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Jeremy stretched on the bed, thinking of Landry… missing Landry.  

He wanted to call him – to ask if they could duck out and see a movie or something.  But Landry’s been busy.  He hadn’t seen much of Landry outside official Knicks activities. They trained together, of course.  They still sat together on the plane en route to an away-game in North Carolina, They played their usual round of Monopoly and had fun.   But apart from that, they hadn’t been together, just the two of them, for a whole week. They used to go out together a lot.  Well, they used to… they hadn’t … not since that night at the club.

It had been nice keeping busy all week – it gave Jeremy a reprieve from having to think about what happened the last time they were out.  Landry had not tried to talk about it either.  But then again, they were rarely alone or together for that matter.

Someone knocked on the door. Landry sometimes drops by on a whim, Jeremy thought.

But it wasn’t Landry at the door.

“Thought you’d like some company,” Shump sauntered in, followed by Jeffries. They made themselves at home – Shump made a beeline for the fridge, Jeffries threw himself on the couch.

“I thought I‘d stay home tonight,” Jeremy said smiling. “We could have something delivered, if you’re hungry.”

“Come on, man, it’s a Friday.  Only nuns and priests stay at home on a Friday Night,” Shump argued.

“You’re dressed, so just grab a jacket,” said Jeffries. “Landry’s meeting us at Acme for drinks later – we pestered him to.  He’s on a date, so he just might bring her.”

“He’s dating someone?” Jeremy said, grabbing his stuff on the way out the door.

“You didn’t know,” Shump grinned. “That’s a first.”

Jeremy ignored that.

Spending time with Jeffries and Shump was always a blast.  Jeremy had to admit, eating in their company was better than eating alone.  They just finished dinner when Jeremy saw him.  Landry was walking towards their table tugging a blond-haired woman after him.  She was giggling – which was really irritating. When Landry caught Jeremy’s gaze, he looked surprised.

Jeremy tried to meet them with a smile.  Don’t show him your disappointment, Jeremy.  Just relax and smile.  As Landry introduced her to Jeffries and Shump, Jeremy took a look.  At least she looks like a real blonde this time, he thought.

“Jenny, this is Jeremy.”  Jenny grabbed Jeremy into a hug, “Landry’s been telling me so much about you,” she squealed.  “You play basketball so well.  I am a HUGE Knicks fan.”  Jeremy, taken aback by the hug, stared at Landry.  Landry was looking at him intently.

“Well, hi, Jenny,” Jeremy mumbled. “Nice to meet you.”

Jenny was bubbly, a bit starstruck, perhaps, in the company of Jeffries, Shump, Jeremy and Landry.  Jeremy had to admit that she was sweet.  It looked like Landry was happy, judging from his smiles.

“You’re quiet,” Landry nudged. The sudden contact snapped Jeremy out if his thoughts.  “Just tired,” he answered. He got up, saying “I’ll be right back.”

As Jeremy walked into the men’s restroom, he felt a hand on his back.  Landry gave Jeremy a soft push, and locked the door behind him.  Why did it  have to be in a restroom?

 “We need to talk.”

“Couldn’t it wait until after I’ve used the rest room?” Jeremy asked.  This is getting hilarious, he thought.

“I’m sorry.  If I’d known, you’d be here, I would not have taken Jenny with me.”

“Why would you want to do that?  Why would I not want her here?”

Landry hesitated.  “Well, you know, after…” he cleared his throat “last week…”

Jeremy stared at Landry, enjoying Landry’s discomfort. He had a point, though. Jeremy may think Jenny was sweet; he did hate the fact that Landry had her here tonight.

“What happened last week?” he interrupted Landry.  Landry was stunned.  Jeremy moved closer, backing Landry against the door.

“I…you said no worries…” Landry said.

Jeremy did not say anything.  He was looking at Landry’s mouth.  “Remind me…” he said softly, tugging at Landry’s neck, bringing those lips close.  This time it was he who did the ravishing.  His tongue had a mind of its own tonight.  Landry grabbed him by the waist and Jeremy pressed his body against his tall frame.  Closer, Jeremy thought, I need to be close.

In that moment, Jeremy forgot his doubts and fears.  There was only Landry and him and this.

How can something this good be not right?

***

“Thanks for a great evening, Landry,” Jenny said, giving Landry a peck on the cheek.  “You are the best NYC tour guide one could possibly have.”

“It was nothing,” he answered with a smile.  “It’s the least I could do for you.  I hope it was alright that we spent the last hours with the other guys.”

“Are you kidding?” Jenny laughed.  “I absolutely ADORE Shump.  Is he dating anyone?”

Landry laughed, “Your big brother is going to kill me if I hook you up with Shump.”

Jenny giggled, “We don’t have to tell him everything, you know.  By the way, I hope Jeremy is okay.  He left quite early, didn’t he?”

Landry took a moment to answer, “He’s fine.  He said he was wasted and wanted to tuck in early.”

“Why don’t you drop by his place, see if he’s alright,” Jenny said.  Landry looked down at her.  She had this knowing smile on her face. “Come on, Landry. We women can see when a guy is playing for the other team. I saw how you were looking at Jeremy.  Don’t worry, I won’t blab about the two of you.“  When Landry blushed, she gasped, “Oh my God, did Jeremy think we were on a date-date?”   Jenny shook her head, “YOU have some mending to do. Go!”

Landry laughed and hugged her.

Landry stood outside Jeremy’s apartment building. How do I mend something I’m not even sure is there? 

When Jeremy kissed him the restroom tonight (yeah, yeah, another restroom), a part of him rejoiced.  Jeremy was jealous of Jenny – which meant he was not immune to Landry. On the other hand, it was understandable how conflicted Jeremy was at the moment.  He was raised a Christian.  As a Christian, falling for a person of the same sex is not good.

On his way up to Jeremy’s apartment, Landry kept re-playing the restroom scene from tonight in his head.  He followed Jeremy to explain about Jenny, but between the kissing and the groping that occurred, they never got to any talking.  Jeremy kissed him senseless for God-knows-how-long. When you’re kissed like that, time tends to drift, Landry thought with a smile. When Jeremy ended the kiss, Landry was devastated.  Jeremy murmured, “I have to go” and left.  Landry composed himself and had to stay with Jenny.  Jeremy had said his goodbyes to the others.

He took one long deep breath to steady himself.  He’s going to need all the discipline he can muster.

Here we go, Landry.

It took a while before Jeremy opened the door.  Landry was beginning to think he wasn’t home.  When Jeremy finally showed up, slightly sleepy, his hair tousled, dressed in pyjama shorts – he looked absolutely scrumptious.  Relax, Landry.   You’re here to talk, remember?

“Landry?  What are you doing here so late?  Is everything okay? Are you okay?”  he said in a voice husky from sleep.  Landry groaned inwardly.

“Uh, I came to see if you were alright,” he answered, “and yes, I’m okay.  I was just worried about you. May I come in?”

Jeremy hesitated, but opened the door nonetheless.

“Landry, it’s been a long day.  I don’t want to be rude, but talking’s the last thing I want to do right now,” said Jeremy.

Landry steeled himself, “I just want to explain that Jenny was not my date.  I showed her New York all day as a favor for her big brother who was my former roommate at Stanford.  She is nuts about Shump and not me.  You have no reason to be jealous. “

Jeremy was silent, his eyes on Landry.  “I only have eyes for you, Jeremy,” Landry ended.

He then rose and turned towards the door. “You better get some sleep…”

“Stay,” was the only thing Jeremy said.

Guess we’re not done…

Jump to Chapter 4: Sleeping

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