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Ethan woke up early, pissed off and with a hangover. He looked at Jack who was still asleep, and kissed his forehead. He put on a black hooded sweatshirt and sweatpants, left the room to check on EJ first, then texted Carlos: Are you up? Cuz if not WAKE THE FUCK UP.
Carlos texted him back a few minutes later: I’m up.
He texted: Meet me in the main dining room. Now.
Carlos text back: uh-oh.
Ethan went upstairs and found Stacy in the kitchen bright and early making eggs. He put the coffee on, then turned on the ovens to warm up the bacon, sausages and hash browns for the morning breakfast. Carlos came in wearing the jeans from last night, and a CUNY sweatshirt.
He yawned, “Yo, cabron do you know what time it is?”
Ethan said to Stacy, “Can you give us a minute? I’ll watch the stove for a bit.” Stacy left dutifully, closing the door behind him.
Ethan started, “Los-“
But Carlos cut him off, “I know I know, I took it too far last night. Lo siento. Lo digo en serio. (I’m sorry. I mean it.) I’m serious. Jorge tore me a new ass hole last night and not in the way I like.” He sighed, “I won’t call him Baby Jack no more. I’m going to respect yalls relationship, ok? I’ll apologize to him today.”
Ethan looked at him a moment, then said, “We’re getting married, Carlos.”
Carlos froze. “Are you serious?” he asked.
“Yes.” Ethan said simply.
Carlos leaned against the wall. He groaned, “Uuuuuugh, Ethan don’t do this to me.”
“Do what to you?” Ethan did not expect that serious a response.
“Get married on me, man,” Carlos said.
Ethan laughed. “I got married on you before remember? Trish?”
“Yea but we all know that was a fucking sham,” Carlos said. “But you marrying Jack? That shit is real man.”
“It is real between us,” Ethan said. “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you.”
Carlos groaned again. “This is a fucking nightmare.”
“I don’t understand you at all,” Ethan said. “Every opportunity we’ve had to be together, you shut me down. You, not me. You. You said, what I want, you can’t give me, we’re better off as friends. You’re words, not mine. I respected it and now we’re friends. So why the fuck are you acting like this now?”
“Because Ethan, you know who you are to me,” Carlos said.
Ethan said hotly, “No I don’t. Tell me.”
They looked at each other in silence. Then Carlos said, “I told you yesterday.”
Ethan was getting angry. “So..so… so… you just thought you were just going to keep me in your back pocket until you were ready to commit to me? What kind of shit is that?”
“That’s not what I was doing,” Carlos looked away.
“That’s exactly what you were doing,” Ethan said angrily. “And I knew this from jump, when I was with Justin, and you pulled the same shit you did yesterday. Practically trying to fuck me in front of him. And when we broke up I asked you then, are we doing this or not? And what did you say to me Los? Hmmm? Because I remembered it verbatim. What did you fucking say, Carlos? Want me to tell you?”
“I told you the truth, mi amor. That I don’t love you the way you love me,” he said quietly.
“Right.” Ethan said. “The same shit you told me at 16. But that was the day I stopped loving you, since you want to bring up seven years ago and shit. Because that time was going to be the last time I let you fuck up my life with your commitment issues. And I meant that shit. That’s why I went back to Hutch. Because at least he wanted to be with me and commit to me and wouldn’t fuck with my head or my heart.”
“Ah, but he ended up doing both so what does that tell you?”
“That I’m a shit judge of character when it comes to people I fall in love with. You included.”
Carlos laughed. “And you think Jack is different?”
“I know he isn’t. Jack has his own fucked up issues, but the difference is, he actually is in love with me and wants to be with me. He’s never fucked with my head or my heart and he knows I’m fucked up too. So we’ll be fucked up together, forever in this bitch.” He let a moment pass. “I love him, Carlos. I’m in love with him. And we’re going to get married.”
Carlos was silent, then said, “I don’t know what you expect me to do here, man.”
Ethan sighed. “Just let me go. Let go of this idea of us. For real this time. And be happy for me, like a real friend would do.”
“I am your real friend.”
“Then act like it.” Ethan said. “Cut the jealous acting out shit, and just be happy that I am seriously happy with Jack.”
Carlos walked over and stood in front of him. He touched Ethan’s shoulders and said, “If I kiss you right now, what would you do?”
Ethan was honest. “I would probably kiss you back. And it would confuse and annoy the fuck out of me. Because you don’t want me the way that I’ve always wanted you. We’d be kissing for two different reasons. Is that what you want?”
Carlos looked at Ethan, he sighed and stepped illegal bahis back to his wall. He asked, “So is Jack a substitute because you can’t have me the way you want?”
“No, you arrogant asshole! Jack is what happens when you hesitate on someone you love. Someone better comes along and scoops them up. And make no mistake, Jack is better than you in every way imaginable. And I’m not just saying that to piss you off or challenge you. I am telling you, Jack is and always will be the better man, and best thing that has ever happened to me. And if you really do care about me and want me in your life, respect that. If not, then this is goodbye.”
Carlos scoffed. “Adios!? Adios mi culo are you fucking kidding me right now?”
“No. Accept it or walk away.”
“Daaaamn cabron you’re so serious about him, that you would give me up?” Carlos asked incredulously.
“Yes, I will give you up for him,” Ethan told him. “I will always love you. But I don’t love you like that anymore. I can’t love you like that anymore, and that has nothing to do with Jack. It’s because you made it clear many times that you don’t love me in that way so I let you go a long time ago. Now you let me go. Or I will walk way from this friendship for him without looking back. For Jack, I’d do anything.”
Carlos leaned against the wall in silence for a while, eyes closed. Ethan watched him and waited. “Iight.” He finally said, opening up his eyes. “I can’t lose your friendship you know that. I don’t have anybody else.” He walked back over to Ethan. “You’re right. I’m sorry. I’m happy for you and Jack. I want you to be happy and if this is it for you….then it’s done with you and me, for real.”
He gave Ethan a hug and Ethan hugged him back. He leaned up and said, “Can I get a goodbye kiss tho?”
Ethan pushed him off. “No, asshole.” he said but then laughed. He put his arm around Carlos’s shoulder and said, “Jorge’s a good guy. He seems to be your speed. And he really likes you, I can tell. You should give him a real chance.”
Carlos said, “Maybe.” Then he said, “I can’t believe you getting fucking married, yo. Like, for real, for real. Damn. mi corazón está rompiéndose.”
“You’re heart’s not breaking, shut the fuck up,” Ethan said.
Carlos laughed, making Ethan laugh. Carlos said, “I do love you, you know.”
“I know. I love you too. As a friend.” He paused and said, “Apologize to Jack, please. And be nice to him. I’m pretty sure if I didn’t lay on him last night he would have broke his foot off in your ass. Don’t test him. You don’t know what he’s capable of.”
Carlos said with a smile, “Yea, yea sure.”
Jack leaned on the wall outside of the kitchen and heard every word, unsure of how to feel. He had come upstairs to look for Ethan and Stacy told him he was in the kitchen talking to some guy. He knew it was Carlos and couldn’t help but to eavesdrop. But now he had heard enough.
He turned around and went back down to the basement to pretend to be sleep again for when Ethan made it back downstairs. However EJ was wide awake, looking for his dad. EJ being up was an easy distraction; Jack busied himself with getting him dressed for the day, or rather watching EJ pick out and put on his own clothes.
“I can do it!” he said stubbornly. So Jack stood in the doorway and watched.
Ethan came in and wrapped his arms around Jack from behind, kissed the back of his neck. Jack turned around and reached his arms around his neck, and kissed his lips, then put his tongue in his mouth. Ethan moaned in surprise, but palmed Jack’s ass and kissed him back with the same passion. After a minute or so, Jack pulled back first, rubbing the back of his neck with both hands said, and said, “Good morning.”
“Great morning!” Ethan said with a smile. “What was that for?”
“Just because I love you. Like, a lot. A lot, a lot. And because you love me a lot. And we’re a lot in love.”
Ethan laughed. “Okay. You still drunk?”
Jack laughed as well. “No but I wish you were. I like drunk Ethan.”
“Oh you like when I keep talking and spill all my heart out to you,” Ethan said amusingly.
“Fuck yea. I found out some interesting things,” Jack said slyly.
“Like how I love your eyes?” Ethan said.
“Like how you dreamed about fucking the garbage kid.”
Ethan’s eyes went wide. “I didn’t say no shit like that.”
“Oh yes the fuck you did.” Jack laughed. “How you dreamed about me inside of you even when you were still calling me The Garbage Kid. And something about my damn dimples.” Jack smiled wide.
Ethan let out a belly laugh. “Oh my God, I’m never getting drunk around you again.” They both laughed and kissed again.
By the time Jack and Ethan took showers, got dressed and came up out the apartment with EJ, breakfast was well underway. Nine happy couples, including Ethan and Jack, sat down for breakfast. When they came into the dining room, Jorge nodded toward them a hello, then nudged Carlos.
Carlos got up illegal bahis siteleri and walked over to where they were sitting. “Buenos dias, amigos. Jack, I want to officially apologize for my behavior last night. It was uncalled for. Although half the shit I don’t even know I did or said, still, it was enough for my best friend and my boyfriend to snap at me this morning so, my bad dawg.” He reached his hand out for a shake.
“It’s all water under the bridge now, man,” Jack said easily and shook his hand.
Carlos turned to Ethan, “I know check out is at 11am but can we hang around a bit more? I want to give Jack the chance to get to know the real me, and for me to get to know him, for real.”
Ethan smiled while Jack continued to resist the urge to hit Carlos. “Of course man, stay as late as you’d like.”
After breakfast they hung around late in the dining room as Carlos and Ethan exchanged childhood stories, none of them of the sexual nature, which placated Jack for a little bit. They walked around the Inn and Ethan proudly showed them a couple of paintings he had created so far and Carlos was really supportive, “It’s what you do best amigo, you paint with your heart and it shows.” Then Jorge and Carlos went back upstairs to spend time together and pack.
Ethan said to Jack when they were alone again, “That’s my friend Carlos. I’m glad you finally got a chance to meet him.”
Liam came in around 5pm and took over the evening desk duty with Stacy who was still around for the holiday weekend. Jorge and Carlos came downstairs with their bags, and hugged both Ethan and Jack.
Jorge said to Jack, “You’re a good dude. Keep in touch.” And Jack said he would.
Carlos said to Jack, “Take care of our Ethan for me, yea cabron?”
Jack couldn’t help it. He smiled and said, “My Ethan.”
Carlos smiled back and said, “Riiiiiight,” and then laughed. Carlos turned to Ethan and said, “Thanks for this weekend. It was….fun. We’ll do it again next year.”
Ethan said quietly, “Hopefully with Jorge again.” He nodded in his direction.
“We’ll see,” Carlos said quietly.
As they were leaving, Ethan said to Jack, “I’m going to walk them out. You ok with that?”
“Yea, it’s cool,” Jack said.
When they left the Inn, Liam said, “Why is Ethan asking for your permission?”
Jack sighed, rubbed his temples. “I’ll tell you later. I just want to forget a whole lot of things from this weekend right now.” He went to stand by the bay window to watch them off with Liam next to him.
Ethan walked them both to the car and watched them get in. He stood on the sidewalk, pleased with how the weekend turned out. He had closed this chapter out with Carlos, finally, and felt freer to move forward with Jack, who was the love of his life. All this he was thinking when Carlos got out of the passenger side car again and came up to Ethan. He said, “I’m letting go. But first…”
And Carlos leaned in, kissed Ethan on the mouth and stuck his tongue in.
It happened in slow motion for Jack. He watched Carlos get out of the car as Liam was telling him a funny thing that happened in the casino yesterday. He watched Carlos say something, and then he watched Carlos lean in and kiss Ethan on the mouth. His Ethan.
It lasted about three seconds. In the first second, Carlos’s lips touched Ethan’s and Ethan was shocked and confused. In the second, Jack saw Carlos’s tongue flicker and Ethan close his eyes. It could have been mistaken for a blink, but Jack knew it wasn’t. In the third, Ethan’s eyes flew open wide and he pushed Carlos forcefully and angrily.
“What the fuck Carlos!??” Ethan yelled. “What the actual fuck are you doing!?”
Carlos threw up his palms. “I’m letting you go, bro. That was goodbye.”
Ethan instinctively turned back to the Inn, thankfully that Jack wasn’t at the window, then turned back to Carlos and said pushed him again, “Get the fuck out of here, Los.” He said angrily.
Carlos said again, “That was goodbye, EB. That was goodbye.” He got back in the car.
Jorge, who saw from the car window what happened, just shook his head. He said to Carlos, “You got fucking issues, cabron.”
Jack had stepped back from the window, breathing hard, opening and closing his fists, seeing red.
Liam exclaimed, “Whoa!” He went up to Jack. “Are you ok?”
“What happened?” Stacy asked from the desk playing with EJ.
“That dude kissed Ethan,” he told his sister.
Stacy’s mouth dropped. “Kissed him how!?”
But Liam didn’t answer, he knew his best friend was about to lose it, he was way too quiet. He said cautiously, “Jack…?”
Jack closed his eyes, took some deep breaths to slow down his breathing, opened them and looked at him, then started walking toward the door. “I’m just going to talk to him,” he said calmly.
Liam grabbed his arm knowing Jack all too well. “Don’t do it. Let Ethan handle it.”
Jack said quietly and dangerously, “Let. Me. Go.”
Stacy said canlı bahis siteleri from the desk, “Let him go, Liam. What if it was June?” Liam reluctantly released Jack’s arm and he left the Inn.
Once Carlos got back in the car, Ethan turned around furiously and started walking towards the Inn when the door opened and Jack came out. His walk was unhurried but Ethan could tell he saw what happened. He stopped in front of Jack, “It didn’t-“
Jack interjected and said in an even tone, “I just want to talk to him. I’m cool.”
He stepped around Ethan and he watched as Jack walked to the car. He tapped on the window, made motion for Carlos to roll the window down. Carlos had a smug look on his face as he did, and he started to say, “Listen cabron, don’t get upse-“
But the words never made it out of his mouth as Jack swung five to six quick punches in the open window hitting Carlos in the face, eye and jaw. And then for good measure, he took the back of Carlos’s head and slammed his nose into the glove compartment, hard. Then stepped back and waited, fist closed.
“Get out of the car,” he said calmly.
Liam saw from the window and yelled, “Holy shit!” He ran outside.
Ethan’s mouth dropped and he also ran toward Jack, getting there first. He grabbed his arm and said, “What the fuck, Jack!” But Jack did not look at him, only at Carlos screaming and falling out of the open car door with his bloodied face.
“He broke my fucking nose!” Carlos screamed. “I’m going to murder that fucking sonofabitch!”
Ethan ran toward Carlos who was trying to get to Jack; Jorge had jumped out the car to help hold him back as well. Liam pushed Jack all the way to the wall of the Inn, put his arm across his chest, foot between his legs and said, “Down, puppy. Let Ethan handle it.”
Carlos had made it to his feet and Ethan and Jorge was trying to hold him back and calm him down, as Carlos continued yelling threats in English and Spanish, “Te voy a matar you fucking gringo cabron (I’m going to kill you fucking white bastard)! I’m going to fuck you up you, fucking pussy. Hit me when I’m standing cabron, let me see what you made of para que pueda sacarte la mierda (so I can beat the shit out of you), you fucking pussy ass faggot!”
Jorge said as he was gripping Carlos’s arm, “You brought that on yourself, ‘Los! Take that well deserved ass whooping like a man, dawg.”
Ethan knew Carlos was not going to stop so he yelled, “Liam, get Jack out of here! Now!”
Liam tried to pull Jack along but Jack said, “No.” He did not budge.
“Jack, it’s over. You won. Ethan’s yours. Let’s go.” Jack didn’t answer. Carlos was still screaming threats at him and wanted to see him follow through on them.
Liam pulled out his phone and said, “If you don’t start moving I’m going to call your dad and tell him you’re out here fighting over a boy like you’re in middle school. And you know he’s going to come up here.” Jack looked at him annoyed.
“Let Ethan handle it,” he told Jack a third time. “I’m not kidding. Move.” Liam grabbed Jack’s arm forcefully and pulled him down the block and around the corner.
Carlos was still screaming even after he couldn’t see Jack anymore, “That’s right, run you fucking pussy!”
Ethan grabbed him by his jacket and slammed him back against the car. “What the fuck Carlos? Why the fuck would you do that!?”
Carlos yelled back, “I told you, that was goodbye!”
“No, this is goodbye!” Ethan said. “Get the fuck in the car and get the fuck out of my town.”
Carlos yelled again, “He broke my fucking nose!”
Ethan told him, “The closest hospital is in Providence, 20 minutes away. Now get the fuck out of here!”
Carlos started, “EB…”
Ethan screamed, “Don’t fucking call me that anymore! Don’t fucking call me at all! Just get the fuck outta here!”
Carlos looked shocked standing there holding his bloody nose. Jorge opened up the passenger side door and said, “Get in the fucking car cabron. It’s over now.” Carlos angrily got in the car and Jorge closed it.
Jorge turned to Ethan. “Sorry bro. Jack will get over it though. It will be fine. I’ll take care of this granuja for you.” He patted Ethan on the chest, and went to the driver’s side of the car and immediately drove off. Ethan called Jack but he didn’t answer his phone. He called two more times, no answer.
“SHIT!” he said out loud.
Liam took Jack to a pub a few blocks down where Jack told him all about Carlos, the initial interrogation, the drunken admission of fucking around and threesomes that Ethan never told him about, the conversation he overheard where Ethan sounded way too conflicting for his liking about his feelings for Carlos, but also elated that he would give up his lifelong friendship for him.
“It’s just another reminder of how little we know about each other, Liam,” he said. “I kept so much from him but apparently he’s been keeping things from me too. I don’t know what to do. But what I do know is that there isn’t enough room in Ethan’s life for the both of us. And I’m not going anywhere. So he has to go.”
Liam said, “Well you can’t kill him so…” He looked at Jack and smiled.
Jack sighed. “June told you.”
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