Monday, April 7, 2008

brunch

Craig did his best to get himself together. There was no way of getting out of it. He had to face Kadan and Chloe as well. There was no way he could run away.


They'd decided to meet him in the city for brunch at a little place not far from Craig's flat. It was a decent enough morning. The sun out. Spring fresh a new dew. And yet Craig felt cold. Cold as ice walking into this so-called game.


He thought he might pass out when he saw Kadan sitting with Chloe out in the garden. As he came closer, he noticed she'd been crying. And he wasn't sure what he might say. He looked around for baby Caroline. She wasn't there.


"Where's Caroline?" He asked as if that was the right thing to do.


"It just didn't feel right to bring her out," Chloe said brushing a tear with the back of her hand. "I left her with my Aunt."


"She's all right, isn't she?" Craig winced, apologizing for not being their for their dinner. He felt shy now. Not wanting to sit at all, but he knew he had too. "Could I order us some drinks perhaps?" He was nervous too and sometimes, his voice would crack for no reason. He really wanted to shut himself up.


"No, no, we're fine," Kadan showed him a seat. "We've broken up for good, this time, Craig." He remained quite even lipped as Craig sat down.


"Sorry," he looked over Chloe thinking she might be happier, but maybe Kadan knew about the baby.


"I don't mean to be so...emotional." She told him. "I'm quite all right actually. I'll get use to it, you know. Its like has been, you know. Its just we're over." She looked at Craig, and he thought he might melt. Perhaps it was all an act. He wasn't sure how to follow.

"I see." He looked at Kadan then for some sort of clue, but there was none. Kadan was the keeper of secrets, perhaps, but then again, Chloe pretty much had her own as well. "So, so what now?" Craig's smile was bitter and he knew it.

"We'll keep in touch." Kadan nodded. After all, there was baby Caroline to look after. He was still a part of her life.

"I guess we'll all be one happy family, won't we." Truly, Craig thought he never had one of those. Was it possibly the three of them could somehow manage together?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

bizarre love triangle

Craig wasn't sure he could handle it. The new information about Chloe and Kadan at the same time. He felt drained.

Craig couldn't possibly face himself in the mirror, and to see them together. Just not possible.

Of course, maybe he was having a bit of morning sickness. Perhaps it had taken the stress off Chloe in some way, and he was doing her a favor. He couldn't really be sure since he really didn't have telepathy.

A part of him wanted to talk her into having an abortion. It would be the right thing to do. He guessed. And yet, he hated the idea, as well. How could he do such a thing? It thrilled him to be a father. To be a part of someone's life. How could he think it?

Thus he went in bouts of fits in his room, sometimes, crying and then to find himself in a laughing rage. He thought he might go mad.

He called his mother. "Mum, I want to come home." There, that was easy enough.

"But, but we have Newt here, where would he go? Its best to not give up, Craigy. You owe yourself an education." What education? This term was a disseaster, between the footballers bullying him and little getaways with Kadan or even with Chloe, he wasn't a real student, just one of life. So far, he wasn't getting an A for effort in it, either.

"I dunno," he cringed at the thought of facing Hollyoaks ever again, but he didn't see how he would manage this with Kadan or Chloe for that matter. It was all turning so ugly and quite scary, in fact. He told his mother that he'd try. He'd do his best.

At the moment, all he could find was a bottle of benedryl. He wondered if that would do him in.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

can't be happening

This was so not what he wanted to hear from Chloe.

Pregnant.

It didn't seem feasible in Craig's mind. He walked the streets for a good long while and all he felt was numb. Neither joy nor horror. Just numb. He couldn't even hear himself think.

His throat felt scorched and his ears hurt from this pain of not wanting to listen, perhaps. He didn't know. But he kept walking. Walking in circles around the park until nightfall.

When he got home he couldn't even remember if he'd eaten. Kadan had called him several times, but he hadn't responded. He was physically ill. He staggered to the bathroom and thats where everything came undone. He threw up and passed out on the bathroom floor.

"Jesus Christ, Mary and Joseph!" He awoke to a voice but his eyes shut tight as he lay on the cold tile floor.

"Shite, he drunk son of bitch, ain't he?" Two of his flatmates lifted him up and carried him to his unmade bed. Really, he'd been quite foolish not to give the blokes half a chance in the flat. They were pretty much strangers to him.

"Sorry." He thought he might choke and throw up again, all over himself as they began to undress him. "I can do it myself."

"Yeah, my ass you can, bloody blithering mate." The bloke shook his head. "You're a might pitiful, brother."

"It must be a bug, going around." Craig just wanted to keep his eyes closed and left alone.

"Damn if I'll catch it." Craig looked up at the flatmate, Geoff who looked like a down right hairy with that mug of his. He looked half Greek with the shiny black curls coming around his face.

"Look, thanks, loads, but I'll be fine. Promise." Craig couldn't say much more. His cell went off in his jeans that were on the floor. Geoff went to fetch it for him.

"Thanks." Craig answered it in time.

"Mate, where you been?" It was Kadan. "Supper's gett'n cold."

"Where are you?" He pushed himself up on the pillow.

"Chloe's, where'd you think I'd be?"

"Look, I'm sorry mate. I've come down with something." He bit at his upper lip then.

"You shit'n me?"

"No, you can talk to my flatmate if you don't believe me." He sighed and gave Geoff the phone then.

"Yeah, that's right. Found him passed out on bathroom floor.....no, nope, looks a little green to me." Geoff smiled looking at Craig. "Always, after me lucky charms..." He then laughed.

Craig made a face then for him to give the cell back.

"Stop, you're laughing. I'm sick. I don't know why. Just am." He would have said more but Geoff was standing there. He remained even lip and hoped Geoff would just leave.

"Let me tuck you in," Geoff laughed.

"I'm fine. Leave, please." He took a breath and crawled deep under the covers. He wasn't sure he was ready to be a father yet.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

out of the blue

Craig had to admit he hated not hearing from Chloe while Kadan was here. He didn't want to start trouble so it was best to wait it out. He wouldn't call. He wouldn't see her. He just wouldn't.

He didn't like staying at the flat, either. Especially, the evil eye that Jamie was giving him, lately. Actually, he felt very much in limbo at the moment. Trying to make the best of the library with his studies. But it wasn't helping. Nothing was helping.

He wanted to know what was really going on with Chloe and John Paul.

"Just go and see her." Craig told Kadan. "You'll feel so much better about the situation. Besides, what about Caroline, don't you miss her?"

Hopefully, he had that settled. Kadan would do his family thing. Then maybe stay a few more days with Craig, at Kadan's old place and then be gone. Somewhere. He wanted him here, but then he didn't. Not when it came to Chloe. He didn't want to admit it, but she meant more to him than he thought.

But he'd find himself lost at the park, watching what seemed everything go by except himself. He felt down right useless in this predicament he was in. Having two lovers wasn't exactly all it was cracked up to be.

And then his mobile rang. It was Chloe.

"Chloe, how ya been?" There he was on a sunny day, in the park. Dogs barking, kids playing. He felt light headed just hearing from her.

"Better." She sounded as if she'd been crying. Maybe Kadan had broken all ties with her now. He'd have to be there for her. Pick up the pieces. He'd know what to do.

"What's wrong."

There was no answer. But finally the words came. "I'm late."

"What? Late for what?" Maybe the mobile was breaking up. Possibly it needed recharging. He found himself pacing by a park bench full of young mums with babies. He stared at one. Still what was Chloe getting at?

"I'm...I took one of those test, actually five of them, and its all the same, Craig." There was a silence. "I'm pregnant."

Craig licked his dry lips and squinted. He didn't know what to say.

"But we were very careful." He shook his head, no. This couldn't be happening. Couldn't be his.

"Yes, I know, but you can't ever be a hundred percent, sometimes." She was fighting tears. She sounded congested.

"Its all right. It OK, Chloe." He sighed.

"Really."

"Try not to be upset," he cringed. "I'll try to come around."

"When?"

"Soon." He lied. He couldn't be anywhere near there while Kadan was around.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

passing the time away

Craig was possibly drained with all the late nights with Kadan. He couldn't remember the last time he ate. As it was he thought Kadan had a steady diet of lager and cigarettes.

Then there was the dope. Craig had partaken a little, but he was sure there was something Kadan was trying to numb out.

"You haven't even gone to see Chloe and the baby as of yet." He hadn't wanted to bring it up, but this was horrible. Why was he staying away?

"I can't," Kadan frowned as if he hated himself as if he might have done the unthinkable. Was it because of Craig?

"You can't just blow them off because of me."

He shook his, head no.

"There's someone else." He lit another rolled cigarette and smoked his troubles away.

"What do you mean? Someone else?" Craig squinted.

"She's seeing someone." He nodded.

"Chloe?" This was heart breaking. Craig reached for the cigarette then. He'd have to have a heavy drag now, facing the consequences perhaps.

"I can tell in her voice. She won't shut up about this John Paul fellow. Who in the hell is he? She hasn't even met him face to face, you know."

"I dunno." Craig held on to the cigarette. "You think she'd go so far to see him. This bloke she's never actually seen?"

"Dunno." Kadan looked at Craig sleepily. His mouth took in Craig's smoke. He then smiled, biting his bottom lip. His hands cradled Craig's neck. He kissed him slowly. Craig was sure the cigarette might burn Kadan in this awkward moment. But Kadan kept his lips on him as he pushed his hand into his jeans and found something to hold on too.

It was to begin again. They couldn't get enough of each other. At least Kadan wasn't thinking that Craig had been with Chloe.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

the bones collide

it’s always the same way for me
blue turns soft with time
broke remains, an everyday disguise
ending in the same way. . .the same way

Craig thought he might fall over when he saw Kadan standing there at the bar with bottles of lager waiting, already. Yes, he'd heard his voice, but he still didn't believe it. He thought Kadan had his heart set on L.A. at the moment, and there was no changing that.

"What made you decide to come back?" Craig was a little cross. Couldn't Kadan have let him know his plans sooner.

"Happy to see you too, mate." Kadan squinted back. "Whats the deal, Craig? You look a little glum."

"No, its not that. I just thought you would have said something before." Craig stared at him then, trying his best not to be uneasy.

"What? You don't like surprises?" Kadan shrugged handing him a bottle of lager.

"Its just been a hell of a week." Craig sighed. He didn't want to dare mention Chloe. This was just beginning to be a bit uncomfortable. Juggling these two around.

"You, all right, then?" Kadan reached for his shoulder then.

"Yeah." Craig nodded.

"Then come to a concert with me." Kadan smiled. They drank a drink then and a couple of more and talked about Greece and how they should go back. But Kadan said the real thing was here. He wanted to be here with his music not in the states.

"Why did you change your mind?" Craig looked at him at the corner of his eye.

"Are you forgetting, something, mate?"

"I just thought you wanted to take your music places." Craig sighed.

so much for the light show
pissing on while pissing off
sucking in a smokescreen
selling of a loose knit dream


"Got everything I need right here, now don't I?" Kadan touched his neck then. Craig thought they might kiss, but they didn't. "Come along, we might miss the show if we don't get there." So they walked a few blocks down to a hole in the wall place where the ceiling was open. All was left were brick walls. It was a place you could bring your own booze and smoke stagnated the air even in all the openness.

On stage was a band jamming with electric guitars pumping the stage with a light show. The beat cut right through Craig. He could hardly take it. Kadan was feeling the rhythm as he grooved along. He put his arm around Craig and they kissed. It was wild. Everyone was dancing. Craig joined in, sort of. Although, he felt more of the kissing than the dancing as Kadan pressed his tongue on his.

Kadan was like a feral kid enjoying every second of the hard thumping melody of the night. He pulled Craig closer, hanging on to his belt loops. As the sound got faster and deeper, Kadan jumped into the groove and took Craig with him.

It was a rush, and Craig was sure he'd fall over in the crowd and be stomped to death, but Kadan hung on to him. Finally they found their way out of the place and walked toward the park. Craig could hardly catch his breath.

"That's what I've missed, you know." Kadan pulled him along. "Sure, there was lots to offer in L.A., but its all so materialistic. I need to get back to my roots, you know."

Craig nodded as if he understood, but not completely. Didn't Kadan want to make money?

Finally, Kadan dropped himself on a park bench under the streetlights. Craig plopped down too. His eyes hurt from the smoke, and his voice was scratchy.

"Something went wrong," Kadan closed his eyes.

"How do you mean?" Craig wondered what could have possibly gone wrong in L.A.

"I hated it. I hated it so much." Kadan frowned.

"Its all right now. You're home." Craig touched his cheek then and kissed him.

"I know. And you're here. And it'll all be fine, won't it?" Kadan kissed him back.

"Of course." Only Craig knew he could never see Chloe again. Never. Or at least the next week or two.

tell me did the bones collide
the bones collide
the bones collide
little lover’s so polite
so polite
so polite

Monday, March 10, 2008

as luck would have it

Craig was glad he was back at his flat when Kaden called. But still he wished he was with Chloe, just the same.

He felt safer there. Something was off kilter at the flat with the footballers. Craig couldn't quite put his finger on it. He didn't get why they disliked him so much. He was the odd man out. He guessed.

He thought he was use to it by now. He liked it better when no one paid him any mind. As it was, he crossed Jamie's path little as possible. Craig went to class. To work. Stayed at home as little as possible. What had done him wrong?

"So what's up?" Kadan evidently could sense it too.

"What do you mean?" Craig thought of Chloe. He wondered if Kadan had talked to her.

"You sound down, mate. When's the last time you've gone out for a drink?" There was a laugh in Kadan's voice.

"I'm not sure where you're going with this." Craig squinted. "Are you back?" Suddenly, he wasn't sure if he dreaded the answer or was so far hyped he might shit himself.

"Why don't you come around the corner and see for yourself," Kaden said. "The Lucky Lad."

Craig felt himself go hard. "What do you mean?"

"Just get your ass down, here?"

"But what about Chloe?" Craig quavered.

"What about her? I'll see her later."

"I see."

"What does it matter when I see her?"

"It doesn't." Craig squinted. But it did. Kadan was back. Back for good maybe. "I'll be right there."

He shut his cell then and grabbed his jacket. There was Jamie, lean and mean standing in the hallway. Neither said a word. Craig's brusies were just about healed. He didn't want to get in to it again with him. Didn't hint for an apology, either.

Craig held his breath as he went passed. If he had any luck at the Lucky Lad, Craig knew he wouldn't be back tonight.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

keeping it in the past

If he drank enough, Craig kept thoughts of Kadan at bay. But then he'd wake in the middle of the night in a deep dream with him which left him in a sweat.

He'd shiver afterwards. If that wasn't enough, he noticed John Paul's cell number on Chloe's telephone id box.

"What's this? Why is he calling you, luv?" This didn't seem natural. It left a bad feeling he couldn't quite kick.

"Oh, it was just as accident." She assured him while she was tending to baby Caroline.

"There are no accidents when it comes to John Paul!" He assured her.

"Why are you like this Craig?" He'd upset the baby. She'd have to carry her about for sometime before she'd get settled. "What has John Paul done to you? He seems quite an innocent bloke, to me."

"Innocent?" That was bullshit. "What has he told you?" He gritted his teeth. Just when he thought he'd left his past behind. Here it was raising it's ugly head.

"Craig, please. Caroline doesn't like it." The baby cried more.

"Sorry, I just wish you'd pay him no mind." He hadn't meant for this to upset him, but it had.

"Then there are bad feelings between you two?"

"No. No there isn't. There is nothing between us." He sighed, shaking his head, no.

"He seems to be going through something at the moment," Chloe said, once she got Caroline settled in her bed.

"Aren't we all." He pulled a bitter look.

"Would you know, who it would be thats got him so melancholy?" She came to him.

"I haven't a clue. I don't keep up with John Paul's love life." He really didn't want to talk about it. He took her hand and kissed it. She smelled of baby oil and good baby smells. Which was a pleasant surprise.

"I'm sorry you two had a falling out. I think he might still need you," she said while he kissed her neck.

"No he doesn't." He kissed her precious lips then, and she breathed him in. He knew he had her where he wanted her. "He needs nothing from me," he whispered. "He needs nothing from you, either." His hands touched her belly then and he pulled her in. He knew her so well now. It didn't take much for her to be putty in his hands. He liked that feeling. And he wanted to keep it that way.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

no more holiday

Craig was laying low. So to speak. He hadn't seen Chloe yet. He called. Told her he had to get everything in order back at the flat with his flatmates, courses, and even work. He did a couple double shifts down at the pub. After all, there were bills to pay.

It was good to get a clean perspective on things. Maybe. Or the fact he was still hung over from being with Kadan. Every step he took he thought of Kadan. It was a genuine happiness, and he wanted to keep it with him as long as he could. Truly, he did not want those memories to fade.

But there were assignments to catch up on. And of course the flatmates who kept jabbing him for info about where he had been. What was he really doing? He never seemed to be home anymore.

He wanted to get along with them. Although, the brute footballer, Jamie got in a row with him. Craig ended up with a black eye. He didn't even know what he'd done so wrong. Perhaps the laundry, or Jamie just didn't like Craig.

It was a shock to him, but he had to face it. Not everyone was going to like him. He knew for sure he hated Jamie. And he most definitely needed a break from him.

"Its not that I didn't want to be here, immediately. I did." He promised as he soon as he saw Chloe in the doorway of the cottage. "There were some things I just had to do."

"Yeah, like a welcome home beating." She tried to touch his right eye, he winced. She took his over night bag from him.

He really felt like he was home now. The place smelled of of something sweet in the oven and there were fresh flowers.

"I wasn't sure you were ever coming back." She turned to him while they were in the livingroom of with her arms crossed.

"I wasn't gone that long, now was I?" He squinted.

"I just thought, perhaps, you were having second thoughts about....us." She bit her bottom lip.

He smiled, shaking his head no. "Why on earth would that ever cross your mind, Babe?" He'd have to bring her back, now wouldn't he? He came closer, fell to his knees and wrapped his arms around her waist. "Do you know how much I missed you?" He breathed her sweetness in. Yes, she was the essence of this place, and he'd show her what she meant to him.

Her fingers combed through his hair then, and he closed his eyes. He missed this. This was what he really needed. A woman's touch. It felt like forever since he was comforted by her strength as he gravitated to her core. He'd give her everything she wanted. Maybe more.

Her body swayed. He knew she missed him too. Maybe he'd have her on the kitchen table.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

saying goodbye and hello

Craig didn't want to let Kadan go. Of course, he was the first to catch a flight out. Somehow there had been a mixup with the flights from Greece, and they couldn't part their ways on the same destination somewhere down the line.

"You'll call me, won't you?" Kadan gave him a hug like a fratboy at the end in the airport. A kiss on the cheek. Craig was in tears that he couldn't kiss him the way he wanted too. Craig knew he wasn't comfortable about displays of affection like that, but still, he would have if given half a chance. Kadan wouldn't let him.

A part of him walked away shattered with the scar left in his right hand. Had Kadan done that out some kinky act with the cigarette, or did it mean to leave Chloe alone?

Well, he couldn't. What was done was done. Just the way it was. He took a deep breath, found his seat and called Kadan, immediately.

"I miss you. Badly." He kept his voice low.

"Tell we meet again, hey? I want you to come to L.A. Soon. Remember what I told you. Soon, luv. soon." Kadan's voice took Craig's breath away. He clicked the Mobil shut after he told Kadan that he loved him. It was genuine, and true.

But his heart beat over took him, and he thought he might pass out before the airplane got off the runway. He wished Kadan was right here now fucking him, madly. Imagine that. Right here on the plane among all these passengers. Now that left him with a smile.

He slept after that for quite a while. Dreaming of Kadan just in his old cutoff jean shorts. Hanging low having a surprise package for him, waiting to be unzipped.

Craig awoke with a jaunt. His stomach wasn't at all pleased. He got up to the restroom and threw up. It pained him that he'd be this weezy. He'd have to figure out what to do about the Chloe matter. He had to see her again. He was far from finished with her.

His head ached now, but he got back to his seat and thought he had to call someone. Had too.

"Mum." He was silent. Not sure if his own mother would actually give him the time of day now. They weren't actually speaking as of late. There was a silence. A great silence after her hullo. Perhaps it had been a bad idea to call her while still in the air.

"I have something to tell you. I thought..I thought you should know. I've met someone." Kadan, was lovely in his thoughts. He swallowed back any hesitation. "I know you'd like her very much. I..I want you to meet her. You'd, like that, wouldn't you?" He sighed.

"A girl. My Craig has a girlfriend?"

"Mum," he was so awake now. She was listening to him. "Lets not get me married off here or anything. She's someone I met. And I'd just like for you to get to know her first. You won't scare her way, now will you."

"My Craig has girl!" She was completely screaming with delight.

"Mum, what would you think if I told you she has a little one, already." He squinted.

"Aw, you are pulling a fast one on me now?"

"Mum, its not mine. I don't get around that quickly, you know. Chloe's lovely. Her baby girl, Caroline is even more lovely." He believed that too. He wasn't just giving her crap. It was good to hear his mother, pleased. Finally.

"Seriously, I want to bring her home, sometime. Or, maybe we could fly you here. Even, better, right?"

"That would be sweet...." Then she started to tell him everything going on at The Dog, about horrid Darren and Jake's problems in spite of the happy nuptials with Nancy.

Craig bit his bottom lip. Fascinating. So much hadn't changed after all in Hollyoaks since he'd been gone.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

before sunrise

"All righty, mate, maybe we'll just pack it in and miss all the sites," Kadan said as he put his arm around Craig, naked in bed. "Fine with me, but uh a little shocking since you were going on how we needed to not be settle'n here but out and about. What gives?"

"Nothing." Craig kissed him softly, not wanting to think about John Paul's phone call. It had been amazing in the shower with Kadan and now back to bed.

Kadan's cell rang. He broke free of Craig's kiss and looked to see who was calling on his cell.

"What the hell could be wrong?" He noticed. "Its Chloe."

Craig didn't want him to take it. Craig got up and motioned for him to cut the phone call completely.

"It might be important." Kadan shrugged.

"Don't. Don't say-"

"What?" Kadan squinted. Then answered, "Hullo." Kadan kept watching Craig's little charade of not wanting Kadan to mention him being here with Kadan. "I'm here with....with some very drunk fucks. Yes, that's what is going on, darling. You know, this business." But he kept watching Craig who now looked relieved. "The baby can't sleep? Have you talked to your Auntie about that? She must have a remedy for that sort of thing, don't you think?" He was on the phone for several more minutes which annoyed Craig.

He couldn't watch. He went to the bathroom and splashed water on his face. He looked closely at his neck and noticed something. Then stretched around to look in the mirror from his back side. There were a couple of hickeys on his back shoulder. This was a little unnerving. How would he explain this? Especially, to Chloe.

He was tired, miserable, yet it had all happened so brilliantly. This little get-away with Kadan. Why did it have to be so stressful, though? He knew it was his own damn fault.

He thought he could smell smoke which he hated. When he went back to the bed, he saw that Kadan had lit a cigarette. He never smoked around him. He'd know. Wouldn't he?

"That's disgusting?" Craig said, sorely.

"What? A fag." Kadan laughed. "I can't help it. I always smoke while I'm on the phone with Chloe. She does it to me, you know."

"That is just wrong." Craig couldn't stand the smoke. It made him think of the pub back in Ireland and even at home. And didn't Kadan know what this could do to his voice?

"Tell me about it." Kadan took a puff and blew smoke rings.

Craig put his hand out to take it from him. Then a strange thing happened, unexpectedly. Kadan grabbed his hand and pressed the cigarette out in the Craig's palm.

Craig felt the burn sizzle through his whole body. He staggered back cringing with a moan.

"What the hell is going on?" Kadan waited for an answer with his arms crossed, hiding little of himself in the covers.

Craig grimaced in pain and quickly went to take care of the burn in the bathroom. "What was that for?" He managed to say with his hand under the faucet.

"What would have been so wrong to say..guess who's here, Craig." Kadan leaned against the bathroom door totally naked.

Craig was getting use to the rawness between the two of them, except for the cigarette burn which clearly shocked him.

"She would have made something of it." Craig closed his eyes. It was clear to him that in the light of the bathroom nothing was quite as beautiful as it had seemed earlier in the shadows.

"Made something of it? Why is that?" Kadan kept staring at Craig.

"I told her I had an emergency. She thinks I went back to Hollyoaks." Craig shut off the cold water then and wrapped a towel around his hand.

"What's it to her? Where you've been or where you're going?" Kadan didn't look happy.

"She's been a great friend, as of late. And I can't very well ignore her, can I? You left her alone with a baby, what was I to do?" Craig was serious. He wasn't full of shit about this. "Its your doing?"

"My doing? She can very well take care of herself. She's got family, you know." Kadan squinted.

"I just thought, if I could be her friend-" Craig kept looking at Kadan's irresistible lips which had already done monumental things to him, already..and couldn't stand for this to be the end. He knew he'd have to go sooner or later. But he didn't want to fight with him. Didn't want it to end this way with suspicions. He reached for Kadan and kissed him. "Stop the smoking, will ya?" Craig finally said.

Kadan laughed. It was mutual, just one more go at each other before sunrise.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

another phone call

They'd actually done it in the ocean, on the beach. Oh, then back at room, too. And he still hadn't had enough of Kadan, but it was dark and Kadan wanted to shower so they could get to a club or two before morning.

Craig almost joined him in the shower, but the cell rang.

"What have you done this time, Craig?" He new exactly who was calling, and he felt a slice of reality cut into him.

"What do you want?" He could be just as cold too. He should have expected this from John Paul. They couldn't even be mates now.

"I don't want to lie for you, you know that."

"What lies? What is bloody wrong?"

"You lied, didn't you? You lied to some sweet little bird, and you're with someone else now, aren't you?"

"Get off ya self! I haven't a clue what you're going on about!" He wanted to throw the cell across the room but he kept it close to his ear.

"Chloe."

"Is she there? Did she come to Hollyoaks?" He thought he might come undone now. His face soured. And John Paul said nothing. "Tell me?"

"Don't tell me you're afraid?" Then John Paul laughed. "I'd love to see you squirm. You really need to squirm more often, Craig."

"What do you want from me?" Craig squinted.

"To be left alone. I'm getting along just fine without you, you know." His voice gave Craig a chill. He didn't believe him.

"Is she there?" He kept asking.

"No."

Finally he could breathe.

"You lied to her, Craig. You said you were coming home. You said it was an emergency," John Paul said. "How could you? She's a right nice bird by the sound of it, and you screw it up. You've screwed it up."

"No." Craig never failed. Not at this game. "No, I haven't. Not yet. And you. You leave her and me the hell alone."

"Don't worry mate, You'll manage to fuck it up. You always do."

Craig swore he could feel John Paul's smile on his cheek. He remembered his plush lips very intently. The side of his face stung now. Craig snapped the phone shut. He felt himself trembling as he pulled off his shirt and everything else and got in the shower with Kadan.

by the sea


They were just finishing up a Tiropita from a nearby vender close to the beach. Kadan kept talking of the Plaka to check out the clubs once it was completely dark. As it was they'd strolled down the beach hoping to find a spot to go into the sea without anything on.


The wind was cool from the ocean, and Craig still couldn't believe they were both here. Now in white shirts flapping about like sheets with their pants hugging the strength of the wind.


"I don't know about this?" Craig wondered where his clothes might go off too if he actually did manage to get them off.


"Come on, you're game." Kadan gave him a pat on the back. " What? A shark will get your willie? Is that it?"


"Its a little daring." Craig nodded.


"Daring is my middle name." Kadan impishly smiled pulling his long hair back in a pony tail. "Come on, you know you wanna."


Craig looked around. It was just the two of them and the wind and the waves.


"Your cell can hold down our belongings."


"All right." He watched Kadan take off his shirt first then the pants. Kadan never wore underwear. Didn't see the need too.


"Aw..." He watched Kadan in disbelief, all taunt perhaps slightly more pale than he could be, but still quite fit and so carefree and completely faral. He pulled Craig's shirt over his head.


"Yes, you're going too. And you'll love it. You will." He shouted in glee.


Craig quickly got out of the loose trousers and pulled everything up in a heap and put the cell on top hoping it was enough to keep everything from blowing away.


Kadan grabbed his bum and pulled him into the ocean. While they were in the waves, the cell phone rang.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

phone call

Finally Chloe got through. Someone was on the other end of the phone. Only it wasn't Craig.

She'd tried hours on end or so it seemed to find out what was going on. But he wasn't picking up. She'd gotten baby Caroline down for a nap so she finally got the nerve to do it. Call someone from Hollyoaks.

"Hi, um..."She paced the kitchen wondering what to say first, "Is this John Paul?"

"This isn't some telemarketer spam thing, is it?"

"No," Chloe thought again how to start this conversation. "Do you know Craig Dean?"

"Yeah,"there a little hesitation in his voice, "We were mates in school."

"Good, I just wanted to make sure you were the right John Paul." She felt giddy now. "Maybe you can help me. How's he doing?"

"Um,"

"See, he had rush off so quickly, he didn't have time to tell me what had happened. Family crisis of some kind."

"Oh, that." There was a silence. "He's coping. I haven't actually seen him."

"I found your number in some of his stuff he left here. I just assumed-"

"He's busy. I've got loads of exams, right now. Just hasn't gotten around to it, I guess."

"Sorry, this is Chloe, by the way. I just wondered if you could tell him, I called. I hope everything is all right." She suddenly felt embarrassed about this phone call as she picked up a sponge to wipe off the kitchen counter. She had to do something to keep busy.

"I'll see what I can do. I'm sure he'll call you soon and explain everything." John Paul's voice was quaint yet quiet.

"Thanks," Chloe said.

"Its OK," John Paul said. "Its good to talk to Chloe, Craig's friend in Ireland."

"Its good to talk to you too," Chloe felt maybe it wasn't a mistake calling after all. "Bye."

"Bye."

Chloe bit her bottom lip. She knew who she really needed to call. Kadan. They hadn't talked in ages.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

if thats not enough

The plane had just landed and Craig was on his cell with Chloe. He'd make this right. Cover his tracks. He had too.

"Sorry, I left so soon. But you really needed your rest, you know." He sounded as sweetly as he could. After all, things were sweet with Chloe. He wanted to keep them that way. "Really, I'll be back in no time, lov. I miss you, already. I don't even want to be here." He lied. He knew that wasn't true. He couldn't wait to see Kadan. He had to make this quick. From the corner of his eye he could see the back of Kadan's sunny hair. "I have to do this. Sorry." He waited. "I love you too." And hung up. Then rushed down the hall toward Kadan.

He thought for a second he'd lost all consciousness when Kadan turned around. They embraced in a long hug. Craig knew they had a lot of catching up to do.

"How long have you been waiting?" Craig wanted to know as if that had been a problem.

"Not long." Kadan bit his bottom lip and gave him a slight wink. "Wish we could have been on the same fiight, but uh, hey, you made it." He leaned in, almost kissed him but didn't. Instead he put his arm around Craig like he was a lost brother. "So...tell me everything, going on."

Craig thought he might pass out then, but he swallowed back what fear he had of letting go secrets. "You know, same old same. Crappy classes. Even more crappy flatmates. The usual."

"Yeah, right." Kadan had him in a playful headlock then. "Come on, lets get out of these clothes and go to the beach."

Craig felt his heart racing. It felt like magic to be here with Kadan.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Letter to Chloe

Dearest Chloe,

Sorry to do this to you, but something has come up back home. Flying out immediately, as it can't wait, but I'll call as soon as possible. I'll be back.

Thank you for everything. You have no idea what you really do to me. I adore our time together. You're in my thoughts, completely.

Can't wait to see you again.

Much Love,

Craig

Sunday, February 17, 2008

which way is up

When Craig heard Kadan's voice on the phone, he awoke with a shock. He could barely lift himself up. Chloe lay asleep next to him.

Instantly, tears filled his eyes. What had he done?

"What's going on on?" Craig whispered, cringing with a headache trying his best to get back to his room. No, they were in his room. He and Chloe.

"Why are you whispering?" Kadan asked.

"I don't know." Craig continued to whisper as he reached for his loose jeans and attempted to get into them once he'd closed the door behind him. "Footballers, you know." He couldn't let him know he was here. He went outside to take the call then. There was an intense chill in the air, but he was tough enough to take it, especially with Kadan on the phone.

"Ok," Craig finally said in a normal tone. "Where are you?" He hated to admitted it, but he hoped Kadan was still in the states.

"I haven't even left L.A., but listen, can you meet me in Greece?"

"Greece?" Craig blinked. "Uh, how?"

"I have you a ticket waiting at the airport?" He could hear Kadan's soft laugh.

"For real?"

"Yeah, baby." Kadan chuckled, "Really."

"How did you score something like that?"

"Don't ask, but its for real. I need a braek from here and if I can't have it with you, then..then I don't know what I'll do." Kadan sounded a little restless.

"I dunno know." Craig thought it would be impossible to get away now. But Greece? That was dream of his. Kadan had made plans for them to stay in a little place near the beach. "What about....Chloe?"

"Don't. Don't do this to me, right now. Just come away with me." His final words.

"Ok. Ok. Just..just tell me what to do." Craig couldn't help himself even if it meant not saying goodbye to Chloe, properly.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

a course of nature

Chloe was making this difficult for Craig. He didn't want to be in the friend zone. Exactly. It was tempting to with all the wine while sitting cozy on the sofa in her livingroom at the cottage.

"Maybe we should have just stuck with a good lager," he'd suggested a little too late when they had finished the bottle of red wine.

"What? can't you take a good American wine?" She was giggly. The baby was asleep. A fire glowed in the darkness.

He felt warm inside. Not sad as he had been. He looked into her face and noticed her open smile. It had been a long while for him to find himself in this spot with a lass, no less.

He took a deep breath.

"What?" Was he reading the signs all wrong as he watched her bite her bottom lip, gently.

"Nothing, you'd think I was selfish," she then said, looking away.

"Tell, me?" He put his arm around her then.

"Its been such a long time, you know." She didn't smile then. "I can't say I don't have feelings for you Craig. I wish I could-"

"Don't." He touched her cheek then and tugged her toward him and he kissed her open mouth.

"You must be drunk," she said.

"I'm not," he said quietly, feeling all to alive to have so many clothes on. They kissed some more until it was a perfect lull. He read her like a book. Each page he turned with a touch, he felt a thrill inside.

He slid her top off and she took off his shirt. It was becoming slightly awkward on the sofa, pushing off shoes and the likes, all the while in each others arms, lips on lips. Finally, his fingers found her panties, that would have to go too. He pressed further with his hands, his lips. Her sweet smell mesmerized him.

Slowly, he was finding out what she needed. And it felt new and vibrant to him to satisfy this ache pulsing through her. He breathed her in. She took him in as well. How could you say no, to such a natural thing like this.

Friday, February 15, 2008

just a mistake



It wasn't quiet truth or dare. Craig wasn't even sure why he'd kept the picture, either. But Chloe found Clare's photo among his things.

Craig took a deep breath. He supposed it was better than one of those silly polorids Kadan had taken of them together in bed before he left. As it was, Kadan had taken those with him. He didn't have have a picture of them together.

"Who is she?" Chloe handed the picture over to him.

"Um, someone, I'd rather not remember." It hurt his throat to even think of Clare. It was a memory he vaguely sensed so long ago.

"But you look so happy in the picture."

"Well, that's what a good lager will do you." He smiled with a shrug.

"Come on, she must have meant something to you." Chloe took back the picture.

"Not really." He shook his head, no.

"What is it? What's wrong, Craig?" She looked puzzled. He hope she hadn't sensed there was anything going on between him and Kadan.

"Nothing." He shivered and closed his eyes. "I didn't know then what I knew now about her." He was quiet for a bit then said, "....she's evil."

"She looks so quaint, here. You must have had a good time?"

"We did." He nodded. "I just didn't know what plans she had on certain people." He remembered how Clare smiled at him and pulled him in immediately there at the loft in to her world. It was breath taking now. What ever had come over him? She was like a force of nature.

"Were you one of those certain people?" She started making his bed up then in the room she said could be his. It was rather naked at the moment with empty walls and sheer curtains.

"No." He watched, yet remembered how it had been with Clare. So quickly, he been taken with her. She said the right things to him. Her smile seduced him, as well as her body and her intentions.

Suddenly, it occured to him that Kadan had done the same thing. Perhaps not like a dancer at a go-go but suttle and so sweet.

He swallowed back his pride.

He didn't want to believe it was mistake like with Clare.

"Look," he said. "No one knows about Clare and me back home. I'd rather we keep it that way."

"Because she's older than you?" Chloe stared back at him with concern.

"Something like that." His voice cracked. No more time for mistakes, he told himself. No more mistakes. He was certain now as he looked back at Chloe.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

possibly maybe


"I wish you'd stop changing your mind," Chloe told Craig on a walk after supper at her place in the country. "Don't go back."
"I dunno." It was hard to look her in the eye without feeling some sort of guilt. She had a very kind heart, and he didn't want to change that.
Sure, there were things that made him want to stay. And he'd stayed on the pull-out in the livingroom when the nights got too late or the weather was unbearable. She'd taken care of him when he was ill.
"I do love being here," he managed a quiet smile. "I do love the company, loads." He shook his head. "Its just really not my place, you know."
"You're happier here. All those footballers are so annoying. You belong here. Not there." She touched his hand then, and it wasn't for a moment or two that he realised they were holding hands.
"But there's work, studies, I shouldn't." He broke free then. He could imagine being comfortable here with Chloe.
"Quit the pub." She bit her bottom lip. "Its getting you no where."
"But thats what I do." He shrugged.
"No, it isn't," she squinted. "Bottlewasher extraordinaire? I don't think so."
"Just temporary," he said and looked back at her little pout that was irresistible.
He took her hand then, drew her in. "Come here. I'm not going anywhere."
She hugged him warmly. "Promise?"
"Promise." He hugged her back. It was something more than just a friendly hug. He stroked his fingers through her glossy hair. He wished this was enough, but it wasn't.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

with or without you

Kadan called his cell during class so Craig had to wait til he was almost to the flat before he could get a hold of Kadan.


Craig was instantly in tears when he heard his voice. He felt like an idiot doing a load of laundry while on the cell with him. His flatmates left the room. Perhaps they imagined him on the cell with someone back home. Kadan was home to him even if they had only spent a few weeks together.

He felt crushed just hearing his voice, "You won't be home til when?" Craig cringed when he told him it would be another month. "I should have came with you. I wanted to come with you if I could." Craig told Kadan over the cell. He knew he couldn't. There was school. The job down at the pub. "I miss you." There was an ache in Craig's heart and after he told him he loved him. All he could think of was Chloe. He had to see her. Had too. She was the closet thing he had to Kadan.

He managed to get a load of clothes going, but he swallowed back more tears. He wasn't sure how he could go another month with out Kadan.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

mistakes without mishaps

It had been a mistake texting John Paul like that at Christmas. He remembered how desperate he'd been then. An all time low. But Kadan had changed all of that.

Craig had told himself early on after his move from John Paul that he was going to have a normal life. None of this secret stuff. Why had he lied to himself? It was in his nature.

He'd been a fool to give up John Paul. Now he was a fool for Kadan. And he was no where to be found. Craig wasn't pulling all the strings this time like with John Paul. And there were moments Craig would wake himself at night thinking he'd been had by Kadan.

He was definitely not on the up and up with him. Especially, how careless he'd been with Chloe. Why couldn't she see it? Was she blind by him?

At first it was a horrible feeling to have thinking he didn't want her in the picture. But she was, beautiful at that with his child.

He'd hoped they'd had a falling out of some kind and it was only for baby Caroline that they were still together. Only they weren't really together, now were they? She took care of her great Aunt's cottage out in the country, and Kadan visited regularly. Or did. Not now.

Now it was just the two of them. And it made him nervous that she might suspect. Might suspect him with Kadan. But the deeper their friendship grew, he knew she was oblivious to what he knew. Wasn't she?

"Maybe she's a very good actress." He didn't really believe that. She didn't have a devious bone in her. Of course, he couldn't stop himself from laughing until he shook. Unless it was his.

He didn't want to muster up something so remotely cold and challenging, but yes, he'd have her in a heartbeat just because. Because he could. But he wouldn't. No, he was Kadan's lover.

So far from Hollyoaks now. Now that he thought about it, what a silly little village it was. John Paul had just been a stepping stone. What would he think of him now?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

the right thing



Craig wasn't sure what he was looking for anymore. Especially, with Chloe around. He had every right to hate her as she did him, but as it was she had perhaps saved him from going to the hospital with pneumonia.

He hadn't meant for that happened. He had hoped he wouldn't have seen her at all, but Kadan was gone. Gone to the states and left her and baby Caroline to fend for themselves he suspected. Although, she never said as much. She never really talked about Kadan. Except that she was excited for him and hoped she would hear from him soon.

Still he wondered if she suspected anything. Him and Kadan.

Perhaps she was above that. Her faith in him would some how suffice. He thought now watching her with her little one.

He'd vowed they would not be friends in the beginning when he first laid eyes on her. Now he found himself looking forward to seeing her. To share tea with her, or maybe a walk in the park with the baby. He couldn't quite remember when it began or when he stopped thinking about Kadan's eyes or his hands even his bum.

"Do you think about him much?" He asked one day when they were bundled up enjoying a fresh winter's day at the park.

"Constantly." She smiled, hugging herself as if she'd have to until Kadan came back.

"Good." It wasn't a lie he told her. He felt she should think of him constantly. After all she was the mother of his child. He smiled back. "And you haven't forgotten his smile or his hands?"

"Never."

"I'm sure he thinks of you constantly too," Craig said but was sure Kadan didn't. Craig was sure Kadan thought of no one but himself. And it made him angry to think where or what Kadan might be up too.

She took his hand then. Told him he'd been a good friend to Kadan. Told him how she appreciated him being there for him.

"He adores you , that I know is true." Her sincerity unnerved him. He thought he might cry, but instead he suggested that maybe he should stay with her for awhile. Actually, just to get away from the footballers in his flat would be a vacation.

"I think its the right thing to do." But then he wondered if he ever knew what the right thing was.

what would you do


Dear John Paul:

I'd be on the cell with you right now, but literally, I can't talk. I've lost my voice due to ...possibly being under the weather longer than I thought I knew. Anyway, I have no voice, really.

I'm not sure where to start, but I've met someone. Kadan. I wish I could say its perfect. Only its not. I keep telling myself I'm asking for so much as it is, but really, he's not perfect. He makes me think of Sarah, except he's absolutely gorgeous, fit and of course primal. Really, and a rocker to boot. If situated correctly, the bloke could make it big, somewhere. In fact, says they want him in a musical. Only, I'm not quite sure I can believe that. He's right short of being a thief and a con-man, some of the time.

See, this lady who'd taken him in. Although, not quite sure he's on the up and up with me about this, has left him a good portion of her estate, or possibly he took it in some uncanny way. Can't be rightly sure. And I know you'd think, he can't be trusted. And I don't want too. Its just he's brilliant, most of the time.

Recently, though, I found out about his significant other who reminds me a good bit of you. Except she's a lass. Well, a woman, young, very young, maybe too young to be a mother. But they have a two year old daughter(Caroline), and Chloe's most loyal to him. And you very well know me, I envy her quite so awful.

Sickening. Yes, its made me sick to learn of Chloe. So sick, I can't even talk now. It gives a whole new meaning to the word speechless. I don't know how long it'll be til I get my voice back.

How do I do it, John Paul? Get into these kind of fixes that leave me vexed for the most part. I'm truly quite stupid when it comes to relationships.

I hope you can forgive me. That is, if I ever forgive myself. You were, after all the best thing that ever happened to me. And I have not forgot. I will not. A part of you shall always be with me. If nothing else, thats what mates do.

I shall ask myself from now on, "What would John Paul do?"

For ever and ever,

Craig

An unsent letter due to there never being any stamps in the footballers' flat. Its not on their to do list. None can do anything old fashioned anymore.

who's there


"Who is that," whispered Craig wondering what he was suppose to do. Someone was downstairs on their way up.

"Don't worry. I'll take care of it," Kadan said sliding in to his jeans.

"What shall I do?"

"Hide in the closet for now." Kadan kept his voice low and tossed Craig some clothes and told him to hide behind the curtain of the makeshift closet by the restroom.

"What?" Craig frantically covered himself.

"Just do it." Kadan whispered back, and Craig didn't have much choice in the matter while trying to race into some briefs without shaking the curtains. These weren't even his briefs. He didn't have time to worry who's they were.

So there he was peaking through the shadows of the tie-dyed curtains. There was woman well enough to be his grandmother at the top of the steps giving Kadan a kiss. Craig cringed. Kadan gingerly kissed her back and took whatever it was she had in her hand in his mouth.

Craig so wanted to burst out of the curtains and make a scene, but he didn't. He waited. He listened. They talked over some business about gigs coming up and if he'd be willing to travel next week to a festival a few counties away.

"Bye, luv, " she said with a kiss on the cheek, "Let me know if you find anymore rats now, babe."

"Rats?" Craig motioned with his mouth. "Babe?" What was he getting himself into?

Finally she was gone. Craig waited for the door to shut before he came out of the curtain.

"All right mate, what gives?" They seriously needed a heart to heart about this matter.

"Mates?" Kadan squinted, "I'm pretty sure we're past that." Kadan smirked.

"Was that your Mum?" Craig remained even lip. This wasn't a laughing matter.

"No," Kadan sighed. "I'm not sure I have a name for it. Manager, me thinks she think, but um, she slept with Paul McCartney in 1972."

"God, she's old." Craig scratched the back of his head. "You think he remembers her?"

"Doubt it." Kadan cracked up laughing.

With in a moment

The sunshine poured over him. It wasn't that far past dawn. He didn't think as he laid there on the thin mattress in the brick flat. Craig hardly slept at all. Yet, he hadn't slept like this in a long time, either.

It was dark when he got there. He and Kadan took a flight of stairs off the landing, and they didn't speak then.

A shiver ran through him. It wasn't that he was cold, but he must have been on drugs to do something like this. Sleep with someone just because.

He was a methodical person, basically. And this, this had no thought in it at all. It just happened like old friends bumping in to each other. As if it had to be.

But now he felt lost. Even a bit angry with himself. This wasn't him. This must have been desperation. He was not like this. Not like this at home. Not like this with John Paul. This was more like animals in heat. And a very strange breed at that.

But it was morning now. And he was nude. Kadan was bare. If he took a picture in his head, it might last longer. It was perfect, the two of them. And he wanted to cry as he turned his back to Kadan.

The room was golden even if most of it was a mess with clothes, fast food trash and Cd's along with books strung across the floor. Even so, it felt quaint here. It was Kadan's room. It was the room where Kadan had taken him and undressed him in the moonlight.

Craig still couldn't believe it. Kadan was beautiful, and he had wanted Craig. But that was last night. Not this morning. Craig knew it was a mistake. Plain and clear. He hadn't thought clearly what would become of something so climatic.

It hadn't started with a kiss, but with Kadan unbuttoning his pants, then sliding off his work t-shirt. It was brilliant. Now the sun shone, and Craig wasn't so sure he wanted Kadan to see all of him in the light.

Kadan put his arm around his neck, pulled him closer. His touch thrilled Craig. He felt sure now he was breathing in sunshine. Suddenly, it started over again. The two of them fit like a glove.

"You know, I could have done you in the boy's room," Kadan told him later, afterwards, as if it could have been a random thing last night at the restroom down at the pub. "I had to see you, all of you, in the sunlight." Kadan smiled. "Maybe I need to see you in the afternoon light too."

Craig faintly smiled.

"Look, I want you to stay. I want you to move in with me." Kadan got up then and rummaged through the clothes on the floor to dress.

"I'm not so sure, that's-" Craig's voice went silent when he heard a woman's voice calling Kadan's name.

How it came to be


Craig Dean wasn't happy. Maybe it was a feeling he'd never experience again after giving up so much and moving away from home.

Lets face it, he knew he was screwed, and he still hadn't found himself after going to Dublin. But there was no turning back. He knew that. He'd made his choice. And as the days plowed on, he lost more sense of himself.

He wasn't a brother anymore. He didn't have mates. The prats he lived with were consuming and raging alcoholics who just so happened to be footballers.

It was his ticket teaching little kids soccer if he wasn't suppose to be taking classes at Trinity. But that didn't last long. It was a small gig and for the most part he knew now English and Irish didn't mix. Never had. Why hadn't he thought of that? The prats called him a snob. He'd tried to put them in their place only they'd put him there first. After all, he was a little bloke in a pack of apes. Half the time he didn't even know what they were saying. And no one wanted to understand him, either.

It was harsh. It was disgusting. Coming home to people who didn't know anything about domestication. The flat was a constant ste. He wasn't sure how much longer he could take it. And washing dishes down at the local pub was down right frustrating. Hadn't he been through enough, already?

He was past being homesick. He was tired, but somehow his timidness couldn't rest. And he found him saying "What?" a lot and to some, it was a joke, "Oh, is that your name, lad? What?" He was past the "excuse me"s now. He was ready to shout at people to leave him alone. Maybe all sanity had left him. Maybe he was no better than the animals he lived with.

He had no place to go, so he kept cleaning tables. He needed to think. He needed to forget all the crap back home. He knew they wouldn't. Nothing would help. And maybe if he became a shell of who he was, it would be all the better. Only, Craig was to sensitive for that.

It was late one night down at the pub when he noticed someone on stage with an old guitar. Sarah came to mind. He smiled when he thought of her face, heart shaped and sweet. He guessed people around here would call her a snob, too. Maybe he and Sarah were meant for each other. Maybe not. There were just too many lies to let go. If only she could let them go like a bouquet of balloons in the park, all would be right in the world. But he didn't see that happening.
At least he wasn't thinking of John Paul when he saw the singer on stage. Which was a relief. He'd been quite depressed over the John Paul situation. Still. Now he felt it was a bit of the past that could just stay because he couldn't take his eyes off that fantastic face and mop of light brown hair.

He sighed. This would be enough. He closed his eyes and promised himself he'd stay in the shadows. "Don't speak, " he told himself. "They'll know you're not from around here." However there was an ache inside him that wanted to know this amazing voice, in person. It wouldn't hurt to say something. Although, he didn't want to be a stalker about it. He just needed to know. To show someone he was still here.

"Hey, over there, got anything left for a drink?"

Craig let out a sigh. This was interesting. It didn't sound Irish. Actually, Craig wasn't sure who was addressing him. Was it a girl or a boy? Maybe a girl trying to be a boy.

"I'll see what I can do." Craig nodded and hoped he could pour them both an ale before the bar maid swatted him. "I'll be right over." They were the last two in the place.

"Thanks." The singer grinned and Craig noticed the lippy right away. Nothing brash, just a little something to highlight the pout.

Craig took a seat with the drinks and handed over one to the singer. "Sure." Craig scratched his head. He didn't mean to be uncomfortable. This was the first friendly face he'd seen in a long time.

"I hate long nights like these." The singer took a sip of the ale then. Craig did the same.

"This isn't awkward for you, is it?" The singer asked.

"Awkward?"

"How long you been working here?" The singer's dead stare made Craig a little edgy and giddy at the same time.

"Longer than I've wanted." Craig watched the singer in his paisley shirt. It was like watching some teen rockstar from the 70's. He vaguely remembered her mother showing him a picture of David Cassidy. His clothes were like that, but he was definitely, Kiera Knightly with the adorable nose and the lush lips.

Craig caught himself biting a fingernail then. He so wanted to be casual and cool. He knew he wasn't.

"Kadan," the singer then said still staring at him.

"What?"

"In case you were wondering." Kadan's eyes kept staring, and Craig felt a cough about to emerge and didn't quite make the connection. "My name. You do have one, don't you?"

"Oh, yes, um, Craig."

Kadan nodded.

"You are so not from around here, Craig?" Kadan smiled and played stroked the mug with his thin fingers.

"You don't sound familiar." Craig shook his head, "You know, you don't sound Irish."

"I'm not." Kadan shrugged.

Craig talked of home then. Possibly too much of home. He didn't tell him everything. Kadan wasn't as forthcoming, either. He was a vagabond of sorts. He grew up in his share of places through Europe. His family might have been gypsies.

"Some day, I'm going to live in Athens, Georgia." Kadan romantizied about a vegan commune in the states he'd heard about.

"Sounds, natural." Craig couldn't help but smile.

"How come I can't believe a freak'n thing you tell me?" Kadan bit his bottom lip, and Craig, a little drunk from the laughter and the ale, wanted to touch his bottom lip. Kadan leaned in, almost as a sign, but maybe not.

"Tell you what, walk me home." Kadan flicked his light brown tuffs of hair behind his ear.


"I..I don't have anything...else to do." The place was being locked up. The lights were all but out.

"Good." Kadan slung the old guitar on his back like a ritual. It felt to Craig as if they were going off to pray, perhaps. Craig watched. He wasn't sure what to do.

"Come along, then." Kadan said. Craig get to his feet and shoved his hands in his jeans. They couldn't very well walk out of the place holding hands.