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Evan wiped the steam from the mirror and eyed the dark, chin-length hair that fell into his face. The dye was fading again, revealing the streaks of auburn and honey that naturally highlighted his hair. He needed to pick up more dye after work. His boyfriend liked his hair black and without the weird highlights. Tristan always said they made him look cheap and it was easier to dye it than fight over it.
The mirror fogged up again, which was fine. Evan didn't need to see the half-healed bruises that his lover left him the last time they'd argued. It had been what, two nights ago? Tristan had been in a bad mood that day and Evan walked right into it. It wasn't hard. Evan must have said something stupid, or forgot something he shouldn't have. It was his fault because he put up with it; he stayed like a loyal puppy, just waiting for Tristan to kick him again.
Evan pulled a black, long-sleeve shirt over his head and stepped into his jeans. He tugged his sleeves down, hiding Tristan's handy work. It was just easier than trying to explain how things were between them. Despite everything, Evan loved Tristan and did his best to keep his tall, blond lover happy. Well, he tried, but it was rarely good enough.
"I'm lucky to have him." Evan kept telling himself that. He had to; it was the only thing that kept him going sometimes, especially when Tristan was hurting him. Evan sighed and headed out of the bathroom. There was nothing he could do, unless he wanted to be homeless again.
Tristan stood just beyond the bathroom door with his arms crossed over that broad chest of his. "Well, you took long enough."
"S-sorry." Evan dropped his gaze and slinked toward the living room.He needed to go if he didn't want to be late for work. There was someone else sitting on the couch. It was Greg, one of Tristan's friends, if Evan remembered right.
"And where the hell do you think you're going?" Tristan grabbed Evan's arm before he could get too far.
"I'm working tonight." Evan glanced up timidly. Tristan usually ignored him when there was company but tonight was different, and that probably meant bad things for Evan. "Sorry, Tris, I thought I told you."
"Working?" Tristan growled the question. His fingers dug into Evan's bicep, probably leaving more bruises. "You never work on Thursdays."
"Someone called in sick tonight and they needed me to cover for him. I didn't think it would be a problem."
A hard slap caught Evan in the face, knocking him to the floor. He glanced up to see Tristan standing over him like some vengeful angel. Even angry as he was, Tristan was gorgeous.
"If you didn't think it was a problem, you would have asked first." Tristan's voice was calm but there was a cold edge to it that scared Evan, even more than when Tristan yelled at him.
"I thought I told you."
"Sure you did. You don't really have work tonight, do you?"
"I do!" Evan cowered against the back of the couch as Tristan slapped him again. "I never lie to you. You know that."
"I don't know." Tristan kicked Evan in the chest, knocking the breath out of him. "It's hard to trust you when you're sneaking out on me. I'll bet you're meeting someone, or maybe you're going to score some extra cash with that tight, little ass of yours."
"I'm not a whore!" Evan snapped back. He met those angry blue eyes almost defiantly. It was dangerous, but damn it, he was telling the truth and that should count for something.