. Ah well, keeps me out of trouble.
I'm leaving you with a pivotal scene. It's about 800 words but a lot of it is dialogue. I'm interested to know if it works.
Oh, yea it's slightly rude.
It was raining when we left the restaurant. A soft, cold steady rain that had us hurrying along the pavements. It was good to reach the warmth of the flat. Colin turned on the fire while I closed the curtains. He made coffee, humming while he messed about with mugs, spoons and boiling kettles. He handed me a mug and sank onto the settee. His eyes were dark and distant. I had no idea where he’d gone to in his head. It was somewhere I couldn’t follow. Those thoughtful moments were rare with Colin. We drank our coffee in silence, broken only by the whisper of rain against the windows. After a while, he set the mug down on the table and looked at me.
“There’s something I need to say to you,” he said. His voice was low, uncertain. “I’ve been trying to think of how to say this for a long, long time. I think I need to say it now, before you go away.”
Something inside slipped a little. Something in his tone made my hands shake. “All right. I’m listening.”
He looked down at his hands and shook his head. “Fuck me, this is hard.”
“When has it ever been hard for you to say anything? Out with it, man.”
His hands trembled. He flattened them and rubbed them along the top of his thighs. “Believe me, Evan. This is hard. This is a deal-breaker.”
I had no fucking idea what he was getting at. I know that he scared me.
Colin took a deep breath and looked at me. “I love you, Evan.”
“I know that.” Relief washed through me. I was expecting something horrible, like he had a terminal illness. “We’ve known each other for ages. I love you too.”
He swallowed. “That’s not quite what I meant.”
Jesus H. Christ.
I stared at him. I saw him for the first time. I saw the pain of this secret he’d kept for God knows how long. “We’re not talking brotherly love, are we?”
“No.” His voice was scarcely a whisper. Uncertainty clouded his eyes.
I scrambled to find something to say, something that would make sense. I wondered why I wasn’t horrified. “Since when?”
“A long time.”
It explained so much - the restless flitting from partner to partner, the perpetual dissatisfaction with them. I looked back through them all, and understood. “Bloody hell.”
“Please don’t say you hate me.”
“No, I don’t hate you at all.” His pain gnawed at me. For a moment I felt like crying. Instead, I got up and walked to the window. I looked out at the rain and tried to find something to say. Inside, I was all messed up because I wasn’t repulsed by the confession. Far from it. That’s what scared me more than anything, that I couldn’t see anything wrong with it. It was like finding the last word in a crossword puzzle, the one that ties all the others together. You see the theme the puzzle writer was aiming for and it all makes perfect sense in spite of all the time you spent wondering what that last word was.
I thought back to the day we met, me soaking wet and summoned out of the shower by the doorbell, him standing there all hopeful in the doorway wanting to know if the room was still available. The way he looked at me meant nothing back then, now, it meant everything.
I leaned against the windowsill, with the chill of the night behind me and looked at Colin. His eyes were huge and sad.
“How long have you felt this way?”
“Remember the night in Woodhall Spa when we got rat-arsed at that wedding? The only place we could crash was that old fashioned, creepy hotel?”
I remembered. Waking in the middle of the night on an old soft mattress, Colin’s arm thrown over my waist, a semi-erection pressed against my arse. I remembered how ashamed I felt because I liked that feeling, wished it wasn’t just a drunken lazy lob. I remembered battling with my own erection, feeling like I was back at boarding school.
Yes, I remember.”
“I woke up wanting you. God, I wanted to fuck you so bad.”
I felt the memory tug at me. An ache grew in my groin and my jeans weren’t going to hide it for much longer. I didn’t even want to think about Katy, not when Colin sat on the settee with his hands in his hair. God, I wanted to feel those long pale fingers on me, curling around my cock.
“Yea, I wanted that too.” I sat down beside him. It felt right to put my hand on his thigh, to feel hard muscle beneath warm denim.
“Really?”“Yes, really.” His breath hitched when I slid my hand towards his crotch, to the bulge there. I kissed him, feeling his stubble, feeling his tongue sweep over mine. I curled my fingers in his hair, intoxicated by his aftershave, by his nearness, by him.