The Sailor's Stories

2048 Chapter two – Book II

with 9 comments

Maybe it was the drink last night…, or maybe the fact that he’d taken care of him in a vulnerable moment…, maybe it was even true…, Cam couldn’t help but wonder, looking down at the ‘dead to the world’ young Petty Officer…, sadly, answers still weren’t very forthcoming. That small and simple phrase, three little words…, I love you…, started to ring through his head at a million miles an hour, but what the hell was he supposed to do with it! What is love anyway? Could he in fact, love the young man in front of him, sleeping fitfully in his new son’s old bed? Well yeah…, he realized that he probably could…, but should he or would he…, did he even want to?

Those questions, the very reality of the situation, that’s what plagued him in that moment. Sure, Cam liked the guy well enough, had done so for years actually, if truth be told, but he had never once thought about loving him. The whole thing was stirring up some very interesting feelings, that’s for sure…, feelings he hadn’t felt for quite some time. When all is said and done, Danny had taken a definite risk by telling Cam how he felt about him. There was a caring connection there, a bond if you will, but how could he have known that his revelation would turn out the way he wanted it to.

Thinking about it seriously, Cam understood the feeling, he’d felt it himself often enough, it was fear, the fear of the unknown. It didn’t take much for the realization to kick in, and he had the unerring sense that, that was very likely the cause of the Technicolor conversation they’d shared before he’d put him to bed. That night, Danny had taken his first step into the unknown with his boss…, the man he knew only as Commander Cameran Trevallian. Knowing that, it put him in a very precarious position, one where soft feet were needed.

In actual fact, Cam was the first living person that Danny had told about himself, not that he knew that at the time. In that way Danny was a very lucky young man, out of all the possible officers he worked with, he’d chosen the only one with any experience in the matter. Danny didn’t know it yet, but there would be no untoward repercussions from his boss on the matter.

Still, it was a definite risk, and Danny had had trouble getting to sleep that night, because of it. When he’d finally drifted off, he still wasn’t overly comfortable, but at least he was no longer afraid. If Cam had any ill feelings towards him, Danny felt sure that he would have just kicked him out…, not given him a bed for the night, and certainly not taken care of him while he lost the contents of his stomach. To tell the truth, Cam was flattered, and even though he had at times suspected there was more than just a work relationship in the making, that did nothing to soften the blow of the act itself. Having said that though, it really didn’t change anything for either of them.

Danny was still completely out to it, when Cam gently sat on the edge of the bed. As he looked down at the boy, what he saw, was a realm of possibilities, and that really bothered him. In a manner that befitted the dad that he’d become, he reached over to brush several strands of stray hair from Danny’s young face, so that he could see it clearer in the early morning light streaming through the cracks left open in the drapes. His hand finally coming to rest, softly on the young man’s shoulder, which seemed to calm his sleep a little. To Cam right then, Danny was more than just attractive, even in his sleepy state.

He had incredibly soft dark brown hair, a near perfect complexion, only marred, if you could call it that, by one or two freckles that still lightly dusted his nose. His eyes were obviously closed, but Cam could remember them well…, an even deeper brown, that didn’t just match his hair…, they enhanced it. Danny’s eyes he knew, weren’t just windows to the boy’s soul…, they were some of the deepest caverns he had ever seen. So deep in fact, that if you stepped into them without a GPS, you would be lost forever. Chuckling softly to himself at the thought, he realized…, what wasn’t to like?

Cam could remember a few times that he’d had to check himself in Danny’s presence, but only to stop from staring. He’d always thought the boy was kinda cute, even though it was only ever in passing. But, there were times, times where Danny just seemed to light up a room with a simple smile…, those had always been moments that Cam cherished. It took him a long time to figure out how Danny managed it, but when it clicked, it was like a freight train to the head. The simple fact was that it was his expressiveness, the same thing that made him so easy to read in the first place. When Danny was happy, it was plastered all over his face like a billboard for all the world to see.

None of that had any effect on the bombshell from the night before however. But there was no mistaking it now, all those little clues, the soft lingering touches, the doting looks that Danny thought had gone unnoticed…, Danny was in love with Cam…, and had been for some time, last night only proved that fact. Love had never been easy for Cam, well no that wasn’t true, he loved his family more than anything, he loved his friends and his team mates almost as much, just not in the same way. Actual love though, or at least, romantic love…, that had never come easy to him and in fact, had only happened once. Watching the boy sleep, Cam was starting to get a sense of the reason why.

Over the last year…, a year that had seen a lot of great things happen, yet at the same time, had seen a lot of hardship and pain…, Cam had come to realize that what he was really searching for, what he was desperate for, was a lost part of himself, probably the best part…, a part that simply didn’t exist in his little world anymore. He knew what he was now, and that, at least gave him some comfort. But, if he’d known what questions to ask at a much earlier age he would have asked them, and things would have been different, even with the fear he would most definitely have felt about it at the time.

Looking back on it, Cam knew that he would have been accepted at home. He’d once told Dale that there weren’t any bigots in that house, and he meant it. There would have had to have been some adjusting, but Cam’s parents, he knew, would have loved and accepted him for who he was…, their loving son. The mere fact that he was different would not have changed that fact in their eyes, and he could feel a few tears start to build at the thought of what he had lost. If he had only been more honest with himself all those years ago, how much different would his life had been?

Going over it in his mind, Cam hadn’t felt any different growing up, at least not any different from any of the other boys. He had everything he had ever needed to grow up to be the strong man that he was supposed to be, a good education, loving parents and friends, he was in love with baseball at an early age, but then what hot blooded American boy isn’t? It had taken Mark to realize what they were, both of them…, even as hard as he tried to fight it, he now knew that Mark had been right all along. The fear, that’s what had haunted him since that first time, but luckily for him, it was never able to take form because he didn’t know enough back then, and the love he got from Mark and his parents would never have allowed it anyway.

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it’s one of life’s great ironies, that you need that knowledge about things, before your own questions become clear, and he had certainly had questions…, big scary ones. Until you have that knowledge though, you just have to ask other questions … any questions … until the ones you really want to ask make themselves apparent to you. Cam had had those questions for a long time, the biggest of which was always ‘Why?’. It took Dale’s coming out, and getting to know him all over again, for Cam to understand what he’d been looking for all along. Through Dale, he’d been forced to question himself over and over again, to push himself to find the answers he needed, so that he could finally understand what it was that he was trying to learn.

Mark had had answers, he’d had all the answers Cam discovered, and he’d given them everyday since he’d come back into Cam’s life when they were only twelve years old. Mark was the one that had taught him the most simple things, taught him about love, even about how to love. But most importantly, about why we love. Even now, Cam knew that those years should have been within the age of innocence, and to some extent they were still. Mark was fearless though back then, he had given up his innocence to him and Cam realized now understood that it was vice versa as well, in their strive for those answers. Taking the lessons that he’d learned all those years ago, he couldn’t help but think about what he’d done back then that now made his questions suddenly clear, even gave answers to a lot of them. He knew what he was and if he really stretched it…, he knew what he wanted. But was that Danny?

All through his life he’d had a lot of wants, to get older and bigger, to get a car and have fun, to become a pilot, to be successful. Cam had never needed for anything, in that he was one of the lucky ones, so his wants was what he’d spent most of his time with. He’d worked hard all his life to get where he was, and that started in school, but it was Mark’s love that really pushed him so hard to succeed. In time, he had even achieved everything on his list, he’d never considered going to war though…, that one just happened…, but he didn’t shy away from it either, sadly, neither did Mark.

Most of all, out of everything he could have chosen in this life, he still wanted Mark even though he knew that that couldn’t happen. They’d had plans…, that was Mark’s thing…, he was always into planning. Mark had had different dreams though, and that was what saw the fork in the road, Cam went one way and Mark the other. They had always stayed close, and even in the separation they still had plans of coming back together again. That was the one thing they could always agree on, not that they often fought about anything anyway. Once they got out of the services, they had planned to see the world, but only to make their own personal mark on it.

Then one hot day in Basra, it all got taken away, and Cam’s heart shattered into a million little pieces. Pieces that he had no idea how to find, or even begin to know where to look. Because of one small hunk of metal jacketed lead…, Mark was gone forever. He knew it and over time had come to accept it as fact. The thing he couldn’t, or wouldn’t accept, was that he was gone. When he died, it was like Mark had taken a piece of Cam with him, one of those pieces that he was afraid he could never get back…, he wasn’t even sure if he wanted it back, because that piece had always belonged to Mark anyway. That was the hardest thing to reconcile for him, because the part that was missing was the part that he needed to find love again.

It was, in Cam’s mind at least, the last connection with his lost lover, brother…, friend. Almost like a bridge spanning a great river that brings together two land masses. Even now he still thought that sometimes he could feel Mark through that connection. But then, Cam knew it kind of always had been that way. So much so, that when Mark died, he could almost feel his struggle, his love for him competing with whatever was compelling him to leave. That very feeling had screwed him up for a long time, and after he met Karen, Cam decided to talk to her about it. It turned out that that was a smart move on his part, she was smarter than he was, and was one of the very few that knew the full details of his relationship with her cousin to begin with…, besides…, she was also a professional.

Though it had taken forever for him to get it all out, in the end, Karen thought that his lack of attraction for other guys was based in familiarity. He found that he couldn’t fault that, as the guys that he was surrounded with were pretty much off limits from all angles anyway. But, now here comes Danny, walking into his life wearing a smile so remarkably similar to Mark’s, that it almost killed him every time to look at it. Danny was newly out of the closet and had already professed his love, and because of that, he was tentatively available. That wasn’t the real problem though, the trouble was that Cam was thinking of him at all. The last thing he wanted was to be unfaithful to Mark…, even if he was just a memory.

*          *          *

Being torn from ones sleep is never the most encouraging way to start the day, and whoever it was that had dreamed up the alarm clock to begin with, deserves a special place in whatever hell he finds most displeasing. It was his own fault, but that didn’t matter right then…, conscious thoughts in the morning were not really his forte. Waking up early wasn’t the easiest thing for him to do anyway, hence the alarm clock, but when it happens so early on a holiday, it’s like it’s own form of very special punishment. Having said that though, if he’d remembered to reset his alarm the night before, he’d still be sleeping peacefully and probably wouldn’t have found that out.

Rolling over Corey reached out to slam his hand angrily against the snooze button. As he did so, he caught a glimpse of the electronic readout…, all he could think of right then, was that 0700 was too damn early for any respectable person to be awake. He warily considered just going back to sleep for a little while longer, knowing full well that there was nothing of any real importance to do that day. There were two things that morning, however, that just wouldn’t let him find peace…, the first he found, when he rolled over, the second he heard more than more then felt. To tell the truth, the whole world could probably have heard his stomach that morning, or at least it definitely sounded that way.

The poor kid was getting rather depressed, as he lay there stewing in his own self pitty, even the thought of seeing Sam couldn’t cheer him up, when he remembered that the Green’s were probably boarding their flight to Texas right about now. It was times like that, that Corey really envied his brother. With a strong sigh of contempt, at his pressing situation, he grudgingly disentangled himself from the covers and slumped into the bathroom.

“Mornings SUCK!” He intoned, as he near slammed the bathroom door behind him.

Having flushed, washed his hands and brushed his teeth, he went back into his bedroom and slipped on his bathrobe, before crashing back on his bed lost in thought. Yes he was a little jealous of his brother at times, if he really thought hard about it, but having said that he still didn’t harbor any ill feelings towards him, or Carl for that matter. For Corey it was certainly not rocket science…, the simple fact was, was that he loved his brother, always had…, he was even starting to feel the same way about Carl. That did nothing to cushion the shock when Dale finally ‘came out’ to him though, and the even bigger shock he got when he found out about Carl. It was, for him at least, just one of those things that he never saw coming.

Since birth they had been near inseparable, had always shared everything, right down to their favorite pair of socks. There was that link there, the one that forms from the bond that twins often share, and Corey had thought that he’d known his brother pretty well. But then it all changed, Dale had hurt him deeply when he’d moved to his current room, and Corey couldn’t figure out why he’d done it for the longest time. You see for Corey, Dale was the closest thing to him in his life, for years it had always been that way, but when they separated Corey felt lost. It was the not knowing that had been killing him over all those months, then came the revelation…, and Carl.

Thinking about it, Corey didn’t resent Carl, not even slightly. The truth is, is that he’d always liked him, they’d been friends at least, even though he was definitely a hard nut to crack. In fact the two boys were very similar in a lot of ways, but it was baseball that finally brought them all together. The problem was, was that Corey just hadn’t been given the time to properly process everything that was happening around him, before it was all settled. On the same day, he found out his brother was gay, he found out his friend was too, and within another, that same friend was living with them. Everything was just thrust onto him, and he felt that he was expected to just suck it up and deal. He could do that, and was doing that…, but he would’ve liked to have been asked first.

Right at the time that that thought popped into his head, he instantly checked it, because he knew that he’d given up caring about it a long time ago. No, what was really bothering him, was that he still hadn’t regained what he’d lost in the first place. There was a hole there in his heart just itching to be filled again. In effect, he felt somewhat like he’d been replaced in his brother’s eyes, and he was a little lonely because of it. But that wasn’t it either really, he was loved, he knew that…, his uncle loved him deeply, so deeply that he had quite literally killed for him…, and he knew that Dale loved him too. It just wasn’t the same as it used to be, and Corey could feel himself pining for a time long ago.

Corey’s little tummy was still rumbling away, as if the inner demon was starting to beg, but he didn’t look like he was ready to move yet. Lying there, idly fiddling with the bracelet he still hadn’t taken off yet, he was lost for the first time in a long time…, deep in thought. Thinking things through, he knew that if Carl had to be gay, he certainly couldn’t fault his taste in men. As weird as it sounds, Corey knew that his brother was definitely the better looking of the pair. They may have been identical, but you could tell if you looked hard enough. Dale was also the sweeter of the two, the more sensitive. Corey had known Dale would make a good catch right from the beginning.

They had something pretty special going on those two, a blind man could see that, and that’s something that Corey was not. Again he couldn’t fault them for it either, it was obvious how much they cared for and loved each other. Besides, even Corey was moving on, now that he’d found Sam, he had something pretty special there as well. Insecurities were a funny thing though, he knew he loved Sam, knew it in his heart, but he still hadn’t told her. To be quite honest, he didn’t know how, that was always Dale’s thing…, Dale was the expressive one, Corey was the one that always picked up the pieces. Once again he felt that lonely need for his brother…, he needed Dale to help him figure it all out.

Then yesterday happened, and he got swept up with it just like everyone else, but in that sweeping he kinda felt as though he was being swept away. Not a pleasant thought, but it was what he had been thinking at the time. The whole adoption thing had kinda wierded him out a little at first, but at least he had been given the appropriate time to understand it. Now that it was all over and done, he did realize that it was the natural progression of what had already taken place, even if at first it had bothered him. That’s not to say that he thought that what his Uncle Cam had done was wrong, he guessed that he just wasn’t ready for it at the time. It took him a lot of soul searching and late night pie filled conversations with Reggie, to really understand that he wasn’t losing in the deal and over time he thought that she was pretty much right.

But once again, the loneliness had settled in yesterday, and he was really feeling bad about it, because he knew that he shouldn’t. He knew that he should be happy for Carl, that he had finally found a place that would love and care for him the way that it had always should have been. He was happy for Carl, and he really did love him, that’s the thought he had to keep in his mind right now…, well that…, and what his Uncle was making for breakfast. He had another week before school started, and in three days Sam would be back…, that was enough time to talk to Dale, maybe even his Uncle.

*          *          *

The walls in that house weren’t exactly what you would call thick, and as such, sound carried pretty well. But even then he didn’t wake up until he’d felt the bed move, and in his fear he’d held his eyes closed as tight as he could, without being too obvious. When he felt the brush across his forehead, and then the hand on his shoulder, his fears eased a little, but only a little. It wasn’t until he felt the weight shift off of the bed that he dared to open his eyes just a crack, when he did he saw Cam walking to the window, so he risked a better glance. He’d really fucked up last night, getting drunk like that, and that thought triggered his memory and the sudden realization of what he’d said.

Could he take it back? Could he pass it off as just so much drunken banter…, he wasn’t sure. But then he wasn’t even sure if he really wanted too. Cam was a pretty decent guy, and Danny knew that at least one of his nephews was gay, would he think less of him for what he said? The stress was building inside him, almost as bad as it had last night. Danny had never been able to handle stress that well, that’s why he had gotten sick the night before, he could feel the bile rising again, and couldn’t stifle the groan in time…

“Awake are we?” He heard, from across the room. “You know I could have you shot for what you said to me…”

Danny’s gasp was audible and Cam instantly regretted saying it, but it was out there now.

“You…, you wouldn’t…, would you?”

His response was pitiful, and when Cam turned to look at him, he felt like a total fool. The poor boy was certainly wide awake now, wide awake with heartbreaking fear in his eyes. He wanted to go to him, to rush to his side and say he was sorry, but just like when hunting, he felt any sudden movement would just scare him more.

“Oh god Danny…, of course I wouldn’t…, it was a joke…, I was just trying to lighten the mood…”

“It was? … It wasn’t very funny, you know?”

“I know…, I’m sorry…, ok?”

“I guess…, um sir? … About last night…”

“Don’t worry about it for now…, it’s ok Danny…, seriously…, we’re gonna have to talk about it…, but for right now, let’s go and get some breakfast.”

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Written by bigct/Octavius

June 15, 2010 at 05:47

9 Responses

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  1. Loving this style!

    Stephen

    June 15, 2010 at 08:01

  2. OK, so World Cup is what distract you from posting new chapter sooner? Oh, damn that event and damn football as well. OK, OK, I know I am talking this way only because my country didn’t get it to the World Cup and I know I would have talk different if we got there. Still though, I had great weekend with 24 hours Le Mans and return of Formula 1 to Canada, so who need football anyway, when there are other sports 😛 Of course, I hope you will not be that sad tomorrow after New Zeland will be beaten by Slovakia, for which, I must admit I hope, because whenever my country didn’t get somewhere in important sports event and Slovakia does, Slovakia is always my first choice to support, since I am partially Slovakian.
    But I rather get back to the story. It was interesting chapter. The whole part about how Corey feels was great and definitely something I missed in the story previously. It was also great example about how good choice you did, when you changed the story from first person to third person.
    But the most important part of this chapter is Cam’s feelings towards Danny and the revelation that he feels he can’t love Danny, or anyone else, because he feels like he is cheating on Mark. That is something Cam must get over, or he will never be happy in his life.
    It was great chapter and I definitely can’t wait for more.

    Horn

    June 15, 2010 at 09:48

  3. A very, very powerful chapter, perhaps the best in this story if not in all I have read for a long time. You are a gifted and talented author. Keep up the good work and keep those chapters coming.

    Tom

    June 15, 2010 at 10:01

  4. Well Horn, getting over someone you loved that deeply is easier said than done… It’s talen me 10 years. Good job so far, CT. You seem to take to third person very well. Keep it going. If you would hav e asked me when I was a kid “Who won the world cup?” I would have said; “What the hell is that??” Times are changing in the U.S. Some people pay attention, not me, though.

    Dawngreeter

    June 15, 2010 at 11:17

    • Ten years, your lucky! I lost my “Mark” 24 years ago to a drunk driver, and still haven’t gotten over it. I still wear the bracelet we had gotten (instead of rings)! But CT, I have to thank you ever so much. Telling why Cam never really loved again, put some insight as to why I’ve been alone all these years, and the career I have chosen. I wonder if Karen has an opening?!? Again, a wonderful (and enlightening) chapter.

      Rick

      June 15, 2010 at 14:56

      • Sorry for your loss, Rick. To some, 24 years would seem like a long time. I know better. Some loves you never get over. My Mom carried a torch for her ex husband for 45 years before she died. He never remarried. Me, I throw myself into high stress jobs that take up way too much of my time and surround myself with good friends; both two legged and four legged. Only you can decide what’s right for you. That said, maybe a visit to the local Karen near you may not be a bad idea. I’ve been seriously thinking of it myself since I read about it here.

        Dawngreeter

        June 16, 2010 at 09:42

  5. CT great read – nice to get a perspective from Corey.
    For Cam it is all a bit sudden – interesting to see how that unfolds when when things sink in a bit.
    Take care Stef

    Stef

    June 15, 2010 at 14:14

  6. I feel sorry for Corey. He sounds like he is all alone now. I hope Sam is his girlfriend soon. Hugs JJ

    JJ

    June 15, 2010 at 18:17

  7. Really enjoying these new chapters.

    Brian

    June 22, 2010 at 07:29


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