Sunday, September 4, 2016
TLR Chapter 84
Instead of taking Brendon out for their second date, Tristan planned an elaborate homemade dinner complete with dessert and freshly ground coffee. Everything was ready and he was anxiously awaiting Brendon's arrival.
Brendon straightened his jean jacket and knocked at the door.
Tris ran to the door and opened it on the second knock. He smiled when he saw Brendon and invited him in. "Have a seat and relax. Everything is ready," he said gesturing toward the kitchenette.
Brendon smiled and looked a bit curiously at Tristan. "What do you have planned for us tonight?"
"Dinner and I remembered that you like science fiction movies so I told Mutt and he had a few he thought you might like. We'll make popcorn and just have a nice, quiet night at home."
Brendon smiled. "That sounds good to me." He went into the kitchenette and took a seat. "What are we having?"
Instead of answering, Tristan opened the oven and took out a large roast, simmering in onions, mushrooms and baby carrots. After placing that on the table, he took out a pan of garlic potatoes and a loaf of garlic bread.
Brendon's eyes widened and he grinned. "Well...I have to say Tristan, even though I enjoy cooking, you always were the better cook."
Tris blushed and smiled at the praise.
Brendon smiled too. "Everything looks and smells terrific. I couldn't get anything better at any restaurant."
"Would you like to carve the roast?" Tris asked, trying to hide his pleasure at the compliment.
Brendon grinned. "That I can do." He took the carving knife and sliced several pieces off the roast, placing them on both his and Tris's plates.
Tristan passed the bowls of vegetables and the gravy boat to Brendon and began to cut up the meat on his plate. He served himself when Brendon had finished taking a share. He worried that he'd made too much but he'd been so eager to make a meal fit for a king.
Brendon ate with good appetite and smiled throughout the meal, reaching out every so often to touch Tris's face or to place a hand on his arm like he had done when they had been at the restaurant.
Tristan wanted to talk during dinner but he couldn't think of a thing to say. He was just happy that he and Brendon were sitting at the same table. That things looked like they were getting better between them. He leaned into the caresses and thrilled at every touch on his arm.
Brendon asked, "How are you liking it here Tris?"
"I love it here. It's beautiful. Peaceful. It's like a dream."
Brendon said, "It is more so since you came here...I never took the time to see what was around me before. I'd been immersing myself in my work instead."
"That's what I did when I was working in the city. I'd seen all there was to see and work was more interesting. This... this is... I'm so glad that James hired me. I couldn't ask for a nicer place to live and work. And the people here are amazing. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. It's not like in the city at all."
Brendon blushed slightly. "It is a great place to work and with my takin' time to be with you I'm discovering a lot of things I didn't realize were here at the resort. I'm glad James hired you and that your friend, who by the way I didn't know was your friend recommended you when he left."
That's probably just as well, Tristan thought. If Brendon had known that Mr. Willoughby was a friend of his he might have vetoed the job application there on the spot, and he'd never have had the chance to apologize. Instead he said, "I'm glad as well. I'm especially glad that... we got to talk after all these years. I'd missed you."
Brendon looked into Tristan's eyes and said softly, "I've missed you too. At first I tried to deny it, bury myself in my work, but now...I'm glad you're here and we've been able to start new."
"Me too," Tristan smiled, trying to hold down a blush of pleasure. "Hey," he said, changing the subject. "Why don't you head into the living room and pick out a movie. You can see which one appeals to you while I clear up in here."
Brendon smiled and asked, "You sure you don't want any help? I'm good at cleaning up even if I'm not as good as you at cooking."
"It's mostly wrapping leftovers and putting the stuff in the dishwasher. If you want to help I won't say no." Tristan smiled.
Brendon began to gather up the dishes and leftovers. "It will go faster with both of us working together." The baker looked at Tris. "Looks like we both have led pretty lonely lives since our break up. You said there were some others after you recovered and understood what was going on with you? It seems it would have been pretty lonely in the big city."
Tris blushed a little and gave a little half shrug, half nod. "I went out with a couple of guys, but... it wasn't like with you. One of the guys, he'd hit me. It started out with friendly little slaps and punches but it escalated after a while. He became jealous and possessive. He scared me. I finally left, but he'd still call, drunk, and blame me for everything that happened."
Brendon's amber eyes darkened and he impulsively pulled Tris into a tight hug. "If that lug calls again you let me know. I'll take care of him," he vowed vehemently.
Tristan leaned into the hug, breathing in Brendon's scent. "Thanks, Bren," he whispered.
"No one should ever treat anyone like that, no matter what Tris...I would have never done that to you. Swat you, but not hit or punch."
"I know now that you'd never harm me, Bren. I knew it back then in one way or another. You put up with a lot from me and never beat on me. That swat you gave me... it was kind of a wakeup call. Even though I... was too far gone to appreciate it at the time... I knew it helped. If I'd been... more rational... I'd never have left you. It was the worst mistake of my life," Tristan admitted quietly.
"The second guy is the one who introduced me to discipline relationships. It's how I knew that it was the right thing for me. It was totally different than the first guy. But he transferred to California. He said he'd call and let me know when he was settled so I could move out there with him, but I never heard from him again."
Brendon said, “I’m sorry about that, but can’t help being glad so we could come together again.” He stroked Tristan's hair and said, "Well it's in the past now and we're starting new. I'm glad that discipline...done right helps you. There is a difference between discipline and abuse Tris."
Tristan smiled wanly. "I understand that now. Since I've been attending some of the classes here, and talking to some of the other guys it's been made more clear to me."
Brendon hugged Tristan tight. "Good, I'm glad and I admit the classes have helped me too. I had only acted on instinct that time."
Tristan returned the hug, holding himself as close to Brendon as he could. "You have good instincts." Tris smiled.
Brendon chuckled, "Thank you."
Tristan self-consciously pulled away from the other man. "Looks like we're done cleaning up in here, how about bringing the sodas into the living room and picking out the movie you want to watch while I put on the popcorn." He was feeling a stirring that he knew Brendon wasn't ready for yet, and needed to put some space between them.
Brendon ruffled Tris's hair and said, "Sure. I'll pick out something." He went into the living room and started to flip through the DVD's. He saw Enemy Mine and waited for Tris before popping it into the DVD player.
"Oh, that's one of my favorites!" Tris said happily. "Good choice. Have you ever seen it?" he asked as he put the bowl of popcorn on the couch between them.
Brendon smiled. "I've not seen it, but I heard the others here at the resort talking about it and I thought it could be a good movie to see some time, but...well I never did get to the theater to see it. And well, I really don't like going to the movies by myself," he said quietly.
"I agree," Tris replied with a small smile at Brendon. "It's a lot more fun with a friend. Oh, by the way, as far as the movie? The butler did it," he joked.
Brendon laughed. "Really? I didn't remember anyone saying anything about a butler." The slightly older man grinned.
Tristan shared in the laughter, feeling more relaxed than he had in a long time. He turned down the lights and the two men sat back to watch the movie.
Brendon made comments now and again and munched the popcorn. He put an arm around Tris about halfway through the movie and it felt comfortable and right.
Tristan leaned toward Brendon, enjoying the feeling of comfort that engulfed him. Little by little he felt his eyes growing heavy and he began to doze with his head against Brendon's shoulder.
Brendon looked down at Tris lightly dozing and snuggled him a bit closer, continuing to watch the movie which had captured his interest. When it ended he gently woke Tris like he used to with a light touch stroking of his cheek. "Wake up sleepy head," he said softly.
Tristan stirred and smiled up at Brendon. "I'm sorry I fell asleep. I haven't felt this safe or comfortable with anyone in a long time."
Brendon grinned down at Tristan. "I'm glad. It feels right to me to have you snugged up to me too. I haven't felt this content since before ...well in the past ten years."
Tristan fought down the desire to ask Brendon to spend the night. "So, would you like to do this again? Soon?" he asked instead.
Brendon grinned. "Yes, very soon. "We can go on a hike if someone here knows a safe and good trail we can take."
"That sounds like fun," Tris replied. "Eric is responsible for all the outdoor activities. I'm sure he'd have a map and some suggestions. I can ask him tomorrow, if you like."
Brendon smiled. "All right ask Eric for us."
Tristan tried to stifle a yawn but was unsuccessful. He glanced at his watch and smiled sheepishly up at Brendon. "It's late, and I still haven't taken my evening meds. Give me a minute, ok?" he asked. He picked up the half empty bowl of popcorn, gathered up the empty soda bottles and went into the kitchen.
"Good thing I don't have to work tomorrow," he laughed. "When I take my evening meds too late I have a hard time waking up in the morning," he admitted.
Brendon smiled and nodded. "I was going to ask you when you needed to take your medication."
"I don't always take them at the same time every night," Tris admitted. "It depends on whether or not I have to work, or what I'm planning the next day. Doc says I should take them at the same time every night but I don't always remember." He dispensed his pills into his hand and gulped them down with a glass of water, grimacing as some of them began to dissolve before he'd swallowed them all.
Brendon arched an eyebrow. "Then perhaps it would be a good idea to set your phone to remind you."
Tristan grinned sheepishly. "I keep saying I'm going to do that but I always forget," he laughed. "Besides, it's hard to take meds on a strict schedule. Stuff comes up, you know? Or I'll be working and it'll be busy so I end up taking them a little later. But don't worry, I do end up taking them eventually."
Brendon said, "I believe there is an app that has to do with helping people to take their meds and on time." Then he added, "Hand me your phone."
Tristan frowned slightly. "That's great, but like I said, I can't always stop what I'm doing to take them, so it won't work."
Brendon said firmly, "It doesn't take but a moment for you to open your pill container and down the pills. I just saw you do that in less than thirty seconds."
"If I'd taken them on time tonight we wouldn't have been able to have our date," Tristan argued. "And when I'm at work, my hands covered in flour and dough and customers demanding stuff as fast as we can make it... well I can't just stop everything just to pop some pills."
"Yes you can,” Brendon said sternly. “There are enough of us to help and all you need to do is tell me and as far as our date tonight we might have ended it a bit early, but I wouldn't have minded, knowing how important it is for you to take your meds on time," He added gently again stroking Tristan's cheek.
Tristan tried to be angry but the caress felt too good. He really didn't want to fight with Brendon, who he knew was only trying to help. He took his phone out of his pocket, unlocked the screen and handed it over to Brendon. "Here," he said shyly, "will you download it for me?"
Brendon smiled and said, "Yes Tris, I intended to do that for you. I want you to be healthy and happy." He located the app and downloaded it to Tris's phone. "Here you go." He handed the phone back.
"Thank you," Tristan said quietly. He once again fought down the desire to ask Brendon to stay. "I... well I guess I should be getting ready for bed then."
Brendon stroked Tristan's hair. "Yes, I suppose so. I'll see you tomorrow and thank you for the date...it was wonderful," he said softly.
"I had a really good time too," Tris said shyly. "Even if I did fall asleep," he chuckled.
Brendon squeezed Tris tight and held him close. "I'm glad...we'll have to do this again...soon. I think it won't take us very long to decide if we still belong together or not and I'm inclined to believe we do."
Tristan thought his heart would burst from happiness at the sound of those words. He smiled as he returned the hug for all he was worth. "I think so too. Don’t forget we already decided on dinner and a movie tomorrow night."
Brendon smiled. "All right...let's continue and see where things go. I won’t forget about tomorrow night. Right now, little boy, you need to go to bed." Brendon eased Tris away from him, turned him toward his room and gave his bottom a light swat. "I'll see you tomorrow."
"See you tomorrow," Tristan replied. He knew he was grinning like a fool, and that he should at least walk Brendon to the door, but he was feeling giddy and the meds were starting to kick in. "Good night, Bren," he said, as he walked through his bedroom door.
Tris rolled back the blankets on his bed and laid down. Smiling at the darkened ceiling, he thought about Brendon until sleep overtook him and he dreamed of amber eyes.
Brendon let himself out of Tris's bungalow and whistled as he made his way home.