Can someone who 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?
"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."