Here’s a vid of it:
And here is the story… New characters, this month!
Owen rubbed the inside of his arm, where he’d slid the needle, and tried not to cry. He was fucking flying…and it wasn’t helping. Wasn’t giving him what he wanted, what he so desperately needed.
He stared down at the pictures spread before him on the bed. Well, they sure as hell weren’t helping. But how could he look away? Because as much as he wanted to escape the pain—the gripping, nauseating pain that just overwhelmed everything—he didn’t really want to forget.
He caught one between his trembling fingertips and lifted it, his breath catching as he tried to memorize what he saw.
Daniel with his head thrown back, eyes nearly shut and an open-mouthed grin brightening his face as he laughed in that fucking gorgeous way he always did—with everything he had. Owen tried to remember what had made him laugh—had Daniel’s cousin, who in that moment had his arm draped over Daniel’s broad shoulders, said something funny or was this reaction for something beyond the camera?
Owen couldn’t remember. How many other things was he going to forget? Sure he could look at pictures. See Daniel’s beautiful face staring back. But what about the way he sounded, the way he smelled? How his skin felt, quivering beneath Owen’s palms, against his body and lips? And his taste…
Owen pushed to his feet, letting the photo drift from his grasp before stumbling over to the window seat. Kneeling on the cushion, he rested his forehead against the glass and exhaled shakily, his breath steaming up the pane.
He swallowed the sob that threatened, nearly choking on it. He was never going to taste Daniel again.
No more lazy weekends in bed. No more talking for hours just to hear each other, to know each other even more. He twisted, falling into a seated position, head still resting on the window. No more spur-of-the-moment camping trips so they could be alone without any chance of interruptions. No more late night runs for ice cream and feeding each other messily. His vision blurred. No more kisses and affectionate touches. No more stumbling in the door, tearing their clothes off each other, desperate to touch and just be together after a day at work…
“Fuck, fuck, fuck…” He rubbed his eyes with his fists, and there was no more fighting the wrenching cries. He just didn’t have the strength.
How the hell was he going to do this? The desperation he’d felt after a day away from Daniel had been so intense; how was he going to survive forever?
He tried to stand again, move toward the bed, but his legs wouldn’t cooperate, folding beneath him. He recognized the brutal landing jarring his body, but the drugs were at least working on some level—he felt no pain. Not physically anyway.
He crawled across the room and struggled to climb back on the mattress. Once there, he reached for the zippered pouch on the end table.
“Don’ know how t’do this wi’out you, Danny,” he slurred as he broke skin again—almost as desperate for the elusive oblivion as he was to have Daniel back with him.
One, he knew he was never going to get again; the other, he would keep trying for.
* * * *
He stared ahead, unseeing. His body ached, and his mind was fuzzy. But the empty place in his life—Daniel’s place—was always clear. At no moment—not last night when he’d tried to hide behind the needle, not this morning when his brother had dragged him out of bed and shoved him into the shower and then dressed him like a child, not through the service or under people’s sad sympathetic stares, and not even when they’d lowered Daniel into the ground—had Owen been distracted from the gaping hole left by his husband. His best friend and lover.
His head snapped up, and he saw his brother Tim at his side—this time standing beside Owen, hand heavy on his shoulder.
“Ready?” Tim murmured. “Everyone’s gone to the house.”
Turning back to look at where Daniel would rest, Owen shook his head. “I don’t want to leave him.”
He waited for all the lines he’d heard before—it wasn’t really Daniel in that coffin, just his body. He wouldn’t want Owen to be “like this”; he’d want Owen to move on—heart beating painfully. He lifted his hand and rested it against his chest, feeling the thudding beneath his palm.
“I know.” Tim dropped back into his chair, pressed shoulder to knee against Owen. “Whenever you’re ready.”
Owen nodded jerkily and, after a moment, spoke without looking away from that damned hole in the ground. “I feel like I’m dying, Tim. Like I should crawl in there with him…but fuck, it’s still beating. Somehow, without him.”
Tim wrapped an arm tightly around him and laid his hand over Owen’s, holding it hard to his chest.
“What do I do?” Owen whispered, voice breaking.
“One day at a time. And if that’s too much, then one hour at a time…or one minute, or one fucking second. Whatever it takes. So for now, we sit here until you’re ready.”
“Don’t know how long that will take,” he said apologetically.
“Doesn’t matter. I’m here, not going anywhere.” Tim kissed Owen’s temple. “You’re not alone.”
Owen closed his eyes and nodded. He wasn’t alone—logically, he knew that—but he felt like he was. And he had a feeling he always would.