“Did you tell her?”
Michael glanced at Lee as he hung his overcoat on the hook inside the door. Lee held two glasses of wine in his hands and Michael didn’t mind admitting he needed the drink offered. “No.”
“The time wasn’t right,” Michael protested, padding down the hall and taking the glass from Lee’s right hand. The red wine lit up his taste buds and he rolled the fruity liquid around his mouth before letting it slide down his throat with a sigh.
“It never is,” Lee mumbled; his tone flat and the hurt in his green gaze cutting right through Michael’s heart.
“Lee, come on,” Michael followed his lover into the living-room and sank down beside him on their over-stuffed couch. “I’m working up to it.”
“Two years, Mike,” Lee said sarcastically, “you’ve been working up to it for two years. I can’t live like this anymore. I can’t wait in the shadows for you to grow a pair. I’m worth more and if you can’t see that, then maybe you should leave.”
“What are you saying?” Michael’s stomach bottomed out and he had trouble swallowing past the sudden lump in his throat.
“I’m saying that maybe you should go back to your cozy little life and carry on living the lie. I’m through waiting.”
“But, I love you,” Michael reached out and cupped Lee’s cheek, turning his lover’s face to look at him. He caressed a high cheekbone with his thumb and a bolt of hope shot through him as Lee leaned into his touch, green eyes closing. That hope was shot down when Lee’s eyes opened and they were filled with tears.
“I love you, too,” Lee said softly, his voice thick with emotion. “But I don’t want to hide it anymore. Do you know how hard it is for me knowing that she thinks I’m just “one of the guys”? That I can’t touch you, hold you… but she can?”
Mike’s heart broke in his chest at the raw pain in Lee’s gaze. He knew he’d been selfish, stupid, scared… but in that single moment, the only thing he was afraid of was losing the man beside him. Taking a deep breath he lifted Lee’s chin and kissed him slowly, savouring the taste of him before parting their lips on a soft snick. “I love you and I’m not going anywhere.”
Reaching across Lee, he grabbed the phone and stabbed at the numbers, putting the handset to his ear. The sound of the call connecting and then ringing echoed in his head and his stomach churned while he waited for it to be answered.
Mike closed his eyes at the sound of her sweet voice and he pulled Lee closer, needing his warmth and his strength. She repeated the greeting and he took a breath, “Mom? It’s me.”