Challenge:
Place: office building
Words: fly grave burden
Phrase: "I want you to remember."


Someplace to Go

By Ann page
pagangel@sk.sympatico.ca

The note: "Meet me here," followed by an address and a distinctive 'JS'. It was an office building, that much was clear, but why was he meeting me here? A dilapidated, run down, brick building that housed senior citizen's accountants and struggling lawyers. I could have easily met him at his apartment or some out of the way diner. Scrutinizing the main doorway from across the street, I shifted in my boots. Why here? Crossing, I dodged some cars, automatically hiding my face, playing the hidden, unknown element to the max. If no one saw you, then you weren't there. It had taken me a while to build the prosthesis into the camouflage.

When I entered the building, I immediately saw Jeffery sitting in a plastic chair, carelessly bouncing his knee against the wall. It had been weeks since I'd seen him and the rush of love and lust that suddenly hit me became a heavy burden that somehow had been there all along, unnoticed and unconsciously treasured. He noticed me hesitating in the doorway and his brown eyes warmed as he stood up.

His restless impatience, present only a minute ago, drained from his posture and he moved over to where I was standing. "Alex." His smile was quiet. "I missed you." He took my hand and led me through a short hallway and up a flight of stairs. Again, I wanted to ask what was going on but I resisted, happy for the moment that *he* had sought *me* out. Besides, we were standing outside a door and my curiosity was about to be satisfied.

"What are we doing, Jeff?" I meant it on more than one level. NowÖ When we could be somewhere else, wrapped in each otherÖ Do I deserve him? The brief trip into self pity land didn't last and did not show itself on my face.

"He needed the color of your eyes," Jeff said cryptically and pushed open the door. The smell of oil paints and turpentine drifted into my senses. It was a small studio, with a collage of paintings crammed in every available space, some finished, some not. A tall man with grave colored eyes and dusty hair peeked around a portrait, before hurrying out and embracing my Jeff, kissing him noisily on the corner of his mouth. I stiffened with jealousy until he turned and kissed me there as well.

"You must be Alex. Jeffery has told me so much about you. He grasped my shoulders and stared into my eyes. I was on the verge of squirming when he released me and said "I can do this." He went over to a workbench and began mixing paints. I looked at Jeff, questions and possible accusations in my eyes.

"No, no, it's not like that." He smiled. "I could give him almost everything, but the color of your eyes was always wrong." He glanced at the floor before leaning towards me and kissing me. I eagerly moved into him and the long awaited taste of my lover made my pulse fly and barely hold onto the fragments of flesh containing it. When Jeff pulled away, I almost whimpered. The demands of my denied body could not be met here and I grimaced. He only laughed and hugged me. "Ah, Alex. I love you."

I was somewhat stunned by the admission and it was easy for him to maneuver me over to the bench, where the artist was putting two small objects under a heat lamp. "Five minutes to dry and you can take them home. Now, about paymentÖ"

"Of course." Jeffery walked with the man to a small desk I hadn't noticed earlier and took out a credit card.
I turned to study what was under the lamp. Biting my lip, I poured over four small paintings. Two compacts, each with a small painting of Jeff's face and one of mine. Identical silver engraved cases I discovered when the timer went off and I could pick one up. I didn't notice Jeff sneaking up behind me until his arms snaked around my waist and his chin dug into my shoulder, looking over me at the miniatures.

"Why?" I was still staring, unable to comprehend what this could mean.

"I want you to remember that you have someplace to be, to come home to." I turned to him and gently kissed him on the lips.

"I think I love you." I hoped it would be enough for now.

"Let's go home." He closed one compact and put it in the inner pocket of my leather jacket, brushing his fingers against my nipple with a wicked grin. The other he put in his suit coat and then pinned me with his eyes. "Always, Alex."

"Always."


end