Beginnings: Conclusion

“How’s your head?” Sweetie asked. His hands were starting to hurt a little from all the repeated rubbing, though he’d hardly noticed it while he and Nik had been telling the stories. Sweetie’s hands paused now as he waited for the answer.

Which came in the form of a hug. Jamie swung his legs down and sat up. He scooted closer and slid his arm around Sweetie, gathering him close. He kissed the freshly-shaven cheek and nuzzled, inhaling the familiar scent of aftershave. “It’s better,” he said. He paused for further self-evaluation then kissed Sweetie again. “Much better. Thank you.”

“Anything, anytime,” said Sweetie automatically.

“Funny you should ask that… because I’ve sort of got a question for you both.”

“Shoot,” said Nik. He’d been about to pick his crossword puzzle up again, but apparently decided to wait to see how the discussion was going to go first.

“Well…” Jamie approached the subject cautiously. “What about the two of you?”

“What about us?” asked Sweetie.

“You’ve been telling me all these stories about how you met everyone—Ace at the art gallery, Olly at the clinic, Pit at a tattoo parlor. But how did you two meet? I mean, there are all these wild rumors. I’ve heard that maybe you’re cousins or brothers. And I’ve even heard that you two used to be lovers.” He floated the last suggestion with a prodding, leading tone, careful to not let his anxiety about the possible answer show through.

Nik smirked for the briefest of moments, but then he was completely deadpan. “And what do you think, Jamie?”

Jamie paused. He’d given it plenty of thought over the years but had only managed half an answer. “If you two are related, I don’t see the resemblance. And…” He took a deep breath and steadied himself. “I really can’t picture you as lovers, either.” That was as big a lie as he’d ever told. He’d imagined it a hundred times and had usually had to go hit some pucks around out back to drive it out of his mind again. “So what is it? How did you two meet each other?”

Nik and Sweetie exchanged a look. “Do you want to be the one to tell him?” Sweetie asked.

Nik shook his head. “No, but I think… I think you should feel free to.”

Sweetie pulled back a little, so he could look at Jamie properly as he spoke. “You’re right. Nik and I aren’t related, and we definitely haven’t had sex.” Sweetie paused with uncertainty. Then he took a deep breath and plowed ahead. “I met Nik back in the spring of ’94… when he stole my job and very nearly married my sister.”