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!
The tale of Kit’s Demerits comes from the same stable as ‘Destiny Calling.’ It was written in response to several reader requests asking for a story focussing on Jon and Kit’s relationship.
Warning: it contains possible spoilers and is perhaps best read as a companion piece to ‘Destiny Calling’ rather than before it or as a stand-alone story.
In 'Destiny Calling' Colin and Sam's budding relationship suffers a heavy blow on an evening out to celebrate Jon’s birthday. Sam leaves the table to use the restaurant facilities. Someone claiming to be his nephew takes the opportunity to confront Colin. He tells him that Sam is only using him as a meal ticket until something better comes along.
Colin is shocked and upset by the encounter and leaves the restaurant to get some air. Sam subsequently disappears, which seems to lend credence to the story.
Sam’s disappearance from the restaurant provides the starting point of the tale of ‘Kit’s Demerits.’ Jon and Kit have returned home after breaking the news to Colin that Sam has apparently done a runner rather than answer the accusations made by his nephew.
The story is paced to cover the week Sam is missing.
Jon disapproves of Kit's attitude to Colin's situation. As the week progresses Kit's behaviour becomes increasingly confrontational leading Jon to suspect he has something on his mind.
He was fucked. Kit tried once again to steer a straight course along the towpath, but almost ended up in the canal after getting his feet tangled in pedals that refused to cooperate. He allowed self and cycle to crash to the ground as one entity before disentangling himself. He might as well admit it. He was well and truly, absolutely, without a doubt, royally fucked!
Lying on his back with his knees bent up he shut out the whirling sky by closing his eyes. He felt sick and altogether like crap. Why in God’s name had he bought and drank a third pint of strong dry cider? He was an idiot. No, he revised the thought. He was more than an idiot. He was a fucking idiot, a fucking stupid moronic idiot and as pissed as a fiddler’s bitch to boot. Cider was too easy to get drunk on. Its apple taste masked its alcoholic potential and drinking it on a stomach devoid of any kind of soaking up material didn’t help much either. Nor had discovering his treacherous watch had stopped and it was much later than he thought it was. No way could he make it home before Jon, not even if he was running late.
Oh God, why hadn’t he stayed safely at home in the first place. It was that bastard Sam Taylor’s fault, even when he wasn’t around he was causing trouble. If it weren’t for him then Colin would have joined him in taking a bike ride along the canal. They would have had a chat, something to eat and drink within reason and then headed home in good time. But Colin had declined. He wasn’t in the mood, he was tired he said and had some work to catch up on. In other words he didn’t want to leave home in case Sam returned or phoned or emailed or sent a message by fucking carrier pigeon.
Rolling miserably onto his side Kit opened his eyes. He stared at the sun-crisped grass, but saw only Colin’s kitchen as it had looked earlier with the odd eyed teddy bear propped on the table top. He’d never seen it before and asked about it. Colin picked it up. It was Sam’s he said and he liked to have it around. The look on his face as he’d tenderly handled the shabby toy made Kit’s stomach twist. He’d lost weight too and his eyes looked sad even when he smiled. Kit had refused an offer of coffee and left.
He shouldn’t have detoured to Colin’s house straight from work in the first place. He’d gone on impulse, part of him hoping to find Colin hale and hearty and over Sam. It was wishful, childish thinking. Bloody Idiot! He again mentally berated himself.
On leaving Colin’s he did head home, but he didn’t stay home. Instead he had gotten changed and taken his misery for a lone bike ride. Sulking on wheels Jon would call it, and with some justification.
Struggling to a sitting position Kit reached for the water bottle on his bike chassis, but even after having a good drink and pouring the remains over his head he wasn’t sober enough to safely control the cycle. In his present state even wheeling it would be dangerous on those portions of the towpath margining close to the canal. Jon would kill him if he fell in and drowned while drunk.
It was time to stop being a prat and call for assistance. Jon would discipline him he had no doubt of it, but at least he’d still be alive afterwards, which is more than could be said if he ended up in the canal. He wasn’t a particularly strong swimmer.
Wrestling his phone out of his waist wallet he turned it back on only to discover it was dead. He stared at the blank screen in dismay. With one thing and another he hadn’t put it on charge lately. He glared at it. His watch was useless. His phone was useless, but not half as fucking useless as him. In a flare of temper he sent the phone arching through the air towards the canal.
Shit-shit-shit-bollocks! After watching the ripples spreading outwards he flopped back on the grass putting his hands over his face. The phone had cost him a fortune. He’d only had it three months. Maybe it would be easier all round if he quietly drowned. He lay still for a few moments taking deep breaths. He would feel better if he could eject some of the poison causing the symptoms.
Lumbering onto his knees he opened his mouth, poking his fingers down his throat, retching. Nothing happened. He tried again and this time his stomach obliged, ejecting its sour and curdled contents onto the grass. Once he started vomiting it was hard to stop and Kit heaved again, then again until both throat and stomach ached and there was nothing left to bring up. Wiping a shaky hand across his mouth he sat back on his haunches, starting with fright as a voice sounded.
“Are you quite finished?”
“Jon!” Kit’s relief was heartfelt and bone deep. He tried to scramble to his feet, but lost his balance sitting down heavily on his rump, just missing the pool of malodorous sick.
Jon stated a plain fact in a hard voice. “You’ve been drinking.”
The relief Kit had felt when Jon materialised from thin air vanished.