Ten years is a long time to have a crush.
Their high school reunion is Luke's chance for a shot at Alexander, whom he adored in high school. In training for the past eighteen months to shed the extra weight he'd always carried, he's ready to show Alexander he isn't the boy they called Podge anymore.
As the big day draws nearer and the summer days get hotter, Luke continues running with his next door neighbour Max to stay in shape. But everything is blown apart though when Luke almost faints in the heat, falls into Max's arms, and straight into 'no strings attached' sex.
Suddenly Luke is torn between the man who's there when he needs him and a man he liked years ago but knows very little about. Would it be madness to throw away what he has with Max for a chance with Alexander?
Saturday afternoon saw Luke in Manchester city centre doing last minute shopping for his outfit and still pondering the possibility of more no strings sex with Max. He was wondering if maroon converse to match a maroon shirt might be a bit overkill, or a bit dark given the blazing hot weather, when a voice rang through the shopping centre.
Luke thought about just lying down and dying on the spot, and about just running away, but turned to face his tormentor and was stunned to see Alexander heading his way over the concourse.
"It is you, fucking hell, what happened to you? You've nearly disappeared." He was looking Luke up and down with an incredulous, but faintly admiring look.
"Yeah? Thanks. Lost a bit of weight, you know." He patted his flat stomach and noted that Alexander was not quite the svelte athletic shape he had once been.
"Good to see you, are you all set for tonight? Can't wait to see everyone. Are you still in touch with the old crowd?
"Me either, we all have to grow up sometimes eh?"
"Yep." Luke was struggling for something to say. He was still as handsome as ever, still as unattainable.
"You married now? Any kids?" Alexander asked.
Well that was a question he didn't expect. It may well be he was talking about being married to a man, but somehow Luke doubted it. "Um, no. You?"
"Sorry to hear it."
Alexander nodded sadly. He should have been perspiring in the heat, much as Luke was, but he seemed cool in his beige pants and blue shirt. Blond hair swept messily over one blue eye. He was gorgeous. He couldn't imagine anyone kicking him out of bed, male or female. "Were you married long?"
"I married Charlotte Wilkinson, she was the year below us."
Luke blinked. Charlotte Wilkinson. Well. There now. "Oh," was all he said.
"No kids, fortunately."
"So, are you seeing anyone?"
"No." Something warm and a little bit flirty came into Alexander's eyes and Luke was mesmerised.
"So, are you bi?" Luke blurted. He'd spent enough time round the back of the school with Alexander's cock in his mouth to feel it was a reasonable question to ask. It hadn't been quite behind the bike sheds, more like by the bins. If he was bi then there might be ...
"I'm fucking straight. What are you saying?"
"Surely you didn't think ... Aw, c'mon Podge, that was just kids mucking about."
Luke was squirming inside so much he thought he might just make a run for it, but his feet remained planted. "Can you not call me, Podge?" Christ. His mouth was on fire today.
"Why not? That's what we always called you."
"I know. I hated it then and I hate it now."
"Aw, buddy," Alexander put an arm around him and pulled him close and Luke found himself in the middle of the shopping centre being hugged by the man that he had a ten-year crush on. He did what any self-respecting man would do. He hugged him back. At first the hug was friendly, but then the mood shifted and Alexander buried his nose in Luke's neck and breathed in. That was a turn up. And not very straight.
Luke pulled away gently, and Alexander clung for a moment before he let go with a hearty clap on the shoulder.
"Bloody good to see you. Maybe we could get to know each other again tonight?" He winked and nodded.
Luke smiled, his mind racing frantically. "I'll be bringing my boyfriend. I'm gay."
Alexander's smile faltered a bit. "Gay?"