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Man, the sun was just getting brighter and brighter every day.
Sammy pushed his sunglasses up, heading across the street. He loved it here--the beach, the bustle, the beautiful people--but sometimes it would be nice to just have a few thousand days of gloom, like they had up in the Bay.
Jase was sitting out in the courtyard of Bee's Buzz, the little deli-cum-coffee shop that just happened to be halfway between the copy center where he worked and the alternative school that Jase taught at in the mornings.
It was a stupid extravagance, his weekly lunch, but he needed it. Needed to see Jason.
Needed to believe someone still cared.
"Jase! Buddy!" He waved, sliding in the gate, keeping his face to sun. It would keep the glasses looking dark, keep Jase from seeing the remains of Monday's argument with William.
Jason beamed at him and waved back, face all lit up at seeing him. "Sammy! Come sit."
He hurried over, needing a hug so badly he couldn't bear it. "Oh, I hated that I missed last week. William wanted me to go with him."
Jason stood and slid thin arms around him, hugging him tight. "He has you on such a short leash, Sammy."
"Yeah. Yeah, I know. He just ... He worries." He kissed Jase's cheek and pulled them over to a table. "Did you order starters yet?" He wasn't going to waste his afternoon out worrying about William and all his fucking issues.
Jase sat across from him. "I did! Bruschetta and garlic bread and cheese dip with those little homemade breads. All your favorites."
"You're too good for me." He was glad of the glasses. He fucking hated getting all stupid. "How's Harry?"
"Harry is fine, and you stop with thistoo good for me stuff." Jase reached out and took his hand, squeezing it. "You're my best friend, Sammy; I love you."
"I love you, man. So, tell me, are they going to take you full-time at the school yet?" Four years after graduation and neither one of them was working full-time in his field. At least Jase had Harry and Harry had a condo. He was ... well, currently he was paying William for rent in a craptastic little walkup.
"Not yet." Jase rolled his eyes. "They're 'grooming' me. Which I'm beginning to think means stringing me along."
"Assholes. I'm never going to be more than a glorified cashier at Jim's. I keep applying at museums and stuff, but no one wants an art history guy. I should have listened to you and gotten an accounting degree."
"They don't know what they're missing, Sammy. When someone finally realizes your talent, they're going to snap you up. And that reminds me." Jase stopped and waited for the waitress to put their starters down in front of them.
"Did you boys want to order your entrees?"
"The starters are enough for me, thanks. I'll save room for dessert."
"Are you sure, Sammy?" He nodded and Jase smiled up at the waitress. "Well, I want the Cobb salad, please. And we'll both have a glass of white wine."
Once she'd gone, Jase picked up their conversation like it hadn't been interrupted. "There's a few sales in the neighborhood on Saturday. You could sleep over Friday night and we could go early-early, see if we can find some wonderful goodies."
Sammy settled back, nibbling at some toast and cheese. "Are you and Harry going to the big Halloween ball at the Oil Can? I hear the theme is leather. Harry could wear those pants you bought him." Right, like Harrison ever wore those. It'd been fun, though, him and Jase in LA, shopping and goofing off.
Jase giggled. "We'll go, but I will pay you a hundred dollars if you can convince Harry to wear those pants."
"He could dress like a cop. It'd be fucking amazing!" He bounced a little, clapping. The dull ache in his lower back reminded him that if he was going to that party, he wouldn't be dancing and flirting, that was for sure.
Man, he needed to get away from Will. Really.
"That would be great." Jase tilted his head. "You okay, Sammy?"
"Yeah. Sure, honey." He caught himself shaking his head.
Jason's lips thinned. "No, you're not."
"Don't, huh? This is the best part of my whole week."
"Oh, Sammy." Jase squeezed his hand. "I'll drop it now if you'll come home with me, talk to me and Harry tonight about what's going on."
"I. I can't, honey. He'll be home tonight." He swallowed hard, shook his head. "I'll figure it out, honey. I swear, but not tonight."