544. Think

When we woke up I almost didn’t want to get in the shower. I wanted to lie there and breathe in the scent of him forever. We were pressed together so closely that I couldn’t figure out which one of our stomachs it was that growled really loudly.

“I guess that means we should get up,” I murmured. (Ziggy wasn’t the only one who had been kind of stupid about not eating that day.)

“We could get something delivered,” he said.

“We’d still have to get out of bed to answer the door,” I pointed out. “And eating would require sitting up, anyway.”

“True. Probably worth getting up for real, then. Come on. Let’s get in the shower together.”

Okay, so that delayed us getting dinner by another hour because neither of us was feeling much in the way of inhibitions at that point. And I’ve always liked coming in the shower. And he had all kinds of fancy conditioners, heady-scented like incense. For all I knew they were mostly there for wanking purposes? They were certainly good for that.

It was night by the time we finally got dressed and went out. We walked to Newbury Street and I was fairly sure that anyone who looked at us was going to be seeing a super-bright just-fucked glow. I also didn’t care.

We ate in a Thai restaurant in the basement of a brownstone where my food was way too spicy and I didn’t care that it was. I was feeling too good to let it bother me and it wasn’t like it didn’t taste good, just that I normally don’t need the pain threshold on a meal to be quite so high.

The restaurant was called The King and I. That made me laugh on our way out. Ziggy asked what I was laughing about. I said, “Nothing, your highness.”

We went into Tower. We got a couple of sidelong looks and double-takes from people while we browsed but nothing problematic.

“I met a buyer for Tower while I was in LA,” I said, while we were looking through a couple of CD bins, side by side. “I kind of thought I knew something about record retail after working here, but I think it gave me a rosier outlook than is real.”

“What do you mean?” Zig asked.

“The guy was saying that, basically, Tower figured out how to capture the alternative market, but pretty much none of the other national chains have. Which might explain why our sales are great through Tower and Newbury and shit through everywhere else.”

“Hey,” Ziggy said, looking at me instead of at the CDs. “Don’t blame yourself.”

“What? I’m not blaming myself.”

“You’re sure? You sound kind of like you’re saying you miscalculated the album’s sound, thinking it would have a spot?”

I chewed that over for a second. “Maybe. I don’t think when we started writing songs that we had the record store bin in mind, though.”

“Yeah. True.” He went back to flipping through the inventory.

In my own bin I kept coming to stray copies of a B-52s album. It’s funny. They’re one of those bands I really like, but I own none of their albums. To be nice to whichever clerk had reshelving duty next, I gathered them together and put them in the front of the B divider. I couldn’t stop myself, really.

We eventually wound down our browsing and it was time to move on.

“They’re going to put a plaque to you in this place,” Ziggy murmured to me as we made our way toward the classical department with the CDs we had each picked out. He looked at the glass door into the classical section. “What do you need in here?”

“There’s always a shorter checkout line in here. Haven’t I told you that?”

“Oh, you know, I had forgotten about that.”

In fact, there was no one in there but the one bored-looking clerk, who happily took our money and immediately went back to being bored the moment we left. Dude, I know, I feel your pain.

We walked along Mass. Ave. out of reflex. Hey, there was the pizza place where he and I had eaten a million years ago, way before that first time we slept together. A million years before.

“Now what?” Ziggy asked.

“You mean we’re not going back to your place to fuck some more?” I asked, only half-jokingly.

“That is certainly an option.”

“There was some pretense of why I was coming over, wasn’t there? Was it just a pretense or was there something practical we were going to get done?”

“Oh, yeah, I need to sift my crap and decide what I’m keeping, including whether I’m keeping the apartment or not.”

“If you don’t keep the apartment…?” I realized I hadn’t thought through what that would mean.

“Well, if I sign this development deal, I think I better move to LA.”

Every part of me stopped at that moment, my brain, my feet, my heart. “Wait.”

He grasped immediately what had knocked me for a loop. “Isn’t that one of the options on the table?”

“Is it?” I think I grabbed his hand, like an astronaut in space trying not to drift away.

“Breathe, Daron. Breathe. Nobody’s made any decisions yet, right?”


“Including we haven’t ruled out taking the offer on the table, with various caveats and conditions. Isn’t that one of the things we talked about?”

I took a deep breath. “Right. You’re right. I guess…” I felt my cheeks flush. I felt embarrassed that I’d somehow made some pretty huge assumptions, emotionally anyway, that once I thought about them for even a second seemed obviously that: assumptions. Wow. Like the one that now that we were attached at the hip he wouldn’t even contemplate moving three thousand miles away. Like the one that in order to keep us together we were going to do everything in both of our powers to keep the band together.

Facts, Daron, facts. This wasn’t a decision to be made with my dick or my heart. Ziggy seemed to grasp that, at least. Huh. I thought I was the calm, rational one and he was the flighty, drama-prone one, but maybe it was time to throw that idea out the window, too. I wasn’t the only one who had grown up a little in the past year, I guess.

“Should we talk about it now?” Ziggy said. “Well, I mean, should we go home to talk about it or–”

“Let’s talk as we walk,” I said. “Let’s break it down into small pieces. I think I still haven’t got my head around everything that’s in play.”

“Okay.” He squeezed my hand in his. “Okay. One step at a time.”

One step at a time.

(Hey guys? A quick thing from me today. My next heterosexual BDSM book is coming out on August 26. To spread the word I’ve set up a Thunderclap, which is a mass tweet/facebook/Tumblr blast. Instead of asking each follower of mine to retweet/share when that day comes, we can set it up right now! Cool, eh? The catch is I have to get 100 people to sign up or it won’t go off. So please, if you would support my het romance novel, click this link to sign up your Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr. I promise it will only go kaboom the one time! Link: http://thndr.it/1r8tF6X — Incentive: everyone who joins the Thunderclap will get a James/Karina bonus scene. -ctan)


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