I used to post quite often at a community in LiveJournal called all_unwritten. Lately I haven't had the time as much. There's a daily prompt, and people write whatever strikes their fancy. For a long time I was writing stories about a couple named David and Chris. David was coming to terms with emotional abuse he suffered at the hands of his parents, and how it stifled his relationship with Chris. What follows are a series of the daily prompts that I strung together. The prompts are in bold. If I'm not mistaken, they came one on the heels of another.
The time I like him best are when his eyes are heavy with sleep, either first thing in the morning or last thing at night. That's when his barriers drop away, and I can hear him as he truly is. That's when it's the best.
David closed the journal, wondering what he meant. Was he really that hard to deal with? Did he really only show his true colors when he was at his most vulnerable...just woken from healing sleep or just about to sink into it?
That's what you get, he mused to himself, reading Chris's journal without his permission.
He fingered the worn edges of the journal, lost in thought, working out yet again in the twisted passages of his brain how best to effect a change.
With a start he tightened his hand along the spine of the journal, turned and looked over his shoulder. "I thought you were at the market."
"I was," Chris advanced into the room, stopped with a gasp as he realized David held the journal as he sat on the edge of the bed. He reached out and plucked it from David's hand, "What the hell..."
David turned to face him then, "It was on the bedside table...I thought..."
"You thought wrong then David," Chris said angrily as he tucked the journal up against his chest. "These are my private thoughts, if I wanted to share them with you I'd tell them to you. Fuck, is nothing sacred?" He spun on his heel and headed for the door.
As he disappeared out into the hallway David said, "I shouldn't have read it, that much is true," he took a deep breath, "But if you didn't want me reading it, you shouldn't have left it lying there..."
In the hallway Chris paused. David was so delicately balanced these days, but part of him was tired of walking on eggshells. True enough, he should have tucked it away under his socks where he usually kept it, but he hadn't, and a man had limits. He continued down the hallway, too proud to go back in and assuage hurt feelings.
He sat on the edge of the bed for the longest time, until the cold began to seep back into his hand after the journal had been taken from him. This was different. This time he wasn't blamed for something he didn't do, this time he had made a deliberate decision to do something wrong.
There was no way to explain how it made him feel, this acknowledgement that he was able to differentiate between what he was used to, and what he now had. He longed to share it with Chris, the fact that he could now distinguish the difference, but it was Chris who had been hurt.
Slowly he rose, headed down the stairs, and found the rest of the house in darkness. The slider was open to the back deck. A bottle of wine sat open on the sideboard in the dining room, and the glass beside it was an invitation. He poured some, and headed out to the back deck.
Chris sat lounging in a chase, his own glass of wine balanced on the arm. He didn't turn his head as David sat in the chair beside him. "It's not going to work this time David," he said. "You saying you're sorry, and that I don't understand how difficult everything is for you, until you invading my privacy and reading my journal will be all my fault."
When he turned a frown sat between his eyebrows, his voice was hard with anger instead of lilting smooth. "I thought we had trust and respect between us." He picked up his glass and took a long swallow.
David dipped his head, and silence grew until at last he cleared his throat. "That's not what I came down here for." He raised his head, "It was my mistake to invade your privacy. We do have trust between us, and I violated that trust because I was curious."
When Chris turned his head the anger had left his eyes, leaving them a clear sky blue. Silently he reached out a hand, and when David took it he whispered, "Are you sorry?"
"I thought you didn't want to hear me say I'm sorry."
A small smile touched the edges of his lips, "But if you are, I want to hear it."
"Then I'm sorry," David whispered.
broken on the inside
After he said the words he pulled his legs up and reclined in his own chaise, watched the stars, sipped his wine. He didn't feel any different now, and he wasn't sure why.
Chris drew his knee up, rested his arm against it, and closed his eyes halfway. "So, what did you read?"
"In the journal, which part did you read?"
"I didn't read that much of it Chris," David said softly. "You said you liked me best when my eyes were heavy with sleep."
"That's it?" Chris said, he rolled his head on the chair pad, watched David through narrowed eyes.
"Chris, it wasn't my intention to read the whole thing, like I said I was curious is all. And it made me wonder when you said that...because that's when I'm the most vulnerable. Do you know ...how much you have to trust someone in order to allow them to see you when you're almost asleep?"
Chris frowned again, not in anger this time, but more in confusion, "What do you mean?"
"When you sleep you let your guard down, when you sleep someone creeps in your room and takes a piece of your soul as they stand over you, hatred oozing from their pores, and they watch you and wish you were dead."
Chris gasped, and slid from his chair. He knelt on the deck next to David...clenched and unclenched his fist, then reached out hesitantly to lay his hand over David's arm. "Baby," he whispered, "You're so broken on the inside."
David sat up, his expression fierce as he closed his hand over Chris's and squeezed tight enough to leave a bruise, and yet Chris did not flinch. "I'm not Chris. I was, but I'm not anymore. And I want you to know," his voice took on a desperate edge, "That you don't have to see my heavy eyes to see the real me...you're seeing it right now. Right now."
Easing up, crowding in beside David on the chaise, Chris molded his body alongside David's, waited until he relaxed. "I believe you."
Don't forget to visit my GLBT Bookshelf and check me out at Dreamspinner Press.
Farewell from the Bookshelf!
Please note that GLBT Bookshelf -- the community wiki which was the parent to this fiction blog -- went offline on May 31, 2016, after seven years' service to members.
All Gay Romance will remain online till the end of 2016 in order to give contributors every opportunity to recover materials uploaded here.
Many thanks to all who contributed over the years, and good luck to everyone in your future works!