Insurance claims officer Ricky Farr is a nice guy. He's single, charming, fun, and responsible. At thirty-eight, his life is going well. Things are nice these days, and comfortable.
Then all hell breaks loose.
Ricky asks his coworker (and frenemy) Jamie Oakley to do him a favor and help him move some boxes. What Ricky knows about Jamie is simple: he's blonde, beautiful, and mean. The stud isn't nice to anyone. Not to Ricky. Not to his boyfriends. No one.
When Ricky confronts Jamie about being mean, the two have a hellacious argument. Ricky ignores him for a week, but something strange happens. Jamie claims he misses Ricky, and promises to be nice to him.
Is this the beginning of a changed relationship -- and romance -- between the men? Or is Jamie just being his usual mean guy self, leading Ricky's heart astray?
Hungry and tired, I walk the five blocks to Salad Tyme on Isle Street in downtown Templeton for something healthy for lunch.
Some pimply-faced high school kid waits on me. I take my salad and glass of apple juice to the sidewalk, sitting under a canopy. Clouds firm a dark mass overhead, indicating rain, but precipitation isn’t in the forecast.
Across the street sits Lady Francesca’s Fiction and Other Fun Things, a risqué bookstore/adult-themed store that sales titles like The Vixen’s Vixen, Lord Humperton After Dark, and Released from Evan. Lady Francesca also sells a variety of sexually explicit toys for women, herbal aphrodisiacs, and an assortment of female-oriented costumes for sixteenth century role-playing. The store has obviously done well since it’s been in town for the last dozen years.
To the right of Fun Things is a plum-colored door with brass accessories: doorbell, peephole, and lion-shaped knob.
As I munch my salad down and stare across the street Jamie exits the purple door, closing it behind him. He sees me, waves, smiles, and heads to the two-person table where I sit.
I have definitely seen him look better during our friendship. His blond hair is mussed and a five o’ clock shadow looks heavy on his chiseled jaw. As he has a seat across from me I smell semen on his skin, probably on his T-shirt-clad chest. He sports dark rings under his eyes.
“You look like you’ve been through hell and back.”
“I have. But it was worth every minute of it.” He takes my juice and drinks half of it. “Watch the door I came out of and you’ll see what I mean.”
I take note of some bare-chested beefy with ginger hair exiting through the door. He’s titanic-sized with the biggest pecs and nipples I’ve ever seen. The guy carries his shirt in his right hand and walks down Isle Street, swishing his tight ass in Nike shorts.
Jamie says to me, “His package was so tiny. I didn’t really know what to do with it. I’ve seen bigger junk on newborn babies.”
He’s nasty. Always so nasty. He’ll never change. Not that I expect him to.
“And wait for it,” Jamie says, pointing to the door.
I see a second guy making his exit. He can pass for Chris Hemworth’s twin brother. Beautiful from head to toe. Hollywood-sexy-perfect. He too walks down Isle Street, vanishing.
“Thor might be beautiful to look at, but he can’t keep a boner. Poor thing was practically useless for me last night. Such a pity. But he makes me a pretty bottom.”
“And one more,” Jamie adds, finishing off my orange juice.
Some guy with black hair and a matching beard exits the building, using the purple door. He has to be six-four or –five. The guy is huge, all around. Not fat. Just big, and delicious looking with his muscles and masculine frame. I can swear that I’ve seen him play professional football for the NFL, but I can’t remember his name.
“You had a threesome?” I ask him, no longer hungry. Never have I had a threesome. Shit.
He shakes his head. “A foursome. There’s a fourth guy who lives in apartment C on the second floor. I think his name is Kirk, or something like that. Not that his name is important.”
“No wonder you look used and thrown away,” I tell him. Now who’s being mean? Funny.
“It was dicks and balls galore all night long. I think I slept for an hour.”
“You need a shower. I smell their spent on you. It’s not the dressing I want to go with my salad. I hope you were safe with those men, Jamie.”
“I’m always safe. I won’t slip my dick into anyone without wearing a plastic coat.”
“Good to know.”
He rambles for the next eight minutes about his romp with ginger, Chris Hemsworth, the football player, and a guy whose name might be Kirk. His details become explicit and turn my stomach, but in a good way. I’m half jealous of his tale, until he starts to brag about his good looks and how he can get any man-ass he wants.
I bring him back to reality and remind him, “You didn’t help me move the rest of the boxes to my great aunt’s apartment this morning.”
“One of us has to use our dick,” he chuckles, hopeless. “Unfortunately, it’s not you.”
“I could have used your help. Those boxes were heavy, and there were a lot of them.”
He waves the fork at me. “Whatever. You’ll get over it. Besides, you needed the workout. I don’t like to have flabby friends.”
It’s a cruel comment. At least this is how I take it, and tell him, “That wasn’t very nice.”
He tilts his beautiful head to the right and tells me, “Come on. Face it. You can lose a few pounds. You’re almost a fatty. We both know that you don’t look like me.”
I tell him, “You don’t have to be unkind, Jamie. Some us have feelings.”
He shakes his head, grins. “I’m not mean. I’m just being honest.”
I roll my eyes.
He ignores me. “Drive me to Estuary Street. There’s something I need to do.”
“I have plans. I’m meeting with my mother in half hour to discuss Great Aunt Sassy’s mansion and how she’s going to put it on the market and…”
Forcefully, he says, “Fuck that. You have to drive me to Estuary Street.”
I shake my head. “I really can’t, Jamie. My mother’s ...”
“I don’t want to hear your shit, Ricky. Drive me to fucking Estuary Street.”
Lunch people gawk at our table. They all have open mouths, surprised by my sidekick’s outburst. Two guys whisper something about us and Jamie yells at them, “Mind your own fucking business, faggots!”
I’m embarrassed, fully red in the face. My insides shake. I don’t know what to say or do. His outburst is uncalled for, explicit, and irreversible. There’s no way he can make this moment better for either of us.
The owner of the place slips up to our table, a stubby man with a thick mustache. He’s prepared to scold us.
Jamie says to me, “Let’s get the fuck out of this shithole, Ricky. We’ve had a better salad elsewhere.” He stands and crosses Isle Street, heading north.
I want to shrivel up and die because of the awkward scene. Instead, I quickly stand, drop money on the table for the salad, and bolt after him. Don’t look back. I won’t look back.