“Worst. Date. Ever.” The voice sobbed at him through the phone.
Ethan sat naked on his bed in the dark room rubbing one side of his head with one hand and holding his old iPhone to the other side of his head with the other hand. *Stupid. Should not have answered the phone. Very stupid.*
“Trace, its two in the morning, can’t this wait?” *More stupid, should not have asked a question.*
“No. It can’t wait.” At least her sobbing was calming down. “I’ll be there in ten minutes.”
The call cut off before he could say anything. In the dim blue light from the phone screen he looked at the large body next to him in bed, his lover, his boyfriend, his partner. The words didn’t capture the full strength of his recently growing feeling. *Husband.* A smile flickered across his face unconsciously. So what if they weren’t actually married.
Ethan reached out and patted Arron’s hip. “Go back to sleep Big Bear.” Aaron’s grunted under the covers and pulled the sheet up over his head.
Ethan got up, stretched and padded to the bathroom, he peed as quietly as he could in the handbasin while he checked facebook for updates on his phone.
There was an update from Trace 3 hours ago:
*OMG what a pig, and not the sexy kinky kind. Someone get me out of here.*
Ethan needed some clothes. The idea of answering the door stark naked was always fun, but if Trace was in a horny and rejected mood she might think it was an invitation. He shuddered.
He fumbled around in the dark bedroom, grabbed some track-pants and a t-shirt and pulled them on as he left the room, closing the door behind him.
As he walked to the kitchen he sent Trace a text message:
*Don’t ring the doorbell.*
Yawning he filled the electric kettle, got cups and teabags ready.
The phone vibrated in his pocket.
Too late to get out of this now.
He walked to the front door and pushed the intercom unlock button.
- – -
Trace pushed the door opened with her shoulder as the lock buzzed loudly. She walked up narrow concrete staircase. Why did Ethan have to live in a building that didn’t have a lift?
When she got to the third floor Ethan was waiting for her, leaning against the door frame to his apartment, a hot mug of tea held out towards her as he sipped on his own bright pink mug. God she loved this man, why did he have to be so gay.
She reached out and took the offered mug and sipped at it without either of them saying a word. Ethan pulled the door to his apartment closed and nodded his head back towards the staircase.
She nodded in agreement.
Ethan’s building, as he actually owned the whole building, was a small modern apartment building in the trendy intercity part of town. The roof offered a surprising unhindered view of the city skyline, so the tenants used it as a communal area. During the day you would usually find one someone working on their tan or yoga or just hanging out their washing.
In the corner of the roof with the best view was a random collection of second-hand chairs. Ethan and Trace sat down in silence and looked at the view of the city and the stars. The night air was warm, still and clear.
She sipped at her tea again and looked over at Ethan. “You got anything stronger than tea.”
Ethan shock his head. “Not for you, tea only.”
She grunted, unhappy with his answer.
“So where the fuck do I get a good guy from?”
Ethan shrugged. “Most the guys I know are gay.”
She grumbled. “Well that doesn’t help.”
He shrugged and then pulled a notebook and pen out of his pocket and opened the book to a blank page. “Perhaps if you told me what you were looking for.”
“A huge cock!” She blurted out.
Ethan blushed and chuckled at the same time at that. They were close, but usually didn’t talk about sex stuff. “I thought girls didn’t go by size.” He wrote it down anyway.
*Wanted: Huge cock.*
She smiled, “Well, if I’m being picky, why not.”
Ethan smiled. “Yeah, fair enough I guess. So what is this huge member attached to then huh?”
Trace closed her eyes and thought about it.
“Killer body, dazzling smile, honest, caring, wicked sense of humour, masculine with out being ‘blokey’.”
He wrote all this down.
“Must be mature.” She went on.
Ethan shock his head. “No no no, don’t put that in, unless you want him to be over 80.”
“Well, then what?” She sipped her hot tea more.
He scratched the blunt end of the pen to his ear as and considered. “How about ‘romantic grown-up with boyish charm.’”
She nodded. “And rich.”
He kept making notes.
“No smokers. No Asians.”
Ethan raised an eyebrow, “Racist!”
She grinned and shrugged. “No inmates. No small cocks.”
Ethan smiled. “Obsessed with size aren’t you?” He tore the page out of the notebook and passed it over to her. “Just sign your name to the bottom.”
She read over the note, crossed out the word ‘huge’ and wrote in ‘massive’ and then signed it. “If only I had a fairy god mother or something to send this to.”
“Just a fairy gay guy here tonight.” Ethan pointed out. “In the movies they always tear up and burn the letter so the magic can happen or something.”
Trace folded the note over and tore it into pieces and then pulled out a cigarette lighter and light it on fire and tossed it into the air. The pieces of the note floated up into the sky as they burnt away, the feeling of rejection and loneliness lifted, but only a little.
- – -
Ethan finally made it back to bed at half past three, after having driven Trace home and seen that she had gotten inside. He pulled the sheet over himself, trying not to wake Aaron.
Aaron reached over and hugged him into a spooning position and kissed the back of his neck.
“You are far too good to that girl.”
Ethan put a hand over the large hand on his chest. “She was very very kind to me once. When she didn’t have to be and nobody else was.”
“You ever going to tell me that story?” Aaron mumbled.
“Do I have to?”
Aaron hugged him a little tighter. “No. No you don’t. But you don’t have to keep it to yourself either.”
Ethan smiled deeply, feeling truly happy. “Ask me in the morning.”
- – -
Interviewing for a new shop assistant was not going at all well. The hangover she had from last night was not helping.
Trace couldn’t exactly remember how she had ended up at home, but if it was anything like usual Ethan had probably been all gallant and made sure she got home in one piece.
Only three people came in to apply, and they had all been guys. Not that guys couldn’t be florist… but these three guys were definitely not right for the job. She couldn’t even figure out why any of them had applied.
The first one had been a huge hulk of a guy, easily 6’8″, muscled but softly spoken. He had walked into the small florist, careful to make he way though the shop without knocking anything over and waited until she had finished her phone call before introducing himself. He seemed uninterested in the flowers, but instead asked her about herself, her past, her future, her dreams. They had talked for almost 45 minutes and then he had written his number down on a post-it note before making some excuse about having other positions to apply for and leaving.
The second had been closer to what she had expected, shorter, 5’10″, slim, wearing funky alternative clothes and a messed up hairstyle, his ears and eyebrows pierced, and probably other places too. He had looked around the shop and seemed genuinely surprised when she mentioned the flowers. When he had said “All I know about flowers is that they aren’t very tasty.” She couldn’t help but look at his flat belly and imagine the tight abs his t-shirt was not doing a very good job of hiding. He had left a business card that listed his title as ‘Circus Geek’.
The third guy had been slim and tall and wearing a perfectly pressed pin-stripped suit and a bowler hat. He had spoken proper english and had assured her that he had all the qualifications she had specified and she was welcome to inspect his equipment if she wanted to confirm his claims. His business card was a shinny waxy card with embossed lettering and only had his name and phone number on it.
No one else had turned up for the job. It was now almost midday, she had served a few customers and made up a few online orders, but was getting behind again. She still needed a new assistant, but she couldn’t possibly hire any of them. She would just have to run the ad again.
Just as she was unwrapping her egg salad sandwich for lunch another man walked into the little florist shop. She looked him up and down and smiled. Finally someone that might suit the job. He was short and slim, shorter and slimmer than Trace was, which always bothered her a little, guys shouldn’t have a smaller dress size than her. Tight fitting designer jeans and a white designer t-shirt. *Definitely gay.*
He walked over to a display and picked up a bunch of 12 red roses, he set them down on the counter as he sat down on the stool and smiled a very large friendly smile and opened up a old looking filofax.
“So, how did the candidates go?”
Trace frowned. “Aren’t you hear to apply?”
He shock his head and smiled more. “Oh no dear, I’m just hear to see that you find the right person.”
He held out his hand for her, she automatically reached over and shock it.
“Max Snogfest.” He stated, as if that somehow explained everything. “You did put in an advertisement, did you not?”
From inside his organiser he pulled out a folded piece of paper. She leaned forward a little and looked at the paper, it was charred and sticky-taped together. *Oh my God*. That was Ethan’s handwriting, and her signature.
“Where did you get that?” She grabbed at the paper and snatched it off him.
She looked up from the letter. “So… the guys this morning were…” She look back at the charred letter.
Max nodded. “Yes, exactly, what did you think they were here for?”
She pushed the newspaper across the counter top to him. One ad was circled in blue pen.
*Wanted, shop assistant for busy inner-city florist. Must be good with customers and flowers.*
Max read the ad and nodded. “Oh well… that’s not really my field, but I’m sure I can find someone for that too.” He smiled. “The much more important question is, which of the gentlemen from this morning are you going to send these roses too?”
Still looking at the letter and remembering what had happened the night before. “They can’t all be perfect matches.”
Max smiled more and reached across the counter and picked up one of the cards used for adding a message to the flowers.
“No, not perfect matches, but the three best I could find as such short notice.” He wrote something on the card with a old style biro. “No one is prefect, and you have some very vague requirements, and some very specific requirements.”
“The circus guy was cute… what’s his problem.”
Max flicked to a page in his filofax. “Hmm, he has a few fetishes, nothing too kinky.” He flicked to a different page. “But they seem to be ones you will enjoy.”
Trace blinked. “You have a page about me in there.” She tried to look in, but he snapped the book shut.
“I have details about all of my clients.”
Max attached the card he had been writing to the 12 roses and then handed Trace the cash to pay for them.
“Joseph has a performance tonight.” He said and handed her a ticket to the show. “Go along, and then go back stage after. See what happens.”
Then Max picked up the roses and left the little florist, leaving Trace confused with her egg-salad sandwich.
- – -
Trace had sat at the back of the small theatre to try and blend in. It turned out that Joseph, the circus guy, did sword swallowing, juggling and other side show tricks. He went by the stage name of ‘The Diamond Python’, and looking at the poster Trace couldn’t help but wonder what ‘python’ referred to.
In the show he had picked her out of the audience and called her up on stage and then proceeded to do a surprisingly good mind reading trick. When he had guessed her favourite number was 6 and her favourite colour was sky blue she had been impressed. When he had announced that her favourite animal was a palomino unicorn she had been stunned.
After the show he had mingled with the audience in the foyer, posing for photos and singing autographs. She waited by the bar and had another one of the awful house white wines. Eventually everyone else had left and he walked over to her.
“So, does this mean I got the job?” He asked with a cheeky grin.
She couldn’t help but smile back. There was something charming and disarming about his style.
“Not yet. All you have at the moment is a trial period.”
“Well then, I think dinner and talking and if that goes well, some hot sex.”
She finished off her wine. “Does it have to be in that order?”
He smiled more. “Yeah, lets be old fashioned for a change.” He reached out and took her hand in his. “I need to get out of this costume. You want to wait here? Or come back to my dressing room?”
“What happened to being old fashioned?”
He shrugged. “Nothing in that says you can’t look.” And with that he lead her back to his dressing room.
- – -
The dressing room was much like the rest of the theatre, old and dark and slightly odd. As soon as the door to the dressing room closed he started to take off his clothes.
“You’re a bit of an exhibitionist aren’t you?”
He grinned. “Did the sword swallowing on stage in front of 100 people not give that away?”
Trace looked around the little room and noticed 12 red roses on the dressing table. She walked over and looked at the card.
*Thought you were cute today, so here are some flowers. Would love to see more of you. Trace. PS: don’t eat the flowers.*
“Don’t eat the flowers?” She echoed.
“I didn’t. I was a good boy.”
“Why would you eat the flowers?”
“Why wouldn’t I? I’ll eat anything.” He replied as he got fully naked.
She caught a glimpse of his naked butt in the mirror, but she turned around as he was pulling his jeans up.
“Oh, no fair, I didn’t see.”
He turned to her with a cheeky smile and zipped up his jeans, drawing her eyes to his crotch. “Wine and dine me and I’ll let you look all you want.”
The bulge looked impressively large as he made no effort to look away. Maybe Ethan was right, maybe she was obsessed.
She slowly looked up Joseph’s bare flat abs and over his defined but not built chest, up over his prominent adam’s apple and his square chin to his large lips, finally looking him in the eye.
“So what do you want for dinner?” She finally asked.
He smiled again. It made her smile back.
“Like I said, I’ll eat anything.” He pulled a shirt on and then walked over to her and leaned forward and kissed her before she could stop him. “So the real question is, what do you want?”
“I had dinner before the show. We could get pizza and go back to my place.” She suggested and then realised she had just invited a strange man, a very strange but very interesting man, back to her flat.
“Pizza’s always good. Let go.” He picked up his jacket and lead her out of the theatre.
- – -
She lay in bed with the man of her dreams sleeping soundly beside her.
Five large pizza boxers were on the floor empty, he had actually eaten every last slice, which was amazing. More amazing was that she found that a strange turn on. She filed that away as something to maybe mention to her counsellor as she reached over and rested her hand on his belly.
In the dark room he reached over and picked up her phone and wrote out a text message to Ethan:
*I found him, the guy from the ad. I don’t know how you did it, but thanks.*
Story first written for Uni Class in September 2011
- Christmas Factory – Chapter 1
- Escape Goat