After Rory left Eddie sat in his room dazed and a little confused. What was happening? What had he been thinking? In less than twenty-four hours he’d been kissed by not only one but two hot guys. A situation he never thought he’d be in. He had promised himself after his behavior with Graham he’d never flirt with more than one guy at a time. Yet here he was practically dating two guys at once. What was wrong with him? He couldn’t go on like this. The day was coming when he would need to make a decision. He couldn’t lead both guys on but who did he like more?
The questions spun around his head until his eyes grew heavy and sleep finally overtook him. The alarm rang loud jolting him from his bed. Moaning as he sat up rubbing his eyes he knew that today was going to long and arduous and he was no closer to answers than he was before he went to bed. Stumbling to the shower he almost wished he didn’t know how Rory felt about him. It was so much easier when he thought the interest was only one-sided. With effort he shoved his concerns aside to deal with later he proceeded to get ready for work at a snail’s pace.
A knock on the door announced the arrival of his ride. Opening the door with toothbrush in hand he found Ramsey standing holding a large bouquet of flowers. “Morning beautiful,” Ramsey said with a huge grin.
Any other day Eddie would have found the gesture overwhelming. Today though he stood there dumbstruck, staring at the man. Guilt trickled down his spine as he took the flowers from Ramsey’s hands stuttering “fffor mmme?”
A frown creased Ramsey’s forehead “is something wrong?”
“Nnno” Eddie stuttered turning to go back inside “I…I…I’m didn’t sleep well and running late.”
Stopping at the threshold Ramsey asked “can I come in?”
“Yes sssorry” Eddie nodded putting the flowers on the table taking a deep breath enjoying the flowers aroma. “Thank you,” he murmured turning to look at the man still hovering near the door. “Make yourself at home. I’ll just be a few minutes.”
“No rush” Ramsey shrugged looking around the sparsely decorated kitchen. He took a seat at the table while looking into the living room.
Eddie came rushing from the bathroom “thanks for waiting,” he said moving towards the door.
Driving past Rory’s trailer Ramsey asked “who is that guy?”
Looking out the window Eddie saw Rory watching them from his porch. “That’s mmmy nnneigbor.” Eddie nodded in response to Rory’s wave as they went past.
“He doesn’t seem to like me very much” Ramsey observed “he watched me the entire time I was here.” He glanced over at Eddie “what’s the deal? Does he like you?”
Eddie’s cheeks flamed as he muttered “he’s…he’s…yes.” He managed to stammered heart beating fast leaving him light-headed as he forgot to breathe.
Ramsey drove on for several minutes in silence “when did you meet him?”
Swallowing the panic Ramsey’s questions were causing him Eddie groped for words to answer him. “When um yyyou weren’t tttalking to mmme. He…he drove me hhhome fffrom wwwork…”
Ramsey’s hands tightened around the steering wheel “what about us? What was yesterday?”
Confusion washed over Eddie threatening to swamp him in the middle of an emotional lake with no way back to shore. “I….I….” he closed his eyes trying to breathe, to think “you didn’t call I…I thought I’d nnnever sssee you again.”
“You never mentioned anyone else when you invited me to the beach,” Ramsey pointed out “you didn’t gave to lead me on like that.”
“I wasn’t…I mean I…I didn’t mean too,” Eddies voice same out high and screechy. “Rory sssaid he only wanted to be fffriends. I…I didn’t….”
“He didn’t look to friendly this morning,” Ramsey said hitting the steering wheel as he came to an abrupt stop in front of the bookstore. “You’re car will be ready by 5:00.”
Eddie nodded knowing he was being dismissed. Without looking at Ramsey he moved to get out of the car muttering “I…I’m sssorry.”
“Just go,” Ramsey growled staring out the window.
“Please tttell mmme what ttto do to mmmake this right?” Eddie pleaded.
“I don’t know if I can” Ramsey said in the sea of silence that engulfed them.
Eddie reached over taking Ramsey’s hand “please I … I didn’t mmean to hurt you.” He squeezed Ramsey’s hand “everything is happening so fast.”
Ramsey grunted pulling his hand away still staring out the window breathing hard “you should go,” he repeated.
“Ramsey I…” Eddie pleaded gulping back tears. He never meant to hurt to him. He never meant to hurt anyone but here he was hurting someone else like he did Graham. He opened the door mumbling “I’m sorry.”
He wiped at his face frustrated when his fingers came away wet with tears. He looked up into the bright blue sky wishing it matched his mood, gray and stormy. He could really go for some thunder and lightning.
Sighing he shoved his hands into his pockets. Head bent as he shuffled towards the bookstore wishing the ground would open up and swallow him. He kept walking even when he heard someone call his name. Running footsteps behind had his heart racing when Ramsey caught up to him. “Eddie why didn’t you stop when I called to you?”
“I…I…” his heart hammered in his chest as he looked into Ramsey’s eyes. No matter how hard he tried Eddie couldn’t decipher what he was feeling or even thinking. All he was receiving was static. Was this the same guy who had been angry a few moments ago? Didn’t he just tell him to go?
“You need time to think. I know that it’s my fault for not telling you how I feel. I want you Eddie. I never wanted someone like I want you.” He tilted Eddie’s face up to his “I’ll wait until you figure things out but I’m not giving up on us.” He pressed his lips onto Eddies soft pliable ones pulling him close until their bodies were flush with each others.
Eddie brought a hand up against Ramsey’s chest. He felt Ramsey’s heart beating rapidly against his palm and marveled that he had this effect on him. The same effect Ramsey had on him. A slight smile graced his lips as he realized their hearts beat in harmony. All too soon Ramsey released him, taking a step back leaving Eddie feeling confused as to what was happening between them. He wished he knew what he wanted. Who he wanted. “I’m sorry” he mumbled for what felt like the hundredth time since Ramsey came to pick him up that morning. Turning he said “I need to get to work.”
He felt Ramsey tug on his hand pulling him backwards. He felt Ramsey press his lips into his hair on top of his head. “I promise to be patient. At least I’ll try.” He smiled into Eddie’s eyes as the blond looked up at him confusion bright in his dark brown eyes. “I’ll pick you up after work and take you to your car.” He squeezed Eddie one last time before for turning and walking back to his car.
Eddie stood as if cemented to the pavement silently watching the self-assured older man as he drove away. He waved as Ramsey drove away before he was able to unstick his feet and go into the bookstore. He had the overwhelming desire to go home. See his Dad and pour out his problems to a listening ear.
Good to his word Ramsey was there to pick him up. “I’ll follow you home just to make sure everything is alright.”
“That really isn’t necessary” Eddie protested wanting nothing more than to home and pack.
“I know I want to make sure you get home safe,” Ramsey told him “just humor me, ok?”
“Alright” Eddie mumbled giving in. He walked to the car stopping when Ramsey called his name “what?” he asked.
“What do you have planned for the weekend?” Ramsey asked.
“I’m going home…”
“You don’t have to runaway” Ramsey said walking towards him “I meant what I said earlier. I’ll wait…”
“It’s not that” Eddie protested “I haven’t been home since I moved here.”
Shrugging Ramsey moved to his car “when are you leaving?”
“Day after tomorrow,” Eddie replied “I have to put in a double tomorrow to make up the hours.” He got in the car and pulled out of the parking lot. It was somewhat comforting knowing Ramsey was following him and at the same time it was infuriating. He didn’t want to be treated like a child.
“He pulled into his parking spot next to his house. He hoped Ramsey would find a spot somewhere along the road to park if he was planning on stopping. He wasn’t entirely sure what Ramsey’s plans were. Walking up to the porch he stopped staring at what was left of his front door.
Seeing Eddie just standing transfixed in front of the door Ramsey walked up beside him. “You didn’t have to wait ….” his voice faded as he took in the broken door. Grabbing Eddie’s arm he dragged him further away. Pulling out his phone he called the police to report the break-in.
Turning to Eddie he asked “has this happened before?” Observing the vacant look in Eddie’s eyes he took the blond by the shoulders and shook him “has it?” he repeated.
“Nnnot lllike this,” he stuttered “I thought someone was coming in and moving things. That ssstopped when Rory change the locks.”
“The tires,” Ramsey said almost to himself. He didn’t continue his thought upon seeing the fear in Eddie’s eyes. He didn’t understand why anyone would be doing this to someone like Eddie. He pulled the blond to him as Eddie began to shake. Ramsey stood there rubbing small circles on his back trying to come up with something reassuring to say.
A couple of police men approached them asking questions. Ramsey took control of the situation while Eddie stood shivering in the breeze. “Eddie” Rory called coming into the yard “what happened?”
Eddie turned at the sound of Rory’s voice. He waved at what remained of the front door “someone broke it.”
“Oh Eddie I’m sorry,” Rory said putting an arm around him “it’ll be ok. You can stay with me until we get this fixed.”
“Like hell,” Ramsey said coming outside “for all we know you did this out of some kind of jealous fit.”
“I’d never hurt Eddie like that,” Rory protested squeezing Eddie tighter.
“Where were you this afternoon?” Ramsey demanded.
“Practicing with my band if it’s any of your business,” Rory told him taking a step forward confronting the red-head.
“All friends who would no doubt lie for you,” Ramsey sneered stepping forward glaring.
“Please” Eddie pleaded “don’t fffight.”
Taking a step back they said “sorry” in unison still eyeing each other warily.
“You’ll come and stay with me,” Ramsey said taking Eddies’s hand and pulling him towards his car.
Turning to look behind him he was shocked to see Rory give him a sad smile “I want you to feel safe. If staying with him does that I’m ok with that.”
Nodding Eddie thought back to the first time he met Rory. The relief he felt when Rory stayed the night when he was too scared to be alone. He felt safe with Rory asleep on his couch. There was no way that Rory would have done this.
Ramsey left him feeling somewhat uneasy not that he believed he would ever hurt him. Until that morning Ramsey had never been inside his house and he wasn’t sure if Ramsey was still upset with him over his conflicted feelings and he could feel panic rising inside him at the thought of being someplace he didn’t know where he was. He liked Ramsey but he didn’t have the same level of trust he had with Rory.
“Ramsey I…I appreciate the offer,” Eddie took a deep breath trying to control his stuttering “I…I’d rather stay here.” He looked down flinching from the anger, the pain, the disappointment he saw reflected in Ramsey’s eyes.
“Is that what you really want?” Ramsey asked.
Nodding Eddie felt Ramsey drop his hand “I’m ssssorry. It’s jjjust a cccouple of nnnights then I’m gggoing home.”
“Whatever,” Ramsey muttered walking away leaving Eddie standing lost and confused as he drove off.