Can someone that suffered when he came out go back in the closet for love? Should he have to?
Danny, a house sub at Indiscreet, loves Gary, a former major league pitcher. Gary wants a contract but he's still bound by his agreement with his manager which forbids him from coming out.
Danny and Gary, with the help of their friends at Indiscreet, find a middle ground and sign a contract. But will it be enough?
Late Friday Afternoon
Danny went in early for his shift as a sub at Indiscreet to find Jim Menetti and Brian Murphy sitting in the club kitchen having tea.
Jim looked up into Danny's eyes. "You don't look so hot."
"Come have some tea with us." Brian got up and retrieved an additional cup from the rack of clean dishes. "Gary Sayer is coming in tonight, isn't he?" Danny nodded, frowning then blushing furiously.
"Why the frown? I thought you liked Gary. Are you sure you're not sick?" Jim poured him a cup of tea from the pot on the counter.
Jim scrutinized the five foot four inch Danny trying to figure out what was wrong. Danny reminded him of sunlight. His skin, eyes and hair were all golden. Jim looked over to Brian, his eyes questioning.
"No, I'm not physically sick, just a bit emotional." Danny put his duffle bag on the floor.
Jim looked up from his stool. "Gary's been coming to the club three times a week for the last six months and he always asks for you."
"I know," Danny mumbled. "He wants a contract." A tear leaked out of Danny's eye as he sat down on the stool Brian provided.
"That should be great news, you like playing with Gary," Jim said, puzzled, dunking his scone into his mug of tea.
"That's what's wrong. I do like Gary, an awful lot. I believe I could love him, given the chance." Danny sniffed, blew on the tea, and took a sip.
"So what's the hang up? You know if you need help with the contract, you can ask Reed or Bear, and they will negotiate the terms for you. They do that for most of the subs," Jim said, pouring himself a second cup of the strong tea.
Brian's smile brightened at the mention of his lover. "Bear negotiated Greg's contract."
Jim piped in, "And Reed negotiated Jamie's."
"Good tea." Danny's eyes brightened for a minute, then his shoulders slumped again.
"It's what he wants in the contract that's the problem." Danny sniffled.
"What could possibly be wrong if you like him a lot and he's willing to give you a contract?" Jim sat up straighter on the stool actively listening.
"Gary isn't out. He wants to keep me in a condo and visit me when he feels the need but still be able to go out with a girl on his arm whenever he has an official function. I don't want to be forced into the closet. I'm not closet material." A tear dripped down Danny's cheek smearing his guy liner.
"He still has a number of endorsement deals from his days as a baseball player. I remember him telling Bear that he has to be careful. Being out and proud isn't exactly good for your career in the sports world, even after you retire." Brian cradled his cup in his hands. "How old is he anyway? Wasn't it a torn rotator cuff that made
him retire from baseball?" He asked taking a sip.
"I think he's thirty. He was a great all around player, a pitcher who could bat. I think he had a batting average of almost three hundred and pitched too many shutouts to name. It's a shame he had to leave the game but after his surgery he didn't want to continue to pitch and risk the shoulder becoming completely useless. He's been retired for about a year."
"I don't think I could live with him in the closet. I wouldn't be able to acknowledge him at all in public. I'd have a lover who, if he saw me on the street, would pretend not to know me." Danny sniffled a second time trying to hold back his tears. "And I'd have to watch him with someone else."
"When did this all happen?" Jim was annoyed that there was something going on with one of the club's service subs and he hadn't seen it.
"Wednesday night. Gary's been coming in to see me every Monday, Wednesday and Friday night since a week after I was introduced to the club. I know he offered for Greg Harris, but started to play with me when Greg refused him. Greg is a lot more butch than I am."
Brian cocked his head. "Greg refused Bull and that made no difference to Jamie. Bull eventually came around."
Danny looked at Brian in horror. "I don't want to attract the kind of attention those two did before they got together." He took a gulp of the hot tea and sputtered.
Brian laughed. "I don't think anyone will ever provide the kind of entertainment those two did, although it wasn't funny while it was happening."
"Yeah, slave rings, witness protection and Bull ranting on about twinks and denying what he felt for Jamie during the whole mess wasn't that entertaining while it was going on." Jim said with some asperity.
"That's what I mean. I don't want to call attention to myself by making a fuss and refusing Gary, but I can't live with the sneaking around." Danny got up, sighed, rinsed his cup in the utility sink and put it in the tray to go through the dishwasher.
"I guess I'm going to refuse him, but I really like him. I did the first time I saw him." Danny started to cry in earnest.
Jim jumped up and put his arms around Danny giving him a hug. "Before you do that, let me have Reed talk to him."
"Bear and Reed could double team him." Brian jumped up and almost knocked his cup down in his excitement over the idea.
"Gary wouldn't like that," Danny said dejectedly. Neither one of us likes to call attention to ourselves. I don't want to piss him off or be the cause of some gossip or drama at the club. I just can't allow him to become someone special to me if I have to hide who I am because of it." He dropped his head to his chest, and Jim made soothing noises as he patted Danny on the back.
Danny hiccupped. "I know it's my hang up, not his. He's always been upfront about the necessity to hide his sexuality. I didn't think it would matter. I liked him a lot but when he offered for Greg and Greg refused, I thought he'd just use me at the club because I wasn't what he was looking for initially. Now I'm emotionally invested. That was okay as long as I knew he didn't want me but now he wants me. I don't know what to do."
"You wouldn't have to be in the closet while leading your own life, just when you're with him," said Brian.
"I can't have a lover who isn't out. It cost me too much to come out myself and I'm not going back, even for someone I love." Danny put his hand over his mouth. "I didn't mean to say that."
"You can be honest with us. We won't say anything to Gary or anyone else unless you tell us it's okay. What did you tell Gary?"
"I told him I'd have to think about it. He wants my answer tonight." Danny sobbed a bit louder.
"It will be okay. Before he offers for you, he has to negotiate a contract. Bear and Reed are both upstairs. Why don't we go up to the office with you and tell them what's going on? This way you don't have to refuse him. Reed and Bear can do it and then they have to explain why."
"Then there wouldn't be a scene, but he'll find someone else to play with. I don't think I could watch that either." Danny's whole body took on an air of dejection.
"Then we'll just have to find a way to make this work, hon." Jim stood and took Danny's arm. "We're going upstairs to see Bear and Reed and you're coming with us."