Noting the expression on Mitch’s face, Aaron thought to himself Uh-oh. This can’t be good. But then again, maybe it can. “What’s up?” Mitch’s guarded expression and the tension in his body was hard to miss.
Mitch sighed slowly and deeply. “I’m not sure where to begin. Aaron, you know I would never, ever deliberately hurt you.”
“I know that.” Aaron quickly reassured him, sitting on the edge of the bed and taking his hand. “You know you can tell me anything.”
Mitch ran a frustrated hand through his dark hair. “Fuck, this is hard! No matter how I say it, it’s gonna hurt you.”
“Then just come out and say it. Whatever it is, we’ll deal with it together.”
“Okay.” He reluctantly agreed. “Here goes. There’s something happening between us and I don’t know what to do about it.”
“What do you mean?” Aaron asked, confusion clearly written on his face.
“I woke up and you were still sleeping in the chair. I ran my up your thigh, across your crotch, up your stomach and across your nipples. It felt – I don’t know – weird, wrong somehow, like I shouldn’t be touching you like that. Could I be falling out of love with you?”
Aaron took the distressed man’s hand in both of his as he leaned close, unaware that they were being watched from the doorway by Cameron and Iukekini. “Mitch, look at me. You’re not falling out of love with me.” He said gently. “You were never in love with me in the first place. Mitch, what you are not remembering is that you are straight and engaged to Cameron. You love her more that life itself and she loves you. Iukekini is my boyfriend and I love him. Can’t you remember any of that?”
Mitch closed his eyes and laid his head back on the pillow. After a few minutes his eyes snapped open, anger blazing from them. He jerked his hand out of Aaron’s. “YOU! I remember now. The night you stayed over before some big test you had I went into your room and put a good luck note on the nightstand. You were there on your back and uncovered. Your dick was hard and sticking out of your underwear. I couldn’t stop staring at it. WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO TO ME? Did you cast some kind of love spell on me? You told me you were a witch, but until now I didn’t believe in witches.”
“No, Mitch, I didn’t. I couldn’t and I wouldn’t. Our biggest law is ‘harm no one”. That includes casting spells to make a person do something against their will. Even if I could, I wouldn’t. I’m in love with Iukekini. I wouldn’t do anything to mess that up.”
“You know what? Get the fuck out. I don’t want to see your face in this room again, or anywhere else for that matter! I want you out of my life, now and forever!”
Aaron held out his hands, hurt etched deeply on his face. “Mitch, I…” he started but was quickly interrupted.
“WHAT, ARE YOU DEAF, YOU FUCKING FAGGOT? I SAID GET THE FUCK OUT, NOW!” He screamed.
Head down, tears flowing down his face, Aaron slowly turned and left the room. Not watching where he was going he smacked right into Iukekini who wasted no time wrapping is arms around him. Startled, he looked up into Iukekini’s sad eyes.
“I’m so sorry Aalona. I can see you are hurting and wish there was something I could do to take away your pain.”
“I knew something bad would come out of that fucking charade, but I never expected this. He hates me. My best friend hates me.”
Cameron came up and started rubbing small circles of comfort on his back. “He doesn’t hate you. He’s scared and confused, lashing out at the nearest convenient target, which unfortunately was you.” She turned to Iukekini. “Iukekini, get him out of here. He needs to get some rest and probably could stand to get something to eat. I’ll go talk to Mitch and see what’s going on.”
“Sounds like a good idea. Come on, baby, let’s go get something to eat and head back to my place.”
Aaron grabbed his hand, intertwining their fingers and started leading Iukekini out of the hospital.
Iukekini tried to pull his hand away, but Aaron just gripped it tighter. “Baby, we can’t go outside holding hands. What if someone you know sees us holding hands?”
“I don’t care. I’m tired of hiding. No more. Look what’s happened here. My best friend, his fiancé and my boyfriend tried to cover for me to keep me from being outted. Now my best friend is in the hospital and hates me. God knows what’s going through Cameron’s mind. They’ve both done so much for me and this is how I repay them? Who does that? What kind of friend does that make me?” Of all the emotions flowing through him right now, despair was the strongest.
Iukekini stopped them and turned to face Aaron. “Baby, you didn’t force Mitch to get drunk and get behind the wheel, but I have to ask, was what he said true?”
“What did you hear?”
“That you were naked in his bed and hard.”
“I slept in the guest room. It was hot so I had kicked off the covers, and yes, I was hard when I woke up, but I had boxers on, so the head of my dick was probably poking out of my underwear. I swear I wasn’t trying to come on to him or anything like that.” The last sentence came out in a rush of fear.
“I believe you, baby. What do you feel like eating?”
“I’m not hungry.” Aaron responded in a small voice.
“Pizza it is, then. Go on back to the apartment and take a nap while I pick up the ingredients.” He gave Aaron a don’t-argue-just-do-it look. They got into their respective cars and headed out in different directions, Aaron to Iukekini’s apartment and Iukekini to the nearest grocery store.
Cameron knocked softly on the doorframe. “Mitch, can I come in?”
“If you want” He murmured under his breath.
She walked over to the bed and placed her hand on his arm. Mitch immediately jerked his arm away. “Mitch, what’s wrong?” She asked; sincere concern in her voice.
“Did you know about it?” He demanded angrily.
Cameron scrunched up her face in confusion. “Know about what?”
“What that fucking faggot tried to pull on me?”
“Fucking faggot? Who are you talking about?”
“Who do you think?”
“Mitch, I’m confused here. For as long as I’ve known you you’ve never called anyone a fucking faggot. Shit, you get upset every time you hear the word ‘faggot’.”
“I’m talking about that cock-sucking butt-fucking Suarez.”
“Aaron? Why? What did he do?”
“You don’t know?”
“Mitch, I swear I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“He cast a love spell on me then tried to seduce me the morning after the night he stayed over for some kind of test.”
“How did he try to seduce you?”
“I went into the guest room to put a ‘good luck’ note on the nightstand and he was lying on the bed uncovered with his hard-on poking out of his underwear and pretending to be asleep.”
“First of all, Mitch, it was like ninety-five degrees. We kicked the covers of ourselves. Secondly, how many times have you NOT woken up with a hard-on? And, he was so dead asleep I had to shake him hard to wake him up after the alarm had been going off for over ten minutes.”
“Regardless of all that, did you know that the first night he stayed over he checked me out when I came out of the bathroom the next morning? He even admitted it to me.”
Cameron snorted. “And you’ve never been checked out by a man or woman before? I’ve seen that happen millions of times when we were out and about.”
“Okay, then how about this. I couldn’t stop staring at his dick. Explain that one to me.”
“How about surprise at seeing an eleven-inch dick?”
“And JUST HOW do you know how big his dick is?” Mitch snarled.
“I ran into Iukekini at the mall the day after he first slept with Aaron. He was limping so I asked him what was wrong. He told me that it was because he was sore from having an eleven-inch dick up his ass. Before that the biggest one ever he had was eight inches.”
“Okay, so here’s one you can’t explain away. The love spell he put on me made it so that all I could think about that day was his dick.”
“Aaron’s not capable of doing something that heinous. You know how he feels about going after someone who is in a committed relationship, let alone a confirmed straight guy. Plus he told us that his prime directive, so to speak is do no harm. So even if he could do something like that, he wouldn’t.”
“Well, it really doesn’t matter. He’s out of my life for good.”
“Mitch, what did you do?” She asked, wondering if something else happened besides what she had seen and overheard.
“I told him I never wanted to see his face again, in this room or anywhere else.”
A look of horror crossed Cameron’s face. “W-w-what have you done?” She whispered before she burst out in anger. “HE’S ALWAYS BEEN THERE FOR YOU WHENEVER YOU NEEDED HIM. HOW COULD YOU JUST TURN YOUR BACK ON HIM LIKE THIS? HE MUST BE DEVASTATED. YOU’RE HIS FUCKING BEST FRIEND! You know what? You’re not the same man I fell in love with and got engaged to.” She stood and headed for the door.
“Where are you going?”
“To find Aaron and somehow try to convince him that you’ve lost your mind and TRY to salvage your friendship.” She stormed out the door and as soon as she got to the parking lot tried to call Aaron and was not surprised when it went to his voicemail. She left him a quick message to call her when he had the opportunity.
Aaron picked up his phone and looked at the caller ID display. Cameron Carothers. He sighed, a deep, pained sigh and let the phone fall onto the couch where he was snuggled up against Iukekini.
“I wish you’d at least try to eat something, baby. I know you’re pretty upset right now but you need to keep up your strength. We can’t have you collapsing from malnutrition or exhaustion. Please, baby, for me?” Iukekini practically begged Aaron.
Aaron reached over, picked up a slice of his favorite type of pizza and looked at it with total disinterest. He took a small bite and set the rest down. He simply had no appetite after the confrontation with Mitch. He didn’t know what to do. He felt so lost and bereft. What made it worse was that he had no idea how to express what was going on inside him to Iukekini. He sat there just staring straight ahead when a tear slowly rolled down his face from his right eye, followed shortly by a tear from his left eye. Iukekini gently wiped the tears from his face, a gesture so tender that it undid Aaron completely. He clung to him like a lifeline while Iukekini murmured words of love and comfort into his ear. The last time he felt this kind of pain was when he came out to his former best friend Jerry who turned on him. The pain was almost as bad as when he had to say goodbye to Clark at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. Now it seemed like history was about to repeat itself. Eventually Aaron fell into a deep sleep. Iukekini covered him with a light blanket and went to put the rest of the pizza in the fridge, hoping Aaron would be hungry later. It tore him up inside to see his beloved Aalona hurting like this, but he didn’t have a clue how to begin to help him. He called Cameron and wasn’t surprised when the call went straight to her voicemail. He returned to the living room and sat in a chair and watched Aaron sleeping, noticing that the lines of pain that were previously etched into his features had disappeared. After a few minutes he fell asleep, yet somehow managing to keep one ear open in case Aaron needed him.
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