It's Silver Flash Wednesday. This week Prompt Diva Chris Quinton offered up:
Or use these words: butterfly-effect; bombshell; clouded
If we were still stumped, Ryssa kindly provided us with this alternative:
"I was expecting you to kiss me weeks ago."
I went with the first prompt and the first thing that came to mind. I really like this one. Hope you do too.
Copyright © 2011
The first thing he saw was the sign — “Welcome Class of 1991”. He swallowed and stepped through the hotel’s ballroom doors. Too late to back out now.
“Name?” The blond barely looked at him.
The blond looked up. “Wow! You really filled out.”
Dale dropped his eyes to the registration table. He could see his nametag peeking out of the pile.
“I’m Katie. Katie Miller, remember?”
“Yeah.” Dale forced a smile onto his face. He’d never liked Katie.
Katie gave him a flirtatious look. Her fingers brushed his as she handed his nametag over.
“Maybe we could catch up on old times? You missed our ten year reunion.”
“I’m not interested, Katie. I’m gay.”
Katie looked stunned. He’d probably been too blunt or maybe she hadn’t been turned down before.
He left her sitting, mouth gaping like a dying fish, and headed for the bar.
Two rum and cokes later Dale was ready to go. It had been a mistake to come to the meet and greet. He sure as hell wasn’t coming to tomorrow’s dinner. He didn’t recognize any of these people and the only one he cared about hadn’t shown.
Dale felt that voice all the way from his toenails to the crown of his head. He turned slowly. Hope and nervousness warred in his stomach.
Tony Nakamura stood in front of him. He looked every bit as gorgeous as Dale remembered. Slim build, dark eyes and a sensuous mouth. His hair was still a sleek, shiny black. Dale clenched his fists so he wouldn’t reach out and touch.
Tony smiled and Dale felt his insides twist.
“Mom said you’d be here, but I didn’t believe it.” He stepped closer, into Dale’s personal space. “It’s good to see you, Dale. It’s been way too long.”
Dale cleared his throat. “Twenty years.”
Tony looked up at him. “What happened to us? We were best friends once. Hell, our parents are still neighbors.”
Dale shrugged. He couldn’t say, “I loved you too much.”
Tony stared over his shoulder and Dale turned to look. Katie was watching them.
“Let’s go somewhere we can talk.”
Dale nodded. He left his glass on the bar and followed Tony outside. They stepped off the patio and walked along a wooden boardwalk. Tony turned right and headed out onto a dark pier. He plopped down onto a wooden bench, patting the space next to him.
Dale sat, his hands resting on his knees. The lights from the hotel bled into the lake water but didn’t reach them here. Tony’s crisp, white dress shirt seemed luminous in the dark. He could smell Tony’s aftershave; almost feel his body heat.
Tony shifted, tucking one leg beneath him. His knee brushed Dale’s thigh. Dale forced himself not to move away. His body felt raw, hypersensitive. He concentrated on breathing. He’d wanted to see Tony, but all those long buried feelings were rushing back.
“Why did you come tonight?” Tony’s voice was soft, curious.
“It’s our class reunion.”
“You didn’t come for the ten-year one.”
“I was busy.” Busy trying to avoid seeing Tony. Coming here tonight had been a mistake. He hadn’t been prepared for the intensity of his emotions.
“Busy being a world famous food and wine critic.”
Dale looked at Tony surprised. “You know what I do?” He grimaced. “I’m not world famous.”
“Pretty close. The way your mom tells it.” Tony nudged him with his knee.
“Ah…” Dale’s face flamed. He shifted the focus to Tony’s career. “I hear you’re in the hospitality industry.”
“Yeah. I run the hotel up at the ski hill.”
Dale snorted. “Hotel? It’s a five-star chateau, for chrissakes.”
Tony shrugged. “Same principles apply. Keep the customers happy.” He looked thoughtful. “Hey, you been keeping tabs on me?”
Dale blushed again. “Our moms talk. Sometimes I wonder what you’re up to,” he added more honestly.
Tony leaned forward. “I still have it, you know.”
“Have what?” He didn’t mean that. Did he?
“The ring you gave me.”
“It wasn’t a real ring.” He couldn’t believe Tony had kept it. He’d made it when his dad had been fixing the bathroom pipes. Dale had taken a snippet of copper his dad had trimmed off. He’d sanded and polished it and the next day at school he’d presented it to Tony.
“You’re my best friend. We’ll get married when we’re older,” he’d stated with all the certainty of an eight-year old.
Tony’s Japanese build was more slender than Dale’s. He’d had to wear the ring on his thumb, but he’d worn it proudly.
Until Katie Miller had laughed at them. “You can’t marry each other.”
“Why not? I gave him a ring.” Dale had been furious.
“But it’s turning green. So it’s not a real ring and anyway, boys don’t marry each other.” Katie was smug.
Tony had looked so sad. Dale had run home to ask his mom. It was true. It was against the law for two boys to marry.
Dale had been heart-broken. He’d never gotten over it, or Tony, though they’d stayed best friends all through school. After high school he’d moved away, from the town and his lost-love.
“I brought it with me.” Tony reached into his pocket and opened his palm.
The ring looked so small. Hard to believe it had ever been too big.
“Why?” Dale refused to hope.
“Gay marriage is legal in Canada now.”
Dale tore his eyes off the ring. “You’re joking.”
“Well, I thought we could start with dating,” Tony teased.
“We don’t live in the same town.” He hadn’t even known for sure Tony was gay. Until now.
“If it works out, I’ll move. There’s hotels everywhere.”
Tony’s smile slipped.
“You’ve got a great job. I’ll move.”
Tony kissed him. Dale’s brain melted like ice cream in a microwave.
“Come on, sexy.” Tony pulled him to his feet.
“Where’re we going?”
“My hotel room.” Tony grinned. “We’ve got a reunion to celebrate.”
This week's flashers are:
Julie Hayes (m/m)
Victoria Blisse (m/f)
West Thornhill (m/m)
Freddy MacKay (m/m)
Lindsay Klug (m/f)
Lily Sawyer (m/m)
Sui Lynn (m/m)
L. M. Brown (m/m)
Elyzabeth M. VaLey (m/f)
Ryssa Edwards (m/m)